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COVID Newsletters

COVID weekly newsletter (5/27)


It’s Thursday, May 27, 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:


  • 137,496 cumulative confirmed cases (+417 since last week)

  • 4,473 cumulative deaths (+10 since last week)

  • 0.4% seven-day positivity average (down from 0.5% last week)

  • 134,334 residents (8%) partially vaccinated

  • 864,201 residents (54%) fully vaccinated


  • 932,354 total cases (+3,051 since last week)

  • 33,169 total deaths (+91 since last week)

  • 1.03% seven-day positivity average as of 5/25 (down from 1.37% last week)

  • 665,222 residents (8%) partially vaccinated

  • 3,502,320 residents (42%) fully vaccinated

Half of all U.S. adults are now vaccinated. Find first- and second-dose locations in NYC below.

If your Excelsior Pass (NYS’s digital proof of vaccination) shows an expiration date in the coming months, I’m hearing that you can remove the pass from your device and then revisit to get a new pass. Similar to airline boarding passes, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test can be uploaded online and printed or stored on smartphones. Some participating venues and businesses can then use a companion app to scan the QR code and verify patrons’ COVID-free status.

Perks for Getting Vaccinated!

The City and State are offering some great perks when you get the shot. At City-run vaccine sites, choose from free:

  • New York City Football Club tickets
  • Brooklyn Cyclones tickets
  • NYC Ferry 10-Ride passes
  • Top of the Rock tickets
  • Liberty Island tickets
  • $25 gift cards to NYC Public Markets
  • Public Theater annual memberships
  • Two-week memberships to Citibike
  • Snug Harbor family memberships
  • Bronx Zoo tickets
  • NY Aquarium tickets
  • Brooklyn Museum tickets
  • NY Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Botanical Garden tickets
  • Lincoln Center tickets

Anyone who gets their first dose in NYS now through Monday (5/31) can receive a free two-day pass to a State park (including beaches and pools). Show your vaccination card at any State park through 9/30.

12-17-year-olds who get vaccinated can enter a drawing to win one of 50 full CUNY or SUNY scholarships, covering tuition, room, board, and supplies. Sign up to be notified when the State’s lottery opens.

In the vaccine sites list below, there are several offering perks, including the American Museum of Natural History, Grand Central Station, Madison Square Garden, the NYC Mobile Bus on Governors Island, and Penn Station; look for the asterisks.

How to Get Vaccinated: The Master List

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

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

-Central Park, Dead Road btwn Sheep Meadow and the Mall below 72nd St. | Sa-Su, 11a-8p (Includes teens 12+)

-Conrad Hotel, 255 Murray St. | Fr, 8a-2p | Make an appointment here (Includes teens 12+)

-Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park, 679 Riverside Dr. | Sa-Mo (18+)

-The Door, 55 Broome St. | Th, 8a-6p (18+)

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

***Grand Central Station | Fr-Sa, 8a-1p (18+)– get a free 7-day MetroCard when you get the shot here.

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

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

***Madison Square Garden, 2 Pennsylvania Plaza | Tu, Th, 10a-6p (18+)– anyone who gets vaccinated here will be entered in a drawing to win Knicks tickets.

-NYC Mobile Bus – Jackie Robinson Park, 128 Bradhurst Ave. | Sa-Su, 11a-7p (Includes teens 12+)

-NYC Mobile Bus – Lincoln Center, 625 Jaffe Dr. | Th-Fr, 12-8p | If you prefer to make an appointment visit or call 877-829-4692 (Includes teens 12+)

***NYC Mobile Bus – Governors Island, Colonels Row | Fr-Mo, 10a-4p | If you prefer to make an appointment visit or call 877-829-4692 (Includes teens 12+)– anyone vaccinated here receives a free Governors Island ferry vouchers.

***Penn Station | Th-Sa, 3p-8p (18+)– get a free 7-day MetroCard when you get the shot here.

-Rutgers Community Center, 201 Madison St. | Th-Su, 8a-6p (18+)– Mandarin translation available 6/3-5.

Permanent Sites (all take walk-ins unless otherwise stated):

-Abyssinian Baptist Church, 132 W. 138th St. | Tu-Sa, 9a-5p (Includes teens 12+)

***American Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park West | Mo-Tu, 9a-6p, We-Su, 10a-5p (Includes teens 12+)– get a voucher for four free museum tickets.

-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+)

-Convent Avenue Baptist Church, 420 W. 145th St. | Tu-We, 5:30-1op; Sa, 10a-4:30p (Includes teens 12+)

-East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc. Boriken Neighborhood Health Center, 240 E. 123rd St | Sa, 9a-4p (18+)

-East Harlem Council for Human Services – Taino Towers, 240 E. 123rd St., | Mo, 9a-5p, We, 10a-6p, Fr, 9a-5p (18+)

-Essex Crossing, 224B Broome St. | Th-Su, 10a-8p (18+)

-Ford Foundation, 321 E. 42nd St. | Mo-Sa, 9a-5p (18+)

-Fort Washington Collegiate, 729 W. 181st St. | We-Th, 5:30-9:30p; Sa 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-5p (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.

Use the NYC COVID Vaccine Finder.

Check availability on NYC Vaccine List, which aggregates 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).

NEW: Anyone 75+ is now eligible for in-home vaccination, in addition to anyone who is 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 for appointments: Northwell HealthNYU Langone (for current patients only and must create a MyChart account to be notified about an appointment); Hospital for Special Surgery; and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine sites.

Check SOMOS vaccine sites for availability.

Check pharmacies for appointments: 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

The regular Tuesday meeting of my Vaccine Task Force heard from a range of speakers about vaccination efforts, including Dr. Dan Baker, Medical Director at Lenox Hill Hospital, who spoke about the vaccines’ effectiveness against variants and the ongoing research on the potential need for booster shots; Dr. Dr. Simbo Ige, Director of Community Engagement at the NYC Dept. of Health, who discussed efforts to decrease stubbornly high COVID rates in some Manhattan neighborhoods; and John Jurenko, Director of Government Affairs at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, who spoke about strategies to reach those who still haven’t been vaccinated. Luke DePalma, Director of Government and Community Relations at the MTA, NYC Transit discussed the reinstatement of 24/7 subway service and how the MTA continues to constantly sanitize trains, turnstiles, and MetroCard machines. If you’d like to join these weekly discussions on Tuesdays at 3 pm about vaccines and reopening, email

COVID News Clippings 

How the Covid pandemic ends: Scientists look to the past to see the future
By Helen Branswell,,  May 19, 2021

What Happens When Americans Can Finally Exhale
The pandemic’s mental wounds are still wide open.
By Ed Yong, The Atlantic, May 20, 2021

The unseen covid-19 risk for unvaccinated people
As more people receive vaccines, covid-19 cases are occurring mostly in the increasingly narrow slice of the unprotected population. So The Washington Post adjusted its case, death and hospitalization rates to account for that — and found that in some places, the virus continues to rage among those who haven’t received a shot.
By Dan Keating and Leslie Shapiro, Washington Post, May 21, 2021

Far-reaching economic effects of school closures
Researchers at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania calculated that learning loss from school closures will reduce U.S. GDP by 3.6% and hourly wages by 3.5% by 2050.
By Bryan Walsh,, May 22, 2021

C.D.C. Is Investigating a Heart Problem in a Few Young Vaccine Recipients
The agency is reviewing several dozen reports that teenagers and young adults may have developed myocarditis after vaccination, officials said. But the agency has not determined whether the vaccine caused the condition.
By Apoorva Mandavilli, NY Times May 22, 2021

New York rescinds requirement for children to wear masks
By Brendan J. Lyons, Times Union, May 24, 2021

Axios-Ipsos poll: Re-emerging without trust
By Margaret Talev,, May 25, 2021

Moderna Vaccine Highly Effective in Adolescents, Company Says
By Emily Anthes, NY Times, May 25, 2021

Timeline: How the Wuhan lab-leak theory suddenly became credible
By Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, May 25, 2021

Fauci: Vaccine boosters probably needed, but timing unclear
By Lexi Lonas, The Hill, May 26, 2021

Stay safe.