4 THE QUEENS COURIER • FEBRUARY 18, 2021 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Vaccine eligibility expands to those with underlying conditions
BY MARK HALLUM
Th ose with underlying conditions can
now book an appointment to receive the
COVID-19 vaccine through the state’s
website, Governor Andrew Cuomo
announced on Sunday, Feb. 14, as infection
rates continue to decline and the restaurant
curfews are pushed to 11 p.m.
Th e announcement came as the state
achieved 102,000 doses – fi rst and second
– being administered since Saturday while
state vaccination sites reported 89 percent
of fi rst doses in stock have gone out
to New Yorkers who qualify as the Biden
administration green-lights higher allocations
“We remain locked in a footrace
between the infection rate and the vaccination
rate, and while we are making
signifi cant progress on both fronts
thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers,
but can’t become complacent – now is
not the time to get cocky withCOVID,”
Cuomo said. “With more than 10 million
New Yorkers now eligible for the
vaccine, we have the infrastructure in
place to get it administered quickly and
fairly but continue to only be held back
by the supply. Th ankfully, with real leadership
now in Washington, we’ve begun
to see that supply increase and expect
that trend to continue until New York is
Eligibility for the vaccine as well as
scheduling an appointment for a shot can
be made online, where the state also provides
demographic data on the percentage
of people who have been jabbed as well
as the state’s allocation at any given time.
Th e Cuomo administration estimates that
about 10 million New Yorkers are currently
eligible as the vaccination eff ort enters
its second month.
Th e federal government has increased
the allocation to the state by 20 percent.
State data shows that New York City has
received 1.5 million doses and 1.2 million
residents have received the fi rst shot and
Businesses under COVID-19 restrictions
such as restaurants, bars and gyms
can also stay open an hour later than previously
allowed under the state restrictions.
“Hospitalizations and the positivity rate
continue to decline, and with the holiday
surge now in our rear-view mirror,
we must keep taking steps to further reopen
the economy safely and responsibly,”
Cuomo said. “Accordingly, I have already
signed an Executive Order to move the
closing times for restaurants and bars to
11 p.m. statewide, and now we will do the
same forgyms and fi tness centers, casinos,
billiards halls and any other location with
an SLA license. As we move forward,we
will continue to follow the science and
data and take these kinds of steps to help
us fi nally return to normal.”
While the curfew was expanded
for eateries on Friday, Feb. 12, it
now applies to gyms, other fitness centers,
casinos, billiards halls, as well
as any State Liquor Authority-licensed
Flushing house fi re claims life of father and his 6-year-old son
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
Tragedy struck a Flushing family on
Monday morning when a house fi re
claimed the life of a father and his 6-yearold
son, and left another child fi ghting
for his life.
Th e Fire Department said the blaze
broke out at about 1:12 a.m. on Monday,
Feb. 15, inside the fi rst fl oor of a two-story
home on 157th Street between 45th and
46th avenues in Flushing.
Sixty firefighters from 12 units
responded to the inferno, along with
the 109th Precinct. While battling the
inferno, police said, fi refi ghters found
65-year-old Stephen Blumling and his
6-year-old son Shawn Blumling inside
the residence, unconscious and unresponsive.
Both victims were pulled from the
home, but were pronounced dead by EMS
Firefi ghters also rescued another 6-yearold
boy, believed to be related to the victims,
with burns to his body. Paramedics
rushed him to Jacobi Hospital in the
Bronx, where he’s listed in stable condition.
Two fi refi ghters suff ered minor injuries
while battling the blaze, the Fire
Department said. Th ey were brought to
local hospitals for treatment of their injuries.
Th e blaze was fi nally brought under
control at about 2:22 a.m. Monday morning.
Fire marshals are now investigating
what ignited the deadly inferno.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell
Fire marshals at the scene of a fatal fi re in Flushing.
A man arrives to receive the COVID-19 vaccine outside Citi Field on Feb. 10, 2021.
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