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On October 14, we hosted a Town Hall with New York City’s Commissioner of Health Dr. Dave. A Chokshi. Watch the recording of the Town Hall below, or read on for our top takeaways:  

Economic Recovery Must Incorporate Public Health Practice

Lasting economic recovery is intertwined with our public health responses. We must strike a balance between reopening and acting quickly to prevent escalation of COVID where there are signs of re-emergence, as with neighborhoods currently experiencing surges. Innovative technology and partnerships can help advance these dual goals that will give us an edge in the coming months.

We Cannot Forget About “Parallel Pandemics”

COVID has illuminated the longstanding inequities that continue to plague our cities, while also exacerbating ongoing public health challenges like structural racism, food insecurity, violence, and mental health. The Health Department continues to work on addressing these parallel challenges. For mental health in particular, reducing stigma and normalizing peoples’ experiences of this traumatic moment is essential for our ability to collectively heal.

Protect Your Health With Three Simple Steps

Dr. Chokshi closed his presentation with three steps we can all follow to keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy as we head into winter.

  1. Get tested for COVID. You can now make an appointment for a free rapid COVID test, and you should get results within 24 hours. Regular testing and tracing positive cases helps the city keep COVID under control or understand when surges in cases begin to emerge.
  2. Get your flu shot. This year’s flu vaccine could be the most important you ever get, especially with COVID-19 still posing a very real threat to our city. Flu shots are available for free at multiple locations across the city.
  3. Have a plan to vote. There are many options in NYC to vote safely. Voting for candidates who advocate for and protect public health is a great way to ensure we have the support systems in place to deal with health challenges.

Finally, Dr. Chokshi urged us all to check in on and support one another. These are challenging times, but there is light ahead. If we invest in public health now, we could emerge from this pandemic a stronger, more resilient, healthier city.

If you’d like to support the Health Department’s work, consider making a year end donation to the Fund for Public Health in NYC.