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COVID Newsletters

COVID weekly newsletter (6/3)


It’s Thursday, June 3, 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:


  • 137,786 cumulative confirmed cases (+290 since last week)

  • 4,482 cumulative deaths (+9 since last week)

  • 0.4% seven-day positivity average (the same as last week)

  • 128,306 residents (8%) partially vaccinated

  • 891,217 residents (55%) fully vaccinated


  • 934,314 total cases (+1,960 since last week)

  • 33,245 total deaths (+76 since last week)

  • 0.81% seven-day positivity average as of 6/1 (down from 1.03% last week)

  • 640,803 residents (7%) partially vaccinated

  • 3,650,829 residents (44%) fully vaccinated

For the first time since the pandemic hit NYC, there were zero COVID deaths in the city on Monday (5/31), and we’re now seeing the lowest positivity rates since the pandemic began.

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!

Choose from any one of the following when you get the shot at City-run vaccine sites:

  • 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

At City-run sites, you’ll also be eligible to win a lottery for a two-night stay at:

  • Highgate Hotels

  • Fitzpatrick Hotel Group

  • Triumph Hotels

  • IHG Hotels & Resorts

  • Marriott

  • Hyatt

  • The Pod Hotels

Get four free tickets to the American Museum of Natural History when you get vaccinated there: 200 Central Park West | Mo-Tu, 9a-6p; We-Su, 10a-5p (includes teens 12+)– just walk in.

Teens and their families can get vaccinated and enjoy food, music, and activities at the Marcus Garvey Park “Youth Vax Block Party” this weekend: 27 E. 124th St. | Sa-Mo, 12-8p (includes teens 12+)– no appointment needed.

12-17-year-olds who get vaccinated through Monday, 6/28 can enter a drawing to win one of 50 full CUNY or SUNY scholarships, covering tuition, room, board, and supplies, sponsored by New York State. Enter the lottery here.

To achieve the goal of getting 70% of U.S. adults vaccinated by July 4, the White House announced free childcare opportunities while you get vaccinated, in partnership with the YMCA, Bright Horizons, KinderCare, and the Learning Care Group. The federal vaccine incentives website also lists free rides to vaccine sites through Uber and Lyft and perks like free donuts at Krispy Kreme, discounts at retailers, and sweepstakes.

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.

City-run Pop-up Sites This Week (all take walk-ins):

-Christopher Street Corridor, corner of Greenwich Ave. and Christopher St. | Th-Sa, 5-10p (18+)

-Church of the Holy Apostles, 296 9th Ave. | Fr, 10a-2p (Includes teens 12+)

-Corsi House Neighborhood Senior Center, 307 E. 116th St. | Th-Fr, 8a-6p (18+)

-Gaylord White Neighborhood Senior Center, 2029 2nd Ave. | Fr, 8a-6p (18+)

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

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

-INTAR Theater/Open Culture Block, 11th Ave. and 52nd St. | Sa, 12-10p (Includes teens 12+)

-Lower East Side/Van Gogh Exhibit, Pier 36, 299 South St. | Fr-Su, 9a-5p

-Madison Square Garden, Pennsy Food Hall, 2 Pennsylvania Plaza | Th, 10a-6p (18+)

-Marcus Garvey Park, 27 E. 124th St. | Sa-Mo, 12-8p (Includes teens 12+)– teens and their families can get vaccinated and enjoy food, music, and activities at this City-sponsored “Youth Vax Block Party”

-Polo Grounds, 3005 Frederick Douglass Blvd. | Fr, 12-8p (Includes teens 12+)

-Rutgers Community Center, 200 Madison St. | Th-Su, 8a-6p (18+)– Mandarin translation available.

-Washington Heights/St. Nicholas, 1488 St. Nicholas Ave. | Th-Su, 11a-7p (Includes teens 12+)

City-run Permanent Sites (all take walk-ins):

-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. and 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+)

Other Permanent Sites and Appointment Resources

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).

Anyone who is 75+, has a disability, or is homebound is eligible for in-home vaccination. 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 Manhattan Task Force heard from a range of education advocates about the historic influx of state and federal funding (billions of dollars!) headed to the NYC Dept. of Education in the coming years. We were joined by Randi Levine of Advocates for Children, Dia Bryant of the Education Trust, Laura Zingmond of InsideSchools (and my former Panel for Educational Policy representative), and Zakiyah Ansari of Alliance for Quality Education. Each spoke about the educational priorities the stimulus money should fund to help mitigate the disruptive impact of remote and inconsistent learning over the last 15 months and to further equity in our schools for students of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.

If you’d like to join these weekly discussions on Tuesdays at 3 pm about vaccines and reopening, email

Friday (6/4) at 6 pm, teens are invited to a virtual Q&A about the vaccine with a NYC Dept. of Health pediatrician, hosted by the American Museum of Natural History. Register here.

Wednesday (6/9) at 2:30 pm, food service workers are invited to a virtual conversation with the NYC Dept. of Health, answering questions about the vaccine, potential side effects, and where to get vaccinated. Bengali, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Spanish interpretation will be available, and American Sign Language is available upon request (contact or 917-936-8491). Register for the event here.

COVID News Clippings 

What a Wuhan lab leak would really mean
By Ian Birrell,, May 26, 2021

CDC eases summer camp guidance, saying children do not always need masks
By Karin Brulliard and Lena H. Sun, Washington Post, May 28, 2021

Covid’s Deadliest Phase May Be Here Soon
By Zeynep Tufekci, NY Times Opinion Guest Essay, May 28, 2021

The unseen covid-19 risk for unvaccinated people
This story, linked to in a previous newsletter, was updated on May 28. The key paragraph:
But adjustments for vaccinations show the rate among susceptible, unvaccinated people is 73 percent higher than the standard figures being publicized. With that adjustment, the national death rate is roughly the same as it was two months ago and is barely inching down. The adjusted hospitalization rate is as high as it was three months ago. The case rate is still declining after the adjustment.
By Dan Keating and Leslie Shapiro, The Washington Post, updated May 28, 2021

The coronavirus variant discovered in India has a new name: Delta.
The World Health Organization has announced COVID variants will now be assigned letters of the Greek alphabet in the order in which they are designated potential threats by the W.H.O. The Indian variant will now be known as “Delta”. The B.1.1.7 variant, first discovered in the U.K., is “Alpha”; the P.1 variant from Brazil is “Gamma.”
By Benjamin Mueller, NY Times, May 31, 2021

U.S. experts press calls for China to allow deeper inquiries into the pandemic’s origins.
PeterHotez: “Theres going to be Covid-26 and Covid-32 unless we fully understand the origins of Covid-19.”
NY Times, May 31, 2021

NIH Director: We Need an Investigation Into the Wuhan Lab-Leak Theory
Francis Collins calls for a “thorough, expert-driven, and objective” inquiry, and shares what most surprised him about the virus.
By Peter Wehner, The Atlantic, June 2, 2021

The Lab-Leak Theory: Inside the Fight to Uncover COVID-19’s Origins
Throughout 2020, the notion that the novel coronavirus leaked from a lab was off-limits. Those who dared to push for transparency say toxic politics and hidden agendas kept us in the dark.
By Katherine Eban, Vanity Fair, June 3, 2021

Stay safe.