New York Metropolis ushers in 2022 with ball drop in Situations Square | Wellbeing/Exercise

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Town welcomed the new year — and bid excellent riddance to 2021 — as confetti and cheers unfold across Occasions Square as a New Year’s Eve custom returned to a metropolis beleaguered by a world wide pandemic.

The new yr marched throughout the world, time zone by time zone, and thousands of New Year’s revelers stood shoulder to shoulder in a slight chill to witness a 6-ton ball, encrusted with virtually 2,700 Waterford crystals, descend earlier mentioned a crowd of about 15,000 in-human being spectators — far fewer than the numerous tens of hundreds of revelers who usually descend on the planet-famed square to bask in the lights and hoopla of the nation’s marquee New Year’s Eve event.

It did so as an uneasy nation attempted to muster optimism that the worst times of the pandemic are now powering it — even as community well being officers cautioned Friday in opposition to unbridled celebrations amid surging COVID-19 infections from the omicron variant.

Final year’s ball fall was closed to the community mainly because of the pandemic.

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While the crowds were smaller sized, the throngs nonetheless stretched for blocks to soak in the celebration, with quite a few traveling from afar to take aspect. Confetti lit up by electronic billboards swirled in a gentle wind on a moderate wintertime night in New York City.

Mary Gonzalez stood a couple of ft guiding a crowd, seeking to retain her distance from anyone unwittingly carrying the virus.

“I’m joyful that 2021 is in excess of since it prompted a whole lot of challenges for everybody,” explained Gonzalez, who was visiting from Mexico City and wished to consider in an American custom. “We hope that 2022 is much greater than this calendar year.”

The annual ball fall took position as the clock ticked into midnight and ushered in the new year, an event normally commemorated with the uncorking of Champagne, clinking of pints, joyous embraces and renewed hope for far better periods forward.

Instances Sq. is frequently referred to as the crossroads of the world, and metropolis officials insisted on holding the marquee New Year’s Eve event to demonstrate the city’s resiliency even amid a resurgence of the coronavirus.

But 2022 starts just as the calendar year prior began — with the pandemic clouding an by

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Health officials investigating cluster of rare Legionnaires’ disease cases in New York

Health officials on Long Island are investigating 10 reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease — a rare form of pneumonia caused by a bacteria called Legionella. The source of the cluster has yet to be identified, but New York is seeing an uptick in Legionnaires cases statewide, the Nassau County Department of Health said. 

The 10 cases of the disease, first identified in October, have been reported within a one-mile radius in a Long Island neighborhood, the county’s health department said. According to CBS New York, medical teams are working on contact tracing, as well as swabbing and sampling on site to find the cases’ origins. 

The cluster of cases include people between the ages of 35 and 96. As of Saturday, one person has died from Legionnaires, two are hospitalized and seven have been released from the hospital, CBS New York reported. 

People can contract Legionnaires by breathing in a mist or vapor containing the Legionella bacteria, which occur naturally in the environment, according to the county health department. Legionella are commonly found in fountains, spray parks, hot tubs, showers and faucets. The disease is not spread from person to person, the health department said. 

In 2018, there were nearly 10,000 cases of Legionnaires reported in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the number of cases could have been 2.7 times higher than what was reported because it is often misdiagnosed as one of the more common forms of pneumonia, the CDC said. 

Symptoms of Legionnaires typically begin between two to 10 days after exposure to the bacteria and include shortness of breath, high fever, cough, muscle aches and headache. The disease usually lasts between two to five days and can range from a mild cough to a “rapidly fatal” case of pneumonia, according to the World Health Organization. Complications from the disease can include respiratory failure, shock and acute kidney failure. 

The general death rate for the disease ranges from 5 to 10%, and typically depends on how severe of a case it is, where the disease was acquired, and if the patient has preexisting conditions. Those over the age of 50, current and past smokers, those with chronic lung disease and immunocompromised people are at higher risk of coming down with Legionnaires, the Nassau County Department of Health said. 

Those with Legionnaires are usually treated with antibiotics, and

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Religious Vaccine Exemption Stays for NY Health Care Workers | New York News

By MICHAEL HILL, Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York health care workers will be able to seek religious exemptions from a statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate as a lawsuit challenging the requirement proceeds, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

Judge David Hurd in Utica had issued a temporary restraining order a month ago after 17 doctors, nurses and other health professionals claimed in a lawsuit that their rights would be violated with a vaccine mandate that disallowed religious exemptions.

Hurd’s preliminary injunction Tuesday means New York will continue to be barred from enforcing any requirement that employers deny religious exemptions. And the state cannot revoke exemptions already granted.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said she will fight the decision in court “to keep New Yorkers safe.”

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“My responsibility as governor is to protect the people of this state, and requiring health care workers to get vaccinated accomplishes that,” she said in a prepared statement.

State health officials said that as of Tuesday, facilities reported 7,070 hospital workers, or 1.4% of total employees, had claimed a non-medical exemption, as did 2,636 nursing home workers, or 1.8% of employees.

Hurd wrote that the health care workers suing the state were likely to succeed on the merits of their constitutional claim. The question presented in this case, Hurd wrote, is whether the mandate “conflicts with plaintiffs’ and other individuals’ federally protected right to seek a religious accommodation from their individual employers. The answer to this question is clearly yes.”

“This is clearly just a ridiculous government overreach,” said Christopher Ferrara, the Thomas More Society special counsel who represented the plaintiffs. “You can’t do this to people. You can’t call them heroes one day and then throw them out on the sidewalk the next day.”

Hochul’s administration began requiring workers at hospitals and nursing homes to be vaccinated on Sept. 27 and more recently expanded the requirement to include workers at assisted living homes, hospice care, treatment centers and home health aides.

The plaintiffs, all Christians, oppose as a matter of religious conviction any medical cooperation in abortion, including the use of vaccines linked to fetal cell lines in testing, development or production, according to court papers.

Several types of cell lines created decades ago using fetal tissue exist and are widely used in medical manufacturing, but the cells in them today are clones of the early cells, not the original tissue.

The COVID-19

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