February 7, 2022

New Jersey will end mask mandate in schools in March

New Jersey's school mask mandate that's been in effect since September 2020 will end March 7, Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Monday. The state mandate required all students, staff, and visitors to wear face coverings while inside New Jersey school facilities. School districts can choose to keep the mandates in place, but the statewide requirement will be lifted. The mandate's removal comes as positive tests and hospitalizations have dropped significantly statewide and the rate of vaccinations continues to rise.
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January 28, 2022

New York requests additional $1.6B in federal rent assistance

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Thursday the state has requested an additional $1.6 billion from the United States Department of Treasury to help fund the state's Emergency Rental Assistance program. Although $1.4 billion has been distributed to New Yorkers struggling to pay rent due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are nearly 174,000 tenants whose applications to the state's program have not yet been fulfilled, according to the governor.
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January 26, 2022

New York’s mask mandate is reinstated, for now

New York's mask mandate has been reinstated after an appeals court judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a ruling from a lower-court judge that struck down the policy. One day prior, Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Thomas Rademaker said Gov. Kathy Hochul's mask requirement, which applies to all indoor public places in the state that do not require proof of vaccination, was unconstitutional.
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January 14, 2022

10 places to volunteer in New York City this winter

As the pandemic rages on, New Yorkers have maintained their resilience. However, many who were already struggling have had an even rougher time, with thousands of New Yorkers facing hunger, homelessness, and unemployment. As the federal holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., approaches, consider taking action and assisting the less fortunate in your community. Ahead, find a number of New York City organizations seeking volunteers this winter. Note, many of the organizations listed have put safety protocols in place to prevent the spread of the virus, including masks and social distancing.
Full list here
January 12, 2022

New York’s eviction moratorium will end this week, Hochul confirms

New York's eviction moratorium will not be extended after it expires this weekend, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday. In the meantime, the state’s rent-relief portal will be reopened to give aid to New Yorkers facing eviction. The freeze on evictions was established at the beginning of the Covid pandemic by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo to give relief to struggling New Yorkers. Over the past two years, it has been extended multiple times, with Hochul extending it to January 15 during her first week in office.
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January 3, 2022

Hochul announces Covid ‘surge plan 2.0’ as New York sees record number of daily cases

On Friday, the state of New York recorded over 85,000 new cases of the coronavirus, the highest daily total since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 50,000 of those cases were reported in New York City alone. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced over the holiday weekend a "winter surge plan 2.0," an attempt to strengthen the state's fight against Covid with more testing, additional testing sites, and an increase in access to vaccines.
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January 3, 2022

Walk-in Covid testing now available at 7 subway stations across NYC

Pop-up coronavirus testing sites are now open at seven subway stations across New York City. After opening two walk-in PCR testing sites at Grand Central and Times Square stations last week, Gov. Kathy Hochul and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority opened additional sites at five subway stations, including Penn Station, Broadway Junction in Brooklyn, East 180th Street in the Bronx, and Roosevelt Avenue and Jamaica-179th Street in Queens. The state is currently experiencing a record surge in new Covid cases, which officials are attributing to the highly contagious Omicron variant.
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December 28, 2021

NYC schools will reopen in January with increased Covid testing

Despite a surge in new coronavirus cases, New York City officials said classrooms will reopen after winter break and stay open. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mayor-elect Eric Adams announced on Tuesday public schools will reopen as scheduled on January 3 with new health and safety measures in place, moving away from the remote learning model which many schools across the country have shifted to due to the recent surge in cases. Put together by the de Blasio administration and incoming Adams administration, the “Stay Safe and Stay Open" plan utilizes a massive increase in testing that will allow classrooms to stay open even if students test positive.
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December 21, 2021

NYC is offering $100 to New Yorkers who receive Covid booster by end of year

To combat the rapid upsurge of Covid cases in New York City due to the Omicron variant, the city is offering New Yorkers an incentive to get their booster shot. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday city-run vaccination sites, as well as city-partnered SOMOS clinics, will be giving $100 to every New Yorker getting their booster starting today through December 31.
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December 17, 2021

As Covid cases surge, NYC to give out a million masks and 500K free at-home tests

With a sudden surge of coronavirus cases in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday announced several new measures to curb the spread of the virus. The city will distribute one million free KN95 face masks and 500,000 rapid antigen self-testing kits, open new testing sites, and expand hours at existing sites. City officials say the new highly-contagious variant is to blame for the rising number of cases; the seven-day average for new cases has tripled in the last month. "It is clear the Omicron variant is here in New York City in full force," de Blasio said on Thursday.
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December 14, 2021

One year after NYC’s first Covid vaccination, 90% of adults have received at least one dose

On December 14, 2020, Sandra Lindsay, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, received the first coronavirus vaccine in the country. One year later, New York City has hit a significant milestone in its fight against the virus: 90 percent of all adults in the city have received at least one dose of the vaccine. "We've come a long, long way," Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press conference on Monday.
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December 10, 2021

All New York businesses will mandate masks indoors unless there’s a vaccine requirement

As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations rise statewide, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday announced a new mask requirement for all indoor public places in New York that don't require proof of vaccination for entry. The new measure comes as the state experiences a "winter surge." Since Thanksgiving, the statewide seven-day average case rate has jumped by 43 percent and hospitalizations have increased by 29 percent. "I have warned for weeks that additional steps could be necessary, and now we are at that point based upon three metrics: Increasing cases, reduced hospital capacity, and insufficient vaccination rates in certain areas," Hochul said in a statement.
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December 6, 2021

Senator Schumer calls for free, at-home Covid tests in New York

Sen. Chuck Schumer on Sunday called for free rapid at-home coronavirus test kits to be available at community health centers across New York as the number of virus cases continues to grow. While last week President Joe Biden announced private health insurers will reimburse those who purchase over-the-counter tests starting January 15, Schumer said it's important to offer free tests to New Yorkers in the meantime, with the arrival of winter and the new Omicron variant.
Details here
December 6, 2021

New York City announces vaccine mandate for all private employers

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday announced a new coronavirus vaccination mandate for all private-sector employers in New York City, described as a "preemptive strike" to stop the spread of the Omicron variant. The city has already put in place a vaccine mandate for all city workers and for most indoor activities. The new mandate, considered to be a first in the United States, goes into effect on December 27.
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November 29, 2021

Hochul declares a state of emergency for New York to prepare for omicron variant

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday declared a state of emergency for the state of New York to prepare for the new omicron variant of the coronavirus. The order allows the Department of Health to stop non-urgent surgeries at hospitals with less than 10 percent of beds available. While the new variant has not yet been detected in New York, "it's coming," according to Hochul, who in her order said the state is now experiencing Covid transmission rates not seen since April 2020.
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November 8, 2021

New York Public Library’s iconic marble lions show off oversized bandages to encourage vaccination

The marble lions that have guarded the New York Public Library's mane branch for 110 years are now wearing oversized red bandages. The library last week announced Patience and Fortitude received their Covid-19 vaccine, with newly applied 14-by 4.6-inch bandaids as proof. The library hopes the lions' new look encourages more New Yorkers to get vaccinated.
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November 3, 2021

NYC to offer Covid vaccine at city schools for students ages 5 to 11

With an official recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children in the United States ages 5 to 11 can now get a Covid-19 vaccine. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday said the Pfizer vaccine will be available to young New Yorkers starting Thursday at city-run sites first, followed by other sites (like pharmacies and pediatricians' offices) in the coming days, pending final approval. To reach more children, the mayor announced some school sites will offer the first dose to eligible students during the month of November.
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October 20, 2021

New York City mandates vaccines for all city employees

New York City workers must be vaccinated by the end of the month or be placed on unpaid leave, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday. The new vaccination mandate eliminates the option for testing and applies to the entire municipal workforce of 160,500 workers, including all police officers and firefighters. About 46,000 unvaccinated city workers need to get at least their first dose by Friday, October 29, or risk losing their paycheck.
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September 27, 2021

New York rolls out Covid-19 booster shot plan, launches new website

With an amended emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week, certain groups of people are now eligible for a booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. On Monday, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a plan to vaccinate New Yorkers who qualify for a booster dose and rolled out a new website with dedicated information about the additional dose. Booster doses are currently only approved for those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and should be administered at least six months after their second dose.
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September 2, 2021

New York extends eviction moratorium until early 2022

The New York State Legislature on Wednesday extended a temporary freeze on evictions until early next year during a rare special session. Expected to protect hundreds of thousands of tenants who have faced financial hardships as a result of the pandemic, the move comes one day after the state's eviction moratorium expired and a week after the United States Supreme Court overturned the federal moratorium. Lawmakers also modified the moratorium so it complies with the court's decision, which found it inconsistent with due process laws. Most evictions in New York will now be on hold until January 15, 2022.
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August 25, 2021

Only 0.33% of fully vaccinated New Yorkers tested positive for COVID, NYC health officials say

Between January and August, 0.33 percent of fully vaccinated New Yorkers tested positive for the coronavirus, according to new data published on Wednesday. New York City health officials say the data prove breakthrough cases of Covid-19 are rare, with unvaccinated people 13 times more likely to be hospitalized due to the virus compared to fully vaccinated people. "The vaccines continue to prevent the outcomes we most want to avoid: hospitalizations and death," Dr. Dave Chokshi, the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner, said.
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August 24, 2021

Governor Hochul calls for mandatory vaccine or testing for all New York public school staff

On her first day in office, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that all public school staff in New York State will be required to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or participate in weekly testing. The news comes just one day after Mayor Bill de Blasio put a similar mandate in place for all teachers and staff, though there will be no test-out option in New York City.
August 23, 2021

New York City mandates Covid vaccinations for all public school teachers, staff

New York City is requiring Department of Education employees to receive their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by September 27, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday. The new mandate applies to the agency's 148,000 employees, including teachers, custodians, and central office workers and comes three weeks before the first day of school for the city's one million public school students. The policy takes away the option for DOE staff to submit for weekly testing instead of being vaccinated, which was part of a previous order announced last month.
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August 19, 2021

75% of adults in NYC have received at least one Covid vaccine dose

New York City hit a major milestone in its vaccination campaign this week. According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, 75 percent of all adults have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. "This is a big, big deal," the mayor said on Thursday. "This is the kind of number we want to see." The city's vaccination rate is slightly above the nationwide percentage of adults vaccinated, which is 72.3 percent with at least one dose.
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August 19, 2021

NYC’s West Indian American Day, Mermaid Parades canceled over Covid

Two of New York City's most vibrant parades won't take place in person this summer for the second year in a row. Due to the spike in coronavirus cases, organizers of both the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island and the West Indian American Day Carnival along Brooklyn's Eastern Parkway have postponed their in-person parades until next year.
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