I hope you are all well and staying safe. I want to bring your attention to important new information about the COVID-19 Omicron variant, and reaffirm the importance for every member of our community to be protected and vaccinated at this time.
The Omicron variant is the latest strain of the COVID-19 to be designated a "variant of concern" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases of the Omicron variant have been reported around the world, and experts are still determining the transmission rates and severity of this variant compared to other COVID-19 strains.
As of December 2nd, five cases of the Omicron variant were confirmed in the New York City metropolitan area, with one case discovered in Suffolk County and four in New York City. While this is news of concern, experts recommend that the best way to continue to protect yourselves and your loved ones against COVID-19 is to get your booster dose, get vaccinated, and continue to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.
New York has approved booster shots for all adults in the state, and I strongly encourage everyone to get their booster dose if they have not already done so. Clinics with vaccines can be found through this vaccine finder tool. While walk-up vaccines are available at City-operated vaccination sites, appointments can still be made by using vaccinefinder.nyc.gov. Westchester residents can find state-run vaccination sites here.
Additionally, New York City offers in-home vaccinations to all New Yorkers age 12+. These may be requested through nyc.gov/homevaccine or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC. NYC Mobile Vaccine Buses are still providing vaccines throughout the Bronx, and the full schedule of mobile vaccine locations can be found online here. Walk-ups are welcome and you can also book in advance through the Vax4NYC website.
Getting our communities vaccinated is the best and only way to protect our loved ones from the Omicron variant, and I urge us all to stay diligent on how to best prevent COVID-19 spread.Please continue to use your discretion so that we can all do our part to protect our communities this winter.
I would also like to wish our Jewish neighbors a happy Hanukkah, which started last Sunday evening and concludes Monday evening. I hope everyone has a joyful holiday!
State Senator Alessandra Biaggi