Dear Neighbors and Friends,
I trust that you and your families are healthy and doing well. Since the beginning of the Pandemic, we have all felt disruption in our lives, but now is not the time to let our guard down. With the holidays around the corner and the New Year upon us, it is critical that we continue to follow guidelines issued by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), if we want to slow down the spread of COVID.
Currently, the omicron variant coupled with the delta variant is fueling a dangerous surge of coronavirus cases. The rapid spread of the omicron variant impacts the health of our friends, families and neighbors. Therefore, I strongly encourage everyone to follow the indoor mask mandate by Governor Hochul that is in place until January 15, 2022.
We can all do our part in keeping each other safe by wearing a mask in public, socially distancing whenever possible and getting vaccinated. These three easy steps can make a difference in our collective efforts to slow the spread of COVID.
COVID vaccines are widely available, and now is the best time to get vaccinated. The FDA has authorized PFIZER-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use in children 5-15 years of age and full approval to use in people ages 16 years and older. If you are uncertain about vaccination, please talk to your primary care doctor.
Booster shots have been approved for everyone 16 years and older. Teens 16 to 17 years old can receive a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine at least 6 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 primary series. A booster shot is currently not recommended for children and teens younger than 16 years old.
For those who may not be aware, The City of Newburgh offers FREE rides to and from scheduled vaccine appointments. Simply call the City’s Fire Dispatch at 845-569-7420. To take advantage of this service, you must be a City of Newburgh resident, schedule your ride least 24-hours prior to your appointment time, and ensure your vaccine site is within 30 miles from our City. Ambulette services are available.
In January 2022, 500 million rapid at-home COVID-19 tests will be made available to Americans. The U.S. government will setup a website where Americans can request tests online for free. Further details will be made available at a later time. The City is monitoring information to update our residents via the City website and Social Media.
In closing, I want to extend my gratitude to our city officials, city employees, first responders, healthcare workers, grocery store workers and business owners who show up every day, both onsite and offsite, you keep us moving in these trying times. Thank you to our Local, State and Federal partners and community organizations that have worked with me and our City government to set up vaccine clinics where thousands of city residents were locally vaccinated.
We all have been battle tested, yet we remain united and strong! Let’s continue to be the shining light for ourselves, family, friends and neighbors. Stay safe and enjoy the holidays.
Torrance R. Harvey
Mayor, City of Newburgh
Download the Mayoral Letter (PDF)