Opening day at the Stadium in the Bronx came early this year.
The mass vaccination site at Yankee Stadium is now open, providing up to 15,000 appointments for Bronx residents in an area that is grappling with the highest COVID-19 positivity rate in the five boroughs.
According to news reports, 13,000 appointments had been reserved by the time the site opened on Friday, Feb. 5.
On Monday, during a press conference in Albany, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the spread of the coronavirus in the Bronx is an ongoing concern. Positivity rates in the Bronx hovered around 7 percent last week, but dropped to 4.4 percent on Monday.
“In New York City, the highest number is the Bronx and getting higher. So, the Bronx is a problem,” Cuomo said. “We opened the Yankee Stadium mass vaccination site, but the Bronx is still a problem. The numbers — 4.4 on the seven-day average — is way down from where we started. Post-holiday surge is over. We see it in the positivity, we see it in the hospitalizations, and we respond to the data.”
This effort to open the vaccination site was coordinated with SOMOS Community Care, a network of 25,000 physicians across the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, the National Guard, New York City, and the New York Yankees.
“There are challenges in reaching the Black community and there are two challenges,” Cuomo said last Friday at the opening of the site. “One, access — can they get it? Is it accessible? And two — is [there] acceptance or [is there] hesitancy? We have to address both and we are.
“The hesitancy must be directly addressed with facts and validation and I’m speaking to leaders in the Black community, pastors, community groups. We have to get the information out.”
Yankees President Randy Levine joined Cuomo at the Stadium on Friday, along with Yankees Manager Aaron Boone and Hall-of-Fame pitcher Mariano Rivera.
“I consider this my house,” Rivera said Friday. “I used to pitch here and save games, now this is about saving lives.This is greater than baseball. We’re talking about thousands and millions of people, and I walk around people there getting the vaccine, and I see so many smiles on faces, that’s what it’s all about. Hope is the name of the game right now.”
Watch Gov. Cuomo, Yankees President Randy Levine, Manager Aaron Boone and Mariano Rivera announce the opening of the mass vaccination site at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx.
The mass vaccination campaign at Yankee Stadium will run from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. seven days a week. Appointments are required to receive vaccination and it is exclusive for Bronx residents who are qualified Phase 1a and 1b New Yorkers.
Bronxites who qualify are allowed to make their appointment by calling 1-833-SOMOSNY (766-6769), or visiting somosvaccinations.com.