With Covid-19 Cases Rising Again, Cuomo Makes Local Vaccine Push

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Long Island’s positive Covid-19 cases have been steadily rising once more as vaccination rates slow and the Delta variant of the virus spreads.

The Long Island region, which includes Nassau and Suffolk combined, has the second-highest Covid-19 positivity rate of all regions in the state on a seven-day average at 2.27 percent, according to the latest data from New York State.

“New York is fighting Covid-19 across the state and more shots are going in arms every single day, but we need to kick our vaccination efforts into overdrive if we’re going to beat this virus for good,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “That’s why we’re reinforcing our efforts on underserved communities with lower vaccination rates as variants spread in our state. For everyone who hasn’t yet taken the shot, sites are open across the state and the vaccine is safe, free and effective, so I urge you to take it right away.”

Cuomo held a news conference on Monday and announced that about 75 percent of adult New Yorkers have had at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, and that the state is now focused on getting the remaining 25 percent, or 3.5 million people, vaccinated. He said that this, compounded with the more transmissible Delta variant, is causing more spread of the virus. 

On June 26, there were 346 new cases, whereas a month later, on July 26, there were 1,982 new cases in New York, with 72 percent of those cases linked to the Delta variant and .15 percent of New Yorkers who got the vaccine becoming infected.

“What we’re looking at is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Cuomo said. “A pandemic of the population that still refuse to get the vaccine.”

The state will target specific zip codes — 117 statewide, to be exact — that have above-average new positive Covid-19 cases per capita and below-average vaccination rates. Eighteen percent of those zip codes are located on Long Island, a total of 21 zip codes, including in Elmont, Baldwin, Amityville, Wyandanch, Sayville, Melville, Yaphank, Center Moriches, and Riverhead.

Cuomo announced $15 million in funding statewide to try boosting vaccination rates in these areas. The money will go toward local organizations that will initiate conversations with people who are still unvaccinated in the community. The following organizations will receive the funding:

  • $5.5 million to Hispanic Federation
  • $5.5 million Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
  • $1 million to New York Immigration Coalition
  • $1 million to Asian American Federation
  • $1 million to Charles B. Wang Community Center
  • $1 million to APICHA Community Health Center

For more coronavirus coverage, visit longislandpress.com/coronavirus.

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