Posts Tagged ‘Coronavirus’

COVID-19 Update: CDC Says Vaccinated People Can Unmask Outdoors

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

As of April 27, 2021, CDC updated its Guiding Principles for Fully Vaccinated People, including the use of masks in outdoor settings. People are considered fully vaccinated if they are two or more weeks past their two-shot vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) or their one-shot vaccine (Johnson & Johnson).

According to the CDC: “Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues.”

Key points of the updated guidelines are:

Outdoor visits and activities pose minimal risk to fully vaccinated people themselves or to those around them.

Small, private gatherings and visits to public indoor spaces likely represent minimal risk to fully vaccinated people. Therefore, the level of precautions taken should be determined by the characteristics of the unvaccinated people present, who remain unprotected against COVID-19.

Although the risk of COVID-19 infection may be minimal to the fully vaccinated person themselves, vaccinated persons should be mindful of the very low potential risk of transmitting the virus to others if they become infected, especially if they are visiting with unvaccinated people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or visiting with unvaccinated people who have people at increased risk for severe disease in their own households.

In indoor public spaces, the vaccination status of other people or whether they are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 is likely unknown. Therefore, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear a well-fitted mask, cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands often, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance.

Fully vaccinated people should not visit or attend a gathering or visit public settings if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status of the other people at the gathering.

Fully vaccinated people should continue to follow any applicable state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.

Although the risk of COVID-19 infection among fully vaccinated people is likely low, the following could increase risk:

  • A moderate, substantial, or high level of community transmission
  • Settings with a higher percentage of unvaccinated people (including children) present or people at risk of severe COVID-19 disease
  • Visits to indoor settings especially with poor ventilation
  • The length of the visit, especially if indoors
  • Crowding or when there is a decreased ability to maintain physical distance
  • Activities that involve behaviors such as singing, shouting, physical exertion or heavy breathing, inability to wear a mask, or inability to maintain physical distancing

We will provide more information as it becomes available. For specific questions regarding your health and vaccine safety, please contact your health care provider (and if you need one of those, talk to us, or give Cornerstone Family Healthcare a call). Plus, get more COVID-19 info here.

Quarantine for Domestic Travel Dropped As of April 1

Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo decreed that domestic travelers will no longer be required to quarantine after entering New York from another U.S. State or U.S. Territory starting April 1st. While no longer required, the NYS Department of Health still recommends quarantine after domestic travel as an added precaution. Mandatory quarantine remains in effect for international travelers. All travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Individuals should continue strict adherence to all safety guidelines to stop the spread – wearing masks, socially distancing and avoiding gatherings.

Read the full press statement here.

The Latest COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility

Wednesday, March 24th, 2021

March 23, 2021 – As of Tuesday, March 23rd, all people aged 50 and above are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines.

Read more about the vaccines, eligibility and other COVID-19 news on Cornerstone’s website, or visit the New York State official website.

Updates to NYS Quarantine Guidelines

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

SUMMARY

This document provides updated guidance on quarantine for community persons exposed to COVID-19, and how to factor in a person’s vaccination status. This guidance does not apply to vaccinated inpatients and residents in health care settings.
•This guidance aligns the requirements for release from quarantine with the February 10, 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.

QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS EXPOSED TO COVID-1

Consistent with recent CDC guidance, asymptomatic individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to quarantine during the first 3 months after full vaccination, if the following criteria are met:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-doseseries, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine); AND
  • Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series; AND
  • Have remained asymptomatic since last COVID-19 exposure.


Individuals who do not meet all 3 of the above criteria and who have been exposed to someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are required to quarantine for 14 days after exposure, or ten days if they meet the criteria for a reduced quarantine. Consistent with previous CDC guidance, there is no testing requirement to end the quarantine if no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period. However, a test should be sought immediately if any symptoms develop during the fourteen days after exposure.

Consistent with CDC guidance from February 13, 2021, asymptomatic individuals who have previously been diagnosed with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 and have since recovered, are not required to retest and quarantine within3 months after the date of symptom onset from the initial SARS-CoV-2 infection or date of first positive diagnostic test if asymptomatic during illness.

While COVID-19 vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy at preventing severe and symptomatic COVID-19, there is currently limited information on how much the vaccines might reduce transmission, how long protection lasts, and the efficacy of vaccines against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. Additionally, some individuals who were previously infected with COVID-19 have been reinfected at a later time. Therefore, regardless of quarantine status, all individuals exposed to COVID-19 must:

  • Continue daily symptom monitoring 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);
  • Immediately self-isolate if any symptoms develop and contact the local public health authority or their health care provider to report this change in clinical status and determine if they should seek testing.

TRAVEL AND QUARANTINE

Domestic travelers arriving in New York from non-contiguous US states and territories who are not essential workers and/or who did not complete the testing requirements described in Executive Order 205.2 must quarantine. Asymptomatic domestic travelers to New York can be exempted from quarantine if meet the criteria described previously in this document.

International travelers arriving in New York must comply with all CDC requirements for testing and quarantined after international travel. This requirement applies to all international travelers whether they were tested before boarding, are recovered from a previous COVID infection, or are fully vaccinated.

Consult the latest NYS travel advisory for more information. Guidance on how to quarantine can be found here.

LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS AND QUARANTINE ORDERS

Local Health Departments (LHDs) will continue to identify individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Contact tracing interviews will now include questions about vaccination status and dates. Contact tracers may validate reports of vaccination status in NYSIIS or CIR, the statewide immunization registry, during the interview. Individuals who meet the vaccination criteria listed above do not need to quarantine. Information about the criteria for quarantine exemptions due to immunization status will be included in local quarantine orders from this point forward.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
This guidance applies only to asymptomatic individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 and who have not tested positive as a result of a recent exposure. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate. Information on the criteria and duration for isolation can be found here.

NYS: Quarantine for Domestic Travel Will No Longer Be Required Starting 4/1/21

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

While No Longer Required, Quarantine After Domestic Travel is Still Advised as Added Precaution

Mandatory Quarantine Remains in Effect for International Travelers

All Travelers Covered Must Continue to Fill Out Traveler Health Form Upon Arrival Into New York State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that domestic travelers will no longer be required to quarantine after entering New York from another U.S. State or U.S. Territory starting April 1st. While no longer required, the NYS Department of Health still recommends quarantine after domestic travel as an added precaution. Mandatory quarantine remains in effect for international travelers. All travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Individuals should continue strict adherence to all safety guidelines to stop the spread – wearing masks, socially distancing and avoiding gatherings.

“New Yorkers have shown strength and perseverance throughout this entire pandemic, and it shows through the numbers that continue to decrease every day,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we work to build our vaccination infrastructure even further and get more shots in arms, we’re making significant progress in winning the footrace between the infection rate and the vaccination rate, allowing us to open new sectors of our economy and start our transition to a new normal in a post-pandemic world. As part of that transition, quarantine for domestic travelers is no longer required, but it is still being advised as an added precaution. This is great news, but it is not an all-clear for New Yorkers to let their guard down. To beat this virus once and for all we all must continue doing what we know works to stop the spread, including wearing masks, washing our hands and practicing social distancing.”

Regardless of quarantine status, all individuals exposed to COVID-19 or returning from travel must:

  • Continue daily symptom monitoring 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);
  • 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.

POZ at Home – Coping With COVID-19 and HIV – Webinar

Monday, June 1st, 2020

POZ at Home – Coping With COVID-19 and HIV

Guests: Mark S. King, Venita Ray and Charles Sanchez

Hosted by Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr.

Webinar Registration for POZ at Home: Coping With COVID-19 and HIV

Friday, May 29th, 2020

On Monday, June 1, 2020 at 7:00 pm EST, POZ Magazine is hosting a webinar entitled “POZ at Home – Coping With COVID-19 and HIV.” This webinar is free. Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_WckQRhb3QiOudAY1IoJWJg

This event is being produced by POZ At Home.

Speakers

Mark S. King
Award-winning blogger, author, speaker and HIV/AIDS advocate
Mark S. King is an award-winning blogger, author, speaker and HIV/AIDS advocate who has been involved in HIV causes since testing positive in 1985. His blog, My Fabulous Disease, has been nominated for five consecutive GLAAD Media Awards (2015-2020) and was awarded the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association’s “Excellence in Blogging” honor in 2014 and 2016.

Venita Ray
Deputy Director @PWN-USA
Venita Ray is the deputy director of PWN-USA. She previously served on the organization’s Board of Directors and has more than 20 years of experience working in underserved communities on social justice issues including affordable housing, environmental justice, health care and HIV.

Charles Sanchez
HIV+ Writer, Performer, Director and Activist
Charles Sanchez is a gay, HIV+ writer, performer, director and activist living in New York City. He is one of the co-founders of Skipping Boyz Productions, and conceived, writes and stars in the musical comedy web series, Merce, which was named Best HIV/AIDS Content at America’s Rainbow Film Festival in 2016 and won the Audience Award for Short Film at the 2017 Kaleidoscope Film Festival.

Dutchess Co Regional Chamber of Commerce Donates Face Masks

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

Complimentary reusable cloth face coverings were made available to essential businesses and nonprofit organizations located in Dutchess County by the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce. We arranged a pickup on May 15.

Thanks again for this donation of critical personal protective equipment!

Donated masks and hand sanitizer DCRCOC members distributing face masks to essential businesses

Emergency HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) Info

Monday, April 27th, 2020

The HEAP program is extended until June 30, 2020 and there is a 3rd Emergency HEAP benefit available to those who qualify.

“We especially want to reach people who are newly out of work and may not be aware of the HEAP program at all.  The Regular HEAP income eligibility is based on gross income received by a household in the past 30 days.  Remember that you do not have to be facing shutoff to receive a Regular HEAP benefit.  Even with unemployment you could still be eligible for the Regular HEAP benefit.  And anyone receiving Regular HEAP will get Low Income HEAP credits from Orange & Rockland for the next 12 months.  This will continue to help you even when you are back to work and trying to catch up with other bills.

Clients can apply for Regular HEAP online at www.MyBenefits.ny.gov. Clients can fax information to us at 845-364-3130 or email RocklandHEAP@dfa.state.ny.us.  They can leave a voicemail message at 845-364-3480 if you have any questions.

Many are not aware of the HEAP program because they have not faced a situation like this before.  Please help us reach out in whatever way you can.

Any client looking to apply for an Emergency HEAP benefit can fax or email their termination notice to us.  They must include a daytime phone number (that will accept calls from a restricted line) and their case number.  Our department is mostly working from home but we have access to our computers and are processing cases.  Our voicemail boxes are checked several times a day and we are calling everyone back as soon as possible.  Please note: whenever leaving a phone number be sure the number will accept calls from a restricted line.  We are working from home so the return call may show up as a restricted number.”

–Rockland County HEAP, Department of Social Services

 

“Face Mask Friends” Group Donates Homemade Masks

Monday, April 27th, 2020

donated cloth face masksSpecial thanks to Christina Paliotta-Southwell, a Prevention Specialist in our Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) for her hard work last week looking for cloth face mask donations for our SEP clients. Christina was able to collect 165 Face Mask donations from “Face Mask Friends,” a Facebook group in the Mid-Hudson Region. Her hard work does not end there. Christina has decided to continue looking for additional face masks donations and has even contacted her local Councilman for assistance. We are so proud of her hard work and dedication to our SEP clients during a time where many of our clients are not able to afford these essential items during the COVID-19 crisis.