The chosen ones –
Dec. 28, 2020 – Residents and staffers will be vaccinated at both the state-run and privately operated rehab centers, as well as at facilities run or licensed by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and the Office of Mental Health, according to the state Department of Health.
Emergency medical services personnel, medical examiners and coroners and some funeral workers will also get shots, a DOH spokeswoman said.
Luke Nasta, a director of the New York Association of Substance Abuse Providers, said the non-profit group had lobbied for rehab patients to receive vaccinations.
Nasta, CEO of the Camelot Family Foundation — which runs two residential treatment centers on Staten Island — said it made sense to give the shots to drug users because they were most likely “to get the disease and spread it.”
“We were overlooked initially. We got the governor’s office’s attention and Gov. Cuomo acted appropriately,” he said.
Meanwhile, the percentage of New Yorkers who tested positive for coronavirus jumped from 5.8 percent to 8.3 percent over the three-day Christmas weekend, Cuomo said.
The spike could show that a post-Thanksgiving surge in cases is gaining steam or merely be an aberration caused by fewer people getting tested because of the holiday, he said.
More certain were the COVID-19-related hospitalizations that rose to 7,559 statewide — up 376 — and the 114 fatalities blamed on the respiratory disease, which brought the state’s death toll to 29,629.