NY-12 COVID Update 3/31/2021

Mar 31, 2021

Dear Friend,


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



Cases: 128,557,304 
Deaths: 2,808,761 

*data from Johns Hopkins


United States

Confirmed Cases: 30,393,701 
Deaths: 550,996 
People Fully Vaccinated: 51,322,610 
% Fully Vaccinated: 15.69% 

*data from Johns Hopkins


New York State

Confirmed Cases: 1,865,349 
Deaths: 50,212 
People Fully Vaccinated: 3,352,953 
% Fully Vaccinated: 17.16% 

*data from Johns Hopkins


New York City 

(Last 7 days) 
Total Cases: 27,288 

  • Confirmed Cases: 19,311 
  • Probable Cases: 7,977

Hospitalizations: 1,272 
Confirmed Deaths: 297 

*data from NYC Health



National Updates


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 announcing that 90% of adults in the U.S. will be eligible for COVID vaccinations by April 19 with appointments within 5 miles of their homes and expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines to the hardest-hit and highest-risk communities across the country. 



New York State Updates


More than 3 million New Yorkers, or more than 15% of the population, are now fully vaccinated for COVID! 


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 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.



Expanded Vaccine Eligibility 

Starting this week, New Yorkers 30 and older can begin to schedule appointments and receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Beginning April 6, universal eligibility goes into effect and all New Yorkers 16 years of age and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine.  



New Vaccination Site: Rockland County 
This week, New York State announced it will establish an additional state-run mass vaccination site in Rockland County at Rockland Community College's Eugene Levy Fieldhouse. The site is expected to open April 1 with appointments opening at 8 am March 30. Hours of operation for the Rockland Community College site are 8 am to 7 pm, seven days a week. 
Full details here.



Nursing Home Visitation 
New, revised nursing home visitation guidance was announced this week to align with guidelines recently released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The guidance, which takes effect immediately, permits visitation at all times and for all residents with limited exceptions for unvaccinated residents in areas of high community spread and lower resident vaccination rates, residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, or those in isolation or quarantine. Facilities must continue to adhere to strong infection control practices. 



Opening New York Sports 
Beginning April 2, collegiate sports can bring fans back to the stands in their arenas. All attendees must present proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test result or completed COVID-19 immunization prior to entry. Colleges and universities hosting spectators for sporting events at large-scale venues must notify and coordinate with their respective state or local health department, aligning with the state guidance for professional sports competitions with spectators. 
A full list of state guidelines can be found here. 



SOMOS Community Care Partnership 
This week, New York partnered with SOMOS Community Care to provide COVID-19 vaccines directly to accredited primary care physicians in SOMOS' health network who will vaccinate underserved New Yorkers. The program will initially cover 75 practices in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, and will scale up to 100 practices as supply allows. The program will launch in the coming weeks and New Yorkers will be able to make appointments directly through SOMOS.  
More information can be found here. 



Excelsior Pass 
This week, Excelsior Pass launched. This free, voluntary platform which utilizes proven, secure technology to confirm an individual's recent negative PCR or antigen test result or proof of vaccination will help fast-track the reopening of businesses and event venues in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines. Like a mobile airline boarding pass, individuals will be able to either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app. Each Pass will have a secure QR code, which participating businesses and venues can scan using a companion app to verify proof of COVID-19 negative test results or proof of vaccination. An individual's data is always kept secure and confidential. 



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.




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. 



Donate Blood 

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. Last 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).



New Vaccination Site: Fulton Community Center 
This week, the city announced it will open a new vaccination site at the Fulton Community Center in Chelsea, Manhattan. The new vaccination site located at 119 Ninth Avenue will offer more than 200 appointments per day and will be open 5 days a week, from Tuesday through Saturday. The site will open April 7 for nearby NYCHA residents, and all eligible New Yorkers will be able to make appointments at this location starting April 12.  
Full details here.



New Vaccination Site: Flatbush YMCA 
This week, the city announced it will open a new vaccination site at the Flatbush YMCA in Flatbush, Brooklyn, with plans to open additional sites in partnership with YMCA. The new vaccination site will initially offer more than ~150 appointments per day gradually increasing to more than 2,300 per week and will be open seven days a week from 9am to 6pm. This site opens today, and is available for all eligible new Yorkers to make an appointment. 
Full details here.



Additional Resources 


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. 

If you have friends who you think should be receiving my newsletters, tell them they can sign up here. 




Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress