Evening briefing: December 29, 2021

Good evening, New York City. We end the day for you with the most important stories you need to know for tonight and tomorrow, as well as your weather forecasts.

Your weather planner

The possibility of showers continues tonight until tomorrow.

Our forecast

Highlights: Between to upper 40s
Lower: Mid 40s
Light rain

Temporary weather forecast | Interactive radar

Today’s big stories

1. New York reports a record 67,000 new COVID-19 cases; Hochul expects the increase to continue

Up until the New Year holiday, New York State has set another record for new COVID-19 cases, reporting more than 67,000 new cases within the last 24 hours, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday.

It is the ninth day in the last two weeks that the state has set a pandemic height for new cases in a single day. The previous record set on Christmas Eve was 49,708.

2. Ghislaine Maxwell Found Guilty of Helping Jeffrey Epstein with Sexual Abuse of Teenage Girls

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty on Wednesday of helping to recruit and groom teenage girls to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein between 1994 and 2004. Maxwell was found guilty of five of the six charges against her in the trial.

3.5 new state-run COVID-19 test sites open in NYC

New York State on Wednesday opened a COVID-19 test site in each of the five boroughs, including one in Harlem and one in Jamaica.

The places close at 16 New Year’s Eve and keeps closed New Year’s Day. New Yorkers can schedule appointments online.

4. Health authorities warn of major New Year’s meetings as COVID-19 cases hit record highs

A massive increase in coronavirus cases driven by the omicron variant threatens to increase New Year’s Eve festivities across the country and around the world.

At a briefing in the White House on Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci that “it really depends on what your plans are” for New Year’s Eve; smaller gatherings in family contexts with those who are fully vaccinated and boosted are okay, but he discouraged large gatherings.

5. Here’s what the CDC’s updated COVID-19 guide means to you

In recent weeks, federal health officials have issued new recommendations to health professionals, school staff and students and the general public who are exposed to or test positive for coronavirus. If they have made you feel confused or worried, here is what you should know.

6. Mayor Bill de Blasio fought against the police and the community for 8 years

Mayor Bill de Blasio was sworn in eight years ago after campaigning as a police reformer. But he took heat from all sides while in office. NY1’s dean Meminger dives into the mayor’s relationship with the NYPD and society as a whole.

The city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses that went into effect Monday also applies to private citizens who hire a one-man business, such as a babysitter or housekeeper, reports our partner Gothamist.

But as the definition of a workplace expands to include private homes, it is unclear how enforcement will play out. The rules may change within a week, as newly elected mayor Eric Adams has said he plans to reconsider the mandate when he takes office on January 1st.

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