Dear AMPHS Family,
We would like to start off by thanking our donors for your generous support of our Giving Tuesday campaign for immigrant health justice. Thanks to supporters like you, we will be able to continue to help our Sunset Park community make strides in tackling issues of food insecurity, financial insecurity, and healthcare access. Through our Direct Relief Fund we’ll continue to connect vulnerable community members to resources, food, and PPE they need to stay healthy this winter. With the pandemic still in full effect, our work is far from over. COVID cases are once again rising across New York City, and the fight for equitable healthcare access remains as important than ever. It is not too late to support our Sunset Park community members and neighbors through our GoFundMe and help us meet our $10,000 end of year fundraising goal (we are 20% of the way there!). We encourage you to make a donation and to spread the word among family and friends to support our cause.
Week of Action
Our second Week of Action will be beginning this week, where we will continue to canvass local businesses and equip them with vital COVID resources, “Wear your mask” posters, and PPE. The neighborhoods we will be targeting include Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, and Bensonhurst. We are still seeking volunteers, if you are interested in joining us please sign up here.
School buildings to reopen in NYC
After closing NYC public schools two weeks ago, Mayor de Blasio has announced that schools will reopen next week for students who opted for blended learning, including those who selected blended learning during the recent opt-in period. Students in grades K through 5 will return to in-person learning on Monday, December 7th. Students of all grade levels attending schools in District 75 will begin in-person learning on Thursday, December 10th. Students in grades 6 through 12 (outside of District 75 schools) will continue to learn remotely until further notice. Upon reopening, weekly COVID-19 testing will be in effect, and testing consent forms will be required for students to return.
Commissioner’s notice for older adults and those with underlying health conditions
New York City’s Health Commissioner issued a Commissioner’s Notice urging older New Yorkers and people with underlying health conditions to stop non-essential activities, stay in as much as possible and avoid social activities outside of their household. The commissioner also advises the use of a face covering at all times indoors and outdoors, including around household members who have symptoms of COVID-19, a known exposure to someone with COVID-19, or frequent interactions with the public
Cuomo announces new virus restrictions ahead of holiday season
As of Friday, November 15th, Governor Cuomo implemented new restrictions in New York. All bars and restaurants will be forced to close at 10 p.m. Restaurants can still do takeout and delivery overnight but without alcohol. Gyms must also close at 10 p.m. Private gatherings inside homes are limited to 10 people or fewer, unless they are a household.
Three vaccines show promising results in trials
Two ongoing trials have reported their vaccines are about 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection. The vaccines, from manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna, are both in the third of four trial phases. They work by tricking the body into creating an immune response for a virus that is not present in the body. No serious safety concerns have been found for either vaccine. Each vaccine has shown only minor side effects, such as injection site pain, fatigue and headache. If the vaccines are approved, they will each require two doses, through shots in the arm, three or four weeks apart.
The British-Swedish company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford have also announced promising results. On Nov. 23, they announced that a preliminary analysis of their Phase 3 trial revealed the vaccine was up to 90 percent effective, depending on the dosage. Britain has become the first Western country to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccination through an emergency authorization on Wednesday, December 2nd.
COVID vaccine availability
If authorized by federal regulators, the first batch of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive in New York on December 15th and contain enough doses for 170,000 people. However, COVID-19 vaccines may not be widely available to the general public until mid-2021. After a vaccine is approved, it will likely be given first to people who work in health care and are at increased risk of getting COVID-19.The vaccine may next be available to the following groups: nursing home residents, people at high risk of complications from COVID-19 because of age or underlying medical conditions, and essential workers who interact with the public and are not able to physically distance. When there are enough vaccine doses available, it will be made available to all New Yorkers.
To find a COVID-19 testing site near you visit this link!
COVID Chat Series
In addition to our newsletters, we also conduct workshops centered around COVID-19 related topics.
On November 18th, we held a Facebook Live event in partnership with Angela Soto, Vaccine Task Force Community Engagement Coordinator from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, on the key differences between the overlapping symptoms and effects of the flu, common cold, allergies, and COVID-19. We also discussed the important preventative measures to take during the fall and winter when facing the effects of these conditions and health resources available.
To check out our previous session for important information on preventing a COVID-19 infection, recovering from a COVID-19 infection and recommendations for high-risk populations–also accompanied by Angela Soto from the DOHMH–you can click on the following links.