May 2021

Statement from Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi on National Nurses Day

"On behalf of the Health Department, I would like to thank the nurses who have cared for New Yorkers courageously and tirelessly over the past year. From school health nurses, to emergency department and ICU nurses, to nurse practitioners and vaccinators — nurses helped save thousands of lives in the face of a global pandemic. On National Nurses Day, I hope all New Yorkers will join me in saying thank you to our nurses for keeping our communities safe and healthy!"

April 2021

Statement from Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi on the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) Vaccine

"Federal partners have recently alerted us about a small number of serious adverse events involving the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine. While these events appear to be extremely rare, out of an abundance of caution we have paused the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in New York City, effective Tuesday (4/13). Adverse events are reported nationally and the actions being taken reflect how seriously we take signals from our warning system. As someone who received the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine — and as the city’s doctor — I continue to believe in the urgency of our COVID-19 vaccination efforts for the protection of our city. We will proceed with administering the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to beat back the COVID-19 pandemic."

March 2021

Statement from NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi on Receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

Commissioner Chokshi was vaccinated today by Dr. Jane R. Zucker, who has led the Health Department’s Bureau of Immunization for the last 16 years. Dr. Zucker oversees programs and policies to increase immunization coverage of adults, adolescents and children in New York City by working with clinicians and communities.

"Today I’m feeling grateful to have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Not just for myself and my loved ones, but also because I know that every shot brings us closer to a city that is protected from COVID-19. It’s up to us to roll up our sleeves, including New Yorkers who have had COVID-19—like I did—once they’ve recovered. Some may have questions about which vaccine is best for them. My answer is simple: Whether it’s Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, or Moderna, the best vaccine is the one you can get now. I’m proud to have received the safe, effective, and lifesaving Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine. As the City’s doctor, this moment feels especially meaningful when I reflect on the tragedy of the past year—and how close we are to turning the corner on this pandemic."

February 2021

Statement from NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi on Positive COVID Diagnosis

"In New York City and across the country, COVID continues to circulate in our communities, and all of us are potentially exposed to the virus. A testament to this fact is that I recently got tested and received a positive diagnosis for COVID-19. I now have mild symptoms, but they are manageable. I have been in touch with New York City’s Test and Trace Corps to ensure that anyone who was potentially exposed is offered services and care. This is a reminder — if we ever needed one — that COVID is still with us and we all must continue to wear masks, wash our hands, socially distance and stay home if feeling ill."

Statements Archive


July 2020

Statement from Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot on the Board of Health Resolution to Reopen Childcare Centers

"As New York City continues to reopen, more parents will need child care. This decision is rooted in health as well as equity. Data show that white and wealthy parents are more likely to have job flexibility or to hire independent caregivers, while these options may not be the same for Black, Brown and low-income families. We don’t want any New Yorker to have to choose informal or illegal child care; every child deserves a safe place where they can learn and grow. To support child care programs, the Health Department has developed tools for implementing new safety protocols, will provide technical assistance, and will host a series of webinars to review the COVID-19 mitigation requirements and answer questions."

Statement (PDF) Other Languages: Español | 繁體中文

March 2020

Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot Issues Statement on First Coronavirus Fatality in New York City

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the first fatality in New York City from coronavirus. This is a painful moment and one we furiously worked to avoid. We urge all New Yorkers to continue to take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and their fellow New Yorkers safe and healthy. We never for a moment lost sight of how serious this situation is, but this tragedy reflects how critical and dire the spread of the virus really is. Our hearts go out to the family during this difficult time."

Statement (PDF) Other Languages: 繁體中文 | Español


May 2019

Health Department Closes School for Violating Commissioner's Order During Measles Outbreak

The Health Department today served closure orders to Simche Kinder (77 students; 812 Myrtle Ave, 11206), because this center repeatedly failed to comply with the Health Department’s Commissioner’s Order. The Health Department is working with parents to find alternative care for the children that attended the program.

Statement (PDF) Other Languages: Español | 繁體中文

April 2019

Statement from Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot on the Dismissal of the Lawsuit Challenging the Commissioner's Emergency Order

“This decision will protect New Yorkers from a very dangerous infection with potentially fatal consequences. We did not take the Emergency Order lightly. It was a dramatic response to a serious problem. We do not want to issue violations but will continue and hope that New Yorkers make the best choice for their families, their neighbors and their own health — to get vaccinated.”

Statement (PDF) Other Languages: Español | 繁體中文

March 2019

Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot Issues Statement on Proposed Restrictions on Flavored E-Cigarettes

“The FDA’s proposed restrictions on sales of flavored e-cigarettes, including increased enforcement online and for products that are targeted to minors, is an important step. However, a much more aggressive approach is needed; flavored e-cigarettes should not be available, including mint- and menthol-flavored e-cigarettes. Excluding mint- and menthol-flavored e-cigarettes leaves a dangerous gap, which will continue to put youth at risk of nicotine dependence. While it is also promising that the FDA is taking some action on restricting flavored cigars, the new policy falls short. A complete ban by the FDA of flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes remains critical to tobacco control.”

Statement (PDF) Other Languages: Español | 繁體中文

February 2019

Statement from Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot about the Title X Gag Rule

“Women’s reproductive health is under siege in Washington. The Title X gag rule to remove funding from clinics that provide a range of critical reproductive health services, including abortion, will turn back the clock decades in providing health care for women. This rule will deny millions of dollars that support a broad range of health services to over 4 million people every year across the country. In New York City, we will continue to protect women’s fundamental right to control their reproductive health, including comprehensive sexual health education, contraception, cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, as well as access to safe abortions. We stand with Planned Parenthood and other providers affected by this misguided rule. Now is the time to come together and fight for our reproductive freedom. #NoGagRule”

Statement (PDF) Other Languages: Español | 繁體中文


November 2018

Statement from Acting Health Commissioner Dr.Oxiris Barbot on City Council Committee on Land Use for Voting to Approve Bronx Animal Shelter

“I thank Speaker Johnson, Council Member King and members of the City Council Committee on Land Use for their support of a new state-of-the-art animal shelter in the Bronx. The new shelter will provide 1.4 million residents with services and support to help their pets live long and healthy lives, including free and low cost veterinary services, animal adoption services, and educational community programs. It will also add critical capacity to the citywide system, allowing for an additional 6,000 animals to be cared for in the Bronx every year. This will go a long way to achieve the Mayor's pledge to bring full service animal shelters to all five boroughs.”

Statement (PDF) Other Languages: Español | 繁體中文

October 2018

Statement from Acting Health Commissioner Dr.Oxiris Barbot on the Legionnaires’ Disease Cluster in Lower Washington Heights

“The Health Department has confirmed 16 cases of Legionnaires’ disease associated with the Lower Washington Heights cluster.  One person who had underlying health conditions has died. New York City has the strongest enforcement regarding cooling towers in the nation, and we continue to take very aggressive steps to respond to this cluster and prevent more people from becoming sick. The Health Department has investigated every cooling tower in the area, ordering landlords to remediate where necessary and has provided information to residents. The risk to residents of contracting Legionnaire’s disease remains very low; however, adults with flu-like symptoms, like fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should seek immediate medical attention so a doctor can determine whether Legionella testing is needed. Legionnaires’ disease is not contagious and is easily treatable with antibiotics. People get Legionnaires disease by breathing in water vapor containing the bacteria.” 

Statement (PDF) Other Languages: Español | 繁體中文

September 2018

Statement from Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot on the FDA Commissioner's Stance on Electronic Cigarettes

“Electronic cigarettes are putting an entire generation at risk: they are addictive, and they may lead to more youth trying cigarettes. We are encouraged to see the FDA taking a stronger stance on e-cigarettes. We hope the FDA will take all of the actions in its power to address the alarming rates of use among youth, including a ban on flavored e-cigarettes.”

Statement (PDF) Other Languages: Español | 繁體中文

Statements from Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot; City Council Speaker Corey Johnson; and Chairs of the Health Department's Advisory Board on Gender Marker Change Requirements Carrie Davis and Ethan Rice on the Board of Health, City Council Passing Landmark Gender Marker Proposal and Bill

Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot: “Today the New York City Board of Health and City Council voted to allow New Yorkers to choose a non-binary gender-marker on their birth certificate and self-attest to changing their gender on their birth certificate. This is truly a momentous occasion and testament to the work of Board Members, Council Members, but most of all the members of the transgender community whose dedication, work and perseverance made this possible. The Health Department and the Board of Health will continue to work toward a more equitable city, one that reduces stigma, eliminates barriers, and promotes the health of all transgender, gender nonconforming, and non-binary New Yorkers.”

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson: "Today is a historic day for New York in its role as a worldwide champion for inclusivity and equality. New Yorkers will no longer need a doctor’s note to change their gender on their birth certificates, and will no longer be treated as if their identify was a medical issue. I'm extremely proud of the work the Council and the Administration has done to make this groundbreaking legislation happen and I especially want to thank the LGBTQ community for their advocacy and work on this issue to keep New York City in its rightful place as a leader in human rights.”

Carrie Davis, Chair of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Report and Advisory Board on Gender Marker Change Requirements: “Today’s action by the New York City Board of Health and City Council regarding non-binary gender identity and self-affirmation updates New York's birth certificates to meet modern medical and scientific and criteria. The birth certificate is a basic and fundamental foundation document that most day-to-day identification documents develop from. These actions offer direct and tangible support to some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers and are exceptionally critical during this time of danger and uncertainty regarding healthcare and human rights for transgender Americans at the national level.”

Ethan Rice, Vice Chair of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Report and Advisory Board on Gender Marker Change Requirements: “Transgender and non-binary people are entitled to and must be able to have accurate identification in order to secure employment, housing and health care, among other things, particularly in today’s environment where they often face unrelenting attacks. We thank the New York City Board of Health and City Council for the critical action taken today that will impact the lives of many transgender and non-binary people. It is important to note that this would not have been possible without many years of tireless work by New York City advocates.”

Statement (PDF) Other Languages: Español | 繁體中文


June 2018

Statements from Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett and Corporation Counsel Chief of Appeals Richard Dearing on N.Y. Court of Appeals Upholding Mandated Flu Vaccines for Daycare and Preschool Children

Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett: “This is a great win for New York City children. We are very pleased this unanimous decision has recognized the Board of Health’s mandate to protect the health of young children. Vaccines save lives and are an effective public health tool to prevent the spread of disease. The severity of this past influenza season reminds us of how deadly influenza can be. The influenza vaccine is the best protection against seasonal influenza for everyone. Children who receive the influenza vaccine are less likely to get sick, less likely to need medical attention and less likely to die from influenza. This decision will help us protect more than 150,000 children in City-regulated day cares and preschools across the city.”

Richard Dearing, Chief of the Appeals Division of the NYC Law Department: “We are pleased with this unanimous decision, which recognizes the ‘very direct connection’ between the Board’s flu vaccine rule and ‘the preservation of health and safety,’ and agreed that the rule is ‘squarely within’ with the Board’s delegated powers and consistent with state law."

Statement (PDF) Other Languages: Español | 繁體中文

Statement From Health Commissioner Bassett on FDA Trans Fat Ban

“Today, all Americans should celebrate that trans fats are banned. New York City was the first municipality in the country to restrict the use of trans fats in restaurants in 2006. We are proud to have been a leader in what is now a nationwide commitment to reducing the public’s exposure to unhealthy fats and decreasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.”

Statement (PDF) Other Languages: Español | 繁體中文