Saturday, October 16, 2021

Senator Biaggi's Week in Review: 10/11/21-10/15/21


Senator Alessandra Biaggi

Dear Community,

October 15th marks the end of Hispanic Heritage Month. To close out this month, I would like to highlight Taste & Sabor, a local Latinx-owned restaurant in District 34. Not only does Taste & Sabor, located on West 231st Street near Riverdale Avenue, serve delicious Latin and Greek food, but the restaurant has also been serving as a food distribution site for the community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

When Nikki De Leon, the owner of Taste & Sabor, realized she was receiving more restaurant deliveries than she needed, her immediate instinct was to give back. She started with putting out a sign in the front of the restaurant encouraging anyone interested in the extra boxes of fruits and vegetables to grab what they needed. Ultimately, the effort took off and De Leon noticed scores of people lining up for the extra produce boxes. 

Recognizing that there was an extreme need in the community, De Leon worked to expand Taste & Sabor’s food distribution efforts, ultimately distributing greater amounts of produce and holding the distribution two to three times a week. I commend Nikki and Taste & Sabor for their amazing efforts, and I would like to thank them for all of their work to combat food insecurity in the Bronx. 

You can learn more about Taste & Sabor’s food distribution here. I recommend that everyone visit the restaurant to try out their food as well! 

With Gratitude,

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi

Eligible constituents of Senate District 34, if you need assistance in setting up an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please fill out this form and my team will get back to you. 

On October 13th, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the statewide 7-day average COVID-19 positivity rate is 2.5%.

The application for the Excluded Workers Fund has closed. As of October 8th at 7:30pm, the Department of Labor is no longer accepting new Excluded Worker Fund applications. Due to funding constraints, there is no guarantee applications received after September 24th will be approved. Both the Governor's Office and Legislature are working in collaboration to replenish the fund and provide additional COVID-19 relief funding next year during legislative session.

As a reminder, Governor Hochul launched a $125 million fund to give landlords the financial relief they need to pay their basic bills and mortgages. The new Landlord Rental Assistance program ensures landlords whose tenants have declined to participate in tenant rental assistance programs or who vacated with arrears (unpaid rent) are able to receive help. If you are a landlord who hasn’t been able to access funding, visit to learn more and apply.

As a reminder, Governor Hochul announced an implementation of booster doses into the State's COVID-19 vaccination program for eligible New Yorkers. There are four groups of New Yorkers who are now eligible for their COVID-19 booster dose: 

  • New Yorkers who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine SHOULD receive their booster dose at least six months after their primary vaccine series IF:
    • They are 65 years and older or residents in long-term care settings.
    • They are 50 - 64 years of age with underlying medical conditions. 
  • New Yorkers who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine MAY receive their COVID-19 booster dose at least six months after their primary vaccine series IF:
    • They are 18-49 years with underlying medical conditions, based on your individual benefits and risks.
    • They are 18-64 years and are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of your occupational or institutional setting, based on your individual benefits and risks. 

On October 13th, Governor Hochul announced 21 new #VaxtoSchool pop-up vaccination sites to increase vaccination rates among school-aged New Yorkers. Click here for the full list of locations.

As a reminder, Governor Hochul announced a vaccine incentive program in partnership with all three New York professional football teams to support vaccinations among currently unvaccinated New Yorkers. Eligible New Yorkers 18 and older can enter to win prizes for the whole family from the Buffalo Bills, the New York Giants, and the New York Jets including up to four game tickets, special in-game experiences, stadium tours, signed team gear, FaceTime calls with alumni players, and more. Eligible New Yorkers who received their first vaccine dose September 9 through October 24 can enter Here. First winners were announced September 29th, Drawing Schedule Available Here.

As a reminder, Governor Hochul announced that masks are required at state-regulated child care facilities for children ages two and up, all staff and visitors. 

  • New masking requirements will also apply to congregate programs and facilities licensed, registered, operated, certified or approved by the Office of Mental Health, the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, Office of Children and Family Services and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.
  • This includes but is not limited to certified residential and day programs, inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, substance abuse programs, juvenile detention programs, juvenile residential facilities, congregate foster care programs, runaway and homeless youth, domestic violence and other shelter programs. These requirements apply regardless of vaccination status.

As a reminder, Governor Hochul has mandated that all healthcare workers in New York must be vaccinated by September 27th with no testing alternative. 

As a reminder, President Joe Biden mandated that all private employers with 100 or more workers require their workers to be vaccinated or tested weekly. He also mandated that all healthcare workers in hospitals, clinics and other facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments and all federal contractors must get vaccinated, with no opt out option. 

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