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Eyewitness News Afternoon Update

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A 19-year-old was struck in the face on a southbound A train at Columbus Circle by a suspect who then bit a responding police officer.

Video Transcript

DAVID NAVARRO: I'm David Navarro with a look at some of this afternoon's coronavirus pandemic headlines. And Governor Cuomo announced that capacity for indoor dining in New York City will increase to 35% beginning next Friday.

ANDREW CUOMO: What's happening now is people in New York City, Staten Island, Manhattan are going to New Jersey to those restaurants. So it's not really accomplishing a purpose. So New York City restaurants will go to 35% next Friday. That will be consistent with New Jersey.

DAVID NAVARRO: The governor made two other big announcements. He said nursing homes may soon allow visitors inside their facilities as long as the people test negative for coronavirus. And the state will open two new mass vaccination sites in the city next Wednesday. The sites at York College in Jamaica and Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights will offer 3,000 shots a day initially to people who live in those communities. Meanwhile, the mass vaccination website at Empire Outlets on Staten Island is now open. Eyewitness News Reporter Derick Waller has the details.

DERICK WALLER: Delay after delay with this new vaccine site here at the Empire Outlets on Staten Island. It was supposed to open yesterday, but because of a shortage of vaccine it was delayed until 8 o'clock this morning. And now it's snowing, so now we have a weather delay. It's supposed to open right about now and needless to say people are ready.

RAFAEL FIGUEROA: Why they don't let me get the shots?

DERICK WALLER: This man desperate to get the vaccine and fed up with the city's website came down to the Empire Outlets in person hoping someone could help him book an appointment.

RAFAEL FIGUEROA: I came [INAUDIBLE] without one because I got to keep on making-- keep on going to the website and they keep on saying they don't have it or don't have enough vaccinations or they don't have the appointments. I'm getting frustrated with this already.

DERICK WALLER: Those appointments are incredibly hard to come by with limited supply and now storm related shipping delays. Governor Cuomo announcing every dose that should have been shipped on Monday was held back, and only a limited number of Pfizer vaccines left shipping facilities on Tuesday and Wednesday. This new site inside an empty storefront is for Staten Island residents only and by appointment only. Mayor de Blasio opening the site to try and bring down the positivity rate in the communities most impacted by COVID.

JONATHAN D'ALBERO: My grandmother got it so-- and she's doing just fine. So I'm happy that-- that's, you know, that's-- so hopefully everybody else has the same reaction and we could just move forward.

DERICK WALLER: But while demand is high some people are still skeptical of taking the shot.

STEVEN PENIAS: Trying to have kids again so I don't know how that works with getting the vaccine and getting pregnant and all that. So we're just steering clear from it until we know it's safe, 100%.

DERICK WALLER: And that vaccine shortage also delayed the opening of another neighborhood site in Queens, this one at the Martin Van Buren High School. That is now scheduled to open on Sunday. Reporting from St. George, Staten Island, I'm Derick Waller, Channel Seven Eyewitness News.

DAVID NAVARRO: And we invite you to stay with ABC 7 NY for the latest on the coronavirus pandemic and the race to vaccinate people across the tri-state area. I'm Dave Navarro. Have a great afternoon.