Task Force Targets Equitable Vaccine Distribution

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Airlines have agreed to require testing before allowing passengers to board plans from the United Kingdom to the United States because of concerns about a mutated strain of Covid-19 in the country. Travel from the U.K. has been restricted by 120 other countries as worries grew about the discovery of the mutation.

In other Covid-19 news:

Cuomo said that more than 38,000 vaccine doses have been administered in New York State as of Monday morning.

Northwell Health continued its vaccination program with the arrival of the first batch of the Moderna COVID-19 does. Arlene Ramirez, RN, was the first Northwell team member to receive the Moderna vaccine. “We shouldn’t be afraid of the vaccine,” she said. “We should all be afraid of COVID-19.” Ramirez is director of patient care for the emergency department at Long Island Jewish Valley Stream, one of the hardest-hit hospitals during the first wave. She was stricken by the virus in March, which eventually claimed her father. “Not knowing whether I was going to make it was a horrible feeling,” Ramirez said. “The gasping for air, the fevers and headaches – I don’t want to go through that again. And I don’t want to put my family through that. If the Moderna vaccine is a measure to decrease that risk, then I feel safe taking it.”

  • Suffolk County reported the following statistics on Monday:
  • 13,180 COVID-19 tests were administered
  • 1,787,301 total tests have been administered since March
  • 978 new unique cases were reported
  • 83,112 total cases have been reported since March
  • 4.7% of those tested since March have been confirmed positive for COVID-19
  • 6.8% tested positive on Long Island yesterday; 6.4% positive on a 7-day average
  • 7.4% tested positive in Suffolk County yesterday; 7.1% positive on a 7-day average
  • Suffolk County Map of COVID-19 Cases: Click link and then on “COVID-19 Case Tracker”

The governor also announced the Vaccine Equity Task Force, chaired by Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, Attorney General Letitia James, National Urban League President & CEO Marc Morial, and Healthfirst President and CEO Pat Wang. The group will work to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine across the state.

Task Force members include:

  • Frederick Shack, CEO, Urban Pathways, Inc.
  • Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, President, SUNY Albany
  • Murad Awawdeh, Interim Co-Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition
  • Dr. Henry Chen, President, SOMOS Community Care
  • Phyllis Jackson, Founder and Executive Director, Interdenominational Health Ministry Coalition; Community Wellness Project Manager; Common Ground Health
  • Guillermo Chacón, President, Latino Commission on AIDS and Founder, Hispanic Health Network
  • George Gresham, President, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
  • Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Special Advisor for Policy and Community Affairs, NYS Homes and Community Renewal
  • Frankie Miranda, President and CEO, Hispanic Federation
  • Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts, Pastor, Abyssinian Baptist Church
  • Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director, Asian American Federation
  • Dr. Hazel Dukes, President, NAACP New York State Conference
  • Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Senior Pastor, Grace Baptist Church
  • Judith Watson, CEO, Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center
  • Dr. Rosa Gil, Founder, President and CEO, Comunilife, Inc.
  • Dr. Wayne Riley, President, SUNY Downstate Medical Center; Chair, Board of Trustees, New York Academy of Medicine
  • Danny Barber, Chair, NYCHA Citywide Council of Presidents; President, Jackson Houses Tenant Association
  • Kyle Bragg, President, 32BJ SEIU
  • Karim Camara, Executive Director and Deputy Commissioner, Governor’s Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services
  • Rev. Mark E. Blue, President, Buffalo Chapter NAACP

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