More New Yorkers are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including grocery store workers and people who live and work in shelters. But some essential workers, including food delivery workers are still waiting.
After a long day of delivering food and coming in contact with dozens of people, Cesar Galindo tries to do everything to make sure he doesn’t possibly expose his family to COVID-19.
“I try to clean myself when I go home take my shoes and clothes off," said Galindo.
But he says being vaccinated sooner rather than later would give him real peace of mind.
“Not only for me but for the customers and the restaurant people who works in the restaurants.”
Governor Cuomo on Tuesday did add people 65 and older to the current vaccine eligibility group. The state is now allowing vaccinations of health care workers, first responders, educators and grocery store workers. But not food delivery workers, who are also essential workers.
People like David Malpica. He delivers food for a restaurant on the Upper West Side. He says the longer he has to wait for the vaccine, the longer he’s at risk.
“For me it’s very important to save my family and save my life and the life of other people too, “ said Malpica.
It’s still unclear when they will be eligible to get vaccinated.
Mayor de Blasio on Tuesday urged the state to allow all delivery workers to get vaccinated now.
Queens State Senator Jessica Ramos sent this letter to the governor and the state Health Commissioner urging the state to add not only delivery workers to the current group but also taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers. She says these essential workers are at a high risk of getting COVID-19 because of the nature of their work.
“We’ve depended on them for us to stay home safely , they deliver food to us, they take us where we need to go when the MTA is not working at night and so we want them to feel protected we haven’t done a good job thus far,” said Ramos.
The governor has not yet responded to Ramos' letter or our request for comment.
Ramos says in her district alone she’s heard of at least 12 delivery workers who have died of the virus.
A risk Cesar Galindo thinks about each time he makes a delivery.
“Some people come to the door without masks. I don’t really like it but I have to do it," he said.