NY-12 COVID Update 3/17/2021
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: 29,549,003
People Fully Vaccinated: 38,232,553
% Fully Vaccinated: 11.69%
New York State
Confirmed Cases: 1,755,193
Testing Positivity: 4.23%
People Fully Vaccinated: 2,312,577
% Fully Vaccinated: 11.83%
New York City
Total Cases (Last 7 days): 24,667
Hospitalizations (Last 7 days): 1,265
Confirmed Deaths (Last 7 days): 353
People Fully Vaccinated: 791,141
% Full Vaccinated: 12%
President Biden and his administration continue to take steps to combat the health and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, that included the announcement of a United States-Ireland partnership, convening of the Quad Summit, and expanding efforts to recruit more vaccinators.
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 vaccines statewide. To determine your eligibility and to schedule an appointment through April 16 at New York State-run vaccination sites only, use the Am I Eligible app.
An appointment is required. If you visit a location without an appointment you will not receive a vaccine.
10 New Vaccination Sites
Appointments at ten new state-run mass vaccination sites are available for booking today. All ten sites will open on Friday, March 19 and will operate from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily. Each site will have the ability to vaccinate more than one thousand New Yorkers daily.
Find a full list of new locations here.
Excused Leave for COVID-19 Vaccine Injection
Effective this week, NY law grants public and private employees time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Under this new law, employees will be granted up to four hours of excused leave per injection. This leave will not be charged against any other leave the employee has earned or accrued.
NY Forward Rapid Test Program
This week, the New York Forward Rapid Test Program was expanded to help businesses and catered events safely reopen. 26 sites will open within the next week for a total of 38 sites statewide. To find participants in this initiative and to make an appointment, visit the program website.
Opening Wedding Receptions and Catered Events
Wedding receptions and catered events can resume statewide as of this week. All venues hosting weddings and catered events must follow the State's strict health and safety protocols. A full list of requirements for re-opening can be found here.
Ending Quarantine for Domestic Travel
Domestic travelers will no longer be required to quarantine after entering New York from another U.S. State or U.S. Territory starting April 1. While no longer required, the NYS Department of Health still recommends quarantine after domestic travel as an added precaution. Mandatory quarantine remains in effect for international travelers. All travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form.
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, and 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
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).
Expanding NYC Dining
New York City will expand indoor dining capacity to 50% beginning this Friday, March 19. Currently, New York City restaurants are operating at 35% capacity and the rest of New York State is operating at 50% capacity. Restaurants outside of New York City will expand to 75% capacity beginning March 19.
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.