Year in Review: Queens’ top stories from January 2021

As 2021 comes to an end, QNS compiled a list of this year’s biggest stories. Here is a look back at the top stories for the month of January.

As 2021 comes to an end, QNS has compiled a list of the biggest stories, events and people of Queens that grabbed our attention this year.

Here is a look back at the top stories for the month of January.

Triple shooting at Kew Gardens hotel marks first homicide of 2021: NYPD

Photo by Mari Estrella

One person was killed and two others were injured in a shooting at the Umbrella Hotel in Kew Gardens early in the morning of Friday, Jan. 1, marking the first homicide of the new year, according to the NYPD.

Officers from the 102nd Precinct responded to a call regarding the shooting just after 1 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 1. Upon their arrival, officers discovered three people had been shot.

A police spokesperson said the shooting victims were together at the hotel and engaged in a dispute with a group of at least four people before the shooting.

Northwell Health’s urgent care facilities begin COVID-19 vaccinations

Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care became the first urgent care network in the nation approved to receive and administer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. After receiving its initial allocation, the New York urgent care network began vaccinating team members on the front line during the first week of January.

The Moderna vaccine provides the same protective technology as the Pfizer vaccine, and both have similar efficacy levels of around 95%. Like the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna’s inoculation requires two shots. However, the interval between the Moderna vaccine is 28 days, while the time frame between Pfizer’s doses is 21 days.

Queens restaurants take part in Restaurant Week To Go

Photo by Samantha Box

A record 570 restaurants, including 45 from Queens, participated in Restaurant Week To Go in an effort to promote eating locally at a time when indoor dining was closed. Participating restaurants provided diners with an entrée and at least one side dish for lunch or dinner, all for $20.21. Some of the restaurants also offered these deals the following week.

According to NYC & Company, the record-setting 570 participants is 200 more than any NYC Restaurant Week since 1992. The organization added that Restaurant Week To Go aims to allow customers to safely enjoy restaurants while allowing the establishments to “make takeout and delivery a revenue stream to help get through the winter months.”

Queens loses nearly 200 chain stores, third-largest decline in the city

Photo via Flickr

Queens saw an 11% drop in chain store locations in 2020, the third-largest drop out of all the five boroughs. The Center for an Urban Future’s 13th annual State of the Chains report found more than 1,000 chain stores across New York City closed either temporarily or permanently over the past year or nearly one in every seven locations that were open at this time last year.

In Queens, 198 chain stores shut their doors over the past year. The report found the number of chain stores in the city declined by 13% over the last year, with 2% closing temporarily and 11% not indicating whether closures were permanent.

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