Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the opening of additional vaccination sites across the five boroughs starting Monday, as the number of eligible New Yorkers continues to expand.
And Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday that three additional cases of the UK strain of the COVID-19 virus have been identified in New York.
Beginning Monday, vaccine sites will open in partnership with SOMOS and FDNY for frontline City workers who qualify for Phase 1B.
For eligible individuals under Phase 1A, the first of two 24/7 mass vaccination sites will open this Sunday in the Bronx and Brooklyn, and well as three Vaccination Hubs.
“We are massively expanding our apparatus, adding more sites each day for high-risk New Yorkers citywide,” said Mayor de Blasio.
“There is no time to waste. We need the freedom to vaccinate our elderly and frontline workers to protect the vulnerable across our city.”
On Monday January 11, 2021, the following sites for frontline City workers in phase 1B will be operated by SOMOS and FDNY for individuals qualified under Phase 1B, SOMOS in the Bronx at X410 Taft High School, Brooklyn at George Wingate High School and Manhattan and Brandeis High School FDNY.
The other sites include John Adams High School in Queens and Susan Wagner High School that will be operated by the FDNY.
On Sunday, the following vaccine hubs will come up online, Brooklyn at Bushwick Educational Campus on 400 Irving Avenue, Queens at Hillcrest High School, 160-05 Highland Avenue, in the Bronx at South Bronx Educational Campus on 701 St. Ann’s Avenue.
The City will open 12 additional vaccine hubs across the city beginning Friday, January 15 and will be open from 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM, seven days a week.
In Brooklyn at Abraham Lincoln High School 2800 Ocean Parkway, Bushwick Educational Campus 400 Irving Avenue, Canarsie High School 1600 Rockaway Parkway and George Westinghouse Vocational HS 105 Johnson Street.
In Manhattan, Marta Valle Secondary School 145 Stanton Street and Wadleigh Campus/I.S. 88 215 West 114 Street.
In Queens at August Martin High School 156-10 Baisley Boulevard, Beach Channel Educational Campus 100-00 Beach Channel Drive, Hillcrest High School 160-05 Highland Avenue
and Aviation High School 45-30 36th Street
In Staten Island, Port Richmond H.S. 85 St Joseph's Avenue Staten Island and Staten Island Technical High School 485 Clawson Street Staten Island
In the Bronx, Walton Educational School 2780 Reservoir Avenue Bronx, Adlai E. Stevenson High School 1980 Lafayette Avenue Bronx and South Bronx Educational Campus 701 Saint Ann's Avenue Bronx.
And Governor Cuomo said two of the cases are connected to the initial discovery of the UK strain identified in Saratoga Springs last week, while a third case, unrelated to the Saratoga Springs exposures, has been traced back to an individual living in Massapequa, Nassau County.
The cases were sequenced through Department of Health's Wadsworth laboratory which has analyzed more than 2,200 viral sequences as part of the state's UK strain testing program.
"The UK strain is here, it is real, and the Usain Bolt-like speed through which it spreads is nothing short of frightening," Governor Cuomo said.
"There's no mystery as to how it got here – it got on a plane and flew here from Europe, just like the original strain did. Yet, the federal government continues to refuse to learn from the spring and mandate testing for all international travelers.
Their failure to act means the rest of us need to be that much more vigilant in our work to stop the spread, as well as do all we can to accelerate the distribution of the vaccine.
"In the meantime, Wadsworth Lab will continue to aggressively sequence samples from around the state, so that any more instances of the UK strain can be identified, and immediately contained and contact traced."
Governor Cuomo said following the initial identification of the UK strain associated with an employee at a jewelry store in Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County, Wadsworth Laboratory sequenced the virus from five additional employees from the jewelry store who had tested positive for COVID-19.
"After sequencing, Wadsworth can confirm that the UK strain was present in two of those individuals," said Governor Cuomo.
"The Department of Health conducted free COVID-19 testing this week for anyone who may have had an exposure related to the Saratoga case. More than 400 people were tested and the Wadsworth Center is screening all positive cases for the UK variant."
He said separate from the Saratoga Springs cases,a third case was identified in Massapequa, Nassau County.
"In this case, a man in his 60's has been identified as having the UK strain after first testing positive for COVID-19 on December 27. Wadsworth received this sample from BioReference following the Department of Health's call to labs across the state requesting samples which could be analyzed for the UK strain.
"The Department is working with contact tracers in Nassau County to identify additional potential exposures," said Governor Cuomo.
New York State operates a free COVID-19 drive through testing locations at the University at Albany and Jones Beach which are both open seven days a week and will prioritize testing for contacts to the UK variant case as needed.
And Governor Cuomo announced that out of a total of 258,031 test results reported to New York State on Friday, 16,943 tested positive, representing a positivity rate of 6.57 percent while the patient hospitalization rate statewide stood at 8,527.
1,428 patients in the ICU; 876 intubated and a total of 188 COVID-19 deaths were recorded in New York State on Friday, bringing the total number of deaths recorded in the state to 31,519.