NEW YORK — The city launched a program to support New Yorkers who are struggling with the long-term effects of COVID-19 on Wednesday. 

Long COVID, a collection of symptoms that develops during or following a period of a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, can persist for weeks and sometimes months afterward. 

“We got to be there for people and we’re still learning a lot about COVID-19, but the important thing to realize is a lot of New Yorkers are still suffering,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio at his daily press briefing.

At least 10% of individuals infected with COVID-19 can develop long COVID, according to Dr. Amanda Johnson, director of the Take Care program under the Test & Trace Corps, which will lead the AfterCare program.

It will connect clients with ongoing health and social needs for referrals to a range of resources. These include referrals to COVID-19 Centers of Excellence, virtual support groups, and support for accessing paid sick leave.

"Just like everything else with COVID, we see tremendous disparities," the mayor said. "Folks who are feeling these aftereffects are particularly feeling it in communities that have been suffering the most, in the immigrant communities, in communities of color, lower income communities, places that COVID hit hardest, people are feeling these effects the longest."

Two COVID-19 Centers of Excellence, which focus on holistic care for people struggling with COVID-19, are open in Tremont and Roosevelt and a third location will open in Bushwick in July.