NY-12 COVID Update 2/10/2021
As our city, state, and country confront a resurgence of COVID-19 and community spread, 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: 27,192,455
People Fully Vaccinated: 10,469,514
% Fully Vaccinated: 3.20%
New York State
Confirmed Cases: 1,497,475
People Fully Vaccinated: 657,391
% Fully Vaccinated: 3.36%
New York City
(Last 7 days)
Total Cases: 26,904
- Confirmed Cases: 20,573
- Probable Cases: 6,331
Confirmed Deaths: 420
President Biden took additional steps this week to speed up vaccinations across the country.
Yesterday, the Administration announced the launch of the Federally Qualified Health Center program to provide more vaccines to Community Health Centers which are reaching underserved and vulnerable communities.
The Administration also increased vaccine supply to states, Tribes, and territories by 5% over last week. This equates to a total increase of 28% since President Biden came into office just three weeks ago.
You can read the full update from the White House here.
Health Equity Task Force
As the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the United States, disparities in testing, cases, hospitalizations, and mortality emerged. These inequities were quickly evident by race, ethnicity, geography, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other factors.
Today, President Biden announced new members of his Health Equity Task Force, a body charged with providing a range of recommendations to help inform an equitable COVID-19 response and recovery. This includes recommendations on equitable allocation of COVID-19 resources and relief funds, effective outreach and communication to underserved and minority populations, and improving cultural proficiency within the federal government. Additional recommendations include efforts to improve data collection and use, as well as a long-term plan to address data shortfalls regarding communities of color and other underserved populations.
You can read about the new members of the panel here.
New York State Updates
As of February 9, New York's 7-day average COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to 4.38%, its lowest since December 1.
As of this week, New York's Health Care Distribution Sites have administered 87% of the total first doses received from the federal government and 76% of first and second doses. The Vaccine Dashboard will update daily to provide information on the state’s vaccine program.
You can read the full update from the Governor’s office here.
Vaccine Appointments Affected By Winter Storms
It is possible that your vaccination appointment could be rescheduled due to winter storms in New York State. You will receive an email or text message rescheduling your vaccination appointment if you fall into this category. As part of the rescheduling process (to the extent possible), timing of your new appointment will be scheduled in alignment with the original appointment's time. If that new appointment time does not work with your schedule, you will be provided with a contact number to identify a different time that may work better.
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 schedule an appointment through April 16 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.
New Vaccination Sites
Today, a 24/7 vaccination site opened at Citi Field for New Yorkers eligible to receive their doses. Operated by the NYC Test & Trace Corps, the site will serve eligible Queens residents, along with priority appointments for TLC and food service workers from across the five boroughs.
For its first week in operation, 200 appointments will be available each day, Monday through Saturday, with 100 of those prioritized for TLC and food service workers. Additional days and appointments will come online with increased supply, with 24 hour service beginning next Wednesday. The site will scale up to administer approximately 4,000 doses next week, and at full capacity, will be able to administer 5,000 each day.
FEMA Sites: Medgar Evers College & York College
Governor Cuomo and the White House announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will establish two community-based mass-vaccination sites at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens. These two major mass vaccination sites in New York City will vaccinate approximately 3,000 New Yorkers each day over an eight-week period and will be reserved only for the residents of the borough where the site is located.
Community Pop-Up Sites
Governor Cuomo announced 11 community-based pop-up vaccination sites coming online this week at community centers, public housing complexes and cultural centers.
These sites are expected to vaccinate more than 3,100 people throughout the week, with more sites coming online every week.
Since January 15, community-based pop-up sites have enabled approximately 30,000 New Yorkers to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine doses. As has been the case with previous pop-up sites, these sites will be re-established in three weeks to administer second doses.
Moving forward as the federal vaccine supply increases, New York will continue to establish vaccination sites at all 33 NYCHA Senior Housing Developments, which house more than 7,600 seniors.
New Yorkers With Comorbidities and Underlying Conditions Vaccine Eligible on February 14
New Yorkers with certain comorbidities and underlying conditions will be able to make appointments at state-run mass vaccination sites beginning February 14, with the first appointments scheduled for February 15.
To show you have an eligible condition, you must provide documentation as required by the facility where you are getting vaccinated. Qualifying documentation includes: a doctor's letter, medical information evidencing comorbidity, or signed certification.
More information along with the full list of eligible comorbidities and underlying conditions is available here.
Extended Open Enrollment
As part of New York's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Open Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers has been extended through March 31, 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 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
Vaccine-Eligible New Yorkers
As of February 2, New York City is in Phase 1A and 1B of its vaccine distribution plan. This now includes taxi and limousine drivers (TLC licensees, including ride-hailing app drivers) and restaurant workers.
Eligible New Yorkers are also:
Starting on February 15, New Yorkers of any age with certain underlying medical conditions will be eligible to get the vaccine.
Signing Up To Get Your Vaccine
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).
NYC Indoor Dining
This week, Governor Cuomo announced that New York City indoor dining can reopen at 25% capacity on Friday, February 12. Previously scheduled for Valentine's Day, restaurants requested an earlier reopening date to allow staff to prepare.
The reopening is subject to strict state guidance, which can be found here.
While the vaccination process is underway, every New Yorker should wear a mask, social distance, and avoid small and large gatherings. COVID-19 is now spreading rapidly in New York City and throughout the United States. This is a vital time to follow the recommended 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.