NEW YORK (WABC) — With two new pills now authorized by the FDA to fight the effects of COVID, there’s a push for New York state to be first in line for the initial shipments.

Supplies of Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s Molnupiravir are scarce as production continues to ramp up.

Senator Charles Schumer of New York says the feds should prioritize the roughly 400,000 treatment rounds now available for places most affected by the omicron surge, including New York.

Schumer likens the pills to Tamiflu, because they can be taken at home and help keep people out of the hospital.

RELATED: What are the symptoms of the COVID omicron variant?

Here are more of today’s COVID-19 headlines:

FDA expands Pfizer boosters for more teens as omicron surges
The U.S. is expanding COVID-19 boosters as it confronts the omicron surge. The Food and Drug Administration on Monday allowed extra Pfizer shots for children as young as 12. Boosters already are recommended for everyone 16 and older, and the FDA says they’re also warranted for 12- to 15-year-olds. The FDA also said everyone eligible for a booster can get one as early as five months after their last dose rather than six months. But the move, coming as classes restart after the holidays, isn’t the final step. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must decide whether to recommend boosters for the younger teens.

New York City schools reopen with new COVID safety measures
New York City public schools are resuming in-person classes today with extra precautions in place. Starting this week, both vaccinated and unvaccinated students will now be tested. New York City will also double the amount of weekly testing in public schools. The city has also changed its rules to limit quarantine. Instead of an entire classroom shifting to remote learning, when one or more students test positive, all students in the class will be given a rapid at-home test.

More than 100,000 hospitalized with COVID in US
More than 100,000 Americans are starting the new year in the hospital, sick with COVID-19, according to new data updated Monday morning from Health and Human Services. A total of 103,000 patients are currently receiving care, up by 130% or 58,000 people from early November. The newly updated figures are now just shy of the hospitalization peak seen during the summer delta surge, when a total of 104,000 Americans were hospitalized in early September. Last winter, a record 125,000 patients were hospitalized at one time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

US Secretary of Defense tests positive
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin announced Sunday on Twitter that he has tested positive for COVID-19. Austin met with President Biden on Tuesday, Dec. 21, more than a week since he reportedly began to experience symptoms and tested negative that morning. Austin is fully vaccinated, including a booster shot, which he gives credit for rendering the infection to a much more mild state. Until further notice, he will be attending meetings virtually in order to retain all authorities.

NJ first lady tests positive for COVID-19
New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy tested positive for COVID-19 on a rapid antigen test on Sunday. She is asymptomatic. Governor Phil Murphy and the rest of the family have tested negative, and they will continue to test regularly in the coming days. The Governor and First Lady tested themselves due to a recent known non-family contact in their home. Required procedures for reporting, case investigation, and contact tracing have been followed. Monday’s regularly scheduled COVID-19 briefing will shift to a virtual format and stream online. As the Governor is vaccinated and boosted, he is not required to quarantine per CDC guidance. He will continue to wear a mask in all public settings.

On busy 1st day, NYC mayor urges resiliency against pandemic
New York City’s new mayor, Eric Adams, pledged Saturday to steer the nation’s largest city out of the pandemic by drawing on the resiliency of its people and promising a government that works better, even if it’s not radically different. Hours after being sworn into office in Times Square as the city rang in the new year, Adams used his inaugural address to promise more efficiency, invoke New Yorkers’ reputation for toughness, and urge the city’s nearly 9 million residents to make a New Year’s resolution that their lives not be controlled by the pandemic. “Getting vaccinated is not letting the crisis control you,” Adams said at City Hall. “Enjoying a Broadway show. Sending your kids to school. Going back to the office. These are declarations of confidence that our city is our own.”

New year brings more canceled flights for air travelers
The new year is bringing more of the same old misery that air travelers in the United States have been enduring for more than a week. Airlines are blaming wintry weather and high numbers of sickouts due to the rising number of COVID-19 infections around the country. According to tracking service FlightAware, more than 2,600 U.S. flights and nearly 4,600 worldwide were canceled by late Saturday afternoon. That’s the highest single-day toll yet since just before Christmas, when airlines began blaming staffing shortages on increasing COVID-19 infections among crews.

New York State starts 2022 with new single-day COVID case record
New York State started 2022 with a new single-day COVID case record – 85,476. The state’s 24-hour positivity rate is currently at 22.24% and the 7-day positivity rate is just shy of 20%. And while New Yorkers are being tested more than ever this winter, many are also doing their part to combat the virus. In that same 24 hour period 89,675 New Yorkers were vaccinated. According to the state, 80.6% of New Yorkers are fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, if you need a COVID test in New Jersey you’re urged not to show up at hospital emergency centers.

Yonkers school district going virtual
Due to the increase in positive COVID-19 cases across Yonkers, officials announced all Yonkers Public Schools will switch to remote learning for the first week of January.
CUNY and SUNY students must be boosted
Governor Kathy Hochul announced that students must be boosted at CUNY and SUNY schools in order to return by 1/15. Students must also present a negative PCR test upon their return. Faculty are also required to be vaccinated.
What to do if your flight is canceled as omicron-related crew shortages leave thousands stranded
A rise in cancellations during the busy holiday travel season has left thousands of passengers around the country stranded in airport lounges as they attempt to get back home. Airline representatives said that the recent surge in omicron COVID-19 cases has grounded flight crews, and as a result, they don’t have enough people to fly their scheduled flights. While such a predicament is hard to plan for, travel experts say affected passengers still have options to reach their destination, or in the worst-case scenario, ride out their extended stay with as little hassle as possible.

Exposed to COVID at a holiday gathering? What to know about quarantining, testing
So many families gathered this weekend, but COVID-19 didn’t hide as Santa Claus was coming to town. The U.S. is now averaging 198,404 new coronavirus cases each day as of Sunday, the day after Christmas, according to new data from Johns Hopkins University. That’s 47% higher than a week ago and the highest such number since Jan. 19. Those who were exposed to COVID-19 while attending a holiday gathering or visiting loved ones should get tested five to seven days after the day of exposure, said ABC News’ contributor Dr. Darien Sutton. Here’s what you need to know.

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MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE


Omicron variant symptoms: what to know even if you are vaccinated
New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

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