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COVID Newsletters

COVID weekly newsletter (5/20)


It’s Thursday, May 20, 2021. Welcome to my weekly COVID-19 newsletter.

Here are the bullets for NYC according to nonprofit news site’s COVID-19 tracker, the New York State COVID testing dashboard, and the NYC Dept. of Health:


  • 137,079 cumulative confirmed cases (+60 since last week)

  • 4,463 cumulative deaths (+28 since last week)

  • 0.5% seven-day positivity average (down from 0.7% last week)

  • 138,768 residents (8%) partially vaccinated

  • 830,810 residents (52%) are fully vaccinated


  • 929,303 total cases (+472 since last week)

  • 33,078 total deaths (+144 since last week)

  • 1.37% seven-day positivity average as of 5/18 (down from 1.81% last week)

  • 686,876 residents (8%) partially vaccinated

  • 3,321,377 (40%) fully vaccinated

Governor Cuomo today announced a week-long “Vax & Scratch” campaign at state-run vaccine sites beginning Monday 5/24.  Every adult vaccinated will receive a free scratch-off lottery card, itself a $20 value, that has a 1-in-9 chance of winning something and an overall jackpot of $5 million. (The main State-run site in Manhattan is at the Javits Center.)

Today through Saturday (5/22), the City is offering an evening pop-up location for J&J vaccines in Inwood, at the corner of Dyckman Street and Broadway, from 5 – 10 pm.

How to Get Vaccinated: The Master List

All City-run sites and State mass vaccination sites now accept walk-ins for anyone (12+ or 18+ depending on the vaccine). I’ve compiled this checklist (also on this page on my website) to help you know about every possible option– all are free.

The Manhattan walk-in City sites are below. These sites will also give second doses to anyone who got their first shot elsewhere; bring your CDC vaccination card for the second dose.

Pop-up Sites This Week:

Today through Saturday (5/20-22), the City is offering an evening pop-up location for J&J vaccines in Inwood, at the corner of Dyckman Street and Broadway, from 5 – 10 pm.

-Central Harlem Senior Citizens Center, 210 W. 131st St. | Th-Su, 8a-6p (18+)

-Consulate of Mexico, 27 E. 39th St. | Sa-Su, 8a-6p. (18+)

-Douglass Addition Senior Center, 868 Amsterdam Ave. | Th-Su, 8a-6p (18+)

-Gompers Senior/Community Center, 80 Pitt St. | Th-Su, 8a-6p (18+)

-Johnson Community Center, 1833 Lexington Ave. | Th-Su, 8a-6p (18+)

-NYC Mobile Bus – Chinatown, 158 Worth St. | We-Sa, 8a-4p (18+)

-NYC Mobile Bus – Washington Heights, 319 Audubon Ave. | Sa-Su, 12p-8p (Includes teens 12+)

-Rutgers Community Center, 201 Madison St. | Th-Su, 8a-6p (18+)

There are a number of popups this week for which we were not provided operating hours. In the hope these are useful, here is the list:

“Be Bigger Than Bigotry: Stop Asian Hate” Mural Event, 160 Eldridge Street (J&J)  Sat 5/22

Consulate of Mexico, 27 E 39th St. (Moderna). Sat-Sun (5/22-23)

NYC Mobile Bus – Washington Heights, 319 Audubon Ave. (Pfizer) Sat-Mon 5/22-24

The following pop-ups are for 2nd doses only:

Johnson Community Center, 1833 Lexington Ave (Moderna) Thur-Sun 5/20-23

Central Harlem Senior Citizens Center, 210 W 131st St (Moderna) Thur-Sun 5/20-23

Gompers Senior/Community Center, 80 Pitt Street (Moderna) Thur-Sun 5/20-23

Rutgers Community Center, 201 Madison St. (Moderna) Thur-Sun 5/20-23

Douglass Addition Senior Center, 868 Amsterdam Avenue (Moderna) Thur-Sun 5/20-23

NYC Mobile Bus – Chinatown, 158 Worth St., (Moderna) Wed-Sat 5/19-22

Permanent Sites:
-Abyssinian Baptist Church, 132 W. 138th St. | Tu-Sa, 9a-5p (Includes teens 12+)
-American Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park West | Fr-Tu, 9a-6p (Includes teens 12+)
-Apicha Community Health Center, 400 Broadway | Tu-Fr, 10a-3p (18+)
-ATC Vaccination Times Square/NFL Experience, 20 Times Square (7th Ave. & 47th St.) | Su-Sa, 7:30a-7p (Includes teens 12+)
-Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, 168 Centre St., 3M | Mo-Fr, 9:30a-4:30p (Includes teens 12+)
-City College North Academic Center, 1549 Amsterdam Ave. | Th-Su, 10a-8p (18+)
-Conrad Hotel, 255 Murray St. | Mo, 8a-2p; Fr, 8a-2p (Includes teens 12+)
-Convent Avenue Baptist Church, 420 W. 145th St. | Tu-We, 5:30-1op; Sa-Su, 10a-4:30p (Includes teens 12+)
-East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc. Boriken Neighborhood Health Center, 240 E. 123rd St | call to find out when walk-ins are available, 917-843-0525 (18+)
-Essex Crossing, 224B Broome St. | Th-Su, 10a-8p (18+)
-Ford Foundation, 321 E. 42nd St. | Mo-Sa, 9a-6p (18+)
-Fort Washington Collegiate, 729 W. 181st St. | We-Th, 5:30-9:30p; Sa-Sun 10a-4:30p (Includes teens 12+)
-Fulton Community Senior Center/Hudson Guild, 119 9th Ave. | Tu-Sa, 10a-5p (Includes teens 12+)
-Gotham Health, Gouverneur, 227 Madison St. | Su-Sa, 7a-7p (18+)
-Gotham Health, Sydenham, 264 W. 118th St. | Su-Sa, 7a-7p (18+)
-NYC Health Dept. – Downtown Clinic, 1 Centre St. | Su-Sa, 24hrs (18+)
-NYC Health Dept. – Uptown Clinic, 158 E. 115th St. |  Mo-Sa, 9a-6p (18+)
-NYC Health + Hospitals, Bellevue, 462 1st Ave. | Su-Sa, 7a-7p (Includes teens 12+)
-NYC Health + Hospitals, Harlem, 506 Lenox Ave. | Su-Sa, 7a-7p (Includes teens 12+)
-NYC Health + Hospitals, Metropolitan 1901 1st Ave., 4A | Su-Sa, 7a-7p (Includes teens 12+)
-Yeshiva University, 2495 Amsterdam Ave. | Su-Th, 9a-7p; Fr, 9a-5p (Includes teens 12+)

Manhattan’s State-run mass vaccination site is the Javits Center (429 11th Ave.). It takes walk-ins, but those who prefer to make an appointment can fill out the NYS eligibility survey. Two State-run pop-up sites at Penn Station and Grand Central, are scheduled to end their availability on Saturday 5/22.

Use the NYC COVID Vaccine Finder.

Check availability on NYC Vaccine List or TurboVax, which aggregate open appointments at many federal, State, City, pharmacy, and private sites.

Call the NYC vaccine hotline (877-VAX-4NYC or 877-829-4692).

Call the NYS vaccine hotline (833-NYS-4VAX or 833-697-4829).

In-home vaccination is available for people who are fully homebound (can’t leave their unit even with assistance). Request an appointment by filling out this form or calling 877-829-4692 (this doesn’t guarantee an appointment; FDNY personnel will call to confirm eligibility). On that call, household members (family and home health aides) can also request to be vaccinated during the in-home appointment.

Check hospital networks: Northwell HealthNYU Langone (for current patients only and must create a MyChart account to be notified about an appointment); Hospital for Special Surgery; and Fort Washington Armory (216 Fort Washington Ave.), run by NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine (create a Connect account or walk in Tuesdays-Saturdays, 7 am – 4 pm).

Check SOMOS vaccine sites.

Check pharmacies: CVS (800-SHOP-CVS), Walgreens (800-WALGREENS), RiteAid (800-RITE-AID), and the East Harlem Costco (pharmacies must now offer second shots to people who got first shots elsewhere).

Contact your medical provider or local pharmacy.

If you need help making an appointment, contact Junior Martinez in my office at 212-531-1609 or

Friday (5/21) and Monday (5/24) from 10 am – 2 pm, the two-dose Pfizer vaccine (12+) is available at the Conrad Hotel (255 Murray St.). Click the links above to make an appointment.

The regular Tuesday meeting of my Vaccine Task Force heard from a range of speakers about the recovery efforts, including Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Co., who spoke about their strategies for attracting tourists back (view his slides here); Nikoa Evans-Hendricks, Executive Director, Harlem Park to Park who created the “Harlem Renaissance Pavillion” on Striver’s Row; and Jonathan Rosenberg, of the NYC Independent Budget Office, who spoke about oversight of all that federal American Rescue Act money on its way to the city (view the IBO’s Excel presentation here).

COVID News Clippings 

Why The Vaccine are a Home Run Despite the Yankees’ Outbreak
But why the way the Centers for Disease Control removed mask requirements wasn’t.
By Zeynep Tufekci,, May 15, 2021

Vaccines didn’t stop the Yankees’ covid-19 outbreak. But the case proves how well they work.
by Zach Binney and Angela L. Rasmussen, Washington Post Opinion, May 17, 2021

Novelty Means Severity: The Key To the Pandemic
Nothing in a pandemic makes sense except in the light of novelty: A guest essay.
Zeynep Tufekci’s newsletter, featuring a guest essay by Dylan H. Morris, May 18, 2021

How Ashish Jha became network TV’s everyman expert on Covid
By Damian Garde,, May 18, 2021

Why COVID-19 Infections for Fully Vaccinated People Are Not Cause for Alarm
The Takeaway,, May 18, 2021

Opinion: The CDC’s critics are wrong. The agency was right to relax indoor masking.
by Joseph G. Allen, Washington Post Opinion, May 18, 2021

Stay safe.