NY-12 COVID Update 3/24/2021
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: 29,922,392
People Fully Vaccinated: 43,761,029
% Fully Vaccinated: 13.38%
New York State
Confirmed Cases: 1,788,874
People Fully Vaccinated: 2,501,639
% Fully Vaccinated: 12.80%
New York City
Total Cases (Last 7 days): 25,346
Hospitalizations (Last 7 days): 1,047
Confirmed Deaths (Last 7 days): 283
People Fully Vaccinated: 956,665
% Fully Vaccinated: 14%
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 beating President Biden's goal of administering 100 million vaccinations in 100 days. You can read the President's remarks marking this benchmark here.
The Administration also extended the ACA open enrollment period through August 15, 2021. You can learn more here.
New York State Updates
As of today, New York has administered more than 8 million total COVID vaccine doses!
Where and How Can I Get a Vaccine Through NYS?
Additionally, there is a network of State-run sites distributing the vaccines statewide. To determine eligibility and to schedule an appointment through 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.
Expanded Vaccine Eligibility
Starting this week, New Yorkers 50-years-old and older are eligible to receive the COVID vaccine. Additionally, new guidance has been rolled out allowing pharmacies to vaccinate New Yorkers with co-morbidities.
Roll Up Your Sleeve Campaign
This week, the State launched its “Roll Up Your Sleeve” campaign to encourage houses of worship of all faiths across the state to sign up as vaccination sites for their communities. All houses of worship can begin to serve as points of distribution for the COVID vaccine starting in April. As part of this new campaign, medical providers are being asked to volunteer to partner with houses of worship to conduct vaccination clinics
Interested medical providers and houses of worship can sign up here.
New York Forward COVID-Safe Offices Partnership
New York Forward COVID-Safe Offices partnered this week with major commercial real estate partners to expand access to COVID-19 testing for employers. As part of the initiative, 21 participating landlords have committed to provide space and facilitate access to testing services for tenants interested in conducting regular diagnostic testing of their employees.
In New York City, eight landlords representing more than 100 million square feet of commercial office space have already committed to participate. In Upstate New York, 13 landlords spanning the Capital Region, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse areas have affirmed their commitment to expanding access to testing for their tenants. Empire State Development continues to work with additional commercial property owners to expand the program.
The first case of a COVID-19 P.1 variant, commonly referred to as the Brazilian variant, was confirmed in a New York State resident this week. The case was identified by scientists at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and verified by the Department of Health's (DOH) Wadsworth Center Laboratories. The patient is a Brooklyn resident in their 90's with no travel history. DOH is working with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to learn more information about the patient and potential contacts.
Expanded Eligibility for Financial Assistance
Expanded tax credits will be available through NY State of Health, New York's health plan marketplace. The expansion will result in more New Yorkers being eligible for financial assistance and the further reduction in health insurance premiums in New York State. Through the American Rescue Plan, increased tax credits are available to more than 150,000 consumers who are already enrolled in coverage, further lowering health care costs. In addition, in June 2021, NY State of Health will -- for the first time -- expand tax credits to tens of thousands of additional New Yorkers with higher incomes. More information here.
Extended Open Enrollment – Again!
The Open Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers has been extended through December 31, 2021. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York's Official Health Plan Marketplace, or directly through insurers.
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
To find the testing site closest to you, click here, text “COVID TEST” to 855-48, or call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319).
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).
Vaccination Site: Queens Korean Community Services
A new vaccine site hosted by Korean Community Services, operated by Centers Urgent Care, is now open at located at 203-05 32nd Ave. The site will offer more than 160 appointments per day and will be open 7 days a week, from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Additional days and appointments will be available as supply increases citywide.
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.
I'm hosting a telephone townhall this Thursday, March 25 at 6:30pm. We'll discuss and address questions about President Biden's American Rescue Plan, vaccinations, rental assistance, and other issues affecting our city and nation. I hope you can join us.
As always, your concerns still and always remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.