NY-12 COVID Update 5/12/202
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: 32,778,906
People Fully Vaccinated: 117,647,439
% Fully Vaccinated: 25.84%
New York State
Confirmed Cases: 2,075,539
People Fully Vaccinated: 7,197,410
% Fully Vaccinated: 26.77%
New York City
Total Cases (Daily average of last 7 days): 851
Hospitalizations – At least (Daily average of last 7 days): 56
Confirmed Deaths – At least (Daily average of last 7 days) 20
People Fully Vaccinated: 3,059,034
% Fully Vaccinated: 37%
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 making vaccines even more accessible through:
New York State Updates
Vaccination Walk-Up Appointments
All New York State mass vaccination sites are open to New Yorkers 16 and older for walk-in vaccination on a first come first serve basis. The walk-in appointments are reserved for first doses only with second doses to be scheduled automatically after administration of the initial shot.
People who would prefer to schedule an appointment at a state-run mass vaccination site can do so on the Am I Eligible App or by calling 1-833-NYS-4-VAX. People may also contact their local health department, pharmacy, doctor, or hospital to schedule appointments where vaccines are available, or visit vaccinefinder.org to find information on vaccine appointments near them.
Find a location here.
Vaccination Sites: Pop-Up
Eight new pop-up vaccination sites at MTA stations in New York City, on Long Island, and in the Mid-Hudson region were announced this week. Two of these sites – Penn Station and Grand Central Station – are right here in the 12th Congressional District. The sites will serve up to 300 walk-ins per day on a first come, first served basis. The sites will distribute the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The MTA is providing incentives to get vaccinated at these sites, including a free seven-day MetroCard or free round-trip Long Island Rail Road or Metro-North ticket.
The sites will be open from Wednesday, May 12 to Sunday, May 16. A full list of sites, including hours of operation, is available here.
SUNY and CUNY
SUNY and CUNY boards will require proof of vaccination for all students attending in-person classes this fall.
Beaches & Pools
Beaches and pools will operate with a six-foot social distancing requirement in anticipation of Memorial Day. New York State's goal is to reopen them to 100% capacity by July 4.
Large-Scale Outdoor Venues
Starting May 19, large-scale outdoor event venues will be able to operate at capacities limited by the space available for patrons or parties of patrons to maintain the required social distance of 6 feet. This will apply to outdoor sports, performing arts and live entertainment, and horse and auto racing venues statewide. Appropriate social distancing, masks and other applicable health protocols will still apply.
In large-scale outdoor event venues, fully vaccinated attendees may be spaced next to one another (instead of 6 feet apart) in assigned, seated sections that are designated solely for fully vaccinated individuals. Individuals seated in these sections will have to provide proof of full immunization status, which can be provided by paper form, digital application, or the State's Excelsior Pass.
Beginning June 1, Sahlen Field will have a fully vaccinated fan section for the return of the Blue Jays to Buffalo for the remainder of their Major League Baseball season. Approximately 50% of the stadium's available seating will be used for fully vaccinated fans. Fully vaccinated attendees will be spaced next to one another, instead of 6 feet apart, in these assigned, seated sections. The remaining fan sections will have 6 feet of physical distance between spectators. Through this new seating model, an additional 2,000 fans will be able to enjoy games.
Nassau Coliseum will have a fully vaccinated fan section for the New York Islanders playoff games which are anticipated to start on May 19. To end the Islanders' last season at the Coliseum, 50% of the Coliseum will be used as a fully vaccinated fan section with attendees spaced approximately 3 feet apart -- an unoccupied seat between each party -- in assigned, seated sections that are designated solely for fully vaccinated individuals.
Individuals seated in these sections will have to provide proof of full COVID-19 immunization status, which can be provided through paper form, digital application, or the State's Excelsior Pass. Appropriate social distancing, masks and other applicable health protocols will still apply throughout the arena.
Extended Open Enrollment
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. Last year, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and I were successful in getting the FDA to decrease the 12-month deferral period to three months. And at the beginning of April, I introduced a resolution highlighting the urgent need for nondiscriminatory and equitable blood and blood product donation policies in the United States. Policies governing blood and blood product donation should be grounded in science and based on individual risk factors that do not unfairly single out any group of individuals, particularly LGBTQIA+ Americans. 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
If you are aged 16 or older, 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 and social distance. 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.