News in New York – State of Emergency, Boosters, and ULURP Timeline
September 12, 2022
September 12, 2022
Last Friday, Governor Kathy Hochul declared a State Disaster Emergency in an effort to ramp up polio vaccinations in response to evidence of that the virus is spreading across the state. The New York State Department of Health has found poliovirus in wastewater samples collected in four counties surrounding NYC, including Rockland, Orange, Sullivan and Nassau, as well as the city itself. The declaration will allow the state to more swiftly vaccinate the public by extending the pool of eligible individuals who can administer polio vaccines, including EMS workers, midwives, and pharmacists. Further, it will require health care providers to upload vaccination data to the Department of Health’s immunization database. The Governor recommends that all New Yorkers who are unvaccinated get immunized right away, and health care workers and people who might be exposed to wastewater due to their job should consider getting a booster.
Last Wednesday, Governor Hochul announced eligibility for new COVID-19 vaccine booster doses designed for the omicron subvariants. The Governor announced that New Yorkers who are 18 and older who received their primary vaccine shots or their most recent booster shots at least two months ago are eligible for the new Moderna booster, and those who are 12 and older the new Pfizer booster. This updated eligibility follows the CDC’s recommendation on these bivalent boosters, which provide protection against the original strain of COVID-19 and the newer omicron variants of the virus. In addition, Hochul announced that masking will now be optional in settings where previously mandated, including public transportation, for-hire vehicles, airports, homeless shelters, and correctional facilities. However, masks will still be required at health care facilities.
Last week, the Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) released a report detailed that New York City’s land use approval process took on average 2.5 years for applicants to obtain final approvals. They find that this is two to three times as long as the process in cities with similar requirements like Boston and Los Angeles, and only behind development-averse San Francisco. CBC argues that making necessary zoning changes “has become increasingly difficult” due to a lengthy and unpredictable process, making it more expensive to build and ultimately slowing down growth.
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