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Over 1 Year Later, Upper West Side Community Still Cheers For Health Care Workers Every Night

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- While there's been much progress in the fight against COVID, an Upper West Side community is reminding residents it's not over just yet.

Blowing whistles and waving from balconies, the neighborhood was one of the first to participate in the 7 p.m. nightly ritual that took off during COVID.

"It's all about the health workers and to cheer them on," one child said.

It hasn't stopped.

Rabbi Janise Poticha is one of the first ones out every night.

"My sister barely survived COVID. I have congregants whose parents died of COVID," she told CBS2's Jessica Layton. "Now, months and months and months on into this, it's still a sense of hope."


The continual coming together is an affirmation that they're all still here, even though they know some neighbors are naysayers of the nightly noise.

"We keep each other going. That's kind of the way life is supposed to be, right?" resident John Rodriguez said.

"Enough is not enough," resident Roanne Nagler said. "This has not ended."

More than 40 states are reporting an increase in daily COVID cases, fueled by the dangerous Delta variant, as we see the first national uptick since early April and new fears over more hospitalizations.

The White House brought in some star power Wednesday to encourage youth vaccinations -- pop singer Olivia Rodrigo.

"It's important to have conversations with friends and family members encouraging all communities to get vaccinated," she said.


In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio is touting a new study from Yale that shows the city's vaccination program potentially saved more than 8,000 lives, but the efforts to reach the unvaccinated continue with more mobile vaccination sites and door-to-door, in-home programs.

For the time being, the Upper West Side community says they will keep cheering and keep caring.

"We think it's important, and I still think it's important to continue," Poticha said.

CBS2's Jessica Layton contributed to this report.

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