NY-12 COVID Update 3/10/2021
As our city, state, and country continue to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, I write today to update you and your loved ones with the most important information during this ever-changing pandemic landscape. I hope you find it helpful. If you have friends or family who would like to receive this update, they can sign up here.
By the Numbers
Confirmed Cases: 29,096,048
People Fully Vaccinated: 31,285,186
% Fully Vaccinated: 9.56%
New York State
Confirmed Cases: 1,706,924
People Fully Vaccinated: 1,968,972
% Fully Vaccinated: 10.08%
New York City
(Last 7 days)
Total Cases: 25,480
Confirmed Deaths: 321
I was proud today to vote to send the American Rescue Plan Act to President Biden for his signature. This bill delivers on our promise to provide the real, immediate help that New Yorkers and Americans across the country need. Our city and state were hit incredibly hard by the COVID pandemic and this package delivers the federal aid and relief New York, our communities, and our families need. You can read more about what is in this package here.
Last Saturday, the country set a new record for single-day recorded vaccinations. Americans are being vaccinated at a seven-day average of nearly 2.2 million people per day, up from about 900,000 when the Biden-Harris administration came into office. The federal government has provided more than $4.1 billion to states, tribes, and territories to support more than 500 community vaccination sites. Read the full COVID update from the White House here.
New York State Updates
Where and How Can I Get a Vaccine Through NYS?
Vaccines are available at pharmacies, hospitals, and through local health departments statewide – please contact your provider of choice to schedule your vaccine appointment.
Additionally, there is a network of State-run sites distributing vaccine statewide – to determine eligibility and to schedule an appointment at New York State-run vaccination sites, use the Am I Eligible app.
An appointment is required. If you visit a location without an appointment you will not receive a vaccine.
Expanding Vaccination Eligibility
Beginning today, New Yorkers 60 years of age and older can be vaccinated.
Additionally, public facing government, nonprofit, and building services essential workers will be eligible to receive the vaccine starting on March 17.
COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Businesses Act of 2021
This week, the COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Businesses Act of 2021 was signed into law. This bill establishes eviction and foreclosure protections for small businesses. The legislation will initially apply to small businesses with fewer than 50 employees which demonstrate a financial hardship, as well as small businesses with 10 or less units. Read the full update from the Governor’s office here.
Empire Pandemic Grant Program
There is now $29 million available through the Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund, a program to to support essential workers and first responders Coordinated by the Office of Children and Family Services, the program is designed to reimburse out-of-pocket childcare, transportation, lodging, and other qualifying expenses that enabled essential workers and first responders to perform their critical duties throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Vaccination Sites: NYC, Long Island, Hudson Valley, Capital, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley & Western New York Regions
As the federal vaccine supply continues to increase, New York State will establish 10 additional state-run mass vaccination sites in the New York City, Long Island, Hudson Valley, Capital, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, and Western New York regions to further grow New York's vast distribution network. The sites remain in development and are expected to launch in the coming weeks. Final details, including appointment scheduling information and hours of operation, will be released in the coming days. A full list of new locations can be found here.
Restaurants outside of New York City, which have been operating at 50% capacity, can now move to 75% capacity starting March 19. Data has shown that restaurants can operate safely and in accordance with strict health protocols at 75% capacity. New York City restaurant capacity will remain at 35% capacity.
Extended Open Enrollment
The Open Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers has been extended through May 15, 2021. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York's Official Health Plan Marketplace, or directly through insurers.
Coverage start dates will vary:
Individuals who are eligible for other NY State of Health programs - Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus - can continue to enroll year-round.
New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health online at nystateofhealth.ny.gov, by phone at 1-855-355-5777, or by connecting with a free enrollment assister.
COVID Alert NY
As a reminder, New York State has launched COVID Alert NY, an app to provide COVID-19 exposure alerts to help protect your community while maintaining your privacy. More information here.
The State is strongly encouraging eligible and healthy New Yorkers to donate blood. During this crisis, we have seen severe blood shortages across NYS. Your donation could save a life. More information here.
As I make this request, I am aware of and working to reverse the antiquated three month deferral policy for MSM who wish to donate blood. Earlier this year, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and I were successful in getting the FDA to decrease the 12 month deferral period to three months, but we need to completely get rid of this policy that is not based on current science, stigmatizes the LGBTQIA+ community, and undermines crucial efforts to increase the nation’s blood supply as we grapple with the coronavirus crisis.
New York City Updates
New Vaccination Sites
There will be a new vaccination site at the Flushing Library in Flushing, Queens, with plans to open additional sites in partnership with the Queens Public Library system to serve community members in neighborhoods across the borough. The Flushing Library located at 41-17 Main St will initially replace and expand on the existing NYC workforce site in Queens. This new vaccination site, which will initially offer more than 200 appointments per day, will include dedicated appointments for eligible Queens residents, and will be open six days a week from 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Additional days and appointments will be available as supply increases citywide.
Vaccine for All Corps
This week, Mayor de Blasio announced the Vaccine for All Corps, a civilian corps for workers to join NYC’s vaccination effort. Through the Corps, NYC will recruit 2,000 New Yorkers to serve their communities, with a priority focus on residents in the 33 Task Force for Racial Inclusion and Equity neighborhoods. Public recruitment is currently underway for jobs in Staten Island, the Rockaways, and The Bronx. The Corps is currently hiring for clinical roles, including vaccinators, as well as support and administrative roles. Training for new hires will be handled by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Interested jobseekers should visit nyc.gov/vaccinejobs. Recruitment for Vaccine for All Corps jobs is led by the Workforce1 Career Center System operated by the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS).
Signing Up To Get Your Vaccine
The list of New Yorkers currently eligible and those soon-to-be-eligible to receive the vaccine in NYC can be found here.
If you are eligible, you can use the NYC Vaccine Finder to find a vaccination location near you and make an appointment.
Additional COVID-19 vaccine sites will be added as they are available. You can also make an appointment by phone by calling 1-877-VAX-4NYC (1-877-829-4692).
While the vaccination process is underway, every New Yorker should continue to wear a mask, social distance, and avoid small and large gatherings. Please continue to follow NYC’s prevention guidance and do your part to stop the spread.
As always, your concerns still and always remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.