Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates February 8th

February 8th, 2021


According to Gov. Cuomo, people with comorbidities and underlying conditions are more likely to succumb to COVID-19. With that in mind, adult New Yorkers of any age with qualifying conditions will be eligible for the COVID vaccine beginning February 15. Eligible conditions include cancer, chronic kidney disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2), heart conditions, pregnancy, obesity, sickle cell disease, liver disease and more.

Gov. Cuomo will add people with these underlying conditions to the vaccine eligibility list as of next Monday (2/15):

  • Cancer (current or in remission)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Pulmonary disease, including but not limited to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and 9/11-related pulmonary diseases
  • Intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Heart conditions, including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, and hypertension
  • Immunocompromised state, including but not limited to solid organ transplant, blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, and use of other immune-weakening medicines
  • Obesity (BMI of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Neurologic conditions, including but not limited to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
  • Liver disease

The hospitalization and death rates from COVID have seemingly stopped climbing. New CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday, “the recent decline in hospitalizations gives us hope that the number of deaths should start to decrease in the coming weeks.”

The federal vaccine supply to the states will increase by about 20 percent for the next three weeks, up from the initial 16 percent expected bump in allocations. Additionally, private pharmacies in the state who are charged with prioritizing the 65-plus population will now receive an additional 10 percent, or about 30,000 doses, directly from the federal government. This will supplement doses allocated to them by the State.

More than 27 million Americans have received a first dose of the COVID vaccine. In total, over six million Americans nationally have been fully vaccinated, the New York Times reported.

You've heard of mRNA vaccines—but do you know how they work? Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA vaccines. New York State released a video explaining how mRNA vaccines work to safely protect individuals from COVID-19. Three key things to know: They do not affect your own genetic material or DNA in any way; they do not contain the actual COVID-19 virus; and they cannot give you COVID. Watch the video.

New York State is encouraging eligible New Yorkers to train to become vaccinators. If you are a licensed practical nurse, a dentist, an EMT, a medical or nursing student with at least a year of clinical experience, and more — then you may be eligible to take training to become a vaccinator and help New York administer COVID vaccines over the coming months. See how you can get involved here.

Starting February 11th, certain pharmacies will receive an allocation of vaccine directly from the federal government, in addition to the vaccine being supplied directly to the City and State. The State has designated pharmacies and mass vaccination sites as the vaccine providers that are to prioritize vaccinating older adults who are 65+.

The Governor also reiterated that at this time the federal government does not allow second-dose vaccine supply being held in reserve to be reallocated for use as first doses. One you receive your first dose of the vaccine, a second dose is ordered for you and shipped to the vaccine site where you received your first shot.

States will receive an increase in vaccine supply, for a total of a 20% increase over three weeks. This will be helpful for planning purposes and with appointment availability. This means that although demand for vaccinations continues to greatly exceed supply, it is important to continue checking for appointment availability each week.

The State is permitting local governments to decide whether to include taxi drivers, restaurant workers, and developmentally disabled facilities as groups that are eligible to receive the vaccination. Last week, the Mayor announced that these groups are now eligible to receive the vaccination in New York City.

Beginning Friday, February 5, the Yankee Stadium site will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Vaccinations are by appointment only and are reserved for Bronx residents who meet New York's 1a and 1b vaccine eligibility requirements only. Eligible Bronx residents can make their appointment by visiting or by calling 1-833-SomosNY. Individuals who schedule appointments for Yankee Stadium are also required to bring proof of residency with them to the appointment.

Thirty-five pop-up vaccination sites are coming online this week at churches, community centers, public housing complexes and cultural centers across the state. These sites are expected to vaccinate over 25,000 people throughout the week, with more sites coming online every week. Since January 15, the deployment of community vaccination kits has enabled nearly 9,000 New Yorkers to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, often in communities where there are very limited health care options. Learn more.

Five New York companies have been awarded grants to produce COVID-related equipment and supplies to support in-state needs. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed serious issues in our nation's medical supply chain, and we were forced to compete overseas and pay exorbitant prices for life-saving products. We learned the hard lesson that these resources need to be manufactured here in the U.S., and we are taking steps to build the infrastructure we need here in New York to keep us prepared for future crises. These awards to these New York companies will do just that, while helping local companies create new jobs.

Last week, President Biden announced that his administration will retroactively reimburse states fully for FEMA-eligible services – including masks, gloves, emergency feeding actions, sheltering at risk populations, and mobilization of the National Guard – back dated to the beginning of the pandemic in January 2020. This reimbursement is estimated to total $3-5 billion.

 An update on the UK virus variant. Fifteen additional cases of the UK variant of the COVID-19 virus were identified in New York State. To date, there are 59 known cases of the variant in New York State in the following counties: Jefferson, Niagara, Allegany, Tompkins, New York City (multiple boroughs), Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, Saratoga, Ulster, Onondaga, Warren and Essex Counties.

Johnson & Johnson: Preliminary results from clinical trials of a third vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, a single-shot product that can be refrigerated at normal temperatures, are excellent: 72% effective in the U.S. at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, and 85% effective overall in preventing severe disease across geographies, ages, and multiple virus variants, including the South African variant. The J&J vaccine trial results are due to be submitted to the FDA as soon as this month in support of an emergency use authorization, after which they expect to be able to ship the vaccine immediately.

Veterans 65+ currently enrolled in Veterans Affair health care can receive their COVID vaccine through the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System. Schedule an appointment at 877-877-9267.

Due to snow in the weather forecast, the New York City Department of Sanitation has issued a Winter Operations Advisory for Tuesday, February 8 starting at 5 a.m. Snow is expected beginning early Tuesday morning and continuing through the evening; accumulations of up to three inches are currently possible. The Department will continue to monitor the forecasts. Plows and salt spreaders are ready.

All winter weather information and information about the City’s response to the storm can be found by visiting the City’s Severe Weather website at or by calling 311. New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can sign up to receive phone calls, text messages, and emails alerts about severe weather events and emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 311, visit or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.



Tuesday (2/9) is the deadline to apply to middle schoolsand Tuesday, 2/23 is the deadline to apply to high schools.

Tuesday through Friday (2/9-12) at 3:30 pm, the “New York & New Jersey Climate Education Youth Summit” invites middle and high schoolers and college students to virtual panels and workshops addressing the climate crisis, hosted by the Columbia University Center for Sustainable Development Earth Institute. Click the title to register.

Tuesday (2/9) and Thursday (2/11) at 6 pm, Park East High School hosts a virtual open house. Register for Tuesday or Thursday’s session.

Thursday (2/11) at 5 pm, parents and caregivers can get remote learning support during the weekly virtual “Parent Guide to Remote Learning” series from Rep. Adriano Espaillat and the NYC Dept. of Education. Register here.

Thursday (2/11) at 5 pm, “Navigating the High School Admissions Process” discusses changes to the process, tips on researching schools, and information about supporting students, hosted by the United Federation of Teachers. Click the title to register for the Zoom.

NYCHA youth 16-24 who are unemployed and not in school can apply for a paid, 14-week internship with El Barrio’s Operation Fightback. For more information or to apply, contact [email protected] or (917) 547-8899.

Youth ages 12-21 can apply to free digital animation workshopsaccompanied by a $500 stipend, sponsored by the Made in NY Animation Project. Session 1 is 2/22 - 4/30, and session 2 is 5/3 - 6/30.

College and graduate students can now apply for a paid summer internship with NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer. Apply by Friday, 3/5.


In celebration of Valentine’s Day, the Madison Avenue B.I.D. is organizing Make a Date on Madison from February 8-20. In the name of love, participating stores are inviting Valentine’s shoppers to book a private shopping appointment at designated hours by registering at This appointment-only “sweetheart” shopping event will be the ultimate gifting experience. The Valentine’s Day shoppers will have the store (or the store's private VIP salon) all to themselves, to shop solo or come with their significant others to pick out their gifts in a safe and exclusive environment either before, after or on Valentine’s Day. Clients can enjoy the white glove service and client pampering found only on Madison Avenue. Guests can choose from a roster of 47 renowned brands and retailers. Shoppers are encouraged to book early, as each store sets its own quota of available dates and times. There is no cost for this service, and there is no minimum spending requirement.

Watch Giant Pandas and Other Zoo Animals Frolic in the Snow from Smithsonian Magazine. Check them out here.

A 20-year-old Cornell student who made $30,000 from GameStop stock during the frenzy of trading last month is using some of his earnings to donate new gaming consoles to the Children's Minnesota hospital. The student, Hunter Kahn, wrote in an Instagram post that he felt it was "important that myself and others pay forward our good fortune." The Nintendo Switch consoles he bought for the hospital are already being used by young patients at the hospital.

A rare fossilized dinosaur footprint was found in the United Kingdom—by a 4-year-old girl. The girl, Lily Wilder, spotted the impression while taking a nature walk with her father on a beach near the town of Barry, Wales. Scientists believe it was left by a previously unidentified species of dinosaur about 215 million years ago. The print is unique in being well preserved, showing individual claw and pad impressions from the dinosaur's foot. The fossil was brought to the National Museum in Cardiff for further study by paleontologists.

After a pelican got lost and ended up in the cold waters of Connecticut, a local flying club helped the bird find its way south. Pelicans are seldom seen north of Virginia, so it was a surprise when a pelican was found, half-frozen and injured, in a Connecticut marina—perhaps having been blown too far north in a storm. Fortunately, the pelican, named Arvay, was rescued and given care that saved its life. A pilot at a Connecticut flying club then flew the bird to Florida in her small plane. "I just love animals and do anything I can to help animals, so when I saw this and saw he needed to get to his new home, I figured why not help out," said the pilot, Arianna Strand. Arvay is now recovering at the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter, Florida.

Tonight (2/8) at 6 pm, Hunter@Home virtual chat “On Beginning a Biography of Philip Roth” discusses chronicling the novelist’s life. Register here.

Tuesday (2/9) at 11 am, artists discuss creativity and studio life during the pandemic, political turmoil, and protests, hosted by the Madison Square Park Conservancy. Register for the Zoom here.

Tuesday (2/9) at 6 pm, the first woman doctor is celebrated in “Elizabeth Blackwell’s 200th: Legacies of Innovations and Medicine,” hosted by Village Preservation and the American Medical Women’s Association on Zoom. Register here.

Tuesday (2/9) at 6:30 pm, “Our Cultures, Our Communities, Our Arts is a virtual presentation of multicultural music and dance, sponsored by the New York African Chorus Ensemble. Watch on Facebook.

Wednesday (2/10) at 7:30 pm, Ballet Hispánico hosts a virtual watch party of choreographer George Faison’s “Café America.” Watch on Facebook or YouTube.

Thursday (2/11) at 4 pm, eCornell hosts “The Diverse Culinary Family - Representation, Identity, and Inclusivity,” a webinar. Click the title to register.

Tenant leaders, community organizers, and anyone who works with voters can take the NYC Campaign Finance Board’s Ranked Choice Voting “train the trainer” sessions to prepare to educate community members about the new ranked choice ballot for the June 22 election.

Quilt: The Black History Month Quilt Exhibition” at Gallery RIVAA (Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association) is open through Sunday, 2/21. See gallery hours.

Apply now to join your Community Board, the most grassroots form of local government. The Boards are pivotal in shaping their communities and work to enhance and preserve the character of the city’s many unique neighborhoods. Applications close Monday, 2/22/2021.


Tuesday (2/9) at noon, nonprofits are invited to a virtual training about preventing financial fraud, hosted by Amalgamated Bank. RSVP to [email protected].

Thursday (2/11) at 4 pm, live-performance venues, organizations, and workers can get application preparation assistance for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (Save Our Stages) during a webinar hosted by Curtains Up, a City initiative to help the performing arts industry apply for federal relief. Register for the webinar here.

Free legal services are available in all languages for low-income people through the City Bar Justice Center’s Legal Hotline, via their online application or 212-626-7383 (open Mon-Thu, 9 am - 5 pm, Fri 9 am - 1 pm). Those seeking a referral for a lawyer can contact the New York City Bar’s Legal Referral Service, which has waived its initial consultation fee for all legal issues until further notice. Request a referral online or by calling 212-626-7373 (212-626-7374 in Spanish) Mon-Fri, 8:30 am - 5:30 pm.

File your taxes for free if you earned $68,000 or less in 2020, thanks to NYC Free Tax Prep. If you didn’t receive some or any of the two pandemic stimulus checks, NYC Free Tax Prep can assist with claiming the equivalent amounts as a “Recovery Rebate Credit.” (Volunteer tax preparers are needed for these sites, too.)

As a result of the relief act passed in December, filers can also take advantage of a one-time look-back provision, allowing them to choose to use their 2019 or 2020 income for the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, a change that benefits those who lost their job in the last year.

In other personal finance news, the Biden administration has extended the pause on most federal student loans -- due to expire Sunday (1/31)-- through 9/30, which means payments are suspended, collections on defaulted loans are stopped, and the interest rate is 0% through September. The Federal Student Aid Office’s website has a detailed FAQ about eligibility.

Applications close Friday, 2/12 for “Project Innovation,” a grant for nonprofits from NBC 4 New York and Telemundo 47. Apply here.

Restaurants can now sign up for Restaurant Week To Go until tomorrow (2/2) at 5 pm. Restaurant Week itself has been extended through Sunday, 2/28 with takeout and delivery meals available for $20.21 each.

NYC created "What to Expect When You’re Inspected: NYC Indoor and Outdoor Dining Checklist for Participating Establishments." Check it out here. 

Applications open Thursday, 4/1 for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants aka Save our Stages. Arts venues and representatives can see eligibility criteria here and should note they must have been in operation as of 2/29/2020 and must not have received a Paycheck Protection Program loan on or after 12/27/2020. For additional info, contact [email protected].

The Mayor extended the City’s Open Storefronts program through 9/30/21, allowing storefront retail businesses to continue operating directly outside their store. Plan now for warmer weather; read the FAQ for eligibility and operating guidelines, and apply here.

You could work as a snow laborer removing snow and ice for the city Dept. of Sanitation. If you apply now, you’ll be ready to work after the next storm. Pay is up to $22.50 an hour; you must be over age 18 and eligible to work in the U.S. (The Census Bureau is also hiring-- looking for employees to take additional surveys. View a field representative job description and application link here.)

TechCongress, a technology policy fellowship, is recruiting for its 2021 Congressional Innovation Scholars program, which places technologists to serve as tech policy advisors to Members of Congress. The program pays a stipend equivalent to an annual salary of $60,000 and other benefits. Scholars have been working on the House Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee report on Big Tech, helped pass the OPEN Government Data Act into law, and worked to change defense procurement policy to allow start-ups to better compete with larger contractors. TechCongress hosted an information session Wednesday, 1/27 at 2 pm. Applications close Friday, 2/5.

Apply by 2/16/21 for one of 32 affordable apartments in six West Harlem buildings (118 W. 139th St., 123 W. 112th St., 30 W. 132nd St., 281 W. 118th St., 120 W. 139th St., and 122 W. 139th St.). Studios to four-bedrooms are available with income limits of $48,480-$120,080. Apply through the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development’s Housing Connect portal.

Applications for HEAP can be accessed by calling 212-331-3126 or visiting the ACCESS HRA website for instructions here. HEAP applications are available for download here.

Learn new job skills and earn certificates to advance your career through 4,000 free online courses offered by the state Dept. of Labor and Coursera, such as “How to Manage a Remote Team” and “Entrepreneurship.” View the course catalog.

The DSNY has issued the below information about restaurant outdoor dining and snow. For more information, click here.

Open Restaurants that use outdoor heating must follow newly released guidance from the Dept. of Buildings and the FDNY for electricnatural gas and propane heaters. Open Restaurants are subject to new regulations pertaining to roadway barriers, snow and dining enclosures, per the Dept. of Transportation.

NYC Department of Social Services/Human Resources Administration (DSS/HRA): For updated information on COVID-19 and changes to social services benefits, including SNAP food assistance, cash assistance, and burial assistance, please refer to DSS/HRA’s Important information about COVID-19 and your HRA benefits.

Free financial counseling is available by phone through the NYC Dept. of Consumer and Worker Protection. Book an appointment online or by calling 311.

The Dept. of Small Business Services has launched Career Discovery NYC, a free career search and skills training tool.

Restaurant & Bar Reopening Toolkit – Find all the guidelines and resources you need in one place, including checklists, Open Restaurant siting criteria, and posters. Download it here, and find additional guidance and resources for restaurants on SBS’ restaurant reopening guide here.

Find Outdoor Dining Fixtures & Equipment – Please click here for the City's directory of equipment rental fixtures & equipment for safe outdoor dining.

The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) will work to ensure that the most up-to-date guidance and materials needed by small business owners for a safe phased-in reopening are readily available. The information will be housed on a centralized resource page with guidance and best practices for the restaurant industry across all five boroughs. SBS will also launch a reopening supplies marketplace for easy access to wholesalers selling PPE, gloves, sneeze guards and other equipment. Business owners can call a hotline at 1-888-SBS-4NYC to ask questions about this process.

PPE for Small Businesses: NYC SBS coordinating with 70+ BIDs and Chambers of Commerce to provide 2 million pieces of PPE to small businesses citywide. Find a distribution partner near you at: Free Face Coverings for Small Businesses & Their Employees

The City’s Department of Small Business Services has shared their new “Find a Job” page, which lists open employment listings from across NYC. Learn more and search the listings.


Animal Care Centers of NYC is seeking donations of large crates, no-pull harnesses, toys, and pet food.

Helpers for COVID-19 is an organization that delivers essential goods to the immunocompromised. To volunteer, click here. To request deliveries, click here or call (862)-621-9614‬. Assistance is available in English, Hindi, Russian, Mandarin, Spanish, and Hebrew.

The NYC Civic Corps is seeking nonprofit organizations to host 2021-2022 AmeriCorps members, who help develop host organizations’ volunteer programs. Learn more and apply here.

The Dept. of Sanitation is seeking locations with indoor storage space that can host eCycleNYC bins for electronics recycling. Interested building owners and managers can fill out this form, and DSNY will be in touch.

Order directly from restaurants, not from delivery apps. See why the New York Times.

Businesses and organizations can donate extra food and supplies to local organizations that can then redistribute them. Details about eligible donors and recipients can be found online: For food donations visit; for non-food donations, visit

Borrow free equipment for community clean-ups from the Dept. of Sanitation by calling 311, emailing [email protected] or submitting this form.

If you are experiencing COVID symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to someone who is positive, get tested. Find a testing site near you. You can also call 1-888-364-3065 to schedule a free appointment at a New York State-run testing location.

If you get a call from NYS Contact Tracing, pick up. Contact tracers are working around the clock to trace clusters and inform people who have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID. How can you help? Simply by picking up the phone. If your caller ID says "NYS Contact Tracing," pick up and help New York stop the spread. (Tracers will never ask for your Social Security Number or financial information; if someone does, they are not an official tracer and you should hang up.)

Get a flu shot. Find pharmacies and clinics offering flu shots through the NYC Health Map. You can sort for free shots and for locations covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

Give your friends a call. Check in with your family. Ask them how everything is going and how they are feeling. Let's show each other some love because mental health is just as important as physical health. New Yorkers can also call the State's mental health hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for free emotional support, consultations & referrals to a provider.

The pandemic has caused declines in organ donations. With so many people awaiting lifesaving organ transplants, Governor Cuomo urges New Yorkers to become organ donors and join the NYS Donate Life Registry.

Apply to become a member of the NYC Community Emergency Response Teamwhich assists first responders with community preparedness and disaster support. Apply here.

Donate Plasma: Recovered COVID-19 patients are needed to donate plasma, which is used to treat critically ill patients across the country. Donate at a NY Blood Center location. Eligible donors can give convalescent plasma up to eight times in a three-month period.

THE CITY is asking folks who know any New York City residents who have died of COVID-19 to fill out a simple form to tell them about the lives of those we’ve lost. Their goal is to put as many names, faces and details to the numbers as possible. You’ll find more here — including the form.

Donate blood. The New York Blood Center says that levels of blood are dangerously low. To make an appointment to donate, visit or call 1.800.933.2566. Appointments are strongly recommended.

Support local businesses by buying gift cards. We have posted links to sites selling gift cards. Another site selling gift cards to restaurants, barber shops, and events like ghost hunts, and museums, see SupportLocal at

New York City Service is looking for volunteers to help those affected by COVID-19, click here.

New York State has provided a form for the donation of goods, services, or space. To access the form, click here.

The dedicated staff at the Stanley Isaacs Center, 415 E. 93 St., needs help supporting their older adult clients through meals and case management services. Interested in volunteering? Shifts: Meal Plating from 7:00am-9:00am; Meal Delivery from 9:45am-1:00pm; Cold Packing from 10:00am-1:00pm. Contact


2021 Virtual Roundtable for Boomers and Seniors from Senator Liz Krueger. “Being Mortal: Thinking About End of Life Decision Making”

This year's Roundtable series will bring together experts to offer concrete tools to assist with end of life planning, and provide a forum to ignite our imagination about what we value and how we want to live as we age.

To RSVP for any or all of the sessions in this year's series, please go to

Thursday, February 18th - Health Care Proxies and Living Wills 10 am - 11:30 am

- Sally Kaplan, Program Director, What Matters: Caring Conversations about the End of Life, Marlene Meyerson JCC
- Tina Janssen-Spinosa, Senior Staff Attorney, Total Life Choices Program Coordinator, NYLAG

Thursday, March 18th - Research on the Use of Psychedelics to Address End-of–Life Existential Distress 10 am - 11:30 am

- Anthony Bossis, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, NYU Langone Health
- Mary Cosimano, MSW, Director of Guide/Facilitator Services, Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, Johns Hopkins

Thursday, April 22nd - Living Well: What Do We Value Most? 10:00 am – 11:30 am

- Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl, Senior Rabbi, Central Synagogue
- Jeannie Blaustein, PhD, D. Ministry, Founding Board Chair, Reimaging End of Life, Adjunct Faculty, Pace University, Psychology

Thursday, May 20th - Reimagining Later Life Care Models 10 am – 11:30 am


Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs & Resources

The State's Coronavirus Hotline is open 24 hours if you have any questions or concerns: 1-888-364-3065. **If you need help getting medical care, you can also call 311. New York City will provide care regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.

The NYP COVID Hotline 646-697-4000 can answer questions about COVID-19. This hotline is a public service to provide information only and not to diagnose, treat, or render a medical opinion. Their Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions document is available on the NYP Coronavirus website.

To get regular updates on the latest developments with coronavirus in New York City text COVID to 692-692. You will receive regular SMS texts with the latest news and developments. Please check for the latest updates

If you are experiencing stress or feel anxious, contact NYC Well at 888-NYC-WELL (888-692- 9355) or text WELL to 65173. NYC Well is a confidential help line that is staffed 24/7 by trained counselors who can provide brief supportive therapy, crisis counseling, and connections to behavioral health treatment, in more than 200 languages.

Additional resources:

 Download the app on your iPhone here.  Download the app on your Android device here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Past Updates from CB8