New York City and state officials are taking measures to hold vaccine appointments for a later date due to a relentless accumulation of snow across the region.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said sites operated by his administration would be pushing back all COVID-19 vaccine appointments for the coming days while the Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa issued a similar directive late on Sunday night as the nor’easter hit the five boroughs.
“We don’t want folks especially seniors, going out in unsafe conditions to get vaccinated, we know we can reschedule appointments very quickly because course we have supply, we’re going to use the supply we have,” de Blasio said Monday morning. “Our problem is lack of supply so we can take the supply we have and distribute it very quickly in the days to come and make sure everyone gets the appointments, but it’s not safe out there today.”
Vaccine shortages are now a more pressing issue for the city, the mayor is asking the federal government to implement a “war effort” to produce the doses that are currently only being produced by two companies – Pfizer and Moderna – for the entire country.
Along with this advisory about vaccination appointments, the mayor extended some orders put in place Sunday in anticipation of the heavy downfall. Schools would remain closed until Tuesday with remote learning to commence, alternate side parking would be suspended until Saturday and Open Restaurants would be canceled for Monday.
According to DSNY Commissioner Edward Grayson, city snow removal staff would be taking a slow and steady approach to digging out New Yorkers.
“Now I want to make one thing very clear, a passable roadway is not blacktop in a storm like this, it’ll be quite some time before everyone can see blacktop on their street. But make no mistake, we are out there,” Grayson said. “We are going to come on a slow, methodical approach to hit every street in the city, multiple times. I cannot stress that enough, it will take multiple passes. During this prolonged period of active snowfall. So we please ask everyone to heed the guidance and stay off the road.”
As if the snow was not only making travel difficult for motorists as de Blasio issued an executive order restricting all non-essential driving, Governor Andrew Cuomo said above ground subways service could get the ax by noon on Monday. The MTA did not respond to amNewYork with details before press time.
The possibility of service reductions on the subway was not unforeseen for the MTA, however, with Chief Customer Officer Sarah Meyer tweeting on the eve of the official start of the snowstorm the link to an abridged subway map only detailing below ground lines and stations.