August 18, 2021

What New Yorkers need to know about the Covid-19 booster shot

President Joe Biden's administration on Wednesday said most Americans who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus should get a third shot of the vaccine. Citing concerns over the highly contagious Delta variant and the reduction in the protection of the vaccine over time, officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said booster shots will be available to all residents as early as September 20 and administered to individuals eight months after receiving the second dose. In response, Mayor Bill de Blasio this week said New York City is more than prepared to deliver and administer the vaccine quickly to New Yorkers.
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August 16, 2021

All the places in NYC requiring proof of vaccination

Starting Tuesday, New Yorkers aged 12 and older must be vaccinated against the coronavirus to partake in indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment. The Key to NYC initiative, which applies to bars, fitness centers, movie theaters, museums, and other indoor venues, requires visitors to show proof of at least one dose of the vaccine. The policy will go into effect on August 17 with enforcement beginning the week of September 13.
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August 16, 2021

NYC will start offering third doses of Pfizer/Moderna vaccines

Today, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi announced that all city-run vaccine sites, as well as hospitals, pharmacies, and doctor's offices, will start offering third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to New Yorkers 12 years of age or older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. The news comes after the FDA amended the emergency use authorization for the two vaccines last week. Those who qualify include those under active treatment for cancer, those who've received an organ or stem cell transplant, and those with advanced or untreated HIV.
August 13, 2021

50,000 New Yorkers have received the $100 Covid vaccine incentive so far

In just two weeks, 50,000 New Yorkers have pocketed $100 after receiving the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. The incentive program, which launched on July 30, gives New York City residents who get the shot at a city-run vaccination site a $100 pre-paid debit card. The incentive is part of the mayor's effort to boost the city's vaccination rate as a way to fight the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus, which has led to an increase in Covid-19 cases across New York and the country.
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August 11, 2021

Free at-home Covid-19 testing now available for seniors and immunocompromised New Yorkers

New York City is expanding its at-home coronavirus testing program. The city's Health Department on Tuesday announced the free service will now be available to all immunocompromised New Yorkers and those aged 65 and older. In March, the at-home appointments first became available for those who had close contact with someone diagnosed with the virus. The expansion comes as the city sees an increase in new Covid-19 cases, and with it, the demand for testing.
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August 10, 2021

Brooklyn Nets are giving away home game tickets this week at pop-up Covid vaccination site

Take a shot and receive a free ticket to a Brooklyn Nets home game. The basketball team is partnering with Maimonides Medical Center and Industry Center to open a coronavirus vaccination site in Brooklyn this week. On Thursday, August 12, individuals aged 12 and older who receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Sunset Park pop-up will go home with a complimentary ticket to a game next season and some Nets swag.
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August 9, 2021

CityMD reinstates virtual line for Covid testing as virus cases in NYC continue to rise

Back in December 2020, CityMD instituted a "virtual line" for people seeking Covid-19 tests, which allowed patients to check-in at the front desk and then receive a text when their time was close. The move came in response to complaints about hours-long lines as New Yorkers rushed to get tested before the holidays. Now, with the Delta variant causing a steep rise in cases across New York City, CityMD announced that today it would be reinstituting the virtual line, a stark reminder that the pandemic is not yet over.
August 5, 2021

Here’s how you can show proof of vaccination in New York City

Starting August 17, people who want to dine inside at a restaurant, exercise at the gym, or attend an indoor performance in New York City must present proof of Covid-19 vaccination. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced the "Key to NYC Pass" initiative, part of his administration's plan to increase the vaccination rate in the city and fight the very transmissible Delta variant. Plus, there are new vaccine mandates in place for city and state employees, including patient-facing public healthcare workers. There are three ways to prove you received the vaccine, including the state's Excelsior Pass, an app released by the city called NYC Covid Safe, or the paper record issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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August 4, 2021

New federal eviction ban covers renters in areas with high Covid rates, including New York

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday issued a new temporary moratorium on evictions that covers renters in areas with high levels of coronavirus transmission. The new order, which replaces the previous federal ban that lapsed on Saturday, expires on October 3 and applies to renters in counties that are experiencing "substantial" or "high" levels of Covid-19 spread, which includes all of New York City. While New York's most recent state order halted evictions through the end of August, the new CDC moratorium provides renters an extra month of protection from eviction.
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August 3, 2021

All the NYC companies mandating Covid vaccines for employees

New York City is taking the national lead on Covid vaccine mandates. Last week, both city and state governments said they would require employees to be vaccinated. And today, Mayor de Blasio announced that New Yorkers will need to show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues, the first such policy in the U.S. Many private companies, both local and national, are also following suit and requiring employees to be vaccinated. Some, like developers Durst and Related, say they will fire those who do not get inoculated. Others, like Google, Twitter, Lyft, and Uber, have also extended their work-from-home policies. The following list will be updated as more companies implement vaccination mandates.
August 3, 2021

NYC to require proof of vaccination for indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment

New York City will require residents to provide proof of vaccination against the coronavirus to dine inside at restaurants, exercise at the gym, and visit indoor entertainment venues, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday. The new policy, which will take effect this month, comes as part of the city's effort to boost the vaccination rate while fighting the highly contagious Delta variant, which now accounts for nearly 90 percent of new cases analyzed by health officials.
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August 2, 2021

New York City recommends vaccinated people start wearing masks indoors again

Following the CDC's new guidance last week on indoor mask-wearing, Mayor de Blasio and Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi are recommending that even vaccinated New Yorkers start to once again wear masks in public indoor settings. The CDC made their recommendations based on a national rise in cases tied to the Delta variant and findings that vaccinated people can spread the variant. In New York City, the number of new cases has risen by nearly 20 percent in the last month.
August 2, 2021

New York mandates vaccines or weekly testing for MTA and Port Authority employees

In a press conference this morning, Governor Cuomo announced that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will mandate COVID-19 vaccines or weekly testing for employees on the New York side. The protocol will go into effect starting Labor Day. "We beat the damn thing by being smart the first time. Be smart again," said the governor. This mandate joins a growing number that includes all state workers and all NYC municipal workers, including teachers and NYPD/FDNY members.
July 30, 2021

All Broadway theaters will require vaccinations for audiences and actors

The Broadway League is the latest group to join a growing number of government agencies and businesses that will implement a Covid vaccine mandate. The League, which represents theater owners and show producers, put out a statement today saying that all 41 Broadway theaters will "require vaccinations for audience members, as well as performers, backstage crew, and theatre staff, for all performances through October 2021." In addition, audience members must wear masks indoors, given the CDC's new guidelines surrounding the Delta variant.
July 29, 2021

Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group will require proof of vaccination at all restaurants

Union Square Hospitality Group CEO Danny Meyer announced that he will require proof of vaccination from staff and dine-in customers at all of his NYC and Washington D.C. full-service restaurants, which include Union Square Cafe, Blue Smoke, and Gramercy Tavern. "I’m not a scientist, but I know how to read data, and what I see is that this is a crisis of people who have not been vaccinated, and I feel strong responsibility, on our part as business leaders, to take care of our team and our guests, and that’s what we’re doing," said Meyer in an interview this morning on CNBC’s "Squawk Box."
July 28, 2021

New York orders all state workers to be vaccinated or tested regularly

All workers employed by New York State will be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or get tested for the virus on a regular basis, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday. The governor put in place an even more stringent mandate for state hospitals: all patient-facing healthcare workers must now be vaccinated, with no test option offered. The announcement comes days after Mayor Bill de Blasio rolled out a similar requirement for all city workers and as President Joe Biden plans to announce all federal employees and contractors must be vaccinated or submit to testing.
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July 27, 2021

The CDC recommends all of New York City should wear masks indoors again

With the Delta variant and low vaccination rates causing some states to see record-high Covid rates, it was almost inevitable that the CDC would reverse its May guidance that vaccinated individuals can remove their masks indoors. And today, the federal agency issued new guidance that says even those fully vaccinated should "wear a mask indoors in public" in areas "of substantial or high transmission." While New York City's infection rates and hospitalizations remain much lower than a lot of the country, we are not immune to Delta's effect, and all NYC counties fall within the CDC's high-risk zones.
July 26, 2021

Cuomo announces $15M community-focused vaccine initiative amidst rising Covid cases

A state-run mass vaccination site at the Bay Eden Senior Center in the Bronx. March 2021. Photo by Don Pollard/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Yesterday, New York State had 1,982 new Covid cases, up from 346 just one month ago. Of recent positive cases, 72.2 percent are linked to the Delta variant. Though 75 percent of the state's population is vaccinated, the numbers continue to rise among the 25 percent, or roughly 3.5 million people, who remain unvaccinated. To curb the spread, Governor Cuomo today announced a $15 million initiative to work with community-based organizations that can help advocate for the vaccine in communities with both high Covid spread and low vaccination rates.
July 26, 2021

NYC will implement vaccine mandate for all city workers by September 13

Last week, Mayor de Blasio implemented a new city policy that will require city health workers to either show proof of vaccination or participate in weekly Covid testing. Today, he announced that the protocol, called the Covid Safety Mandate, will apply to the entire city workforce, including teachers and members of the NYPD and FDNY, by September 13. In addition, any city employee who does not get vaccinated will be required to wear a mask indoors. Though 71 percent of NYC residents have received at least one vaccine dose, the number is lower among some city agencies, and concerns about the Delta variant and a potential third wave are looming.
July 22, 2021

As possible third wave looms, 70% of NYC adults have received at least one Covid vaccine dose

With the Delta variant surging across the country (it now accounts for 83 percent of U.S. cases), experts are predicting a third wave of the coronavirus. Here in New York City, Mayor de Blasio has been reluctant to reinstate an indoor mask mandate, saying that he fears such action will deter those still unvaccinated from getting the shot. In a press conference today, the mayor announced that 70 percent of NYC adults have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine. But with only 13 percent of children aged 12 to 17 vaccinated, is that figure high enough to warrant a return to normalcy now?
July 19, 2021

New York City pol calls for renewal of indoor mask mandate as cases climb

As New York City sees an uptick in coronavirus cases for the first time in months, an elected official is calling for the renewal of an indoor mask mandate. Council Member Mark Levine, who also chairs the Council's Committee on Health, plans on asking the state Health Department to reinstate the face-covering rule, even for those fully vaccinated, as the New York Post first reported.
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July 16, 2021

Delta is now the dominant variant of Covid in NYC

Data released this week by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene show the contagious Delta variant now accounting for a majority of new coronavirus cases. Of the cases analyzed by the city between June 27 and July 3, Delta made up 69 percent, as first reported by Gothamist. That is up from 44 percent of cases the week prior. City officials say the growing spread of the Delta variant is behind the city's recent uptick in new virus cases, reported in nearly all residents who remain unvaccinated.
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July 14, 2021

Over 8,300 Covid deaths prevented by NYC’s vaccination effort, study says

New York City's coronavirus vaccination campaign saved more than 8,300 lives and averted roughly 250,000 cases and 44,000 hospitalizations, according to a new study by epidemiologists at Yale University. The analysis, which was supported by the Commonwealth Fund, determined the city's swift rollout of the vaccine has "played a pivotal role in reducing the COVID-19 burden and in curbing surges from more transmissible emerging variants," Dr. Alison Galvani, the director of the Yale Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis, said on Wednesday.
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July 13, 2021

NYC says unvaccinated young people are behind Staten Island’s uptick in Covid cases

Some neighborhoods in New York City are seeing a slight increase in the number of coronavirus cases for the first time in weeks, as vaccinations slow and the Delta variant continues to spread. According to the city's Health Department, the city's seven-day average rate of positivity increased to 1.28 percent as of Monday, the highest rate in nearly two months, with 363 new cases on a seven-day rolling average. With a seven-day positivity of over 2.4 percent as of July 9, Staten Island has the highest test positivity rate of any borough. City officials point to those who remain unvaccinated, "particularly younger people," as the reason for this uptick.
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July 6, 2021

Everything you need to know about NYC’s ticker-tape parade to honor Covid heroes

Update 7.7.21: Due to the extreme heat, the post-parade ceremony at City Hall Plaza has been cancelled.  In April 2020, when New York City was truly the world epicenter for the coronavirus, Mayor de Blasio said that the city would hold a ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes for health care workers, first responders, and essential workers as soon as things reopened. Fast forward 15 months, and the Hometown Heroes Parade will take place this Wednesday, July 7. Queens nurse Sandra Lindsay, who in December received the first vaccine dose in NYC, will serve as the parade's Grand Marshal, while Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts will host the ceremony.