New Yorkers in Phase 1a & 1b ARE NOW eligible, those groups include the following:

  • Age 65 and older

  • A patient in a Nursing home regulated by the NYS Department of Health (DOH).

  • Residential program or hospital certified or operated by the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), or Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS).

  • First Responder or Support Staff for First Responder Agency (Fire, Police, Corrections, Public Safety, etc.)

  • P-12 school or school district faculty or staff (includes all teachers, substitute teachers, student teachers, school administrators, paraprofessional staff, and support staff including bus drivers)

  • In-person college faculty and instructors

  • Employees or Support Staff of licensed, registered, approved or legally exempt group Childcare Setting

  • Licensed, registered, approved or legally exempt group Childcare Provider

  • Public Transit Employees (bus, rail, airline, ferry, etc.)

  • Public-facing grocery store workers

  • Individual living in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared with individuals and families who are not part of your household

  • Individual working (paid or unpaid) in a homeless shelter where sleeping, bathing or eating accommodations must be shared by individuals and families who are not part of the same household, in a position where there is potential for interaction with shelter residents

  • High-risk hospital and FQHC staff, including OMH psychiatric centers.

  • Health care or other high-risk essential staff who come into contact with residents/patients working in LTCFs and long-term, congregate settings overseen by OPWDD, OMH, OCFS, OTDA and OASAS, and residents in congregate living situations, overseen or funded by the OPWDD, OMH, OCFS, OTDA, and OASAS.

  • Certified NYS EMS provider, including but not limited to Certified First Responder, Emergency Medical Technician, Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, Emergency Medical Technician – Critical Care, Paramedic, Ambulance Emergency Vehicle Operator, or Non-Certified Ambulance Assistant.

  • County Coroner or Medical Examiner, or employer or contractor thereof who is exposed to infectious material or bodily fluids.

  • Licensed funeral director, or owner, operator, employee, or contractor of a funeral firm licensed and registered in New York State, who is exposed to infectious material or bodily fluids.

  • The staff of urgent care providers.

  • The staff who administer COVID-19 vaccines.

  • All Outpatient/Ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care, or other staff in a position in which they have direct contact with patients (i.e., intake staff).

  • All front-line, high-risk public health workers who have direct contact with patients, including those conducting COVID-19 tests, handling COVID-19 specimens, and COVID-19 vaccinations.

  • Home care workers and aides, hospice workers, personal care aides, and consumer-directed personal care workers.

  • Staff and residents of nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and adult care facilities.

For more details about the eligible groups, check here.

Find A NYC Vaccination Center Near You And Schedule Your Visit

The NYC COVID-19 Vaccination Finder is designed to facilitate the process for New Yorkers to find convenient provider locations administering COVID-19 vaccines and schedule appointments for vaccination. Prior to receiving the vaccination, you must complete the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form. This form can be completed online and you will receive a submission ID, or you can fill out the form at your vaccination site. Individuals being vaccinated must bring proof of eligibility to the vaccination site. This may include an employee ID card, a letter from an employer or affiliated organization, or a pay stub, depending on the specific priority status.

Click Here For The NYC COVID-19 Vaccination Finder

'Tis the season of giving and receiving, holiday gatherings and overindulgences. The combination can create what Dr. Philip Ettinger described as "Holiday heart syndrome" (HHS) for the first time in 1978. It's one explanation for the sudden increase in emergency room visits during the holidays due to irregular heart rhythms, and often more severe cardiac distress. "Holiday heart syndrome," also known as alcohol-induced atrial arrhythmia, is associated with heavy alcohol consumption, especially binge-drinking. While having existing heart disease makes one more vulnerable, the sudden onset of AFib often strikes perfectly healthy people with no evidence of heart issues.

The name is derived from the fact that episodes were initially observed more frequently after weekends or public holidays. Since Dr. Ettinger's first mention, 42 years have passed, and new research has brought some new awareness. "As originally described, this condition was most often seen in patients without underlying heart disease," said North Carolina cardiologist Dr. Kevin Campbell. "It is thought that AFib in holiday heart syndrome is related to the overindulgence of alcohol," Campbell said, which can short circuit the heart's electrical system, change electrolyte levels in the blood and increase the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol." Some studies have shown that alcohol can have health benefits when consumed moderately, known as the "French paradox." Even moderate amounts of alcohol consumption appear to increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, said Stanford cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. Marco Perez, who is running the Apple Watch Heart trial on atrial fibrillation. "That risk is even higher with more severe amounts of alcohol consumption," Perez said. "Once you get into the three drinks or above category, you start seeing a considerable rise in atrial fibrillation." Among its adverse cardiovascular effects, alcohol overconsumption can increase blood pressure, which is a risk factor for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. There is also a higher risk of sudden cardiac death with alcohol abuse, a risk which increases with the amount ingested, regardless of previous heart events such as myocardial infarction. Moderate alcohol consumption is considered one drink/day for women and two drinks/day for men. One can see how easy it would be to overindulge during the holidays or even over weekends during the rest of the year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of American men report binge drinking once a month; nearly a quarter do so five times a month, averaging eight drinks per binging session. "And we know people who are chronic alcohol abusers have more arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation," said cardiologist Dr. Martha Gulati, editor-in-chief of the American College of Cardiology's patient engagement initiative, called CardioSmart. "And of course if people have existing risk factors for heart disease or stroke, like obesity or high blood pressure, their risk of holiday heart goes way up," Gulati said. "I certainly tell my patients who have hypertension to be careful with alcohol because alcohol can raise your blood pressure," Gulati said. "And certainly we know hypertension is one of the risk factors that can increase your risk for atrial fibrillation." If diagnosed early and treated with alcohol cessation, the prognosis for holiday heart disease is good. The previous thinking was that complete alcohol cessation was needed to see a reversal of the disease process. Recent studies have shown that reducing consumption to less than 80 mg per day may also aid reversible cardiac changes. If left untreated, it may culminate in severe cardiomyopathy (weakening the heart muscle with resultant congestive heart failure) and ultimately death. Tips for preventing HHS are pretty straightforward: Moderation and observation. Stay hydrated, since alcohol can dehydrate us very quickly, and get plenty of exercise and sleep. Try to minimize family stress, too; consider avoiding significant family discussions until after the holidays. Most importantly, if you experience your heart racing and develop shortness of breath or lightheadedness - whether it's during the holidays or at any time during the year - make sure to see your doctor. Seek more urgent treatment if appropriate. Science still doesn't know enough about holiday heart to be sure that you won't have a more serious event, such as a stroke, so err on the side of caution. "There may be people who present with a stroke to the emergency room, and at that time, doctors are dealing with the acute stroke," Dr. Gulati continued. "And we don't have the information or good databases to say how many of those people were a classic binge drinker over the holidays. We just don't know." As with so much in life, moderation will go a long way. Have a safe, joyous, and healthy holiday season, and a very happy new year, from all of us in Suite 1401. The study: Brown KN, Yelamanchili VS, Goel A. Holiday Heart Syndrome. [Updated 2020 Aug 16]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: Holiday Heart Syndrome - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf

While wearing a face mask during a workout is not the most comfortable experience, two new studies out this month indicate that a mask won't be detrimental to your breathing during your activity. A recent University of Saskatchewan study has found that exercise performance and blood and muscle oxygen levels are not affected for healthy individuals wearing a face mask during strenuous workouts. Additionally, another new study by the University of California at San Diego looking at how face masks impact oxygen inhalation and carbon dioxide exhalation during exercise found similar results.

There have been many opponents to the use of face masks during this pandemic, who claim that coverings impair the cardiopulmonary system, making it harder to breathe. Some of those say that it will increase dyspnea, the shortness of breath one experiences during exercise. According to both of these studies' findings, while wearing a mask may be uncomfortable and even lead one to perceive dyspnea while working out, there is very little scientific evidence to support the assertion that masks significantly impair lung function.

The Saskatchewan study, published Nov. 3, 2020, in the research journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, evaluated the use of a three-layer cloth mask.

The study included 14 physically active and healthy men and women and attempted to control for the effects of diet, previous physical activity, and sleep during the 24 hours before the test. Participants did a brief warm-up on a stationary bike. The exercise test involved a gradual increase in the bike's intensity while participants maintained an instructed pedaling rate. Once they could not sustain the rate, the test was over.

"Our findings are of importance because they indicate that people can wear face masks during intense exercise with no detrimental effects on performance and minimal impact on blood and muscle oxygenation," the researchers state.

Dr. Tam continued. "This is important when fitness centers open up during COVID-19 since respiratory droplets may be propelled further with heavy breathing during vigorous exercise and because of reports of COVID-19 clusters in crowded enclosed exercise facilities."

In the San Diego study, published Nov. 16, 2020, in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, a team of American and Canadian researchers concluded that there is little empirical evidence that wearing a facemask significantly diminishes lung function, even when worn during heavy exercise. They did acknowledge that sensations of dyspnea might increase during activity, though.

"There might be a perceived greater effort with activity, but the effects of wearing a mask on the work of breathing, on gases like oxygen and CO2 in blood or other physiological parameters are small, often too small to be detected," said the study's first author Susan Hopkins, MD, PhD, professor at U.C. San Diego School of Medicine.

"There's also no evidence to support any differences by sex or age in physiological responses to exercise while wearing a facemask," added Hopkins, who specializes in exercise physiology and the study of lungs under stress.

The researchers came to their conclusions by reviewing multiple factors, such as work of breathing (the quantified energy expended to inhale and exhale), arterial blood gases, effects on muscle blood flow and fatigue, cardiac function and flow of blood to the brain and studied all known scientific literature published on the topic.

The only exception noted by the study authors may be persons with severe cardiopulmonary disease for whom any added resistance could prompt dyspnea that affects exercise capacity.

"Wearing a face mask can be uncomfortable. There can be tiny increases in breathing resistance. You may re-inhale warmer, slightly enriched CO2 air. And if you're exercising, the mask can cause your face to become hot and sweaty," Hopkins says.

In both studies, the authors concluded that a healthy person should have no problem wearing any type of face mask during variously intense activity.

Journal References:

University Of Saskatchewan Keely Shaw, Scotty Butcher, Jongbum Ko, Gordon A. Zello, Philip D. Chilibeck. Wearing of Cloth or Disposable Surgical Face Masks has no Effect on Vigorous Exercise Performance in Healthy Individuals. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2020;

University of San Diego Susan R Hopkins, Paolo B Dominelli, Christopher K Davis, Jordan A. Guenette, Andrew M Luks, Yannick Molgat-Seon, Rui Carlos Sá, A. William Sheel, Erik R Swenson, Michael K Stickland. Facemasks and the Cardiorespiratory Response to Physical Activity in Health and Disease. Annals of the American Thoracic Society, 2020;

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