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NEW YORK (WABC) — A CDC advisory panel is expected to meet Friday to discuss whether to formally recommend booster shots for the severely immune-compromised.

It comes as COVID cases continue to rise across the country and experts weigh if extra shots are necessary.

More than 1 million people who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines have already reported going for an unauthorized third shot.

Experts say the number of vaccinated people hospitalized with COVID has risen sharply since the spring.

That doesn’t mean the vaccines are ineffective. Breakthrough cases are still relatively uncommon.

But experts say they will increase as more people are vaccinated.

Here are more of today’s headlines:

ICU nurse pens heartbreaking letter on COVID pandemic: ‘I feel empty’
On a typical day, you can find Jennifer Steenburg walking the halls of Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital with joy paired with a gleaming smile.

That smile, however, has since faded as a new wave of the virus sweeps through Houston. The suffering and death associated with the COVID-19 pandemic often plays out behind closed doors. Sick patients fight to recover in hospital beds, and doctors and nurses see their pain up close.

Hartford, Stamford mandate masks indoors amid virus surge
Hartford and Stamford will be mandating indoor mask-wearing amid another coronavirus surge fueled by the delta variant, city officials said Tuesday. Hartford’s requirement will take effect at midnight Tuesday and Stamford’s will begin at 8 a.m. Thursday, the mayors of both cities said. New Haven became the first city in Connecticut to mandate masks in indoor spaces on Monday, after Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont granted municipalities the authority to require masks. Lamont has not reimposed statewide mask requirements.

Hartford’s rules will apply to anyone indoors in the city with exceptions for medical conditions, children under 2, people eating or drinking and office spaces where work spaces are separated by partitions. Stamford will require mask-wearing at all indoor retail and public spaces regardless of vaccination status, as well as outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people at city-owned properties including parks, with similar exceptions.

LBI cases linked to teen nights
Officials in Long Beach Island say 29 coronavirus cases are now tied to Beach Haven teen nights, although the actual number may be higher as tourists returning home to other states often do not have their cases reported back to New Jersey. The venues hosting teen nights often do not require masking, social distancing, health screenings, vaccination status reporting, or negative tests to enter, according to the Facebook post from the Long Beach Island Health Department.

NYC school vaccination push continues, chancellor on Staten Island
New York City Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter visited a high school on Staten Island Tuesday morning to lead a roundtable discussion on vaccines as part of the city’s “Vax to School” push to get students inoculated before the start of the academic year. The event at New Dorp High School included a call for teachers to get the shot, as parts of Staten Island have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the city. Mayor Bill de Blasio has mandated city teachers either get vaccinated by the start of the school year or face weekly testing.

Doctor ranks best mask types for kids in the classroom
As pediatric COVID cases reach alarming new levels across the country, parents are preparing for the school year. One doctor is weighing in about which masks are best for the classroom.

What we know about the COVID vaccine timeline for children under 12
As the delta variant spreads, posing a heightened risk to everyone who isn’t vaccinated, demand has skyrocketed for a vaccine that will protect young children who are not yet eligible — a group facing more cases than ever before during the pandemic. And while experts still consider it uncommon for children to get severely sick from the virus, being unvaccinated leaves them more vulnerable. Over 94,000 children were diagnosed with COVID last week, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, and hospitals nationwide are reporting more and more children in their pediatric COVID units. Here’s what we know so far about when a safe and effective vaccine for children under 12 will be authorized by the Federal Drug Administration.

Are gyms the new movie rental stores? How COVID is reshaping the fitness industry’s future
Going to the gym was always part of Kari Hamra’s routine until last year’s government-ordered shutdowns forced her to replace the workouts with daily rides on her Peloton stationary bike. That’s when she discovered something surprising – she did not miss the gym. At least not the driving back and forth, filling water bottles, changing clothes and most of all, taking time away from her husband and two boys. Now that her gym in Springfield, Missouri, is open again, she’s slowly returning. But finding a more convenient exercise schedule at home and seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases in her hometown this summer have her questioning how much she needs the gym. She figures that if there never had been a coronavirus outbreak “I would still be a gym rat.”

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