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Tuesday was a turning point for New York, the epicenter of the first deadly wave of COVID-19. Fans are allowed into sports arenas for the first time in nearly a year.

New York policy allows 10% capacity in stadiums, so there will be around 2,000 fans at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night when the New York Knicks face the Golden State Warriors. Participants will have their temperature checked and will be required to wear masks inside.

At the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, 300 people will be scattered in seats marked in red after receiving a negative test result for the Brooklyn Nets vs Sacramento Kings game.

Cinemas come next. They can open on March 5.

The slow return to normal comes as New York more contagious British variant now represents three times the number of cases compared to January.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease specialist, expressed concern about complacency. He warned that masks may be needed until 2022. “To be on the safe side, we may need to wear masks under certain circumstances. I’m not trying to scare people, but we might have another push, ”he said.

The New York Knicks and New York Rangers reunite to welcome fans back to Madison Square Garden.

MSG Sports via AP


Meanwhile, despite hurdles to the vaccine, leaders of the nation’s major COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers have signaled that a turnaround is imminent. “We are on track to make 120 million doses available for shipment by the end of March,” said John Young, Commercial Director of Pfizer.

Modern president Dr Stephen Hoge said the company “aims to deliver the second 100 million doses of our vaccine by the end of May.”

In total, drugmakers say 140 million doses will be delivered over the next five weeks. More than 44 million Americans have received at least one vaccine and more than 19 million are fully immunized.

But the disparity in vaccines for the communities that need them most persists.

“People don’t get it, you don’t have CVS and giant stores, and markets in large sections of some African American communities. They don’t exist, ”said Walter Thomas, pastor of New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore.

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