The Federal Emergency Management Agency has paid New York City $4 billion in COVID relief funds after a push from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
The cash covers spending for personal protective equipment and to run testing, vaccination and emergency operation centers in the five boroughs, Schumer said Thursday.
“This win is important because New York City remains on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means these federal funds are more critical than ever to combat the latest variant,” Schumer said.
The reimbursement comes before the end of the city’s fiscal year, beating a crucial deadline for officials to plan for future fights against the virulent BA.5 subvariant and other strains of the deadly virus.
“This massive federal reimbursement will enable New York City to keep testing and vaccination sites going, purchase supplies as needed, and fulfill other emergency operations that will help maintain our public health,” Schumer said.
The city scored the cash after Schumer wrote to FEMA Director Deanne Criswell asking for her to expedite the release of the funds before the end of July.
The money comes as the city grapples with a new surge of COVID cases powered by BA.5, which is said to be the most contagious strain of COVID seen so far.
The statewide hospitalization rate is currently around 12 per 100,000 and New York recorded another 22 COVID deaths on Tuesday, according to health officials.
The current infection rate throughout the state is around 37 per 100,000 over a seven-day average, relatively low when compared to the 381 per 100,000 recorded at the height of the omicron surge earlier this year.
New York City, meanwhile, is again leading the state in infections, reporting an average of 52 cases per 100,000 over the past week.