Sep 24, 2020
Unfortunately, as we've seen during the pandemic, public health issues can become politicized. We want to avoid that with any future COVID-19 vaccine. To that end, New York is establishing two task forces to help advise the clinical safety of future vaccines as well as on how best to distribute and implement them.
The first task force will consist of an independent group of leading scientists, doctors and health experts charged with the mission of reviewing any vaccine authorized by the federal government for distribution and to advise the State on its safety and effectiveness. The second task force will be charged with drafting a plan to best administer an approved COVID-19 vaccine to New York State, including the work of developing clinical guidance as to who should be prioritized to receive the vaccine.
Administering vaccines to almost 20 million New Yorkers is a massive undertaking. Our goal is to have the smartest and safest vaccination program possible. Planning ahead helps meet that goal.
1. The total number of hospitalizations remains low. Yesterday, there were 500 total hospitalizations. Of the 92,953 tests reported yesterday, 955, or 1.02 percent, were positive. Sadly, we lost two New Yorkers to the virus.
2. New Yorkers who are currently unemployed can apply to be a paid poll worker without losing their unemployment benefits. Poll workers are vital in ensuring that Election Day runs smoothly and I signed an Executive Order that allows New Yorkers who currently collect unemployment benefits to sign up for temporary work on November 3rd. Sign up to become a poll worker.
3. The State launched the "COVID-19 Report Card" dashboard to give parents and teachers confidence in schools reopening. The data available online will include: Number of positive infections of students and staff by school and school district; number of students and staff on-site; and percentage of on-site students & staff who test positive. The dashboard is available here.
4. Mental health resources are still available to New Yorkers who need it. We do not underestimate the impact this pandemic is having on mental health. New Yorkers can call the State's hotline at 1-844-863-9314 to get free emotional support, consultations and referrals to a provider. Free meditation and mindfulness resources are additionally available at headspace.com/ny.