Over the past two weeks, daily case numbers have increased 27% to an average of 240,199. The total number of deaths nationwide is now more than 389,581 and more than 23,371,100 people have been infected with the virus, according to the New York Times data.
Worldwide more than 2,000,905 have died from the novel coronavirus.
Although a nationwide vaccination campaign is underway in the country, patchy vaccination policies, slow distribution and confusing appointment processes have caused a sluggish and much-criticized rollout. On Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned the city would run out of vaccination doses as early as next week if the federal government didn’t step in.
The Trump administration said Friday the nation’s vaccine reserves ran dry last weekend, meaning states will have to reevaluate extended rollout plans as they await news of when to expect more vials. President-elect Joe Biden today released the outline of his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan that includes a $20 billion national vaccination program and $50 billion for testing. The plan also includes $1,400 stimulus checks; $400 weekly supplemental unemployment aid; aid for the hungry and those facing eviction; support for small businesses, states and local governments; money for schools and more.
On Thursday, there were 183 deaths in New York State and 19,942 new cases, with a test positivity rate of 6.14%.
At least 93 of those deaths were in New York City, where, over the past two weeks, cases have increased by 47%.
There have been 500,632 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York City, and 25,834 deaths. In the city, the 7-day positivity average is 8.44% and over the last 7 days there have been 29,645 new cases, according to city data. Currently there are 3,292 people hospitalized with the virus in the city.
In New York City 295,484 people have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 42,034 people have had their second dose. 800,500 doses have been delivered to the city.
Due to slow vaccine distribution and pressure from the federal and local government, Governor Andrew Cuomo extended vaccine eligibility to all those aged over 75 and a larger group of essential workers. A number of NYC officials have expressed deep concerns about the city’s vaccine rollout process, decrying the lack of planning and coordination, and have urged the governor and mayor to improve the process and ensure the swiftest vaccination timeline possible.
February 1 is the deadline to apply for the COVID Rent Relief program, where the state will subsidize eligible tenants’ rent for April, May, June and July 2020. Apply here. (Those who previously applied for this relief over the summer and were denied will be automatically reconsidered for this next round.)
To qualify, tenants may now meet these criteria: Earned reduced income in April, May, June or July 2020, compared to March 2020 and paid more than 30% of that income in rent; Had a household income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income before March 7, 2020. (See the 80% AMI for your household size here.)
The NYC Health Department is urging people to follow these guidelines:
- All New Yorkers should continue to follow the Core 4: wear a face covering, practice proper hand hygiene, maintain safe physical distance from others, and stay home if you are sick.
- Get tested! All New Yorkers should get tested whether or not they have symptoms. Tests are free. Find a testing site near you.
- Worship safely: Avoid large gatherings, especially indoors. If your house of worship has reopened, wear a face covering, don’t share chalices or utensils and avoid close contact with others including hand shaking and hugging — wave instead. If you’re singing, you must stay at least 12 feet apart from others.
- As we begin a return to activities like dining out and shopping, it is essential that we continue to take steps to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker recently said there was still a lot we don’t know about long-term effects of the virus, including the experiences of “long-haulers” reported in the New York Times. It seems the virus can have frightening long-term effects, including damage to the heart and inflammation.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday New York was pushing forward to conduct more tests, add hospital beds and make it easier to get the COVID-19 vaccine across the state, adding, “we need New Yorkers to stay vigilant and take safety precautions as the virus is still spreading.”
“Unfortunately, vaccine supply from the federal government remains extremely limited,” he said, urging people to wash hands, wear masks and social distance.
“We’re moving through a difficult period in our history, and I know COVID fatigue has set in and New Yorkers crave normalcy, but we will get through this together and come out on the other side.”
Facing criticism over a sluggish start to vaccinations, Cuomo has extended the state’s vaccination program to include those aged 75 or above and five more groups of essential workers. In phase one, only healthcare workers were eligible to receive a vaccine. Since Monday, teachers and education workers, first responders, public safety workers and public transit workers are now eligible. Click here to find a vaccination site near you.
New York launched a new website about the COVID-19 vaccine, providing accurate and up to date information on the vaccine, safety, distribution priorities and more. The site has general information about the vaccine, a detailed Frequently Asked Questions section that provides facts about the vaccine’s safety and efficacy, and other questions you may have.
On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio told WNYC the city would run out of vaccine supplies by the end of next week, severely hindering his plan of getting 1 million vaccines administered before the end of the month.
“We will run out of vaccine next week in New York City if there’s not a very different approach from the federal government, and the state government, and the manufacturers,” de Blasio said.
Gothamist reports a de Blasio administration member said the city currently has 186,000 doses on hand right. At its current pace, the city’s supply will run out by January 21st.
The announcement comes days after the city accelerated its vaccination rollout, opening approximately 160 vaccination centers including some 24-hour sites.
De Blasio said the problem now was there was not enough supply to keep up with the first appointments, let alone get to people’s second doses.
With an increasingly high testing positivity rate, officials, including the mayor, are urging New Yorkers to get tested at one of the hundreds of convenient testing sites across the city, as well as mobile testing units visiting different locations throughout the five boroughs – you can find your nearest testing site here.
The City has a database of resources for New Yorkers who need assistance with employment, access to food, rent and housing, school and education and more. You can access it here.
Watch the Mayor’s latest full update here:
Go here to read the NYC Department of Health Coronavirus fact sheet.
- NYC BOC Absentee Ballot: To access an absentee ballot application click here.
- Job Opportunities: To access NYC Health and Hospitals job postings click here.
- Project Cupid: For more information on virtual Marriage License programs, click here.
Outlook in Brooklyn:
As of Friday, January 15 there have been at least 145,763 confirmed cases in Brooklyn. In the borough there have been 7,757 deaths. On Thursday, Brooklyn’s test positivity rate was 5.91%.
There are now 22 sites in Brooklyn to receive a vaccination. Click here to find a vaccination site near you.
Hospitals in the borough are filling up at an alarming rate, with New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital at 95% of its I.C.U capacity, Brookdale Hospital Medical Center at 90%, Woodhull Medical Center at 85%, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center at 78% and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center at 77%.
Black and Brown communities continue to be disproportionately affected by the virus, in both infection and fatality rates.
Other news in Brooklyn included:
- How Americans Have Unrealistic Expectations for a COVID-19 Vaccine
- Mayor: Grocery Store Workers, Shelter Residents and Workers Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine
- Long Lines in Brooklyn as Hundreds Come to Mass COVID-19 Vaccine Site for ‘Shot of Hope’
- Meet the Brooklyn Director Who Has Already Filmed a Pandemic Inspired Thriller
- Pandemic Birdwatching Is Booming, and Brooklyn Is One of the Best Places to Do It
- Brooklyn Nonprofit CEO Wins $400K Grant for Leaders of Color Fighting Racial, Economic Injustice
- Eric Adams Wants Brooklynites to Try This Meat Reduction Challenge, for Their Own Health
- NY Expands Vaccination Eligibility, Opens 22 Sites in Brooklyn
Brooklyn Borough President COVID-19: A Rundown and Review
Brooklyn BP Eric Adams is asking all Brooklynites to remain vigilant in fighting the virus with, “determination, common purpose, and love — for our families, friends, communities, and our city.”
His office has composed a list of resources for those in Brooklyn seeking help and assistance through the pandemic.
Updates And Important Information:
- From November 2nd through November 15th families can fill out a form to indicate if they are interested in and planning on returning to a blended model for their child/children. The first in-person day for these students will be during the weeks of November 30th and December 7th. For more information click here.
- Learning Bridges offers no-cost preschool and school age child care options for children from 3-K through eighth grade on days when they are scheduled for remote learning. Click here to learn more.
- Brooklyn Museum’s “Youth Tours: Art at Two” offers virtual programming for children ages five through 10. Click here for more information.
- “Let’s Learn NYC!” is an educational public television program produced by the WNET Group in partnership with the New York City Department of Education (DOE), features lessons for children in 3K through second grade that will supplement remote learning. More information can be found here.
- NYC, which is powered by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), released a downloadable guide for free and low-cost tech courses in New York City.
- Governor Cuomo released details on the metrics regarding COVID-19 micro-clusters.
- Red Zone — Micro-Cluster: A “Red Zone” focus area is put in place to contain spread from a specific, defined geographic area.
- Orange Zone — Warning/Buffer: An Orange Zone area either is put in place primarily in densely populated urban areas as a tight buffer zone around a Red Zone micro-cluster (“Orange Buffer Zone”) area OR is implemented independently as a focus area based on the below metrics (“Orange Warning Zone”). The purpose of an Orange Buffer Zone is to 1) restrict activity to prevent further spread from Red Zone area; 2) provide a defined geographic area where metrics can be monitored daily to ensure COVID is not spreading beyond the Red Zone.
- Yellow Zone — Precautionary/Buffer: A “Yellow Zone” area either is put in place as a broader buffer area to ensure COVID outbreak is not spreading into the broader community (“Yellow Buffer Zone”) OR is implemented independently based on the below metrics (“Yellow Precautionary Zone”). The purpose of a Yellow Buffer Zone is to 1) restrict some activity to help prevent further spread from Red and/or Orange Warning Zone area; 2) provide a larger defined geographic area where metrics can be monitored daily to ensure COVID is not spreading beyond the Red Zone or Orange Warning Zone.
- For more details click here.
- The Mayor’s Office released an interactive map of closure zones in parts of Brooklyn and Queens due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. The map allows businesses and residents to look up what zone they’re in and what closures impact them. To view the map, click here.
- Free tele-support group services are available with Lighthouse Guild Family Service Network. For young adults with vision loss, click here. For adults with vision loss, click here. For all questions, call (212) 769-7833.
- COVID-19 testing has been made available to all New Yorkers. COVID-19 testing sites are available in your area with new ones being added on an ongoing basis. To find the one nearest you, visit the state website [New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) website], the City’s website [New York City’s COVID-19 Information Portal], or type “COVID testing near me” in Google Maps.
- Crisis Text Line has support resources and counselors available for free 24/7 for frontline and essential workers. Text NYFRONTLINE to 741-741 to be connected, or visit crisistextline.org.
- Mayor de Blasio announced an emergency financial relief program for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence to provide funding for immediate safety, economic, and housing needs currently exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Helpful resources that are currently available include the agency website, the “NYC HOPE” resource directory, and the Resources for Survivors During COVID-19
- Worried about having to self-isolate in a dangerous home situation? Co-quarantined with an abuser? Please reach out and contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Call 1 (800) 799-7233, TTY 1 (800) 787-3224, or chat online at org.
- If you need mental health support, the New York Emotional Support Hotline is (844) 863-9314.
- The New York Peace Institute has online resourcesto mitigate stress with tools such as meditation.
- Use telemedicine services BEFORE going to the doctor’s office, urgent care, or the ER. Call (800) 633-4227 or your doctor for more information if you are on Medicaid. Whether you utilize Medicaid, private insurance, or are a self-payer, options are offered across many specialty areas. Urgent care telemedicine is available with New York-Presbyterian, Mount Sinai, or NYU Langone. Mental health telemedicine is available with Columbia Doctors. Diabetes telemedicine help is available with NYC Health + Hospitals. If you know other services, email email@example.com.
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extendedits deadline to register for an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) to November 21, 2020. This new date will provide an additional five weeks beyond the original deadline. This extension is solely for those who have not received their EIP and do not normally file a tax return.
- Mayor de Blasio announced the free “MEND NYC” program to provide mediation to New Yorkers and hospitality businesses across the city who are in disputes over quality-of-life issues. Mayor de Blasio recently expanded eligibility to neighbor disputes and landlord/commercial tenant disputes.
- New York State is offering an additional 20 weeks of unemployment benefits. Visit ny.govto see if you qualify.
- Distribution sites for small businesses looking to obtain face coverings, are open. Visit gov/businessfor more information across the boroughs.
- The New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) has published plain language industry guides as a tool for small businesses to adhere to the latest mandatory guidance and to share best practices. Visit gov/businessfor more information on the guides.
- Unemployed New Yorkers can access support at the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA)’s new website, org/legalhelp, which was set up to provide resources for filing an unemployment claim. If needed, NYSBA will match people with a pro bono attorney.
- The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has launched the Bring Back Brooklyn Fund to support small businesses that have been shut out of other COVID-19-related loan programs, with 65 percent earmarked for minority and/or women-owned business enterprises (MWBE). The Bring Back Brooklyn Fund will offer no-interest recovery loans between $500 and $30,000. You can contribute to the effort here.
- The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) launched the NY COVID-19 Legal Resource Hotline to help New York City residents impacted by COVID-19 get answers to their legal questions on issues including unemployment benefits, employee rights, housing, public benefits, consumer debt, advance planning, stimulus payments, and special education issues. Call (929) 356-9582 Monday-Friday 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM to leave a message with your name and contact information or visit org/hotlinefor more information.
- DCWP’s Office of Financial Empowerment has transitioned all financial counseling and coaching programs to offer services remotely. Book an appointment here.
FOOD PANTRY/FOOD ASSISTANCE
- The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) released indoor dining guidelines that can be found by clicking here.
- The Mayor’s Office released guidance to heat outdoor dining spaces for restaurants participating in the Open Restaurants program.
- Electric radiant heaters will be allowed for sidewalk and roadway seating setups. For full guidance from the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), click here.
- Natural gas radiant heaters will be allowed on the sidewalk only. For full guidance from DOB, click here. Natural gas radiant heaters must also comply with the Fire Code.
- Portable heaters fueled by propane will also only be allowed on the sidewalk. Propane heating will be regulated by the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), with requirements for safe handling, use and storage. For full guidance from the FDNY, click here.
- All students who would have received a free or reduced-price meal at school are now eligible for additional food assistance through Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT). This includes undocumented students, students whose private schools participate in the National School Lunch Program, and students in districts that implement the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). New York City families will receive an additional $5.70 for every day school has been closed to purchase foods available through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
- School sites are open for grab-and-go meals from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, outside of main entrances of every school building. The program is now open to anyone who wants food, no questions asked. Go to nyc.gov, or text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877 for lists of where meals are being served. Breakfast and lunch will be distributed from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM in select schools at over 200 locations as the program moves toward an after-school schedule.
- New Yorkers can use their SNAP benefits to order online.
- The City has streamlined the home delivery of meals to seniors and is working to support our food pantries, which are critical partners in these efforts. In the interim, you can find a list of key resources at gov/GetFoodor by calling 311 and saying “Get Food.”
- Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center has partnered with Share Meals, Hunger Free America, BetaNYC, and Plentiful to compile a listing and guide on food resources available to New Yorkers.
- The Civic Engagement Commission officially launched its poll interpretation website, which details their poll site interpretation program, lists all voting sites where CEC interpreters will be assisting voters, and has a “Know Your Rights” section. Visit the site by going to gov/wearevoters.
- NYC Parks has resumed permitting its athletic fields across the city for outdoor youth sports. Supportive of children’s physical and mental health, lower- and moderate-risk youth play on permitted fields has also resumed. They will continue to allow sports activity of low-to-moderate-risk on courts and fields across the city on a first-come, first-served basis, in accordance with the State’s reopening guidelines for sports and recreation.
- Mayor de Blasio announced COVID-19 traveler registration checkpoints into New York City to ensure compliance with New York State quarantine requirements. Travelers who have visited 41 designated states or territories with high COVID-19 transmission rates are required to complete the New York State Department of Health traveler formand quarantine for a period of 14 days upon entering New York City.
- The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will only offer services in person by reservation for limited transactions that cannot be done online or by mail or drop box. You can make reservations at ny.gov/reservation.
- Visit NYCfor information on groups and individuals working on mutual aid in their communities, as well as if you need help or can help.
- Free and low-cost childcare options during the COVID-19 crisis are available through Workers Need Childcare, for parents and caregivers in New York City’s essential workforce.
- For veterans and their families, the NYC Veterans Alliance has a list of resources on their website.
- Twenty-two branches of the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Public library are open with Grab-and-Go services.
- Utilities have been ordered to not shut off service for gas, water, or electricity. Internet services will not be cut off during this time.
- For New Yorkers requiring quarantine or isolation, NYC Health + Hospitals is offering free hotel rooms for up to 14 days if there is a need for a place to isolate. Call (844) NYC-4NYC (844-692-4692) and press “0”.
- National Grid customers should be aware of a phone scam demanding immediate bill payment and threatening service disconnection. Learn ways to protect yourself and your family here.
- The MTA launched a new interactive beta digital map to allow riders to plan their trips and see real time alerts. To view the map click here.
- There is currently no subway service from 1:00 AM to 5:00 AM to allow for cleaning and disinfecting of trains and stations. The “MTA Overnight” pageprovides details on the service changes.
For City alerts in English, text COVID to 692-692.
For City alerts in Spanish, text COVIDESP to 692-692.
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