Letter to Hospitals from Dept. Of Health Commissioner

Today New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker published a letter to all hospital administrators in the State to shift to crisis management mode. By entering into the crisis management mode, hospitals must balance patient load within their system. If they are an independent hospital, they must form a local partnership with neighboring hospitals to enable local patient load balancing. In addition, hospitals must be prepared to reach 15% staffed bed capacity growth within 72 hours in the event of a rapid jump in COVID hospitalizations. 

Vaccine Administration Plan Highlighted 

Today Governor Cuomo gave a more in-depth view of the State’s plans for the upcoming Vaccine Administration Plan. He also announced the State’s new website (www.NY.gov/vaccine) that will report on its vaccination progress as well as identified New York’s three main vaccine priorities:

  1. Public education to battle against skepticism
  2. Outreach to Black, Brown and poor communities – basic social justice
  3. Expedited distribution and administration of the program that started this week

Current New York State vaccine counts:

  • Vaccine doses received by NYS yesterday à  77,025
  • Total doses the State has received so far à 87,750
  • Total doses administered in the State at this time àAround 4,000

Once approved, the planned 346,000 allocated doses from Moderna should begin arriving in New York by December 21st. In addition, the State expects to receive the second half of its first shipment of doses from Pfizer – an additional 80,000 doses – in the next few days.

The State will operate the vaccine distribution in two phases:

Phase I – The current phase, will work to vaccinate priority health care workers, nursing home and congregate care residents and workers.

Phase II – Essential workers and the priority general public. Priority general public is defined as someone with an underlying health issue. The anticipated start date for Phase II is late January but this will be predicated by vaccine supplies.

This will be handled by establishing Regional Vaccination Hubs, led by local hospital systems. The hospital systems will develop a plan in coordination with community leaders for a regional vaccination network. This will begin once the State has the doses to begin Phase II.

Additionally, again on a regional level, each Regional Vaccine Hub Coordinator will create a plan pursuant to State guidelines for Phase II. These plans must be submitted the first week of January and will be reviewed by the Department of Health for approval.

The Regional Vaccination Hub Coordinators are as follows:

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

The statewide positivity rate yesterday was 6.21% with 6,097 hospitalizations, an increase of 115 people over the previous day. There were 95 COVID-19 deaths in New York State yesterday.