covid-19

Policy

Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

New York City will open coronavirus vaccination sites at certain public schools as part of a pilot program aimed at increasing the number of young people who are vaccinated. The program will start at four schools in the Bronx on Friday with one school added each in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week. In the next few weeks, the city expects to expand the program.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit on Flickr

Roughly a billion fewer passengers entered the New York City subway system in 2020 than in 2019, according to new data released this week by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The annual total ridership on the subway in 2019 was 1,697,787,002 passengers and 639,541,029 passengers in 2020. When the coronavirus pandemic hit last spring and Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all nonessential businesses to close, both city subway and bus ridership hit record lows. In April 2020, subway ridership hit just 8 percent of what it was in 2019.

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Policy

Photo courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

New York City public schools will not offer a remote option for students next school year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday. Starting on the first day of school on September 13, all students and school staff will return to the buildings full-time. “This is going to be crucial for families,” de Blasio said during a press briefing. “So many parents are relieved, I know.”

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Policy, Transportation

24/7 subway service resumes in New York City

By Devin Gannon, Mon, May 17, 2021

NYC Transit employees remove overnight closure signs. Courtesy of MTA on Flickr

New York City’s subway system resumed 24-hour service on Monday for the first time in over a year. Last May, Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed the subway overnight as part of a disinfection plan created in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It was the first time the trains closed overnight since the subway first opened 116 years ago. The return of 24/7 service this week comes just two days before most capacity restrictions in New York are lifted and as rates of COVID have fallen across the state.

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Policy

Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

With approval from an advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday, the Pfizer vaccine is now available for children ages 12 to 15. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has authorized all New York providers to open eligibility for the vaccine to this age group. In New York City, there are over 200 sites offering Pfizer, the only vaccine approved for those aged 12 to 17, including at dozens of pharmacies across the five boroughs and some state-run sites.

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Policy

Mayor Bill de Blasio tours the new vaccine site at the American Museum of Natural History on April 23, 2021. Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

Any resident of the United States who is at least 16 years old is now eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine in New York. In vaccination guidance updated last week, the state’s Department of Health ditched the work or residency requirement to previously needed to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The policy change comes as Mayor Bill de Blasio said he wants to set up mobile vaccination hubs at popular tourist destinations, like Central Park and Times Square, to vaccinate visitors to the Big Apple.

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Policy

Photo of Mayor Bill de Blasio at the Empire State Building on May 1, 2021 courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

With tourism expected to ramp up this summer, New York City wants to be able to vaccinate visitors. On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to set up mobile coronavirus vaccination sites at tourist hotspots, like Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Central Park. While the mayor said these hubs could be set up as early as this weekend, the state must first approve the plan as well as change a rule to allow non-New Yorkers to receive the vaccine.

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Policy, Transportation

Via Public Domain

Most state-mandated capacity restrictions in New York will be lifted on May 19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday. According to the governor, this means restaurants, stores, gyms, salons, amusement parks, and offices can reopen at 100 percent capacity for the first time in 14 months. The six-foot social distancing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will remain in effect at these places, which could still limit capacity depending on the space available. In anticipation of the reopening, on May 17, 24/7 subway service will resume.

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Restaurants

Photo of The Spaniard in the West Village by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

Starting next month, the 12 a.m. curfew at New York restaurants and bars will end and bar seating will be allowed again, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday. Indoor bar seating, off-limits to customers in New York City since last March, will reopen on May 3. The midnight curfew will be lifted for outdoor dining on May 17 and for indoor dining on May 31.

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Policy

Photo of NYCHA vaccination site at Nostrand Houses in Brooklyn by Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

In a press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that starting April 29, all state-operated mass vaccination sites will accept walk-in appointments for anyone age 16 and up. This includes the Javits Center, Medgar Evans College, and the Aqueduct Racetrack. Last Friday, the same rule went into effect for city-run sites. Previously, walk-up shots were restricted by age.

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