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Urgent News/Direction

NYS Vaccine Guidance for Hospitals Discharging to Long-Term Care Facilities - 4/5/21

Updated NYS Travel Guidance - 4/2/21

COVID-19 Travel Advisory | Department of Health (ny.gov)


The travel guidelines require all New Yorkers, as well as those visiting from out-of-state or another country, to take personal responsibility for compliance in the best interest of public health and safety.

Asymptomatic travelers entering New York from another U.S. state or territory are no longer required to test or quarantine as of April 1, 2021. Quarantine, consistent with the CDC recommendations for international travel, is still recommended for domestic travelers who are not fully vaccinated or have not recovered from laboratory confirmed COVID-19 during the previous 3 months. Symptomatic travelers must immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare providers to determine if they should seek COVID-19 testing.

All travelers entering New York from a state that is not a contiguous state who have been outside of New York for more than 24 hours must complete the Traveler Health Form. Contiguous states to New York are Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.

Irrespective of quarantine, all travelers must:

  • Monitor symptoms daily from day of arrival in New York through day 14;
  • Continue strict adherence to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene and the use of face coverings, through Day 14 (even if fully vaccinated); and
  • Must immediately self-isolate if any symptoms develop and contact the local public health authority or their healthcare provider to report this change in clinical status and determine if they should seek testing.

Travelers from Canada, crossing at land borders subject to the agreement between the governments of the United States and Canada, are permitted to travel in accordance with said federal agreement and need not quarantine solely due to such federally authorized travel. Travelers flying between the US and Canada must follow the CDC guidance for international travel.

International Travelers

International travelers arriving in New York must comply with all current CDC requirements for testing and quarantined after international travel.  All travelers must complete the NYS traveler health form.

Upon arrival in the U.S., international travelers must either quarantine for 7 days with a test 3-5 days after travel, or quarantine for the full 10 days without a test.  This requirement applies to all international travelers whether they were tested before boarding, are recovered from a previous COVID-19 infection, or are fully vaccinated. Guidance on how to quarantine can be found here.

Upon arrival in the U.S., travelers must fill out the NYS Department of Health traveler health form to further prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For general inquires contact the call the Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 or Ask a Question.

To file a report of an individual failing to adhere to the quarantine pursuant to the travel guidelines click here or call 1-833-789-0470.

Individuals may also contact their local department of health.

Guidance for Facilities Receiving Vaccine - 3/22/21

Updated NYS Re-distribution Guidance for Local Health Departments - 3/22/21

Do’s and don’ts for talking with patients about coronavirus vaccines - 3/15/21

(AMA) To build COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, it is vital that physicians and health systems communicate effectively. This means using the right words, the right messengers and the right methods to reach diverse audiences. Findings from a national poll help inform physicians and others on the do’s and don’ts of communicating about COVID-19 vaccines.

Click here to read "Do’s and don’ts for talking with patients about coronavirus vaccines" from the American Medical Association (AMA)

NYS guidance for facilities receiving vaccine - 3/10/21

Face coverings opportunity for faith-based and community-based partners - 3/2/21

The following message was released by the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention: 
Dear Faith-Based and Community Partners; 
As the response to COVID-19 remains a top priority for us all, we wanted to make you aware of an initiative to increase face mask availability in communities. This opportunity for free face coverings is being offered to faith and community-based partners by the HHS Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA)office in collaboration with Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR), and in partnership with USPS and the National Council of Textile Organizations. 
To this end we are reaching out to our faith-based and community-based partners to determine your interest in placing an order. 
The face mask details are as follows: 
·       Face masks are 100% Cotton Jersey, bind around face and ear loops, and are treated with a 0.5% OWG Agion AMB-10 Antimicrobial (which is thought to remain on the face mask for up to 15 washings). 
·       They do not replace the N95 face mask used in healthcare settings and should not be used when caring for those with COVID-19. They are intended to expand the community’s capacity to limit the spread of COVID-19. 
·       The face masks come in cartons of 500 masks per carton. A palette contains 45 cartons (22,500 masks).   
·       It may take between 30 to 45 days to receive the face coverings from date of order.  
·       These face masks will be shipped directly to your organization at no cost. Please note that no tracking number or shipping alerts will be provided - so they will be delivered as instructed without notice.  
If your organization would like to participate, please fill out this attached order form and submit to HHSreg2@hhs.gov.
Should you/they have questions about your order after 30 days, email facecoverhhsaspr@hhs.gov and make a direct inquiry.  

Cuomo: 1 million vaccinated in NYS with second dose - 2/15/21

National Governors Association letter to President Biden - 2/15/21

Several Updates from New York State - 2/5/21

OPWDD Extra Dose Clarification from the Governor's Office:

OPWDD allocation is not under the 7-day use it or lose it policy;

·         If Local Health Departments are seeking to re-purpose OPWDD allocations for 1B, you have to document that they have outreached entirely within your county to the OPWDD population and then submit a proposal to DOH and The Hub that outlines how you intend to use the excess doses.

·         Same is true for moving to 65+ population

Homeless Shelters - Is this population a current Priority Group?:

Guidance from NYSACHO:

NYSACHO was able to bring your question on whether all homeless shelters are included for vaccine eligibility or if they are specifically defined to Lora last night. Lora indicate that yes, under OTDA all congregate settings are eligible – any homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared with individuals and families from different households. Suggestion is to reach out to your local DSS for locations.

Information from Moderna on transportation of vaccine and subsequent storage requirements.

 Thank you for your request. In response to your unsolicited inquiry: “Subject: Vaccine transport temperature excursion”

Per the Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers and Full Prescribing Information, thawed vials may be stored under refrigeration between 36 to 46°F for up to 30 days prior to first use or date of expiry, whichever occurs first. Thawed vials should not be refrozen. 

o Moderna does not endorse intentional vaccine storage in any manner that is inconsistent with the Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers and Full Prescribing Information, which has been attached for your reference.

o Clinical judgment should be exercised when deciding to administer vaccine that has incurred excursion conditions.

o The following in-house stability information is relevant to your inquiry:


·          If the product was between -2°C to < 8°C (28°F to < 46°F) for up to 30 days, (If vials can be visually observed and are visually confirmed frozen), return to -25°C to -15°C (-13°F to 5°F) storage. Use product within published expiry

·         If the product was between -2°C to < 8°C (28°F to < 46°F) for up to 30 days, (If vials cannot be visually observed and excursion is less than 180 minutes), Return to -25°C to -15°C (-13°F to 5°F) storage. Use product within published expiry

The above information is being provided in response to your unsolicited inquiry and is intended for educational purposes only. It should not be altered, duplicated, or further disseminated.


1. Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Vaccination Providers): Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). ModernaTx, Inc. 2020. https://www.modernatx.com/covid19vaccine-eua/eua-fact-sheet-providers.pdf. 

2. Data on file, ModernaTx, Inc., 2020.

Governor Update 2/5 - List of Comorbidities and Underlying Conditions Eligibility - Today's press conference, the Governor  announced that hospitals will have 1 more week to finish up hospitals workers / 1A then the state is going to reallocate majority of 1a hospital worker allocation to Local Health Departments to vaccinate populations with comorbidities beginning 2/15.

The Governor said "local health departments should prepare" and that he is working with CDC to establish the comorbidities list. 


Cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease, Pulmonary Disease, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Heart Conditions, Immunocompromised State, Severe Obesity, Pregnancy, Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassemia, Type 1 or 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Cerebrovascular Disease, Neurologic Conditions and Liver Disease Will Be Eligible

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today released the list of comorbidities and underlying conditions that New York State will use to determine eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine. New Yorkers who have one of the comorbidities on the list will be eligible for the vaccine beginning February 15. 

"New Yorkers with comorbidities and underlying conditions exist throughout the state's population—they're our teachers, lawyers and carpenters, in addition to the doctors who keep us safe every day, and they are a highly affected population," Governor Cuomo said. "We're committed to vaccinating vulnerable populations that have suffered the most as we distribute a strictly limited supply of vaccines, and people with comorbidities are 94 percent of the state's COVID deaths. That's why we'll open eligibility to people with comorbidities starting February 15 and give hospitals the ability to use extra doses they have to address that population. Local governments have a week to prepare for the new change—they need to get ready now."

The full list of comorbidities and underlying conditions is available below. The list is subject to change as additional scientific evidence is published and as New York State obtains and analyzes additional state-specific data.

Adults of any age with the following conditions due to increased risk of moderate or severe illness or death from the virus that causes COVID-19:


·         Cancer (current or in remission, including 9/11-related cancers)

·         Chronic kidney disease

·         Pulmonary Disease, including but not limited to, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and 9/11 related pulmonary diseases

·         Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities including Down Syndrome

·         Heart conditions, including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, or hypertension (high blood pressure)

·         Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) including but not limited to solid organ transplant or from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, use of other immune weakening medicines, or other causes

·         Severe Obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2), Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)

·         Pregnancy

·         Sickle cell disease or Thalassemia

·         Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus

·         Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)

·         Neurologic conditions including but not limited to Alzheimer's Disease or dementia

·         Liver disease


Governor Update 2/5:



 As of 11AM today, New York's Health Care Distribution Sites Have Administered 99% of Week 1-7 Allocation and 93% of the Total First Doses Received from Federal Government; Week 8 Allocation Has Begun Arriving  

New Statewide Data Reveals Lower Vaccine Acceptance Rates Among Eligible Black and Latino New Yorkers; ABNY Poll Confirms Hesitancy

 Vaccine Dashboard Will Update Daily to Provide Updates on the State's Vaccine Program; Go to ny.gov/vaccinetracker


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today updated New Yorkers on the state's vaccination program. As of 11AM today, New York's health care distribution sites have received 1,661,290 first doses and already administered 93 percent or 1,539,355 first dose vaccinations and 80 percent of first and second doses. The week 8 allocation from the federal government continues being delivered to providers for administration this week. New York State health care distribution sites have administered 99% of the full week 1-7 allocation which has been fully delivered to NYS and providers are beginning to administer Week 8 allocations as they arrive.

"From the beginning of the vaccination effort, we have made it clear - our goal is to get shot in arms as quickly and equitably as possible and that's exactly what we are doing," Governor Cuomo said. "While the data shows New York is administering the vaccine at an extremely high rate, the most concerning issue at this point is that there continues to be a reluctance in much of the Black community to take the vaccine. We expected it. We talked about it early on. We are addressing it, but it still exists. Yes, there are bonafide reasons for distrust in the system, but it's not true with this vaccine. The hesitancy must be directly addressed with facts and validation. From partnering with community leaders to help dispel rumors and myths, to establishing vaccination sites directly in underserved communities, like we did with Yankee Stadium, we're doing more in New York than any state in this regard, and we are doubling down on those efforts. In order to finally win this war against COVID, everyone needs to be on board, and we will continue to do everything we can to make that happen."

Additionally, the Governor released new statewide demographic data on the vaccine acceptance rate across eligible populations. A breakdown of the data is as follows:


1A - Hospital Workers

1B - Essential Workers

1B - 65+ Population

63% of vaccine recipients were white (70% of eligible population)

74% of vaccine recipients were white (75% of eligible population)

78% of vaccine recipients were white 77% of eligible population)

10% of vaccine recipients were African American (17% of eligible population)

5% of vaccine recipients were African American (17% of eligible population)

4% of vaccine recipients were African American (13% of eligible population)

10% of vaccine recipients were Hispanic or Latino (9% of eligible population)

10% of vaccine recipients were Hispanic or Latino (14% of eligible population)

5% of vaccine recipients were Hispanic or Latino (12 % of eligible population)

16% of vaccine recipients were Asian (12% of eligible population)

7% of vaccine recipients were Asian (6% of eligible population)

8% of vaccine recipients were Asian (7% of eligible population)

A recent poll conducted by the Association for a Better New York confirms similar trends with increased hesitancy about the vaccine among Black, Hispanic and Asian New Yorkers. The poll found: 78 percent of white New Yorkers would take the vaccine as soon as it was available to them compared 39 percent of Black New Yorkers, 54 percent of Hispanic New Yorkers and 54 percent of Asian New Yorkers who said the same.

Approximately 7 million New Yorkers are currently eligible to receive the vaccine. The federal government has increased the weekly supply by more than 20 percent over the next three weeks, but New York's vast distribution network and large population of eligible individuals still far exceed the supply coming from the federal government. Due to limited supply, New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment.

The state's Vaccine Dashboard includes a county-by-county breakdown for vaccinations administered through the Long Term Care Facility program and vaccine administration progress for hospital workers. Vaccination program numbers below are for doses distributed and delivered to New York for the state's vaccination program, and do not include those reserved for the federal government's Long Term Care Facility program. A breakdown of the data based on numbers reported to New York State as of 11:00 AM today is as follows. The allocation totals below include 33 percent of the week 8 allocation which will finish being distributed to New York provider sites on Sunday.


·         First Doses Received - 1,661,290

·         First Doses Administered - 1,539,355; 93%

·         Second Doses Received - 794,650

·         Second Doses Administered - 413,512



Total Doses Received

(1st and 2nd)

Total Doses Administered

(1st and 2nd)

% of Total Doses Administered/Received

(1st and 2nd)

Capital Region




Central New York




Finger Lakes




Long Island








Mohawk Valley




New York City




North Country




Southern Tier




Western New York











1st doses fully delivered to New York for Healthcare Distribution Sites

2nd doses fully delivered to New York for Healthcare Distribution Sites




Week 1

Doses arriving 12/14 - 12/20









Week 2
Doses arriving 12/21 - 12/27











Week 3

Doses arriving 12/28 - 01/03










Week 4

Doses arriving 01/04 - 01/10













Week 5
Doses arriving 01/11 - 01/17












Week 6

Doses arriving
01/18- 01/24













Week 7

Doses arriving

01/25 - 01/31











Week 8

Doses arriving

02/01 - 02/07*







*These numbers represent 33 percent of the Week 8 allocation. The full Week 8 allocation is expected to arrive by the end of day Sunday, February 7.


To date, New York's health care distribution sites have administered 93 percent of week first doses received from the federal government but due to the federal government's limited allocation, appointments have filled up quickly. New Yorkers seeking to determine eligibility and schedule an appointment at a state-run mass vaccination site, can visit the 'Am I Eligible' website. New Yorkers may also call their local health department, pharmacy, doctor, or hospital for additional information and to schedule appointments where vaccines are available.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker Dashboard is available to update New Yorkers on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The New York State Department of Health requires vaccinating facilities to report all COVID-19 vaccine administration data within 24 hours; the vaccine administration data on the dashboard is updated daily to reflect the most up-to-date metrics in the state's vaccination effort.

New Yorkers who suspect fraud in the vaccine distribution process can now call 833-VAX-SCAM (833-829-7226) toll-free or email the state Department of Health at STOPVAXFRAUD@health.ny.gov. Hotline staff will route complaints to the appropriate investigative agencies to ensure New Yorkers are not being taken advantage of as the State works to vaccinate the entire eligible population

Vaccine Transport Guidance & Tracking Form - 2/1/21

Updated Redistribution Guidance - 1/23/21

COVID-19 Vaccine Weekly Planning Requests - 1/23/21

NYS guidance for facilities receiving vaccine - 1/15/21

Updates and Clarification - 1/15/21

*The definition of co-morbidities and immunocompromised is under review by DOH and will likely take some time.

*The "use it or lose it" rule is being enforced by NYS. Please continue to use allocations as soon as possible and within the 7 day window

When doses get reallocated, who receives the B dose?  The original owner of the dose, or the receiver of the reallocation?

  • B doses will go to the original entity that received them, and will therefore also need to be redistributed.

Clarification on the scheduling of vaccines issue:

  • We've guaranteed supply for only pharmacies at this point, they should continue to book in advance. We will try to create more stability for providers in the future. 

How do those who fall under the “immunocompromised” category prove, for lack of a better word, that they are so they can get their shot?

  • DOH continues to review the federal guidance on the co-morbidities list, they will make a determine sometime in the future.

Will comorbidity guidance be for all ages or over a certain age + comorbidity?

  • We expect the distinction to apply from 18 - 64 years old.

Are the following eligible in Phase 1B?

  • College security guards and public safety? No (peace officers only)|
  • School cleaners (considered contractors like bus drivers)? No to janitors, yes to bus drivers
  • Fire marshals? Peace officers only
  • Code inspectors? Peace officers only
  • County DSS/OCFS staff? Only if they are direct care in congregate settings
  • OCFS child protective workers? Yes
  • Public defenders? No

Should all providers without vaccine schedule appointments (or just 75+ sites)? Conflicting advice this week from DOH and then Larry/Gov Thursday.

  • Only pharmacies at this time.

Given the lack of vaccine supply this week, do/did we notify providers that pre-booked vaccine but are not receiving any this week?

  • No, we only notify providers that are receiving.

Should providers be specifying separately which populations they want vaccine for?

  • No.

Many providers submitted large, multi-week pre-book order many weeks ago and have been receiving vaccine w/out updating that original pre-booking. Most still haven’t gotten all the 1A vaccine they need/requested. Now that we are focusing week-to-week, are those original pre-book orders still being utilized or should everyone resubmit a pre-book every week for what they still need?

  • No, they should pre-book every week.

In the event a pre-book is not fulfilled any given week, should providers assume those requests remain standing/valid for the next week, or should they enter a new pre-book each week.

  • No, they should pre-book every week.

Is there a day of the week you want pre-booking submitted by?

  • Best practice is to be complete by COB Monday.

Is DOH now requesting or requiring Vx providers to get signed declinations from health care workers that refuse vaccine?

  • No.

Is there guidance on what to do with extra 2nd doses (b/c of appt no-shows or extra vaccine in vials)?

  • Not at this time, but DOH is reviewing the issue.

Do you have a list of providers for our areas that are receiving vaccine? 

  • Hubs should be receiving the weekly allocation list from DOH.

We heard on the 7pm call last night that the hospital is suppose to prioritize the healthcare workers.  How do they do this if they open the link anyone and everyone signs up?

  • We recommend targeting the sharing of the link with specific populations.

If an unemployed volunteer firefighter wants to volunteer to administer vaccine, will that affect his or her unemployment benefits? 

  • Please refer to DOL.

If a hospital is employing long term travel staff from outside the region on a contract basis, they find that when they put their actual address in the vaccination form they are not able to get through. Is there a workaround or should they put the address of the facility in which they work, or the hotel/temp address at which they are staying?

  • They should use the address of the facility they work in.

Is there state guidance on how to deal with empty vaccine vials? We put them in the Sharps containers which are kept locked. We’ve been aware of concerns that people will steal the vials and fill them with something else to pass them off as vaccine and sell them. 

  • Please continue to secure them, guidance is forthcoming. 

Are district attorneys and their employees covered under law enforcement personnel?

  • No.

We have nursing home admits who are now due for 2nd doses, while inpatient. I have been instructing them they should follow-up with the NH where they first were vaccinated but in the case of Rehab patients, they may not be going back to the same facility.  Likewise and based on NH mandates some of these folks could be inpatients for weeks awaiting negative covid tests before we can send them back.  What’s are obligation in these situations?

  • They should work with the hospital to get the second dose, ensuring its the same type of vaccine.