NY COVID latest: Wednesday, July 28, 2021


Zoe Slavin and her mother, Julie, browse for books in the children’s section of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, Tuesday, June 1, 2021 in New York. The city’s central circulation library, closed for renovations in 2017, fully reopens today. It was previously called the Mid-Manhattan Library. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK — Find the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic in New York state and New York City, including data on positive cases and other indicators, and information from local officials.

Gov. Cuomo shares NY COVID-19 updates

State vaccine mandates

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York state will implement a vaccine mandate for all state workers.
    • State employees will have to be vaccinated or get tested regularly.
    • Cuomo administration working with state unions to implement this program quickly.
    • It will be in effect by Labor Day, or Sept. 6.
    • Cuomo suggests all local governments should do something similar.
  • Employers should bring workers back to offices by Labor Day, even amid increasing cases, Cuomo also announced.
  • For all state hospitals, patient-facing health care workers will be required to get vaccine, with no alternative testing option.
    • Cuomo suggests city and county-run hospitals enact a similar mandate for their health care workers.
  • Cuomo advised that if numbers continue to go up, school districts in effected areas should strongly consider taking more aggressive actions so that schools don’t become superspreaders in September.

New daily cases and vaccinations

  • Today there are 2,203 new cases, versus just 275 on June 28, Cuomo says, proving that the delta variant is real and a threat
  • 75% adult vaccination rate in New York state

Mayor de Blasio gives NYC COVID-19 update

Vaccines in NYC

  • Total doses administered: 9,902,097
  • Incentives: Mandates and incentives go well together
    • Get vaccinated at a city-run site, get $100 (beginning Friday, July 30)

Safe summer NYC

  • Gun arrests up 43% year to date
  • Shootings down 36% compared to 2020
  • Murders down from 2020 and 2019
  • Chief of Department Rodney Harrison: Increase of gun violence in the Bronx: Melrose, Tremont, Soundview, Morris Heights, Eastchester
  • Precision focusing: Look at gang members who are causing the problems.
  • One shooting is too many, but trends are showing a decline.
  • Asking community to call CrimeStoppers if they witness incidents.

Daily indicators

  • COVID Hospitalizations: 108 (21% positivity rate)
  • Hospitalization rate per 100,000, 7-day average (NYS): 0.56
  • New reported COVID-19 cases on 7-day average (including probable cases): 929
  • 7-day rolling average: 2.55%

CDC mask guidance: Vaccinated people should wear face coverings in public indoor settings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging.

NYC homecoming concert lineup announced

Mayor Bill de Blasio and legendary music producer announced the star-studded lineup of artists performing at the massive Central Park Concert. Performers include Carlos Santa, Patti Smith, Jennifer Hudson and Earth Wind & Fire. Those attending must provide proof of vaccination.

Streamlined NY rent relief application unveiled amid delayed payments

Facing backlash over delayed pandemic rental assistance payments, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a more streamlined online application process for tenants and landlords. The new online application, which will be implemented on Tuesday, loosens the standards for documentation, including for multi-tenant landlords who need to submit arrears documents. 

Vaccine or weekly testing mandated for NYC municipal workers

All New York City municipal workers are required to get vaccinated or have weekly COVID testing by Sept. 13, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced. All unvaccinated municipal workers must also wear masks indoors. Anyone who does not follow the mandate will not be allowed to work and will be unpaid.

Vaccines offered at Summer Rising schools

Starting Monday, July 26, select schools in New York City’s Summer Rising summer school program will begin offering vaccine shots to eligible students, parents and community members.

The free Pfizer shots will be available at 25 Summer Rising sites through Aug. 13 across all five boroughs. Find out when and where here.

US headed in ‘wrong direction’ on COVID-19, Fauci says

The United States is in an “unnecessary predicament” of soaring COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the virulent delta variant, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert said on Sunday, July 25.

Sen. Schumer demands New York release billions in rental assistance

Roughly $2 billion in federal rental assistance remained in the hands of New York State on Sunday, July 25, as thousands of tenants continued to struggle to make ends meet amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Sen. Chuck Schumer released a letter he sent to the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, demanding the agency “move heaven and earth” to quickly release the Emergency Rental Assistance Program funding.

NYC mask mandate debate heats up as delta variant spurs new COVID cases

Some New York City officials called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to retighten COVID-19 restrictions as the delta variant spurs an uptick in cases in the five boroughs. De Blasio, however, said he would hold off on reinstating an indoor mask mandate as COVID-19 hospitalizations in the city remain relatively low.

Doctors warn about slightly different symptoms with delta variant of COVID

As concern grows regarding the COVID-19 delta variant, health leaders are warning about somewhat different symptoms that come with it.

Most unvaccinated Americans unlikely to get COVID-19 shots, new AP poll finds

A new poll shows that most Americans who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 say they are unlikely to get the shots. About 16% say they probably will get the vaccine.

Is asking about someone’s COVID vaccine status a HIPAA violation?

HIPAA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996 during a time when medical records were being computerized. It was created to simplify the administration of health insurance and to prevent unauthorized access to peoples’ medical histories.

In fact, HIPAA doesn’t block anyone from asking another person about their health status, according to Alan Meisel, law professor and bioethics expert at the University of Pittsburgh.

NYC businesses should mandate COVID vaccinations for workers: mayor

New York City’s private sector businesses should institute vaccine requirements for employees, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday, July 23. The “limits of a purely voluntary system” have been reached, the mayor said.

DOJ says no probe into state-run nursing homes in NY

The Justice Department says it has decided not to open a civil rights investigation into government-run nursing homes in New York over their COVID-19 response.

NYC public hospitals still awaiting FEMA reimbursement for COVID-19 expenses

The New York City public hospital system said it’s still waiting on a big reimbursement from FEMA for expenses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NYC: Proof of vaccination may end up being requirement for restaurants, homecoming concerts

Proof of vaccination in order to enter restaurants or other businesses is something that the city needs to “seriously consider,” according to Mayor Bill de Blasio. He also said that proof of vaccination may be among the rules for entry into a series of five “Homecoming Concerts,” one in each borough, that the city will stage in August — a change from earlier inclination.

NYC Homecoming concerts in each borough

New York’s big Homecoming Week celebration got a little bigger on Thursday, July 22. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced there will be four daily concerts, one in each outer borough, in the days leading up to the previously announced Central Park concert.

Vaccine or weekly testing mandated for NYC health care workers

New York City will require workers in city-run hospitals and health clinics to either get vaccinated or get tested weekly, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. The COVID-19 safety requirement for health workers goes into effect beginning Aug. 2. 

NYC COVID-19 uptick: Nearly 70% of new cases are delta variant

As COVID-19 cases slowly rise in the area, the City Council’s health committee chairman said the delta variant has become the dominant strain of the virus. City Councilmember Mark Levine said the delta variant makes up 69% of new cases in the city — up from 44% the week before.

Councilman pushes to reinstate indoor mask mandate

City Councilmember and health committee chair Mark Levine is calling for the city or state Health Departments to follow the lead of other parts of the country and reinstate an indoor mask mandate for everyone.

Child tax credit checks: Will they become permanent?

The parents of an estimated 60 million American children began receiving child tax credit payments from the IRS in mid-July in a move expected to lift millions of families above the poverty baseline for the remainder of 2021. Should they become permanent?

Biden grapples with ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’

President Joe Biden is confronting the worrying reality of rising cases and deaths — and the limitations of his ability to combat the persistent vaccine hesitance responsible for the summer backslide.

Common cholesterol drugs may significantly reduce risk of death from COVID-19: study

Statins, a common medication for lowering cholesterol, may be saving lives among patients with COVID-19. A new study reveals hospitalized coronavirus patients who take statins are much less likely to die from the illness.

De Blasio: No plan to bring back mask mandate if hospitalizations remain low

On the heels of the announcement that Los Angeles County will reinstitute its indoor mask mandate, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked on the “Brian Lehrer Show” on WNYC radio if he has plans to make a similar move and bring back mask rules for the city.

NYC not dropping mask mandate for students

New York City students will still have to wear masks in schools next fall, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in July.

Child tax credit: When to expect payments, how it may impact tax returns

Payments for the highly anticipated expanded child tax credits were being sent to families in the tri-state area, and the rest of the nation, for the first time in mid-July. While the additional money may be very helpful for some families across the economic spectrum, the overall tax credit situation is complicated.

WHO chief says it was ‘premature’ to rule out COVID lab leak

The head of the World Health Organization acknowledged it was premature to rule out a potential link between the COVID-19 pandemic and a laboratory leak, and he said he is asking China to be more transparent as scientists search for the origins of the coronavirus.

Wildfire smoke linked to increased COVID-19 risk, study says

A new study suggests that exposure to wildfire smoke is linked to an increased risk of contracting COVID-19.

What can I do if I didn’t get my child tax credit payment?

The official disbursement date for the first child tax credit payments from the Internal Revenue Service July 15, but parents may not see the cash right away.

New York takes conservative approach to counting COVID deaths

The federal government’s count of those who died of COVID-19 in New York has 11,000 more victims than the tally publicized by the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which has stuck with a far more conservative approach to counting virus-related deaths.

NYC COVID hospitalizations likely to grow as delta variant rapidly spreads

The delta variant is fueling new COVID-19 cases in New York City, and health officials are urging New Yorkers to get vaccinated if they haven’t already. NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi told the PIX11 Morning News’ Betty Nguyen that he’s very concerned about the delta variant.

Will a COVID vaccine booster shot be needed? Fauci says it’s too soon to tell

The government’s top infectious diseases expert said “it is entirely conceivable, maybe likely” that Americans will need a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming months, but it is too soon for the government to recommend another shot.

Global COVID-19 deaths hit 4 million amid rush to vaccinate

The global death toll from COVID-19 eclipsed 4 million as the crisis increasingly becomes a race between the vaccine and the highly contagious delta variant.

99 percent of US COVID deaths are unvaccinated people: Fauci

America’s top infectious disease expert says about 99.2% of recent COVID-19 deaths in the United States involved unvaccinated people. And Dr. Anthony Fauci says “it’s really sad and tragic that most all of these are avoidable and preventable.”

NY chief judge, family got preferential COVID-19 testing at home, official says

New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and some relatives received COVID-19 testing from the state at her private Long Island residence last summer after a member of the family tested positive, a state court official said. 

Why unvaccinated people still have to wear a mask in New York

The State of Emergency in New York may have ended but the state Department of Health remains cautious about the spread of COVID-19.

The same day the State of Emergency expired, DOH readopted some emergency regulations that would allow the agency and local health departments to react quickly should another spike in COVID cases happen, such as its “Surge and Flex” strategy and requiring masks in public for unvaccinated people.

There’s more to the worker shortage than pandemic unemployment, experts say

The workforce shortage is a combination of several factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, a shift in the economy, and changes in the workforce demographics, experts say.

Free health insurance included in stimulus benefits for unemployment recipients

Along with $1,400 stimulus checks and monthly child tax credit payments, the American Rescue Plan has another important benefit available to people who qualified for unemployment assistance this year: free health care.

Essential workers monument to change location, remain in Battery Park City

A monument honoring essential workers’ efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic will change locations after residents in Battery Park City were unhappy with where it was originally going to be built.

Workers enjoy the upper hand as companies scramble to hire

With the economy growing rapidly as it reopens from the pandemic, many employers are increasingly desperate to hire. Yet evidence suggests that as a group, the unemployed aren’t feeling the same urgency to take jobs.

Vaccine freebies

New York, New Jersey and several companies nationwide are offering incentives for those who get vaccinated, including free food, drinks and discounts.

Latest official numbers

As of Wednesday, there have been 2,125,333 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March 2020 and 43,068 fatalities, according to data from the state.

COVID-19 timeline: How novel coronavirus spread

Tips to protect yourself and others amid coronavirus outbreaks

The New York state coronavirus hotline is 1-888-364-3065; information is also being posted here

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