covid-19

Policy

Image courtesy of Gerardo Romo/NYC Council Media Unit on Flickr

As New York City faces a sixth Covid wave, Mayor Eric Adams is expanding the city’s network of at-home test distribution sites. Starting Wednesday, New Yorkers will be able to pick up a free rapid Covid test from 57 NYC Parks locations, including parks, pools, nature centers, and recreation centers. With these new NYC Parks distribution sites, the city’s at-home test distribution program includes 1,220 sites.

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Policy

Photo courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

New York City will provide antiviral medication for New Yorkers who test positive for Covid at certain mobile testing sites, Mayor Eric Adams announced last week. Clinicians at participating mobile testing units will be able to write prescriptions for those who test positive–and are eligible for– Paxlovid, an oral antiviral treatment that reduces the chance of severe illness caused by the virus. The new test-to-treat program is the first of its kind in the United States.

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City Living, Midtown, Policy

Broadway will drop mask mandate for month of July

By Aaron Ginsburg, Wed, June 22, 2022

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

Masks will no longer be required at all of Broadway’s 41 theaters next month, the Broadway League announced Tuesday. Starting July 1, masks will be optional for audiences at shows. The League said masking protocols for August and beyond will be reviewed on a monthly basis, with an updated decision made in mid-July. While masks will not be required, audience members are still encouraged to wear them.

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City Living, Policy

east river, bronx, floating pool

 Photo by Danny Avila for NYC Parks

The New York City Parks Department on Tuesday announced that a number of the city’s outdoor swim programs would not be returning for the summer season due to a “national shortage of lifeguards.” Lap swim, senior swim, water aerobics, swim team and day camp, and Learn to Swim are among the programs that will not be returning for a third consecutive year.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo by Jenna Day on Unsplash

Subway ridership has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels in New York City’s working-class neighborhoods. During the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s monthly board meeting on Wednesday, MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said in most working-class neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs, subway ridership has climbed back up to 70, 80, and for some, 90 percent of pre-pandemic ridership levels. But in the city’s major business districts, subway ridership remains way below pre-Covid-19 levels.

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Policy

Image courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

New York City on Tuesday officially hit a “high” Covid-19 alert level, meaning there’s increased community spread of the virus and significant pressure on the health care system. The new risk level comes a day after city Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan issued an advisory recommending all New Yorkers wear masks in indoor public settings and that those at risk of severe illness avoid crowds. In response to rising cases, the city said it will distribute an additional 16.5 million at-home tests and one million high-quality masks to public schools, community organizations, cultural institutions, libraries, and houses of worship. Although hitting the “high” alert level comes with the recommendation of a mask mandate, the city is not requiring face coverings yet.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo by Jenna Day on Unsplash

Ridership on the New York City subway reached a new pandemic-era milestone last week, the Metropolitan Transporation Authority announced. On Thursday, 3,497,122 riders swiped into the system, surpassing the last record set during the pandemic in December 2021. While the new record is a positive sign for the city’s recovery, Thursday’s ridership is still well below the 2019 weekday average of 5.5 million straphangers.

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Policy

NYC’s Covid alert level moves to ‘medium’ risk

By Aaron Ginsburg, Tue, May 3, 2022

Photo by Billie Grace Ward on Flickr

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan on Monday announced the rate of new Covid-19 cases had reached 200 per 100,000 people, moving the city to a medium-risk alert level. The number of new cases recorded daily citywide on a seven-day average jumped from around 600 in March to 2,600 by the end of April, according to the health department. Officials say the latest surge in Covid cases stems from the Omicron subvariant, BA.2.

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Policy, Transportation

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

While mask mandates are being lifted in public transit systems around the country, New Yorkers should expect to wait a little longer to ride the subway unmasked. According to a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the agency will require masks to be worn throughout the subway, bus, Metro-North, and Long Island Rail Road systems, despite a recent ruling from a federal judge striking down the national mask mandate for airplanes, trains, buses, and other forms of mass transit.

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Policy

Photo by Tomas Eidsvold on Unsplash

New York City’s unvaccinated athletes and performers will be able to compete and perform at local venues under a new order reversing part of the city’s private-sector vaccine mandate. Mayor Eric Adams announced on Thursday the city will expand a current exemption that has allowed unvaccinated players and entertainers who lived outside of the city to perform or play in New York to hometown athletes and performers. The decision comes just two weeks before the start of the Major League Baseball season, allowing Yankees and Mets players who have not confirmed their vaccination status to take the field at home, as well as confirmed unvaccinated Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving to play at the Barclays Center.

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