Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

INDEX (click on a heading to be taken to that section):

 

 

Volunteers and Supplies Needed

We have managed to flatten the curve in New York, thanks to the tireless efforts of health care providers and other front line workers, as well as the perseverance of New Yorkers as the state works to combat COVID-19. Even though we have made progress, we are not out of the danger zone yet,  and the City and State continue to need your help in the following ways:

  • Rapid COVID-19 testing (results in fifteen minutes) is now available, and private companies are working to bring it to scale and make it widely available. New York State is looking to partner with private companies that are able to do this. To help, call 212.803.3100 or email covid19supplies@esd.ny.gov
  • Due to COVID-19 there is a shortage of blood, and blood donations are desperately needed. New York State is working with blood banks to ensure safe social distancing protocols are being followed. Learn how and where you can donate at ny.gov/donateblood
  • Donate Plasma: New York Blood Center and H+H needs your help. Plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 has been used by H+H to successfully help patients recover. H+H is participating in trials using plasma to improve COVID-19 care. Please visit New York Blood Center to schedule an appointment and donate today.

  • The state will invest in private companies to bring rapid COVID-19 testing to scale and accelerate testing capacity.
    • Businesses interested in working with the state to manufacture these rapid tests on a large scale should contact Empire State Development at 212-803-3100 or COVID19supplies@esd.ny.gov.

 

  • The state is reaching out to qualified former doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to supplement the personnel at hospitals. Healthcare professionals who wish to sign up can contact the State Department of Health at health.ny.gov/assistance

  • The Governor asked the professional mental health community — including psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists — to volunteer their time to get the network up and running. Sessions would be held over the phone or on over video chat, and if there are enough volunteers, New York State will set up a Mental Health Electronic Help Center. Follow this link to volunteer: https://apps.health.ny.gov/pubpal/builder/survey/retired-health-professional

  • The Mayor has called on retired or non-practicing healthcare professionals to sign up for the City’s medical reserve at nyc.gov/helpnownyc. NYC Medical Reserve Corps volunteers assigned and deployed by NYC during an emergency are indemnified under General Municipal Law Section 50-k against malpractice for volunteer work performed with DOHMH: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/providers/emergency-prep/mrc-faq.page

  • The Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center is looking for volunteer callers to help update their 59 Coronavirus NYC Neighborhood Food Resource Guides. These guides are essential to helping keep communities informed on everything from soup kitchens to farmers markets to available resources for families depending on the SNAP and WIC programs. If you are interested in volunteering, please email info@nycfoodpolicy.org with the subject line: “Volunteer for Food Resource Guides.”
  • If you want to make a donation (including essential goods, services, and/or spaces) please follow this link and complete the webform: https://apps.health.ny.gov/pubpal/builder/survey/nys-covid19-tracking-offers

  • Amid a shortage of personal protective equipment — or PPE — products in the state, including gloves, masks and gowns, the Governor is asking all PPE product providers to sell to the state any products that are not essential or not currently being used. Businesses interested in selling products to the state should contact Simonida Subotic at 646 522-8477 or covid19supplies@exec.ny.gov 

  • The Governor is also encouraging any company with the proper equipment or personnel to begin to manufacture PPE products if possible. The state is willing to provide funding to any company to obtain the proper equipment and personnel. Businesses interested in receiving state funding to manufacture PPE products should contact Eric Gertler at 212-803-3100 or COVID19supplies@esd.ny.gov

  • If you or your business has any supplies that you would like to donate, such as face masks, medical equipment, cleaning supplies, etc., please contact my office by calling 212-490-9535, or by emailing lkrueger@nysenate.gov.

  • In searching for sites for additional hospital capacity, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has done a canvass of City-owned sites. We welcome ideas about non-City-owned sites in your community that you may be aware of. OEM is evaluating all sites for immediate and longer-term uses. To submit ideas, go to: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/em/ready/share-your-space-survey.page

  • The State of New York has these helpful links for manufacturers/suppliers:
  •  The New York City Economic Development Corporation is accepting solicitations from businesses/vendors to procure critical supplies to respond to the Coronavirus. Any interested businesses or vendors should complete this survey.

  • Food Bank for New York City Needs Volunteers: Some of the most important work done in the fight to end hunger is performed by volunteers. We rely on the help of volunteers for important jobs like ensuring food doesn’t go to wastepacking meals for our campus pantries, and helping prepare and serve meals to seniors at our Harlem site. Whether you serve solo, as a part of a group, or as a family, there are many ways for you to make an impact: https://www.foodbanknyc.org/volunteer/

  • Donate NYC’s food portal is designed for organizations and businesses only. Individual residents wishing to donate their own excess food may search donateNYC’s online map to find locations throughout the city. For more information please review the food portal training videos or email donate@dsny.nyc.gov.

  • Donation of Supplies to New York City: Due to the high volume, New York City is creating separate tracks for different kinds of offers:
    • Companies who have stock on hand and are offering to DONATE or SELL medical supplies and equipment (e.g. gowns, masks, ventilators, face shields) can register here. Each offer will be vetted and contacted if there is interest
    • Local manufacturers and industry sector companies looking to begin producing supplies can register here.
    • Food and other non-medical donations should go through DonateNYCNote: The City is not accepting food donations but this site provides a platform to connect with organizations in need of food.

  • New York City’s Office of Emergency Management has created this form (PDF) for hospitals, nursing homes, and EMS responders to use to request supplies. They tell me that “medical offices, assisted living facilities, independent living, home health care organizations, etc. are also submitting the form and that’s ok – but just to note that supplies are limited and unless it’s one of the prioritized categories it will likely go into a queue for fulfillment once supplies are more readily available.”
  • New York Cares

    Highlights:

    • 100 new projects are being planned to support COVID-19 relief efforts and leadership opportunities for these are being added daily. Interested in leading projects? Become a Team Leader
    • Later this week, our new Phone Bank Volunteer Program will launch to provide wellness checks for vulnerable populations and technical support to students who are using technology from the Department of Education. More to come!
    • Next week, we will begin offering opportunities for volunteers to support our remote learners through programs such as tutoring. Search using our location filter Virtual at that time.

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Updates as of Sunday Afternoon, 5/31/20:

State Updates

  • As of Sunday, May 31st, the statewide number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York State was 369,660. As of 2:30 p.m., the number of positive cases in NYC was 200,547. Please visit the DOHMH COVID-19 data page to view additional demographic information about how the outbreak is affecting New York City.

We have lost 23,905 New Yorkers, including 16,848  residents of New York City. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members and loved ones of the deceased.

 

  • The Governor announced that New York dentists can reopen statewide tomorrow. Dentists’ offices will be subject to state guidance on best practices for safety and social distancing.

 

  • Death Benefits Signed Into Law: Governor Cuomo signed into law a new measure providing death benefits to the families of frontline workers who lost their lives fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in New York.
    • The bill, S.8427/A.10528, establishes a COVID-19 death benefit for the families of state and local government employees who have been on the front lines of response to this public health emergency.

  • Additional Testing Sites: New York State will open 10 additional testing sites—one for each zip code—in New York City COVID hotspots. Controlling the virus’ spread in the city’s hotspots, which are located in predominately low income and minority communities, is a top priority as it moves toward Phase 1 of reopening on June 8.
    • o   Six testing sites will be in the Bronx, three will be in Brooklyn and one will be in Queens.

 

  • Continued Regional Monitoring: New York State continues to monitor progress fighting the virus in the Capital Region and Western New York, which will reach two weeks of Phase 1 reopening next week.

 

  • New York City will enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 8 and that five other regions—Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier—can enter Phase 2 of reopening today. Phase 2 allows office-based workers, real estate services, in-store retail shopping and some barbershop services to resume. Each industry is subject to specific state guidelines to maximize safety and social distancing. Business guidance for phase two of the state’s reopening plan is available here.

 

  • The Governor announced the implementation of a new early warning dashboard that aggregates the state’s expansive data collection efforts for New Yorkers, government officials and experts to monitor and review how the virus is being contained on an ongoing basis. It tracks new infections and their severity, hospital capacity by region, and other metrics. The early warning system dashboard was developed in consultation with internationally-known experts who have been advising New York State. The early warning dashboard can be found here.

 

City Updates 

  • Protecting Workers: The Mayor announced that DCWP, SBS and DCAS will coordinate pick-up and delivery of 2 million face coverings for businesses and workers, with more to come. In addition, the City will provide resources to keep workers and customers safe including FAQs, signage with employee rights, online trainings, and a worker protection hotline launching next week.

 

  • Testing for Non-Profit Workers: NYC will make voluntary, weekly COVID-19 testing available for up to nearly 31,000 non-profit human service provider staff starting June 1. Up to 4,000 tests per day will be available. Starting June 1, non-profit staff will be able to access testing at any city-affiliated testing site, and starting June 15, up to 15 mobile teams will bring testing sites to non-profit worksites once a week. In July, the City will provide test kits and PPE for providers to administer tests on-site.

 

  • Expanding Cure Violence Social Distancing Work: Currently, Cure Violence sites have 150 “violence interrupters” and outreach workers engaged citywide as “Social Distance Enhancers.”  We will expand by 375 staff and each site will increase by 10-15 people for social distancing and COVID-19 outreach from June to September.

Additionally, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice will conduct a messaging campaign using public service announcements, flyers and outdoor ads, and social media ads. MOCJ’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence has also partnered with ART NOT WAR to create messages from the community that address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on black and brown communities.

 

  • Technology for Seniors: The Mayor announced that 10,000 Internet-enabled tablets have been shipped to disconnected NYCHA seniors in 100 developments in every borough.

 

  • Daily Indicators: The Mayor announced that the City’s goal is to remain below a specific threshold for each indicator for 10-14 days in a row.
    • Daily number of people admitted to hospitals for suspected COVID-19
      • Threshold: Under 200 patients admitted per day
      • Today’s report: 61 patients admitted
    • Daily number of people in H&H ICUs
      • Threshold: Under 375 patients in H&H ICUs
      • Today’s report: 391 in H&H ICUs
    • Percent of people tested Citywide who are positive for COVID-19
      • Threshold: Under 15% positive
      • Today’s report: 5% tested positive

 

DMV Update

  • NYS DMV Announces Plan To Resume Limited Remote Services: The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has announced that beginning Monday, June 1, state-run DMV offices in the counties of Albany, Onondaga, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Westchester and the five boroughs of New York City will begin to process vehicle registrations and other transactions by mail, and beginning June 4, will accept transactions through secure drop boxes located at each office. County Clerks that operate DMV offices in the remaining 51 counties of the state are advised to follow the State DMV’s timeline and guidance for reopening. For specific information about services offered by county-operated offices visit https://dmv.ny.gov/dmv/dmv-office-locations.

 

In addition, Commercial Driver License (CDL) road tests will begin to resume in all regions that are in at least phase 1 of reopening. All road tests will be conducted with strict safety requirements in place; DMV road test examiners will wear gloves, face shields and have hand sanitizer, and customers must wear masks and will be screened prior to beginning the test. Customers whose road tests were canceled because of COVID-19 will be given priority for rescheduling, and DMV staff will begin outreach to those customers on June 1. Reservations for other CDL customers will be available in the days following at: https://dmv.ny.gov/schedule-road-test. Road tests and reservations for Class D (passenger vehicles) will not be available at this time. 

As regions enter phase 3 of reopening, DMV will offer limited in-person transactions in state-run DMV offices by reservation only, prioritizing critical services, and will resume road tests for all drivers at that time. Until then, there will be no in-person transactions in any DMV office and reservations will only become available as regions enter phase 3. Further guidance will be provided at the appropriate time.   

“As New York State begins to reopen, the DMV has and will continue to adapt the way it does business to ensure public health and safety are protected,” said DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “As regions advance to phase 3 of reopening, we will expand customer service options, like offering limited in-person transactions by reservation only. These new policies will allow us to meet the needs of our customers while keeping everyone safe.”

    • Extension of Expired Documents: All driver licenses, non-driver identification cards and vehicle registrations that expired March 1, 2020 or after and vehicle inspections that expired March 31 or after were previously extended and continue to be extended.
    • Mail-In and Drop-Box Transactions: DMV is expanding the ability for New Yorkers to complete necessary transactions by mail and drop box and will no longer offer these services in person including:
      • All original vehicle registrations and license plate transfers
      • License plate surrenders
      • Sales tax only transactions
      • License and registration renewals (online option also available)
      • Replacement of lost documents (online option also available)
      • Address change (online option also available)

Beginning June 4, secure drop boxes will be located at all state-run DMV offices and available to customers during regular office hours Monday through Saturday, which can be found at https://dmv.ny.gov/dmv/dmv-office-locations. When dropping off documents, customers must wear a face covering, and only two customers will be allowed in the office at one time to access the drop box and must maintain proper social distancing at all times. They should ensure their documents are filled out completely prior to bringing them to the DMV. All documents and instructions are available on www.dmv.ny.gov. Customer service representatives will not be available to assist with these transactions.  

Customers will not be allowed to pick up their completed transactions. Once transactions are complete, a receipt, or license plates and registration documents, when applicable, will be returned to the customer by mail. 

Customers who wish to register a vehicle should complete the DMV online registration checklist before mailing or dropping off their documents. 

Instructions for returning license plates by mail can be found on the DMV website at https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/how-surrender-return-or-turn-your-plates-dmv.

To find out where to mail transactions visit: https://dmv.ny.gov/dmv/dmv-office-locations.

    • Online Transactions: The DMV offers more than 60 transactions online making it fast and convenient for all New Yorkers to complete their business with the DMV. The following services continue to be offered online:
      • Select driver license services, such as renewing or replacing a license
      • Vehicle transactions, such as renewing or replacing a registration
      • Requests for DMV records like crash reports or driving abstracts
      • Personal services like changing an address
      •  Handling fines and fees, including to plead or pay New York City traffic tickets and paying other civil penalties

Customers need to pass a vision test to renew their license online. There are more than 6,000 providers enrolled in the DMV’s Vision Registry and approved to administer the vision test. Following the test, these providers enter the results online, saving the customer time when they visit the DMV website to renew their license. A vision test from a Vision Registry provider is valid for one year.

Customers who have not had their vision checked by a Vision Registry provider can have their doctor or another medical professional complete a Vision Test Report, which the customer can use to complete the renewal process online.

Customers cannot upgrade to a REAL ID or Enhanced Driver License (EDL) without visiting a DMV office.  For the health and safety of our customers and staff amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, DMV offices are not serving customers in person. While offices are closed for such transactions, customers can renew their current license or non-driver ID online now and upgrade to a REAL ID or an EDL in a DMV office later. Also due to COVID-19, the federal REAL ID enforcement deadline has been extended one year until October 1, 2021.

    • Road Tests: For the safety of everyone at road test sites, all customers and accompanying drivers must wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet from other customers and staff whenever possible.  Face coverings include cloth (e.g. homemade sewn, quick cut, bandanna), surgical masks, N-95 respirators, or face shields.  Customers will also need to disinfect the passenger side of the vehicle with disinfectant wipes upon arrival. 

Customers taking a road test will have their temperature taken and be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and any known contacts with positive COVID-19 patients prior to beginning the test. Road tests will be rescheduled if a customer has a fever (temperature of 100 degrees or higher), is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or has had recent, close contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19. 

Customers should not report for their road test if they:

      •  Have been directed to quarantine, isolate or self-monitor at home for the COVID-19 by any doctor, hospital, or health agency; or
      •  Have been diagnosed with, or have had close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19; or
      •  Have flu-like symptoms or symptoms of the coronavirus

For more information about DMV, visit https://dmv.ny.gov/ or follow DMV on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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NY on PAUSE/COVID-19 Policy, Guidance, and Closure Updates

  • New York City remains on PAUSE until the metrics required to begin reopening are met. Non-essential workforce is directed to continue to work from home until at least that day.

  • Gatherings of no more than 10 people are allowed statewide. Social distancing measures must be enforced and all participants must wear masks.

  • Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order authorizing businesses to deny entry to individuals not wearing masks or face-coverings.

 

 

CDC Guidance

  • May 8th Guidance from the CDC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released several new resources to help prevent the spread of and treat COVID-19: 
    • Whether going into work or working from home, COVID-19-related fear, anxiety, and stress can lead to workplace burnout. Learn more about how workers can cope with these emotions and stress here and how they can manage workplace fatigue here.
    • People with liver disease are at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Learn  more about how the virus can impact their health here.
    • Pediatric health care providers can find information on children with COVID-19, including the burden of the disease among children, clinical presentation, complications, treatment and prevention, and strategies to separate well visits from sick visits, here.
    • Curious about the difference between quarantine and isolation? Read more here.
    • Reopening guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes can be found here.
    • Guidance and a checklist for community and faith-based leaders is available here.
    • Resources for institutes of higher education, including guidance for administrators and student travelers, is available here.

 

  • The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance reminding covered health care providers that, even during the current COVID-19 public health emergency, the HIPAA Privacy Rule prohibits them from providing media and film crew with access to facilities where patients’ protected health information (PHI) will be accessible without patients’ consent. Covered health care providers are still required to obtain a valid HIPAA authorization from each patient before the media is given access to PHI.

 

  • UnitedHealth: UnitedHealth Group announced yesterday that it is taking additional action to directly support people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of relevance, the company will take the following actions:
    • For individuals who have commercial fully insured benefits, credits ranging from 5 to 20 percent, depending upon the specific plan, will be applied to premium billings received by customers in June.
    • For individuals who are covered under Medicare Advantage plans, all specialist and primary care physician cost sharing will be waived through the end of September.
    • For individuals covered by Medicaid plans, the company is accelerating funds to state partners and critical care providers to serve more people, and also expanding its Housing+Health and homeless support programs to provide shelf stable food and baby formula.

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NY Forward Resources and Updates

  • New York City Region Status:
    • Four of seven metrics achieved: https://forward.ny.gov/regional-monitoring-dashboard
    • Businesses approved to reopen: Landscaping and Gardening, Drive-In Theaters, Veterinary Practices
    • Low-risk recreational activities approved to reopen: tennis, golf and driving ranges (not miniature/mini golf) with food and retail services subject to the restrictions that are currently in effect within the region, and non-motorized boat use and rentals, such as row boats, kayaks, and canoes.

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Considerations for Going Off of PAUSE/Next Steps

  • Senate HELP Committee Hearing on Getting Back to Work and School: On May 12, 2020, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Hahn will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) on safely getting back to work and school. Tune in here.

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Online Meetings, Town Halls, and Webinars

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotlines, Websites, and Other Resources

Hotlines

  • To discuss symptoms you are experiencing and whether to get tested, call your primary care physician or an urgent care center. Or, you can call one of the following numbers:
    • New York City has set up a hotline for New Yorkers who have high priority due to age, pre-existing conditions and symptoms: 1-844-NYC-4NYC
    • The 24-hour state hotline at 1-888-364-3065
    • 311
  • NYS Mental Health Hotline: 1-844-863-9314 (to schedule a free appointment)
  • Call the national Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH), which provides crisis counseling and support for anyone in the U.S. experiencing distress or other mental or behavioral health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster, including public health emergencies. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.
  • call 888-NYC-WELL, text “WELL” to 65173, or chat online at nyc.gov/nycwell to connect with a counselor.
  • Price Gouging hotline: 800-697-1220. Call this number to report cases of suspected price gouging.
  • call 311 to report harassment or discrimination.

Websites

Other Resources

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Social Distancing, Non-Essential Business Temporary Closures, and Other Preventative Measures

Social Distancing

  • New York State is on PAUSE through May 15th and social distancing is just as critical as ever in the ongoing effort to contain further spread of COVID-19 and to prevent our health care system from becoming overwhelmed and collapsing. New Yorkers must continue to practice the following:
    • Stay at home as much as possible.
    • Avoid all non-essential travel.
    • Use telemedicine in place of in-office medical appointments whenever possible. Use telemental health services instead of in-office sessions.
    • When taking walks, stay at least 6 feet away from others and do not gather with others – gatherings are not permitted.
    • Walk or bike in place of taking mass transit if possible.
    • Continue to frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
    • Clean surfaces with disinfectants that kill coronavirus germs: https://www.businessinsider.com/epa-registered-cleaning-products#clorox-commercial-solutions-clorox-disinfecting-spray-11
    • Use tissues to cover your coughs and sneezes, and then dispose of the tissues to prevent spread of germs.
    • It is not necessary to wear a mask if you are healthy. We must limit use of masks to health care providers and people who are very sick to help prevent running out of supplies.

  • As weather gets nicer, remember to stay home and do your part. NYPD and Parks stepped up enforcement citywide, targeting hotspots for complaints and non-compliance. Fines will be up to $1,000. Text photos to 311-692 or use the 311 app to report social distancing complaints
  • NYC Parks COVID-19 Update – 4/1/20: NYC Parks’ playgrounds and the amenities contained within, such as basketball courts, handball courts and restrooms, are closed until further notice.

    The citywide enforcement effort to encourage social distancing among parkgoers remains in place, involving multiple City agencies, including NYPD, OSE, the Sheriff’s Office, DEP, DSNY, DOB, and FDNY.  The City will continue to monitor conditions and determine if more severe restrictions are necessary.

    For all updates on park service changes and closures, please refer to the NYC Parks website: https://www.nycgovparks.org/about/health-and-safety-guide/coronavirus.

  • Social Distancing in Supermarkets: We need you and all of our neighbors to help practice and reinforce the importance of social distancing – inside & outside stores, including the number of people they let in at any time. If you see overcrowding, call 311.

  • NYPD monitoring: Officers have been out there educating people about social distancing and ensuring adherence to the State PAUSE, including visiting grocery stores and other venues. Monday, officers visited 2,449 supermarkets, 6,769 bars and restaurants (5,114 closed), 1,262 public places, and 3,080 personal care facilities (all closed). Please let us know if you have any problematic areas in your neighborhood!

Non-Essential Business Temporary Closures

  • Essential businesses or entities, including any for profit or non-profit, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure, are not subject to the in-person restriction. Follow this link to view a list of businesses that are classified as essential: https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026  If the function of your business is not listed, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an essential business.

    • Houses of worship are not ordered closed however it is strongly recommended no congregate services be held and social distance maintained. 
    • Businesses and entities that provide essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet.
    • Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function as described above, should only be made if they are NOT covered by the guidance.
    • To request designation as an essential business, please click here.
    • Restrictions on requesting designation as an essential business
        • Any business that only has a single occupant/employee (i.e. gas station) has been deemed exempt and need not submit a request to be designated as an essential business. 
        • Businesses ordered to close on Monday, March 15, 2020 under the restrictions on any gathering with 50 or more participants, including but not limited to, bars, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, casinos, auditoriums, concerts, conferences, worship services, sporting events, and physical fitness centers, are presumed to be compliant with NYS issued restrictions and must remain closed and are not eligible for designation as an essential business for purposes of this guidance. 

    • Effective by 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 21st, Governor Cuomo, Governor Murphy, Governor Lamont and Governor Wolf have directed the temporary closure of barber shops, nail and hair salons and related personal care services.

    • Governor Cuomo, Governor Murphy, Governor Lamont and Governor Wolf have called for temporary closure of all indoor portions of retail shopping malls, amusement parks, and bowling alleys, effective by Thursday, March 19th at 8 p.m.

    • The Mayor ordered restaurants, bars, and cafes in New York City to close unless they provide food take-out or delivery services, to commence on Tuesday, March 17th. No dine-in is permitted. Under the Mayor’s order, clubs, movie theaters, smaller theaters, and concert venues in New York City are also mandated to close starting Tuesday, March 17th.

  • COVID-19 Response: Suspension of all work on non-essential construction and demolition sites

As part of the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, in accordance with New York State Executive Order 202.6Empire State Development guidance and New York City Emergency Executive Order 103, all work on non-essential construction and demolition sites is suspended for the duration of this state of emergency.

See Buildings Bulletin 2020-004 for guidance on securing suspended construction and demolition sites and DOB Guidance Document on Enforcement of Essential vs. Nonessential Construction. The Department of Buildings will regularly inspect all construction sites to ensure compliance with emergency orders. Non-compliance will result in the issuance of a violation carrying a penalty of up to $10,000.

Essential Construction Requests
Beginning Tuesday, March 31, 2020, to perform emergency or solitary work at sites, go to www.nyc.gov/dobnow and submit an Essential Construction request as set forth in Empire State Development guidance on NYS Executive Order 202.6 and the DOB Guidance Document on Enforcement of Essential vs. Nonessential Construction.

For jobs in approved status, an Essential Construction request must be submitted to proceed with an initial work permit application (PW2). Hub Self-Service will not accept or process applications. Antenna, Construction Fence, Curb Cut and Sidewalk Shed work types are exempt and can proceed without submission of an Essential Construction request.

Permits
Permits already in effect are required to remain active until the end of the term for which they were issued and must be renewed for as long as work remains suspended. There are no changes to the permit renewal process and all applicable fees apply.

After Hours Variances (AHV)
All After Hours Variance (AHV) permits will be rescinded. Initial AHVs can only be requested for jobs that have an approved Essential and Emergency Construction request. All approved jobs seeking a permit can drop off initial AHV applications at a borough office; it cannot be submitted in eFiling or DOB NOW. See the Application Processing Service Notice for information about drop off procedures.

Place of Assembly/Temporary Place of Assembly (PA/TPA)
The approval process for PA and TPA requests is suspended for the duration of this state of emergency.

See the DOB COVID-19 Response page for additional service updates.

  • At this time, only essential businesses are permitted to be in operation. If you believe that a business is in violation of current state directives on essential business you can contact the NYS Attorney General’s Office Labor Bureau. It is preferred that you contact the Labor Bureau by email at Labor.Bureau@ag.ny.govand you will receive a quicker response, however, you may also reach out by phone at (212) 416-8700.
  • Complaints Related to COVID-19 Business Regulations: Governor Cuomo enacted a law that provides benefits – including sick leave, paid family leave, and disability benefits – to New York employees impacted by mandatory or precautionary orders of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. If your employer does not comply with this law, you have the right to file a complaint. If you work for a non-essential business, you may not be forced to go to the worksite or otherwise threatened if you do not work at a place other than your home.

You may file a complaint for any of the following reasons:

    • You are being forced to work at a non-essential business
    • You know about a business that is non-essential and is operating
    • You are being forced to work for an essential business, however:
      • You do not perform an essential function
      • Your employer is making you report to a worksite when your job could be performed from home
      • Your employer is not following health and safety mandates
      • You are particularly frightened because you are over 70 and/or you have an underlying illness.
    • Your employer has failed to pay you wages owed for hours worked, earned sick pay or paid time off
    • Your employer has threatened or fired you for reasons related to COVID-19
    • You qualify for COVID-19 paid sick leave and your employer refuses to pay it
    • Your employer is forcing you to work when you are sick

For more information and to file a complaint, follow this link: https://www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/coronavirus-complaints.shtm

  • The New York State PAUSE Enforcement Assistance Task Force: To assist local authorities with enforcement of these orders, the Governor established the New York State PAUSE Enforcement Assistance Task Force where individuals can file complaints regarding the operation of non-essential businesses or gatherings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through an online form or by calling 1-833-789-0470. These complaints are reviewed for completeness, accuracy, and applicability under the orders, and then referred to local authorities (as designated by the county leadership) by a team of investigators from multiple state agencies.


Preventative Measures

  • A User’s Guide to Face Masks: By now you’ve figured out that wearing a mask is not as simple as all those TV doctors made it look. Here’s a guide to the wear and care of your new mask: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/10/well/live/coronavirusface-masks-guides-protection-personal-protective-equipment.html
  • How to make a non-medical coronavirus face mask – no sewing required: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/06/how-to-make-no-sew-face-mask-coronavirus

  • How To Make A Safety Mask From A T-Shirt: https://diyjoy.com/diy-safety-mask/

  • Restaurants are still advised to follow NYC Health Code requirements for food preparation. More information here. 

  • Preventive Elevator Measures: Many of us take elevators on a daily basis, most of which are small and make it impossible to practice social distancing. Additionally, we are at risk of contracting COVID-19 each time we push an elevator button. Whether or not residential and commercial building management post signs, the following are safety guidelines you can follow:
    • Limit the number of people getting into each car, or even better, do not ride an elevator with other people unless they are in your party.
    • Wait for the next elevator, or take the stairs instead, which is a good source of exercise.
    • Do not push elevator buttons or other surfaces with your bare finger if you can help it (and if you forget, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer right away).
    • Use your elbow, a gloved finger, a tissue, or your sleeve to cover your finger.

Three’s a crowd: Rethinking NYC elevator etiquette during the coronavirus pandemic: https://www.brickunderground.com/live/coronaviruscovid19rethinking-elevator-etiquette-buildings-nyc

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COVID-19 Research and Testing

Research

  • Mount Sinai/Clinical Trials: Medical experts are in the early stages of clinical trials to develop a possible vaccine and potential treatments. Plasma isolated from blood donated by patients who have recovered from COVID-19 could be transferred through IV to a sick patient, hopefully boosting their body’s own defenses. Mount Sinai Hospital is working to track down patients who have recovered from COVID-19 who may be interested in donating plasma for use in these trials. If you have recently recovered from COVID-19, please visit this link.

 

  • Volunteers needed for CHASING COVID research study: We all have a role to play in slowing the spread of novel Coronavirus (aka SARS/COV-2). Join the ‘CHASING COVID’ study to help contribute to our understanding of this pandemic, how it is affecting households across America, how is spreading, and whether our efforts to slow the spread are working.

Our research study, “Communities, Households and SARS/COV-2 Epidemiology (CHASING COVID),” is for adults in the United States. It is being conducted by researchers at the City University of New York Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health (CUNY ISPH) to understand more about the spread of novel Coronavirus and to inform and evaluate the national response. Our goal is to survey 20,000 adults from across the United States. Follow this link for more information and to join the study: https://cunyisph.org/chasing-covid/.

  • NIH begins study to quantify undetected cases of coronavirus infection: A new study has begun recruiting at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, to determine how many adults in the United States without a confirmed history of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), have antibodies to the virus. The presence of antibodies in the blood indicates a prior infection. In this “serosurvey,” researchers will collect and analyze blood samples from as many as 10,000 volunteers to provide critical data for epidemiological models. The results will help illuminate the extent to which the novel coronavirus has spread undetected in the United States and provide insights into which communities and populations are most affected.

People interested in joining this study should contact clinicalstudiesunit@nih.gov. For more information on the COVID-19 Pandemic Serum Sampling Study Launch, see the Questions and Answers. For more information on this study, please visit ClinicalTrials.gov using identifier NCT04334954. For more information on the U.S. government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.coronavirus.gov.

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-begins-study-quantify-undetected-cases-coronavirus-infection

Testing

There have been questions and concerns about whether and how to get tested. At this time, due to local community transmission, public health officials are saying that we should all act as if we have COVID-19 and follow these guidelines:

  • People who do not feel well or who are sick should stay home.
  • People who have mild to moderate symptoms should not seek medical care or get tested because leaving your home increases the chance of contracting and/or exposing others to the virus, including health care providers. Furthermore, testing will not change clinical care. Stay home and take care of yourself, as you would if you had a bad cold. This will help to prevent our health care system from becoming overwhelmed.
  • If your symptoms do not go away after 3-4 days, or become worse, consult with your doctor by phone or schedule a telehealth appointment. Stay at home for at least 7 days after your symptoms started, including 3 days without fever, cough, or sore throat without the assistance of medicine.
  • Do not go to the emergency room unless you are very sick or there is a medical emergency.

At this time, these are the eligibility criteria for being tested for COVID-19:

  • An individual has come within proximate contact (same classroom, office, or gatherings) of another person known to be positive; or
  • An individual has traveled to a country that the CDC has issued a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice, and shows symptoms of illness; or
  • An individual is quarantined (mandatory or precautionary) and has shown symptoms of COVID-19 illness; or
  • An individual is symptomatic and has not tested positive for any other infection; or
  • Other cases where the facts and circumstances warrant as determined by the treating clinician in consultation with state and local department of health officials.

If you believe that you should be tested, or have questions, please call your primary care physician or an urgent care center, or call the 24-hour state hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or 311 to discuss your situation and receive assistance. Please do not go to your primary care provider’s office or urgent care center without calling first.


Mobile and Other Testing Sites

  • Drive-through testing is being provided in locations including New Rochelle in Westchester County, Jones Beach in Nassau County, Staten Island and Rockland County. These testing facilities help keep people who are sick or at risk of having contracted coronavirus out of healthcare facilities where they could infect other people.

  • April 19th: SOMOS Community Care and Governor Cuomo opened a new center for COVID-19 swab testing at Centro Médico Dominicano (2360 Amsterdam Ave M1). Testing is available Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, call (888) 364-3065 to book a visit.

  • April 19th: In addition to the new state testing site in Washington Heights, a City site opened at NYC Health+Hospitals/Sydenham in Harlem; the site is open to walk-ins for swab testing Monday-Friday, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm, but encourage visitors to call and make an appointment at (844) 692-4692.

  • Following guidance from the City’s Health Department, NYC Health + Hospitals is reserving testing for patients needing hospitalization or as clinically appropriate. It will continue to have clinicians in its call center to talk to thousands of New Yorkers every day and advise them stay at home if they don’t need to come to the emergency department (ED). NYC Health + Hospitals is no longer doing testing by appointment and will instead use its testing centers (tents) to divert patients from the ED. In line with this new guidance, NYC Health + Hospitals drive up testing sites at H+H/ Jacobi and H+H/ Coney Island are no longer operating. For both locations, resources will be shifted to tents near their emergency departments.

  • New Yorkers who have high priority because of age, pre-existing conditions and symptoms, call 1-844-NYC-4NYC for more information. New Yorkers can continue to call 311 to be assessed for risk for COVID-19.

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COVID-19 and the Economy

According to a report by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York closed out the state fiscal year on March 31 with cash-on-hand in the General Fund of $8.9 billion, or $2.4 billion above projections. The state will face cash flow challenges as soon as next month due to billions in state aid payments for health and education, delayed state tax revenues and additional spending to fight the coronavirus.

  • DiNapoli Releases Bond Calendar for Second Quarter
    New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced a tentative schedule for the planned bond sales for the state, New York City and their major public authorities during the second quarter of 2020.

  • The IRS has opened a new, online portal and launched a new, free app for economic impact payment tracking. This portal will allow taxpayers to find out the status of their payment. If a payment hasn’t yet been issued, individuals can provide their banking information for direct deposit. Individuals who were not required to file 2018 or 2019 taxes can enter their information here so that they will receive economic impact payments.
    • Are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or resident alien;
    • Have a Social Security number that is valid for employment;
    • Could not be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer; and
    • Had adjusted gross income under certain limits.

Persons who receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Railroad Retirement benefits, will also receive their payment automatically.
(If you receive any of these benefits and have qualifying children under age 17, register here. This will expedite the $500 impact payment for each child, in addition to your payment.)

Tips For Receiving Your Stimulus Payment:

***Persons who don’t normally file a tax return, including those with too little income to file, click here to learn how to receive your payment(This includes persons who began receiving Social Security or SSI in 2020 and did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019.)

***Read the IRS’ FAQs page for more information about eligibility and how payments are being made. Additional helpful information is available from the Legal Aid Society.

***You can check the status of your payment here. The IRS says it will also mail a letter to each taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days after the payment is released. 

***If the IRS’ website states that your payment status is “Need More Information,” this means that they need your direct deposit information. You will be prompted to provide your bank information after your identity has been verified.

***If you choose not to provide your bank information or prefer to receive your payment by mail, your payment will be sent to the address the IRS has on file for you.

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Census

  • In the 2010 Census, New York City’s self-response rate by household was less than 62%, compared to the national average of 76%.

We must do better in the 2020 Census. Millions of federal dollars for education, hospitals, roads, and bridges are at stake. Remember, it only takes a few minutes to fill out your census form, there are NO questions about immigration or citizenship, and no individual information is allowed to be shared with any other state or federal agency.

Click here for more information from NYC Census 2020. #GetCountedNYC

  • Census Video Prize Challenge extended to May 7

Census Accelerate, an initiative of the Census Open Innovation Labs, at the U.S. Census Bureau, has launched its first-ever video prize competition to reward the most engaging, impactful and informative videos about the 2020 Census – with a total of $50,000 in cash prizes. Census Accelerate has partnered with national and local advocacy groups, entertainment industry, federal, state and local government, as well as civic engagement groups to leverage outreach efforts of cross-sector organizations dedicated to ensuring a complete and accurate count. Now, we’re challenging civically engaged content creators and organizations in supporting a complete count of your communities by submitting your outreach videos

Due to feedback and sensitivity to rapidly evolving developments with the public health environment and the 2020 Census operational timeline, we’ve extended the deadline for video submissions to May 7th at 11:59pm EDT. 

    • Grand Prize – $30,000, Runner Up $10,000, Student Prize $10,000
    • Video should be 30 sec to 3 min
    • Extended Deadline: May 7th
    • We want you to remain socially distanced and are understanding that videos will be limited to what you can produce while at home. Judges will factor that into their evaluation.
    • Videos should speak to a hard to count community.
    • Content should align with the ‘reminder phase’ of the census: “It’s not too late to respond either online, via phone, or by mail.”
    • Please see FAQ’s here.
    • Join us for an Info Session/ Video Prep event on April 23rd from 3:00-5:00pm EDT.

Please contact census.accelerate@census.gov if you have any questions.

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City and State Actions and Resources

Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio declared states of emergency in New York City and New York State, and New York State is on PAUSE through May 15th. All New Yorkers are required to wear a face covering, such as a scarf, handkerchief, bandana, or face mask when outside of the home, as well as practice social distancing by remaining at least 6 feet from each other, even when wearing a face covering. Below you will find information on different ways that City and State emergency policies are impacting daily life while we combat further spread of the virus, as well as resources for more information.

As of Monday, March 16th, my district office will be closed, and my staff will be working from home. The best way to get in touch with the office will be through email at lkrueger@nysenate.gov but we will also be collecting and responding to messages left at 212-490-9535. If you have immediate questions relating to coronavirus, see below for important numbers.

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Unemployment Resources

 

Physical and Mental Health Care/Health Insurance

 

Physical Health Resources

  • Coronavirus FAQs are provided further below.

  • If you have questions about symptoms you are experiencing, or about getting tested for the coronavirus, please call your primary care provider or an urgent care center to discuss your situation. If you do not have a primary care provider, please call the 24-hour state hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or 311 to receive assistance.

  • Please do not go to your primary care provider’s office, an urgent care center, or to an emergency room without calling first unless you are experiencing a medical emergency. This is important in order to protect the safety of health care providers and other patients. Follow the advice and instructions of health care providers, whether or not your situation indicates that coronavirus testing is required.

  • Concerns have been raised by some medical experts about taking NSAIDS (Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Anaprox, Naproxen) to treat pain/fever from cold/flu/COVID19 symptoms (sore throat, cough, fever, body aches, headache, ear ache, etc.). Although this is not conclusive, the World Health Organization recommended on March 17th that people experiencing COVID19-like symptoms take other pain relief medication, including Acetaminophen, Paracetamol, and Tylenol.

  • NYC Sexual Health Clinics Launch Hotline
     

    The Health Department’s NYC Sexual Health Clinic Hotline launched today. The hotline provides telemedicine services for STIs, including HIV. Call 347-396-7959 to talk to a health care provider about your sexual health– open Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 3:30pm.
     
    DOHMH continues to offer emergency services at the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic (303 Ninth Avenue), Monday tru Friday, 8:30am to 3:30pm. This clinic can see patients who:

    • Need HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
    • Need emergency contraception (Plan B)
    • Were contacted by clinic staff for urgent follow-up
    All other Sexual Health Clinics are closed until further notice.
    Visit the clinic’s website for up-to-date information on clinic services

Mental Health Resources

  • NYC Well
    Through NYC Well, our city offers free, confidential mental health support. It is available 24/7 to provide a range of mental health and substance misuse support and can be reached by calling 1-888-NYC-Well (692-9355), texting “Well” to 65173, or on the web at nyc.gov/nycwell

  • Mental Health Resources for Elderly New Yorkers 
    NYC is connecting those who are feeling isolated with friendly volunteers to talk with over the phone. 
    Call 212-AGING-NYC (212-244-6469) and ask about the Friendly Visiting Program.

  • Service Program for Older People
    Service Program for Older People (SPOP) is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of older adults. They are providing behavioral health care for older adults via approved tele-health connection during the COVID-19 outbreak including psychotherapeutic and psychiatric services for adults age 55 and older, rehabilitation support for adults with serious mental illness (age 55 and older) and peer-led bereavement support groups for adults of all ages for a modest fee. For more information, call 212-787-7120 x514 or visit www.spop.org

  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America 
    In response to COVID-19, ADAA have created this resource page – updated daily – to provide helpful tips and strategies from our ADAA mental health professionals – to help you or a loved one struggling with anxiety around the coronavirus or with general health anxiety concerns. Click here for more information.
  • Coping with stress during an infectious disease outbreak: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/coping-with-stress-disease-outbreak.pdf

  • ThriveNYC’s new guide to mental health services New Yorkers can access while staying home (online or by phone) is now posted. phone or online. The guide includes information on how City agencies are modifying mental health services during the COVID-19 crisis and identifies resources for all New Yorkers– seniors, veterans, students and young people, as well as thoise harmed by violence, crime or abuse. All services are free to New Yorkers, regardless of insurance coverage or immigration status. 

  • Call the national Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH), which provides crisis counseling and support for anyone in the U.S. experiencing distress or other mental or behavioral health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster, including public health emergencies. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

  • Coping with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19Feelings of anxiety and uncertainty are completely normal during times like this. If you need support coping with the events of the last few weeks, read the NIMH Director’s Message for help coping with #COVID2019 and follow @NIMHgov on Instagram for more tips and information.

  • American Psychological Association
    The American Psychological Association has created a page of resources that can be viewed by clicking here.

  • Mental Health Care for Frontline COVID Workers
    The NYC COVID Worker Care Network is a self-organizing mutual aid network of more than 2000 mental health workers, spiritual care providers, circle-keepers, and community builders supporting frontline COVID workers during this evolving crisis. They facilitate individual support encounters, support groups, stress-reduction training, and grief rituals via Zoom or telephone encounters. Any person working to support the fight against COVID-19 in New York is eligible to receive support – sign-up through our website by clicking here. Follow the Network at https://www.facebook.com/NYCCOVIDCare/ for updates, and reach out to info@nyccovidcare.org with any questions.

 

Health Insurance Resources

Medicare

  • Medicare has been directed to:
    • Waive cost-sharing for testing
    • Waive cost-sharing for coronavirus treatment in doctor’s offices or emergency rooms and services delivered via telehealth
    • Remove prior authorization requirements
    • Waive prescription refill limits
    • Relax restrictions on home or mail delivery of prescription drugs
    • Expand access to certain telehealth services

  • Coronavirus testing will be covered under Medicare Part B as a clinical laboratory test. A beneficiary’s doctor can bill Medicare for this test beginning April 1, 2020 for testing provided after February 4, 2020. If a beneficiary has Original Medicare, they will owe nothing for the laboratory test (no deductible or coinsurance) as long as they see a provider who accepts Original Medicare. Note that a beneficiary may still owe cost-sharing for other services they get during the doctor’s office visit. If a beneficiary has a Medicare Advantage Plan, they should contact their plan to learn about its costs and coverage rules.

There is currently no vaccine for coronavirus. If a coronavirus vaccine is developed, it will be covered under Medicare Part D. All Part D plans will be required to cover the vaccine. How much a beneficiary will owe for the vaccine will depend on costs set by their drug plan.

If a beneficiary wants to refill their prescriptions early so that they have extra medication on hand, they should contact their Part D drug plan to learn what is covered. Their plan may require extra approval before it covers early refills, and not all prescriptions can be refilled in advance.

Note: If a beneficiary takes medications that are covered by Part B, they should ask their doctor for advice.

  • Inpatient hospital care is covered under Medicare Part A, and standard coverage rules and cost-sharing apply. Medicare typically covers a semi-private room, but it should cover a private room when it is medically necessary. For example, if a beneficiary needs a private room in order to be quarantined, you should not be asked to pay an additional cost for the private room. If a beneficiary has a Medicare Advantage Plan, they should contact their plan to learn about its costs and coverage rules.

  • Outpatient hospital care is covered under Part B, and standard coverage rules and cost-sharing apply. If a beneficiary receives observation services at a hospital, they are considered an outpatient—even if they have a room or stay overnight. Whether a beneficiary is an inpatient or outpatient is important because, depending on their situation, a beneficiary may be required to have an inpatient stay before Medicare will cover skilled nursing facility (SNF) care.

  • Medicare Part A generally only covers SNF care if someone was a hospital inpatient for three days in a row before entering the SNF. This is known as the three-day qualifying hospital stay.

  • At this time, Medicare has removed the three-day qualifying hospital stay requirement for beneficiaries who experience dislocations or are otherwise affected by the coronavirus public health emergency. According to Medicare, this waiver includes but is not limited to beneficiaries who:
    • Need to be transferred to a SNF, for example, due to nursing home evacuations or to make room at local hospitals
    • Need SNF care as a result of the current public health emergency, regardless of whether they were previously in the hospital

Medicare is also changing other SNF coverage requirements. Typically, Medicare Part A covers up to 100 days of SNF care each benefit period. A benefit period begins when a beneficiary is admitted to a hospital as an inpatient, or to a SNF, and it ends when they have been out of a SNF or hospital for at least 60 days in a row. The 100 days of covered SNF care reset at the beginning of a new benefit period. Beneficiaries who are unable to start a new benefit period because of the public health emergency can get another 100 days of covered SNF care without having to begin a new benefit period.

Also note that Medicare is working with SNFs to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

  • Part B covers services a beneficiary receives from a physician (or other provider, such as a registered nurse) who visits their home. Part B also covers some services that are not face-to-face with a doctor, such as check-in phone calls or assessment using an online patient portal. Virtual check-ins can be used to assess whether a beneficiary should go to their doctor’s office for an in-person visit.

telehealth service is a full visit with a provider using telephone or video technology. Medicare generally only covers telehealth in limited situations for certain beneficiaries, but it has expanded coverage and access during the public health emergency. Starting March 6, 2020, Medicare covers hospital and doctors’ office visits, mental health counseling, preventive health screenings, and other visits via telehealth for all beneficiaries and in settings that include the beneficiary’s home. Health care providers who can offer these telehealth services include doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers. Standard cost-sharing may apply, but note that a provider can choose not to charge the beneficiary for these services. If a beneficiary has a Medicare Advantage Plan, they should contact their plan to learn about its costs and coverage rules.

  • New Video Available on Medicare Coverage and Payment of Virtual Services

CMS released a video providing answers to common questions about the Medicare telehealth services benefit. CMS is expanding this benefit on a temporary and emergency basis under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act: Video

To keep up with the important work of the White House Coronavirus Task Force in response to COVID-19, visit www.coronavirus.gov.  For a complete and updated list of CMS actions, and other information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.

Commercial/Marketplace Health Insurance

  • New York State Of Health Reopens Insurance Enrollment
    In light of the COVID-19 public health emergency, NY State of Health announced a Special Enrollment Period for New Yorkers to enroll in health insurance through the marketplace (https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/) and directly through insurers. Individuals who enroll in a Qualified Health Plan between March 16th and May 15th will have coverage effective April 1st. For free enrollment assistance, call 311 or visit nyc.gov/GetCoveredNYC 

For more information on this Special Enrollment Period, visit https://www.health.ny.gov/press/releases/2020/2020-03-16_nysoh_special_enrollment_period.htm.

  • The Community Service Society continues to provide health insurance and health care navigation services. Toll-free helplines remain open 9am-4pm. Below is a list of programs that continue to be available by phone and email:
    • CSS Navigator Network (CNN), 1-888-614-5400, enroll@cssny.org: CNN can help consumers apply for health insurance through the New York State of Health Marketplace, including: Medicaid, Essential Plan, Child Health Plus, and ACA (Obamacare) insurance coverage. Important news: uninsured New Yorkers can enroll in ACA Plans through NY State of Health through a Special Covid19 Enrollment Period available between March 16 and April 15, 2020.  As directed by Governor Cuomo, all New York insurers will waive cost-sharing for a COVID19 testing,
    • Community Health Advocates (CHA) and NYC Managed Care Consumer Assistance Program (MCCAP), 1-888-614-5400, cha@cssny.org: CHA/MCCAP can help consumers: understand their insurance, resolve insurance disputes, file complaints, appeal plan decisions, get medical services, and access affordable care for those who are uninsured or underinsured. 
    • Independent Consumer Advocacy Network (ICAN), 1-888-614-8800, ican@cssny.org: ICAN can help people with Medicaid long-term care services answer questions and solve problems related to Medicare, Medicaid long-term care, managed care plans, and providers like doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies.
    • Community Health Access to Addiction and Mental Healthcare Project (CHAMP), 1-888-614-5400: CHAMP can help New Yorkers with mental health and substance use disorders fully utilize their health insurance benefits or otherwise access care.
  • Commercial health insurance companies have been directed to waive cost-sharing related to coronavirus testing, including emergency room, urgent care, telehealth, and office visits.

  • Telehealth: The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has directed insurers to develop robust telehealth programs with their participating providers where appropriate, particularly for individuals who may have difficulty making an office visit and where a phone call with a medical professional can alleviate the need for a hospital visit. DFS also ordered insurers to provide telehealth without cost sharing

  • Coverage for immunization: In the event an immunization becomes available for COVID19, DFS reminded insurers that they must cover the cost of vaccination for children under 19 and has issued guidance stating all insurers should be prepared to cover the immunization immediately without cost-sharing.

  • Access to off-formulary prescription drugs: In response to supply chain concerns, DFS has directed insurers to provide insurance coverage for off-formulary prescription drugs if there is not a formulary drug available to treat the insured, through a formulary exceptions process as required by law.

  • Emergency care access: DFS has reminded insurers that coverage for emergency services in hospital facilities is required at the in-network cost-sharing even if the hospital is outof-network or overseas, and that no insurer may require a patient to seek preauthorization prior to seeking emergency care, including for ambulance service.

  • Surprise medical bills: DFS has directed insurers that they are required to hold harmless insureds who receive surprise medical bills for health care services, including those related to testing and treatment of COVID-19.

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Food

Notice: To help stop the spread of COVID-19, many local department of social services and SNAP Centers locations are consolidating their hours until further notice. We are asking New Yorkers to do everything they can through myBenefits.ny.gov. Please call your local district or visit their website to check their operating hours. All in-person appointments have been cancelled.

  • The FreshDirect Five Borough Food Drive dropoff on Friday, March 28th was at Baruch Houses downtown. Each weekday FreshDirect (and their partners BoarsHead and Poland Spring) are dopping off 10-lb boxes of food at NYCHA locations that my office helps coordinate with local tenants’ associations. FreshDirect is delivering to The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, too. It’s great that these companies have stepped up to provide food to families in need.

  • Follow this link to view an interactive map for finding soup kitchens, food pantries, senior centers, or SNAP enrollment sites, provided by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s office: https://www.foodbanknyc.org/get-help/
  • The East Sixties Neighborhood Association has compiled this list of restaurants in their neighborhood that are still operating for takeout and delivery.

  • Temple Shaaray Tefila continues to hold its lunch program. Instead of a sit-down hot meal, they are doing a grab and go lunch bag on Wednesdays from 11:30 – noon.  The lunch can be picked-up at their 79th Street door close to the SW corner of 2nd Ave.

  • The City has created the GetFoodNYC food delivery program to provide food for coronavirus (COVID-19)-vulnerable and food-insecure New Yorkers not currently served through existing food delivery programs. Sign up here or call 311.

  • Neighborhood Guides to Food & Assistance: https://www.hungerfreeamerica.org/neighborhood-guides-food-assistance

  • Upper East Side Grocery Store Special Hours for seniors, immune suppressed, & disabled:
    • Whole Foods: 7-8am
    • Gristedes: 7-8am (Tues./Wed.)
    • Ctown Markets: 8-9am
    • D’Agostino’s: 7-8am (Tues./Wed.)
    • Morton Williams: 7-8am
    • Key Food 1769 Second Ave: 6-7 am
    • Cosco: Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m

      *All at stores discretion, contact stores for specifics*

  • New York City pet owners affected by Coronavirus can get free dog and cat food, and other supplies like cat litter, through the ASPCA’s New York City pet food distribution center. New York City residents can call the ASPCA Helpline at 1-800-738-9437 for information and appointments.

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Job Openings

  • Job Opportunities at H+H: NYC Health and Hospitals needs workers to help transport patients, clerical staff and cleaning staff. You can apply today at http://nyc.gov/coronavirus.

  • During this challenging public health crisis, CAMBA is continuing our work in providing 24/7 services to homeless singles and families. We have urgent hiring needs for essential workers who provide critical services in supporting our shelter programs. Each of CAMBA’s shelters offer clients a supportive, structured, therapeutic, safe and drug-free facility. Comprehensive services are provided to successfully transition adults and families into permanent or supportive housing. 

Our urgent openings include:

    • Maintenance Workers, all locations and shifts
    • Security Guards, all locations and shifts
    • Shift Supervisors (including per diem opportunities), all locations and shifts
    • Residential Aides, all locations and shifts
    • Social Workers (LMSW and LCSW), all locations and shifts

Prospective employees should email their resume to submitresumes@camba.org. CAMBA offers a comprehensive benefits package.

    • The National Retail Federation has compiled a list of all retailers hiring individuals during this pandemic. Click here for a full list of companies that are hiring.

    • Seasonal Jobs at NYCHA: NYCHA is currently hiring temporary workers to assist with maintenance at our properties throughout the city. The job will last as needed throughout the spring season at a rate of $15/hour. For more info and to apply, NYCHA residents can contact their local NYCHA Property Management Office. Click here for more details.
  • Available Jobs: The city’s Workforce1 Career Center launched a Virtual Center (or call 718-960-2458) to help New Yorkers prepare for, and connect to, jobs across New York City’s five boroughs and in every sector of the economy. The in-person Workforce Career Centers are currently closed. Candidates can be connected via web or phone to one-on-one help from professionals for help with:
    • Job Opportunities
    • Individual Career Advisement
    • Resume & Interview Preparation
    • Training

Current employment opportunities include Stop & Shop, Fresh Direct & PBM Guardian Industry Services.

Drivers who register to participate in the NYC Food Delivery program must:

    • Be licensed TLC Drivers
    • Be at least 18 years or older
    • Be eligible to work in the United States
    • Have a valid Social Security number
    • Be able to perform heavy physical labor

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Nursing Homes/Long Term Care Facilities/Senior Centers

Nursing Homes & Long Term Care Facilities

  • Older adults are one of the most vulnerable populations for contracting a severe case of the coronavirus. Out of an abundance of caution, the State has issued a directive, effective Friday, March 13th at 5 p.m., prohibiting non-medical visits at nursing homes and long term care facilities until further notice. If your family member is currently at a nursing home, you can inquire about the possibility of setting up a Skype or other type of virtual visit.
    • All staff are required to wear masks.
    • All staff will be monitored for symptoms.
    • No non-medical/staff personnel may enter unless there’s an exigent circumstance. In such a case, visitors must then wear protective clothing including masks.

  • NY Connects
    NY Connects is providing constituent services in regards to supportive services in NYC. NY Connects serves individuals of all ages and income levels wanting to learn more about long term services and supports in New York City:
    • Older adults
    • Younger adults living with a long term disability
    • Caregivers of older adults and parents of children with a disability, and
    • Professional service providers working with someone in need of long term services and supports

In Manhattan: New York Foundation for Senior Citizens
Telephone: (844) 862-7930

 

Senior Centers

  • As of Sunday, March 15th, Senior Centers in New York City are closed for programming.

  • The City’s Dept. for the Aging (DFTA) is phasing in a direct meal delivery system that will gradually replace the current Grab and Go model of food distribution at senior centers. The first phase will begin this Wednesday, March 25. Grab and Go meals will continue at many centers and even overlap as the new system is implemented. DFTA recommends contacting the centers directly before going to the center to confirm timing and availability. In New York City, senior services are considered essential and some centers may need assistance from volunteers in providing these critical meals to clients. If you’re interested, please contact Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s office at info@manhattanbp.nyc.gov. More information about Senior Center Meal Provision can be found here. Social adult day cares should all be closed.

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Community Events, Activities, and Services

In order to help contain the spread of the coronavirus and to prevent our health care system from becoming overwhelmed and collapsing, the City and State have issued directives that impact many community events, activities, and services. To date:

  • As of 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 23rd, New York State is on PAUSE and Matilda’s Law has been implemented. The PAUSE executive order calls for:
    • All non-essential businesses statewide to be closed;
    • Non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason (e.g. parties, celebrations or other social events) are canceled or postponed at this time;
    • Any concentration of individuals outside their home must be limited to workers providing essential services and social distancing should be practiced;
    • When in public individuals must practice social distancing of at least six feet from others;
    • Businesses and entities that provide other essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet;
    • Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people;
    • Individuals should limit use of public transportation to when absolutely necessary and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders;
    • Sick individuals should not leave their home unless to receive medical care and only after a telehealth visit to determine if leaving the home is in the best interest of their health;
    • Young people should also practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations; and
    • Use precautionary sanitizer practices such as using isopropyl alcohol wipes.

“Matilda’s Law” includes the following recommendations for vulnerable populations:

    • Remain indoors;
    • Can go outside for solitary exercise;
    • Pre-screen all visitors and aides by taking their temperature and seeing if person is exhibiting other flu-like symptoms;
    • Do not visit households with multiple people;
    • Wear a mask when in the company of others;
    • To the greatest extent possible, everyone in the presence of vulnerable people should wear a mask;
    • Always stay at least six feet away from individuals; and
    • Do not take public transportation unless urgent and absolutely necessary.

Essential businesses or entities, including any for profit or non-profit, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure, are not subject to the in-person restriction. Follow this link to view a list of businesses that are classified as essential: https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026  If the function of your business is not listed, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an essential business.

    • Houses of worship are not ordered closed however it is strongly recommended no congregate services be held and social distance maintained. 
    • Businesses and entities that provide essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet.
    • Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function as described above, should only be made if they are NOT covered by the guidance.
    • To request designation as an essential business, please click here.
    • Restrictions on requesting designation as an essential business
      • Any business that only has a single occupant/employee (i.e. gas station) has been deemed exempt and need not submit a request to be designated as an essential business. 
      • Businesses ordered to close on Monday, March 15, 2020 under the restrictions on any gathering with 50 or more participants, including but not limited to, bars, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, casinos, auditoriums, concerts, conferences, worship services, sporting events, and physical fitness centers, are presumed to be compliant with NYS issued restrictions and must remain closed and are not eligible for designation as an essential business for purposes of this guidance. 

  • Effective by 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 21st, Governor Cuomo, Governor Murphy, Governor Lamont and Governor Wolf have directed the temporary closure of barber shops, nail and hair salons and related personal care services.

  • Governor Cuomo, Governor Murphy, Governor Lamont and Governor Wolf have called for temporary closure of all indoor portions of retail shopping malls, amusement parks, and bowling alleys, effective by Thursday, March 19th at 8 p.m.

  • The Mayor ordered restaurants, bars, and cafes in New York City to close unless they provide food take-out or delivery services, to commence on Tuesday, March 17th. No dine-in is permitted. Under the Mayor’s order, clubs, movie theaters, smaller theaters, and concert venues in New York City are also mandated to close starting Tuesday, March 17th.

  • NYC Parks COVID-19 Update – March 23rd: Our parks and playgrounds remain open to provide New Yorkers of all ages with solitary, active recreational opportunities. While in parks and playgrounds, it is critical to practice social distancing among people who do not live in the same household. NYPD and Parks Enforcement Patrol officers are monitoring activities, and NYC Parks is installing new signage to warn adults/parents/guardians and children to maintain social distancing. Over the next week, NYC Parks will evaluate compliance and adopt more stringent rules if needed.

    NYC Parks has already banned team sports and suspended all permits for organized sports and large gatherings, and installed advisory signage at all athletic fields and courts. The City has increased the presence of NYPD and Parks Enforcement Patrol officers to enforce social distancing.  The City is closely coordinating with the State to evaluate these efforts and will consider expanded restrictions as necessary.

    In addition, Parks has closed all nature centers and recreation centers, and many concessions, including ice rinks, amusement parks, carousels, tennis facilities and public courts.  All Shape Up NYC fitness classes, Urban Park Ranger tours, and outdoor events including the annual Street Games festival have been cancelled until further notice. For all updates on park service changes and closures, go to: https://www.nycgovparks.org/about/health-and-safety-guide/coronavirus.

As of Tuesday, March 17th, all City recreation centers and nature centers were closed to the public until further notice.  In response to the State and City’s directive, NYC Parks has cancelled all events with 50 or more expected attendees through April 12th, 2020.

    • All tournaments and sports practices are cancelled.
    • Exterior park drinking fountains that were taken offline for the winter season will not be reactivated until further notice.
    • All Shape Up NYC programs are cancelled through March 29. Please follow Shape Up NYC on Facebook for news on upcoming free online fitness opportunities.
    • Indoor Ranger programs are cancelled through March 29.
    • All tournaments and sports practices are cancelled.
    • All special events held in recreation centers have been cancelled.
    • Exterior park drinking fountains that were taken offline for the winter season will not be reactivated until further notice.

  • As of 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 12th, Broadway shows were cancelled for the immediate future. As of Tuesday, March 17th, all gatherings with more than 50 people shall be postponed or cancelled in order to reduce the density of people in one place.
  • Please note, as well, that certain facilities have decided to close temporarily out of an abundance of caution, including New York Public Library branches and select physical fitness centers. Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center, the Frick Collection, and Radio City Music Hall will be closed until further notice. The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade has been postponed.

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Government and Municipal Services

MTA / Transportation

  •  March 26th MTA Updates
    • Bus service: Starting Thursday, March 26th, buses will operate at 75% of normal service. This reflects a steep drop in ridership, which means we need fewer buses to meet our riders’ needs. Running fewer buses also decreases crowding in our depot facilities. However, if you rely on the bus to get where you’re going, we’re there for you.
    • Railroad service: Beginning Friday, March 27th, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad will be operating reduced service. West of Hudson service is operating on a weekend schedule until further notice. See West of Hudson schedules
      • LIRR: Weekday capacity on the Long Island Rail Road will be reduced by about 68%. We’ll be running around 500 trains each day, compared to more than 740 trains on a usual weekday. We’ll have crews and equipment on standby in case we need to supplement service. See LIRR schedules
      • Metro-North: Metro-North will provide hourly service on the Harlem, Hudson and New Haven lines, with extra trains added during peak times. Normal weekday capacity will be reduced by about 50% compared to a normal weekday. Starting April 4, Metro-North will provide hourly service while also suspending shuttle service between Wassaic and Southeast on the Upper Harlem line. See Metro-North schedules

The MTA reports, “Trains, stations, and buses are normally cleaned every day and disinfected as needed. Now, we’re disinfecting stations and high-touch surfaces—like turnstiles, ticket machines, and handrails—twice a day. Our cleaners are working to disinfect trains, cars, and buses every day, with the entire active service fleet being covered every 72 hours. And Access-A-Ride vehicles are disinfected every day. We’re using CDC-endorsed cleaning products.” https://new.mta.info/precautions-against-coronavirus

  • PARATRANSIT: The paratransit program has eliminated shared rides in accordance with the recommended public health guidance, and extended eligibility for existing Access-A-Ride customers. The paratransit system continues to have the capacity to serve demand, which has declined by 71% from earlier this month. The MTA joins a growing list of public transit agencies that have scaled back service due to a drop in ridership resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.

 

  • Ferries: Staten Island Ferry and NYC Ferry will be operating on reduced schedules.
    • The Staten Island ferry will operate on a reduced schedule until further notice.
    • For up to date information regarding the ferry schedule please call 311 or visit the nyc DOT ferry schedule
    • NYC DOT’s Staten Island ferry passenger service office, located inside St. George Ferry Terminal, is closed effective march 21, 2020 until further notice.
    • Please contact 311 to schedule a lost and found pick up or to request a ferry late note.

  • Buses: rear-door boarding has officially gone into effect on City buses. Operators have been explicitly instructed to accommodate anyone requesting to board through the front doors. Bus operators must also continue to assist and secure customers on the bus who use a mobility device, when needed. Customers boarding and exiting through the front door may sit at the front of the bus. From New York City Transit: “This policy has just gone into effect and we appreciate any feedback on how it is working. If customers find that an operator is not allowing them to board at the front, if they can share the bus number, route, location, and time we can more fully look into the incident. “

  • Alternate Side Parking is suspended until April 28th.

  • Thruway Toll Announcement:  The New York State Thruway Authority announced emergency toll procedures will be in place effective Sunday, March 22 at approximately 8 p.m., at cash toll lanes on the Thruway’s ticketed-system.
    • This plan will convert the collection of cash tolls to toll billing by the license plate during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) response. The procedures will be in place until further notice.

    • We are implementing these emergency toll procedures for the health and safety of our employees and motorists.

    • Effective Sunday, March 22 at approximately 8 p.m., when non-E-Z Pass customers enter the Thruway in a cash lane, they will continue through the lane without collecting a ticket.

    • When the customer exits the Thruway, they will inform the toll collector which exit they entered the Thruway and provide the toll collector their license plate information, without paying cash to the toll collector.

    • Motorists will then be sent a bill in the mail in approximately 30 days. Toll bills will be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle at the address on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Once they receive a bill in the mail, customers can pay with a credit card through the Thruway Authority’s website.

  • Parking Permits for Healthcare Workers: To protect frontline workers who are at risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19, the City will issue citywide parking permits to healthcare personnel. The City can make up to 10,000 permits available to hospitals across the City by Monday March 23rd. Each hospital will receive a set number of permits based on the number of employees who require a permit, and the City will work with hospitals to provide more on an as-needed basis. Hospitals will be responsible for distributing them to their respective workforces and will fill in the make, model, and license plate number.

  • New York City #BikeMatchHave a bike? Need a bike? You’re in the right place. In New York City, bicycles are essential transportation for many who need to get around during the coronavirus outbreak. This might include traveling to essential jobs, running crucial errands, or participating in mutual aid for vulnerable people who cannot leave their homes. Transportation Alternatives is connecting New Yorkers who have an extra bicycle to New Yorkers who need one. Whether you have a bike or need a bike, fill out the form below, and we will match you. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfVT_3C2fXGwG286jckm4OuTSTGTGy0p_iJWUXRWPKs6-Pgng/viewform

  • Citibike is offering free 30-day memberships for critical workforce in response to COVID-19. More information available here.

 

Housing

  • NYCHA has hired a contractor to clean senior buildings with a two-step treatment plan that includes cleaning and applying a deep-cleaning agent and a bio-ecofriendly protective coating that kills germs before it attaches to the surface. The deep-cleaner and protective coating are applied at the same time and typically last for 90 days, but NYCHA is going to a 30-day cycle as a precautionary measure, and basic cleaning is recommended two times a week after application. NYCHA is postponing in-person public meetings and events at NYCHA offices and developments for 30 days.
  • NYCHA encourages households experiencing a loss of income to access our rent hardship program. You may qualify for a rent reduction if all the following conditions are met:
    • There is at least a 5% reduction to gross income;
    • Current rent is more than 30% of the net household income; and
    • Reduction in income has lasted at least two months.
    • Residents can request a rent reduction by completing an Interim Recertification via the NYCHA Self-Service Portal or by calling their Property Management Office to request a paper form be mailed to your home.
    • If your household experiences a complete loss of income, you may qualify for NYCHA’s Zero Income Policy; please call your property management office to participate in the required eligibility interview.
    • As a reminder, public housing residents have eight ways to pay rent, including via mail, MyNYCHA, online, at an authorized bank or credit union, by phone, and more. Visit on.nyc.gov/payrent to learn more. If you have any NYCHA questions or concerns, please call 718-707-7771. 

    • Assistance for Section 8 Recipients: In order to ensure New Yorkers who use Section 8 rental assistance vouchers have undisrupted access to housing, we are taking the following steps to strengthen housing stability:
      • The City will automatically extend any Section 8 voucher set to expire. Voucher holders do not need to reach out to the City for an extension.
      • All subsidy terminations that are in process are suspended until further notice.
      • Any HPD Section 8 voucher holders facing rent hardships due to decreases in income should contact HPD.  
      • NYCHA encourages households experiencing a loss of income to visit the NYCHA Self-Service Portal.

    • The HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office at 100 Gold Street is closed until at least March 30th, but the HPD Section 8 team is still available to the public. New Yorkers should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.govor fax at 212-863-5299 for assistance.

DMV

  • By executive order, DMV in-office transactions are temporarily closed:
    • Online transactions, including for license renewals, are still available.
    • License and permit expirations will be extended.

NYC Department of Sanitation

  • The New York City Department of Sanitation announced that core Sanitation services will continue on the normal collection schedule during the City’s COVID-19 response. Residents should follow their normal schedule and place their material at the curb after 4 p.m. but before midnight, the evening before their collection day. Anyone with questions about collection schedules should contact 311.

    DSNY has suspended some services in order to limit person-to-person contact and to enable our workforce to refocus on core operations. Suspended services include Food Scrap Drop-off sites and curbside and apartment building electronics collection programs. A full list of service suspensions is included below.

    DSNY and its employees play a critical role in the public health of our City. The Department has instituted plans to ensure ongoing operations during this challenging time. With more and more New Yorkers heeding the City’s advice to stay home and practice social distancing, DSNY expects collection volumes to increase and will respond accordingly.

Additionally, to conform to current public gathering guidelines and better provide our essential services, some temporary closures, postponements and cancelations are in effect.

Service Suspensions (as of March 20, 2020):
 

    • Food Scrap Drop-off Sites: 
      • Food Scrap Drop-off sites will be closed until further notice.
      • Residents should not leave food scraps at these locations.
      • Visit nyc.gov/dropfoodscraps for updates.
    • Household Hazardous Waste: 
      • The spring SAFE events scheduled have been canceled. We look forward to hosting the next series of events in the fall.
      • Special Waste Drop-off sites will be closed until further notice.
      • Residents should not illegally dump waste at these locations.
      • Visit nyc.gov/safedisposal for updates.
    • Compost Giveback: 
      • Compost giveback events scheduled in April have been canceled.
      • Check nyc.gov/getcompost for updates on future events.
      • Electronics Recycling: 
      • Curbside electronics recycling appointments are not being accepted at this time.
      • Pickup requests for ecycleNYC are not being accepted at this time.
      • Visit nyc.gov/electronics for recycling options and updates.
    • Textile Donation and Recycling: 
      • Pickup requests for refashionNYC are not being accepted at this time.
      • Greenmarket clothing collections are suspended until further notice.
      • Visit nyc.gov/textiles for donation options and updates.

New York State Courts

  • The New York State Courts: Please visit the New York State Unified Court System Coronavirus updates web page to view information about court cancellations: https://www.nycourts.gov/whatsnew/covid.shtml
  • Suspension of Jury Trials: If you have been summoned for jury duty, beginning on March 16th and continuing until further notice your service has been suspended at this time. You will hear from the courts in the future with another date for service. 

Education/New York City Public Schools/CUNY/SUNY/Libraries/Student Loans

  • March 27th Update: Starting Monday, March 30th, the DOE is consolidating Regional Enrichment Center (REC) sites in order to ensure high-quality programming and closing the following sites in Manhattan (among others in other parts of the city): J.H.S. 56 (220 Henry St.), P.S./I.S. 89 (201 Warren St.), P.S. 125 (425 W. 123 St.), and P.S./I.S. 210 (501-503 W. 152 St.). RECs will be expanded to also serve grocery and pharmacy workers. These centers are currently serving the kids of healthcare workers, first responders, transit workers, and other essential staff.

  • March 23rd Update: Today the Dept. of Education opened Regional Enrichment Centers (REC) for children of health care workers, police, fire, emergency management, and some transit workers. DOE has created this enrollment form for those first responders to complete. RECs will be open Monday-Friday from 7:30am – 6:00pm. Students will be provided three hot meals a day and technology for remote learning, as well as art and PE classes. Each location will include a nurse and isolation rooms, in case anyone displays symptoms. There are 15 centers in Manhattan as of Friday. 

  • DOE is committed to making three free meals available daily for all NYC children.  Families can learn the location of the nearest meal hub by texting FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877. The “find a free meal location near you” feature on the DOE website is now available, so families can search for the meal hub nearest to them.

  • The DOE has set up https://parentcoordinatornyc.connectwithkids.com/ as a resource for Parent Coordinators. They will be continuing to build out the site this week, so please send them your feedback on any additional information/resources that should be added.

  • Information about school meals and remote learning: https://infohub.nyced.org/in-our-schools/operations/coronavirus-communications

  • DOE Remote Learning FAQ Sheet
    The Department of Education has put together a remote learning FAQ sheet that you can access here. It contains answers to questions about Special Education, English Language Learner instructions, remote learning checklists and more!

Reminder, if you need a free tablet apply here or you can also call 718-935-5100 and choose Option 5 on the menu. If you know someone without access to technology please pass this phone number on to them! DOE has also provided guidance on a Special Education Remote Learning Plan that will be developed for all students with IEPs in the school by their special education teacher or other school based staff with knowledge of the student, and that each child’s plan will be shared and discussed with their family. Here are remote learning materials you can access for special education!

  • Amazon has canceled the subscription of books and audio stories for children and students of all ages as long as schools are closed, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet using the following link https://stories.audible.com/start-listen.

  • Verizon is matching Spectrum and other cable providers’ offer for free internet for households with school-age children. They are also going one better, with other learning tools and some premium TV channels offered to customers at no additional cost. Read the release: verizon.com/about/news/verizon-customers-learning-tools-premium-tv

  • Beginning Monday, March 16, Charter cable will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription, and installation fees will be waived for new student households. For eligible low-income households without school-aged children, Charter continues to offer “Spectrum Internet Assist,” a low-cost broadband program delivering speeds of 30 Mbps. They are also opening their Wi-Fi hotspots across their service area for public use. To enroll in the free broadband service or Internet Assist, call 1-844-488-8395. (It’s their standard customer service line, so use the “new service” or “add service” option. To avoid long wait times, call early in the morning or later in the evening, until 1:00 am EDT)

  • INCLUDEnyc
    INCLUDEnyc, a provider of training and information for young people with any disability in New York City, their families, and the professionals who support them, has compiled resources relating to the COVID-19 crisis. They also operate a help line that provides in-depth, one-to-one help and referral information.

  • The New York Times: How to Home School During Coronavirus
    Resources and lesson plans from The New York Times about home schooling.

 

Meal Hubs

  • All New Yorkers may pick up 3 free meals a day at more than 400 Meal Hubs open Monday through Friday across all of NYC.
    • Children and families can pick up meals from 7:30AM to 11:30AM.
    • Adults can pick up meals from 11:30AM to 1:30PM.
  • Meal hubs do not require registration, identification, or documentation.
    • No one will be turned away.
    • All 3 meals can be picked up at the same time, and caregivers can pick up meals on behalf of their children.
    • No dining space is available, so meals must be eaten outside of meal hubs.
    • Vegetarian and halal options are available at all sites.
  • To find a meal hub location near you: Go to schools.nyc.gov. Text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877.
  • View this update in multiple languages

“Meal Hub” locations in Senate District 28 (or within a few blocks):

    • M.S. 260 Clinton School Writers & Artists, 10 East 15th Street
    • J.H.S. 104 Simon Baruch, 330 East 21 Street
    • School of the Future High School, 127 East 22 Street
    • The American Sign Language and English Secondary School, 223 East 23 Street
    • Manhattan Academy For Arts & Language, 111 East 33 Street
    • Urban Academy Laboratory High School, 317 East 67 Street
    • Life Sciences Secondary School, 320 East 96 Street

SUNY/CUNY

  • Classes on SUNY and CUNY campuses have been cancelled from March 12th – March 18th. Classes will be held through distance learning from March 19th through the end of the Spring semester.

Distance learning will start Monday, March 23rd. The City will provide supervision for children of first responders, health care workers, and transit workers starting Monday, March 23rd.

  • New York State Bar Exam: The New York Court of Appeals announced on March 27, 2020 that the New York State Bar Examination will not be administered on July 28-29, 2020 as previously scheduled.
The examination has been rescheduled to Wednesday-Thursday, September 9-10, 2020. The application period for the rescheduled examination is scheduled to open on May 5, 2020 at 12 am and to close on May 30, 2020 at 11:59 pm.
 
Please visit the New York State Board of Law Examiners for more information. 

 

Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH)

  • OATH Hearing Centers will be closed for 1 week until March 30th. The following information will be posted at each OATH Hearing Center:

Correctional Facilities

  • Visitation at Correctional Facilities: As of 5 p.m. Saturday, March 14th, general visitation at correctional facilities is suspended until April 11th. Visits for legal consultation are not affected. To mitigate isolation, DOCCS has announced it will allow inmates one free phone call, two free electronic messages, and five free postal stamps per week.

 

Elections

  • Absentee ballots will be available to all New Yorkers who may vote in the June 23 primary. Applications for absentee ballots are available at vote.nyc or by calling 1-866-VOTE-NYC (1-866-868-3692) for a postage-paid application or downloading the form at vote.nyc/page/absentee-voting. There are instructions on the absentee ballot applications. Here is a link for an absentee ballot application in Spanish:

When applying, you must:

    • Check off “temporary illness,” or “physical disability” as Governor Cuomo has declared that the COVID-19 epidemic fits this definition for all New Yorkers whether or not they are ill themselves and
    • Submit your absentee ballot by fax (in New York County to 646-638-2047) or postmark by Tuesday, June 16, 2020.
    • You will receive your absentee ballot up to 32 days before the election and it must be postmarked by Monday, June 22, 2020.

  • The New York Presidential Primary has been rescheduled for June 23rd, to combine the Presidential delegate vote with Congressional, State Senate and State Assembly primaries. Check out Whosontheballot.org to find all kinds of information about upcoming debates, registration deadlines and absentee ballot request deadlines. You can even find out if you are eligible to vote. 

  • Queens Special Election: The Queens Special Election for Borough President has been cancelled. Updates to be provided.

Department of Taxation and Finance

  • The deadline to file state and federal tax returns has been extended to July 15, 2020.

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Social and Legal Services

Social Services

  •  Social security offices are closed. Please call your local social security office at 877.445.0836. Call early, close to 9 a.m., in order to have a shorter wait time to speak with a representative.

  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) issues electronic benefits that can be used like cash to purchase food. SNAP helps low-income working people, senior citizens, the disabled and others feed their families. Follow this link to get more information about SNAP, eligibility criteria, and to apply for SNAP 24/7: https://www.ny.gov/services/apply-snap

Notice: To help stop the spread of COVID-19, many local department of social services and SNAP Centers locations are consolidating their hours until further notice. We are asking New Yorkers to do everything they can through myBenefits.ny.gov. Please call your local district or visit their website to check their operating hours. All in-person appointments have been cancelled.

  • Apply for Cash Assistance
    Click here to submit an application for Cash Assistance online or through the ACCESS HRA mobile app.
  • Rental Assistance
    Rental assistance programs help New Yorkers experiencing homelessness move out of shelter and into stable housing by providing monthly rent supplements. Since 2014, more than 100,000 homeless New Yorkers have found permanent homes through these programs.

    The Department of Social Services (DSS), which includes both the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and the Human Resources Administration (HRA), can help you connect to rental assistance programs like CityFHEPS, and many other programs available through the State and Federal Government. Click here to learn more or to request rental assistance.

  • Fair Fares NYC
    The Fair Fares NYC program allows eligible New York City residents to receive a 50% discount on subway and eligible bus fares. Click here for more information and to apply.

 

  • New York City Department of Social Services: For clients in need of public benefits, we have implemented the following changes:
    • Starting last week, with State waivers that we requested, we have eliminated all requirements for HRA in-person appointments for clients, and we are preventing any adverse case actions for HRA clients who do not keep previously scheduled appointments. We are continuing to work with the State to obtain necessary federal waivers related to recertification periods.
    • Since we anticipate that more New Yorkers will be applying for public benefits as a result of the economic dislocation from COVID-19, we asked the State for – and received – permission to accept Cash Assistance (CA) applications online, which began on Friday, March 20. The interview portion of the application process will be conducted by telephone.
    • We have also asked the State for waivers relating to our services in the Medicaid, Home Care, Adult Protective Services, and Domestic Violence programs in order to conduct business in a way that minimizes face-to-face interactions.
    • Today, the State has informed us that based on the federal legislation signed on Wednesday, March 19, 2020, no person who currently has Medicaid coverage will lose their coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Along with elected officials, service providers, and advocacy organizations, we successfully advocated for a moratorium on evictions as well as utility shut-offs – both of which will avoid unnecessary visits to an HRA Center to apply for these emergency benefits.
    • All federal Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) requirements have been suspended.
    • Home Bound clients and clients with disabilities are being informed that applications can be submitted through ACCESS HRA. For clients who cannot or do not want to use ACCESS HRA, Home Visits are available. Staff conducting these home visits will adhere to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s guidelines and protocols for such visits.
    • Applications for emergency intervention services, including those for domestic violence survivors, can be done by telephone.
    • Applications for burial services can be submitted by email, fax, and mail.
    • Applications for benefits and services from the HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) can be obtained through ACCESS HRA.
    • State fair hearings are being held by telephone and video without the need to appear in person.

For clients experiencing homelessness, we have implemented the following changes:

    • With guidance from Health and Hospitals (H+H), we have provided a protocol for thousands of staff in DHS shelters and HRA shelters/congregate care settings and DHS outreach workers to help identify clients who are experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms and connect them to a medical assessment and care.
    • We created isolation capacity to provide shelter to clients who have COVID-19 symptoms or who test positive and do not need to be hospitalized. We have brought on additional shelter capacity to free up existing shelter space for isolation capacity.
    • We are procuring additional drop-in center capacity.
    • We have provided shelter providers with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) cleaning protocols and we are making sure that providers are equipped with the necessary cleaning supplies.
    • We are promoting social distancing in congregate shelters by extending and staggering mealtimes.
    • We have provided our street outreach teams with hand wipes (in the absence of hand-sanitizer supply) and socks to distribute to clients experiencing street homelessness.
    • We have streamlined the shelter application process through the use of telephone interviews and conferences, submission of documents by email, and the use of Skype. We asked for a suspension of the Income Savings Plan (ISP) requirement and we have been authorized to grant good cause to participating clients.

  • NYCHA Kiosk Access to Unemployment Insurance Services: NYCHA kiosks are making it easy for residents to apply for unemployment benefits. The link to the Department of Labor has been added to the main menu of the kiosk, located on the right hand, under the tab named Unemployment Benefits. If you would like to access the Unemployment Benefits service from home, please click here for instructions.
  • New York City Office of Emergency Management COVID-19 Services and Resources: Due to the impact of COVID-19 on New York City’s workforce, the City of New York has developed a list of employment, food assistance, health & medical assistance, financial assistance, rent arrears and public assistance, emotional support & spiritual care, and other assistance resources for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional assistance. The list will be updated frequently: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/em/resources/covid-19-services-resources.page

  • Information on COVID-19 for Survivors, Communities, and Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Programshttps://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/get-updates-information-covid-19/

  • Safe Horizons: Domestic Violence
    Know someone who experiencing domestic violence or abuse during the #COVID19 crisis? @SafeHorizon is here to help with exploring options. If you are seeking help, you may contact the Safe Horizon Community Program Helpline at 1.855.234.1042. For more info, click here.

  • Information from NYC HOPE: https://www1.nyc.gov/nychope/site/page/home
  • The Manhattan Family Justice Center is closed, but victims and survivors can reach them at each of their MFJC staff virtually over the phone from Mondays to Fridays, 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. by calling its main line:  212-602-2800.

They are providing case management, advocacy, criminal legal support, counseling and civil legal consultation to survivors via phone and video conference. There is still support during these uncertain times. Here is the contact information for all the other Family Justice Centers as well:

    • NYC Family Justice Center, Queens: 718-575-4545
    • NYC Family Justice Center, Brooklyn: 718-250-5113
    • NYC Family Justice Center, Bronx: 718-508-1220
    • NYC Family Justice Center, Staten Island: 718-697-4300


Legal Services

  • Her Justice: While we are working remotely, we at Her Justice are open and providing critical legal services to women living in poverty throughout the city.  Our pro bono partners continue to provide support. While courts are closed for non-emergency cases, we continue to provide advice and counsel and work on emergency cases and are preparing cases for when courts reopen. We know that our clients’ needs continue. We are still here for them.

Contact Her Justice: 

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Economic Impact and Resources

Financial Resources

  • Unclaimed Funds: The New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli maintains a searchable database of unclaimed funds. Any New Yorker can search this database to see whether they have money owed to them. These times are tough financially for many New Yorkers, and the unclaimed funds database is the electronic equivalent of searching for loose change (and sometimes more) under the couch cushions. https://www.osc.state.ny.us/ouf/

 

  • Utilities: The New York State Public Service Commission is temporarily suspending any rate increases. Utility rate increases that were scheduled to go into effect on April 1st will be postponed. 

 

 

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Resources for Individuals and Families

  • The Department of Public Service will suspend utilities from cutting off service as a result of the coronavirus

  • New York State has placed a 90-day moratorium on any residential or commercial evictions.

  • Right to Counsel
    Right to Counsel NYC Coalition has created an FAQ regarding the moratorium on evictions.

  • Con Edison will not shut off electric, natural gas or steam service due to payment difficulties resulting from the health crisis. They are also waiving new late-payment charges for all customers. Learn more here about all the measures Con-Ed is taking during the pandemic.
    • Your service will not be shut off for non-payment.
    • Waiving new late-payment fees.
    • Suspending no-access fees if they can’t read your meter.
    • No fees for making payments with credit cards or debit cards.
    • Most customers can arrange for payment extensions and agreements online through My Accoun
    • Suspending fees for refusing smart meter installations

  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) 
    If you experience a loss of income, this federally funded program can help with your utility bills. Click here for more information.
  • Verizon COVID-19 Policies: When a Verizon customer is experiencing hardships because of COVID-19, Verizon will waive late fees for 60 days from March 16, 2020 to May 13, 2020, and will not terminate service to a customer who’s been impacted by the events involving the Coronavirus. If our customers are experiencing a hardship, they should call our customer service team to discuss their situation and available options. Customer support contact numbers, an online chat feature and support content can be found on the following pages:

Verizon will offer free international calling to countries identified by the Center for Disease Control as level 3 impacted by the coronavirus effective 3/18 through the end of April. This is available to wireless postpaid consumer and small/medium business customers, and landline home phone customers. Unlimited calling will be included for mobile and landline calls, with the exception of Iran, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia provided 300 minutes of free calls per month. Effective 3/19, wireless prepaid customers will also receive a total of 300 additional minutes to call level 3 countries.

Verizon will also waive activation fees on new lines of service and upgrade fees starting March 18. This applies to all purchases and service-only activations made through Verizon digital channels, such as verizonwireless.com and the My Verizon app.

Through April 30, Verizon will offer unlimited domestic calling to customers on limited-minute plans. Eligible customers will receive a text message to inform them of the offer. No action is necessary; the offer will automatically be added to eligible accounts.

  • AT&T Offers Relief for Customers: Consistent with FCC Chairman Pai’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge” and concerns raised by members of Congress, which we share, AT&T is proud to support our customers by pledging that, for 60 days, we will:
    • Not terminate the service of any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer because of their inability to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
    • Waive any late payment fees that any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer may incur because of economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic.
    • Waive domestic wireless plan overage charges for data, voice or text for residential or small business wireless customers incurred because of economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic.
    • Keep our public Wi-Fi hotspots open for any American who needs them.
  • Charter Spectrum COVID-19 Policies: To assist current customers who are facing hardship:
    • Spectrum will not disconnect service or assess late fees to customer accounts for 60 days.  
    • If a customer currently has a past due account, they need to inform customer service that they are experiencing hardship due to Coronavirus and they will automatically receive a 60-day grace period extension on their account.
    • For new subscribers, the company has expanded its existing Spectrum Internet Assist program which provides low-cost Broadband Internet and Wi-Fi for eligible low-income households, to include 60-days of complimentary internet service** (with no installation cost) for new households with K-12 or college students. Today this offer was further expanded to also include educators. The phone number to call is 1(844) 488-8395.

**Please note customers who do not wish to continue service after the end of complimentary period must cancel their service or it will continue at cost.

  •  
  • The United Way has established a COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund; they will help with bills, rent and food. Call 1-866-211-9966 and give them your ZIP code

  • The Hebrew Free Loan Society Coronavirus Financial Impact Loan Program provides interest-free loans of $2,000-$5,000 to residents of New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester, or Long Island who are facing financial challenges caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. All low- or moderate-income New Yorkers are eligible, regardless of credit history. Loans require one guarantor. For more information or an application, visit: https://hfls.org/loan-programs/coronavirusfinancialimpactloan/

  • The Center for New York City Neighborhoods has resources for homeowners, including foreclosure prevention, connecting to answers on basic non-legal questions, and advice about scams and contacting lenders.

  • Application For Suspension Of Debt Collection Activityhttps://ag.ny.gov/covid-19-debt-suspension-application This application is for persons or businesses that owe (non-medical and non-student; an application is not needed for medical and student debts) debts to the State of New York that have been referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection and litigation. Any such person or business, or their dependents, that have been financially impacted by COVID-19, or the international, national, and state responses designed to prevent its spread, may complete and submit this application to be considered for certain forms of relief, including relief from collection activity, interest accrual, and the assessment of collection fees.

  • The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued a new directive to New York State mortgage servicers to provide 90-day mortgage relief to mortgage borrowers impacted by COVID-19, including:
    • No negative reporting to credit bureaus;
    • Grace period for loan modification;
    • No late payment fees or online payment fees; and
    • Postponing or suspending foreclosures.

  • DFS is instructing state chartered banks to waive ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees, and fees for credit cards to help lessen the financial hardship of COVID-19 on New Yorkers.

  • Financial Justice: New Economy Project operates the NYC Financial Justice Hotline that helps community groups and low-income New Yorkers fight back against unfair and discriminatory financial practices. They provide free information, legal advice and referrals to community groups and low-income NYC residents. They also produce Know Your Rights material.

    Because of concerns over COVID19, the NYC Financial Justice Hotline is currently operating remotely. Please allow for a delay in response time. They are temporarily asking low-income NYC residents to call their main number, 212-680-5100, dial extension 200, and leave a voicemail with your name, phone number, and a brief description of your situation, including whether you have a frozen bank account or wage garnishment. 

  • NYLAG has developed a “financial crisis planning” guide for people living paycheck to paycheck with guidance and info about benefits: https://www.nylag.org/coronavirusfinancialplanning/. How to get help from NYLAG: https://www.nylag.org/coronavirus/

  • Other services for people in need: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/em/resources/covid-19-services-resources.page

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Resources for Older Adults and Caregivers

  • Through their Senior Planet program, Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) is offering webinars to seniors on a wide range of topics, including: how to use Zoom, how to access online health resources, and how to protect your online information. Click here for more information.

 

  • For seniors who would like to connect with others, Caring Calls will match you with vetted adult volunteers for weekly phone calls. To register, call DOROT at 212-769-2850 or email info@dorotusa.org.

 

  • DFTA offers a Friendly Visiting Program for older adults. Through this program, they pair older adults with volunteers who can do in-home visits. For more information, please click here.

 

  • SAGE has a volunteer program that connects volunteers with LGBTQ+ seniors to help combat social isolation.

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Resources for Immigrants and Undocumented Workers

  • ActionNYC, a partnership between MOIA and the City University of New York, is continuing to provide legal help to New Yorkers remotely. Click here to learn more.

ActionNYC provides the following services:

    • Free legal screenings to find out if you qualify for services.
    • Free legal assistance with the following cases:
      • Citizenship
      • Green card Applications and Renewals
      • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
      • Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and more!

To make an appointment, please call (800) 354-0365 Monday through Friday between 9 AM and 6 PM (or call 311 and say ‘ActionNYC’). Please note you must make an appointment to receive services.

  • If you require assistance with an application, CUNY Citizenship Now is continuing to serve New Yorkers remotely. Please note that assistance with applications will be limited to green card renewals, citizenship, DACA, and TPS. All other applications will resume when offices reopen.

For general questions, please call (646) 664-9400. You may also text (929) 334-3784 or email citizenshipnowinfo@cuny.edu.

  • The New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) is continuing to serve detained immigrant New Yorkers during COVID-19. If you need emergency legal support for an individual in detention, please call (347) 778-1266 for the Bronx Defenders, (718) 254-0700 for Brooklyn Defender Services, or (844) 955-3425 for the Legal Aid Society.

  • OCHO aims to provide education and support to Hispanic communities. They have updated their website to include information about COVID-19, both in the immediate future and beyond. Click here for more information.

  • Immigrants may receive COVID-19 health care WITHOUT having to answer questions about their immigration status or lack of insurance coverage– and such care will NOT be used in a “public charge” test (even if those services are funded by Medicaid). If you feel sick, use telehealth services or call ahead first wherever you get your health care; telehealth services keep everyone safer. (Gov. Cuomo is requiring insurance companies to waive co-pays for telehealth visits.) For more info call the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065. Assistance is available in over 100 languages. 

  • Protect your Health:
    • You can seek and receive medical care related to COVID-19, regardless of your immigration status or lack of health insurance.
    • Healthcare workers should not ask you about your immigration status. However, if they do, you can refuse to provide this information and you can tell them you have a right to be treated. If you provide information about your immigration status, remember that healthcare workers are required to keep your personal information confidential.
    • Seeking or using medical care related to COVID-19 – including preventive care, testing, or treatment – will NOT be used against immigrants in a “public charge” test, even if those services are funded by Medicaid.
    • Everyone has a right to an interpreter at no-cost when seeking medical care. You may request language interpretation directly from healthcare staff. Interpretation services may be provided in person or by phone.
    • If you feel sick, use telehealth services or call ahead before seeking medical care at your healthcare provider, a community health center, or a hospital emergency department. Telehealth services keep you, and those around you, safer. Governor Cuomo is requiring insurance companies to waive co-pays for telehealth visits. If you do not have health insurance, you can still be treated through telehealth services.
    • COVID-19 testing is free to all New Yorkers who have been ordered by a health care provider to be tested. You can find out more by calling the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065. Assistance is available in over 100 languages.
  • Make the Road NY ResourcesMake the Road compiled resources for New Yorkers including paid sick leave options, know your rights materials, and the moratorium on evictions. 

  • NYSYLC Resource List: The New York State Youth Leadership Council is compiling this live document of resources in NYC around COVID-19 support efforts. Including funds, mutual aid support, mental health support, food, housing, internet, art.

  • Undocu Workers Fund: $150 Undocu Workers Fund:
    Eligibility:
    • Be undocumented
    • Work in the food service industry in Manhattan or Brooklyn
    • Have been unable to work at this time due to corona-related mandates
    • Have a Venmo account/have access to a Venmo account through someone that you trust (family or employer)
    • Our process is based on trust; trust in people and trust in the community. We trust folks who have reached out are the ones who are currently most impacted.

Fund will be distributed via Venmo. All transactions will be private to not disclose the personal information of folks receiving the grants. The goal is to release funds on Fridays either weekly or bi-weekly depending on fundraising efforts.

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Resources for Health Care Providers

  • COVID-19 Hotel Program The City of New York’s COVID-19 Hotel Program provides select individuals and groups (e.g., healthcare workers) a place to stay to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To determine if you are eligible and make a reservation go to www.nyc.gov/covid19hotels
  • Marriott and Hilton are offering free rooms for healthcare workers. Marriott’s program, “Rooms for Responders”, was launched on April 8. Beginning the week of April 13, Hilton rooms will be available to doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, and other frontline medical staff without charge.

  • Hertz is offering free car rentals for up to one-month at each of its NYC locations for healthcare workers. Information: https://pub.emails.hertz.com/HealthcareHonor

  • JetBlue is providing free flights for medical volunteers coming to New York State to help with COVID relief.

  • Citi Bike is providing a free month-long membership to healthcare workers, transit workers and first responders to help them travel safely to work.

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Resources for Tenants

  • Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants
    The City is here to help you maintain stable housing. If you have questions related to paying rent during quarantine or hospitalization due to COVID-19, you can contact the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants by filling out the Contact Us form. This page will be continually updated.

  • New York City is launching a five-borough hotline through 311 to help educate tenants about their rights and sources of rent relief.

  • Mobilization for Justice (MFJ) has compiled a fact sheet on tenants’ rights. MFJ has also increased intake for their housing hotline to address concerns during COVID-19. 

Telephone intake: Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

    • For Tenants in Manhattan and Brooklyn: (212) 417-3888
    • For Tenants in the Bronx: (212) 417-3889

For additional services from Mobilization for Justice, click here.

  • The MET Council on Housing has a tenants’ rights hotline, which is free of charge, for any tenant living in New York City. Click here for more information and FAQs.

Telephone intake: (212) 979-0611

    • Monday: 1:30 PM – 8:00 PM
    • Tuesday: 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
    • Wednesday: 1:30 PM – 8:00 PM
    • Friday: 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Please note that the MET Council on Housing is staffed by volunteer members and does not provide any legal advice.

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Resources for Property Owners

  • The New York City Department of Finance offers several programs to assist property owners who face hardships making their property tax payments. These include exemption programs to lower the amount of taxes owed, standard payment plan options as well as the new Property Tax and Interest Deferral (PT AID) program, for those who qualify.

  • Exemption Programs
    The Department of Finance administers several benefits in the form of tax exemptions, abatements, and money-saving programs. Exemptions lower the amount of tax owed by reducing a property’s assessed value. Abatements reduce taxes by applying credits to the amount of taxes owed. Exemptions administered by DOF include the Coop & Condo Abatement for qualifying property owners, as well as a number of programs for seniors, disabled and veterans. More information and application information for those programs can be found here.

  • Standard Payment Plans
    The Department of Finance offers flexible payment plans programs that are personalized to each property owner. Under a payment plan, property owners agree to pay the total amount owed over time instead of paying the full amount all at once. A payment plan will also prevent enforcement from occurring against a property.
     
    DOF offers standard payment plans to owners of all properties. Standard payment plans require a down payment as low as zero dollars and can spread out the repayment of what is owed over a period that can be as long as ten years. While the payment plan is in effect, interest is charged on the outstanding balance and the property owner is required to pay newly occurring property taxes in full. 

  • Property Tax and Interest Deferral program (PT AID)
    Property owners who qualify for the Property Tax and Interest Deferral program can defer their property tax payments, or pay only a small percentage of their income, to ensure they stay in their home. The PT AID program defers property tax payments for a given length of time, depending on each applicant’s situation. Through the program, payment of property taxes can be deferred for a fixed length of time for a temporary hardship, or for a longer period due to a chronic hardship. The amount each property owner can defer paying is limited to a maximum of 25% of the owner equity of a one-, two-, or three-family home, or up to 50% of the equity of a condominium unit. The program is open to one-to three-family home and condominium owners who have fallen behind on their property tax payments.
     
    Below are the three payment plan options:

Extenuating Circumstances Income-Based (ECI) Plan
Homeowners experiencing extenuating circumstances can enter into a payment plan which limits their payments to a maximum of 8% of their adjusted gross income while the hardship persists. The Department of Finance defines “extenuating circumstances” as involving the death or serious illness of a property’s owner or immediate family member, loss of income, or enrollment in the Department of Environmental Protection’s Water Debt Assistance Program.
 
Eligibility criteria:

    • The property must be a one- to three-unit tax class 1 residential property, or a condominium.
    • The property must have been the applicant’s primary residence for at least one year.
    • Applicants must have a federal adjusted gross income (AGI) of $58,399 or less.
    • Applicants must be able to document an extenuating circumstance such as the death or serious illness of a property’s owner or immediate family member, loss of income, or enrollment in the Department of Environmental Protection’s Water Debt Assistance Program.

Low-Income Senior Plan
Senior homeowners experiencing hardship can fully or partially defer payment of their delinquent and future property taxes for either a fixed or indefinite period of time. Property owners can choose to pay 0% (full deferral), 25%, 50%, or 75% of the delinquent and future property taxes.
 
Eligibility criteria:

    • Property owner must be 65 or older.
    • Property must be a one- to three-unit tax class 1 residential property, or a condominium.
    • The applicant must have been using the property as their primary residence for at least one year.
    • Applicants must have a federal adjusted gross income (AGI) of $58,399 or less.

Fixed-Term Income-Based plan
Property owners can enter into a payment plan which limits their payments to a maximum of 8% of their adjusted gross income. The plan may include only the delinquent amount or the delinquent amount plus charges projected to be due over the next year.

Eligibility criteria:

    • The property must be a one- to three-unit tax class 1 residential property, or a condominium.
    • The property must have been the applicant’s primary residence for at least one year.
    • Applicants must have a federal adjusted gross income (AGI) of $58,399 or less.

Applications and more information about property payment plan applications can be found here; information and the application for the PT AID program can be found here. Completed applications and supporting documentation for both standard payment plans and the PT AID program can be emailed to PTAID@finance.nyc.gov or mailed to:
 
Department of Finance
Payment Plans
59 Maiden Lane, 28th Floor
New York, NY 10038

 
In addition, the Department of Finance has an online payment plan calculator to help property owners estimate how much they would pay under the various potential terms of each plan. The tool uses applicants’ information about their property and income to help make the estimate.
 
New York City property taxes are administered by the NYC Department of Finance. Properties with assessed values less than $250,000 are billed quarterly, and the next payment is due on April 1. These property owners are entitled to a grace period allowing them to pay their balance free of interest until April 15. Properties with assessed values more than $250,000 are billed semi-annually and the next payment is due July 1.  More information on property bills and payment dates can be found online

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Resources for Employees

  • Applying for Paid Sick Leave: If you are under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by New York State, the Department of Health, a local board of health, or another government entity you may be eligible for paid sick leave under the new state law. Your eligibility depends on the size of employer and the employer’s net annual income.
     
    For more information or to apply for benefits, visit: https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/if-you-are-quarantined-yourself
     
    If you are entitled to sick leave but your employer fails to comply, you have the right to file a complaint. Complaints can be filed online through the Department of Labor at: https://www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/coronavirus-complaints.shtm
  • Work from Home (WFH) Like a Pro
    Time Management and Work Habits
  • To learn more about unemployment insurance benefits, eligibility, and to apply, go to the New York State Department of Labor website.
    Note: Any claim you file will be backdated to the date you became unemployed. If you are eligible, you will be paid for all benefits due.

  • The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) is implementing a new filing system based on the first letter of the applicants last name (alphabetical order). If you are filing a new unemployment insurance claim, the day you should file is based on the first letter of your last name.
    • If your last name starts with A – F, file your claim on Monday.
    • For last names starting with G – N, file your claim on Tuesday.
    • For last names starting with O – Z, file your claim on Wednesday.
    • If you missed your filing day, file your claim on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim, since all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed.


  • Frequently Asked Questions about Unemployment Insurance During the Coronavirus Emergency 

  • What You Need to Know and Do About the CARES Act
    The federal CARES Act was signed into law March 27, 2020. The Act provides enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for New Yorkers.

  • Information about Pandemic Unemployment Insurance
    Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides payment to workers not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history, and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency.

  • RAISE: Undocu Workers Fund
    This fund will support undocumented workers in the service industry who will not have the privilege to apply for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 health crisis and mandated lockdowns. The fund will be distributed to undocumented folks working at restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Click here for more information.

 

  • The 7-day waiting period to obtain unemployment insurance will be waived for people who are laid off due to economic impacts of the coronavirus.

  • The Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation: This advocacy and action nonprofit created by and for restaurant workers has compiled information and links to resources that will help restaurants and workers deal most effectively with the COVID-19 Emergency.

  • Survey for Nightlife Businesses, Workers, and Freelancers Impacted by COVID-19
    The Office of Nightlife at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment is gathering information on the impacts for workers, performers, contractors, and businesses from COVID-19-related business closures and event cancellations. Click here to complete the survey

  • Paul, Weiss Coronavirus Relief Center
    Paul, Weiss has launched an online portal with a repository of Federal, state, local and non-profit relief programs for businesses, employees and other individuals hit hard by the pandemic. More than 600 relief programs can be accessed on this portal, which will be updated regularly to reflect changes to existing programs and to identify newly available programs. It is searchable by jurisdiction, contains explanations of eligibility requirements, provides guidance on accessing benefits, and includes direct links and contact information for the responsible agency or organization.

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Resources for Businesses and Not-for-Profit Organizations

  • Shared Work Program for Employers to Reduce Lay-offs.

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program
    The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020. Click here for more information and to apply.
  • Chelsea Greenwich Village Chamber of Commerce
    The Chelsea Greenwich Village Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list of resources for local businesses. Click here for more information.

  • Hudson Square BID
    The Hudson Square BID has compiled a list of local businesses that remain open to serve the community.

  • Forbes: Coronavirus Small Business Relief Programs  
    Forbes has compiled a list of small business relief programs. To visit this site, click here.
  • Empire State Development (ESD) FAQ for businesses regarding State regulations and general guidance related to the coronavirus: https://esd.ny.gov/novel-coronavirus-faq-businesses
    If your question is not answered there, please contact ESD at our website athttps://esd.ny.gov/covid-19-help

  • New York City’s Department of Finance announced it will waive penalties for DOF-administered business and excise taxes due this spring, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Taxpayers and return preparers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak may request to have the penalties waived on a late-filed extension or return, or in a separate request, for taxes due between March 16 and April 25, 2020.

Any business owner or business tax preparer who files an extension or return or makes a tax payment in accordance with these rules will not be subject to any late filing, late payment, or underpayment penalties. For purposes of the above filings, while late filing and late payment penalties are waived, interest, where applicable, at the appropriate underpayment rate, must be paid on all tax payments received after the original due date calculated from the original due date to the date of payment. 

All paper filings under this announcement should be marked “COVID-19” on the top center of the first page. The same relief will be provided to adversely affected electronic filers.

Any taxpayer that receives a Notice asserting a late filing, late payment or underpayment penalty for this period may submit an abatement request to DOF and the penalty will be waived.

Penalty abatements may be requested by writing to:
 
NYC Department of Finance
P.O. Box 5564
Binghamton, NY  13902-5564
 
Requests may also be made using the DOF online portal at www.nyc.gov/dofaccount, or via email to Penalty_Abatements@finance.nyc.gov. Please include the letter identification on your notice, or your EIN.

  • The Robin Hood Relief Fund
    The Robin Hood Relief Fund is helping New Yorkers by supporting the nonprofit organizations on the frontlines. Robin Hood anticipates making grants to 501(c)(3) organizations in New York City that are well-positioned to serve low-income communities. The initial grants, expected to last three months in duration, will average $45,000. The purpose of these grants is to provide resources to support nonprofits that are on the front lines of this work and can move swiftly to serve affected communities. Click here for more information.

 

  • Bloomberg Philanthropies and a number of foundations have created a $75 million NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund to support New York City-based social services and cultural organizations that have been affected by the crisis. The fund will provide grants and interest-free loans to small and mid-size nonprofits (with priority given to direct social service providers, such as those supporting essential healthcare and food insecurity) to help them respond to emerging needs, cover losses associated with the disruption of their operations, and help them continue their critical work. To be eligible, each organization must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, based in New York City, already be a recipient of City and/or State government funding, an operating budget of under $20M/yr and have a track record of robust programming and services for New York residents. Interested organizations can get more information and apply here.

  • The City’s SBS (Small Business Services) agency has this webpage for small businesses suffering during the shutdown.

  • And the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) federal disaster loan program has been approved for all counties in NYS and is available for applications.  Low-interest loans for working capital are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private non-profit organizations suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout New York State. Information on the program, how to apply, and a webinar can be found on the Empire State Development Corporation’s website.

  • Many businesses are laying off employees and even shutting their doors due to economic hardship. Please visit the New York City Small Business Services web page for assistance and guidance: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/sbs/businesses/covid19-business-outreach.page.

  • The NYC Department of Small Business (SBS) is offering zero-interest loans up to $75,000 for businesses with fewer than 100 employees that have experienced at least a 25% decrease in revenue due to coronavirus. Additionally, the City is offering to cover up to 40% of payroll costs for two months for businesses with fewer than 5 employees to help retain employees. For more info and to apply, go to https://www1.nyc.gov/site/sbs/businesses/covid19-business-financial-assistance.page

  • Beginning 3/17, small businesses will be able to apply online for an employee retention grant. For more info and to apply, go to: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/sbs/businesses/covid19-business-financial-assistance.page

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering up to $2 million in Disaster Assistance Loans to small businesses negatively affected by coronavirus. For more info, call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
  • Grants for Theater Companies & Artists: The Indie Theater Fund is offering unrestricted rapid relief grants to independent theater companies and individual artists in need due to the financial strain of COVID19. They will be offering grants of up to $500 on an ongoing basis until funds run out. They are prioritizing companies and artists with budgets less than $250,000 and will be reviewing applications on a first come first serve basis. Visit the Indie Theater Fund info page here.

  • The Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation
    This advocacy and action nonprofit created by and for restaurant workers has compiled information and links to resources that will help restaurants and workers deal most effectively with the COVID-19 Emergency.

  • NYC Hospitality Alliance: The NYC Hospitality Alliance has compiled a list of resources and relief efforts for operators and employees in the hospitality industry.

  • COVID-19 and Freelance Artists: An aggregated list of resources, opportunities, and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration Coronavirus Assistance Clearinghouse: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronaviruscovid19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

  • NYC Small Business Continuity Fund: Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more will be eligible for zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit.

Applicants must:

    • Be located within the five boroughs of New York City
    • Demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak caused at least a 25% decrease in revenue
    • Employ 99 employees or fewer in total across all locations
    • Demonstrate ability to repay the loan
    • Have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgments

  • NYC Employee Retention Grant: This grant offers small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than five employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs (up to $27,000) for two months to help retain employees. Applicants must:
    • Be located within the five boroughs of New York City.
    • Demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak caused at least a 25% decrease in revenue.
    • Employ one to four employees in total across all locations.
    • Have been in operation for at least six months.
    • Have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgments.

Application Process

    • The application for the Employee Retention Grant can be accessed here.
    • For the Business Continuity Fund, the application will open soon.
    • In order to demonstrate revenue loss, the applicant must be able to show at least a 25% decrease in either calculations:
      • Total revenue of two consecutive months in 2020 vs. total revenue of the same two months in 2019
      • Average monthly revenue of any two consecutive months in 2020 vs. average monthly revenue of all of 2019

In the meantime, we recommend that you pull financial documents as proof of revenue, such as:

    • 2019 tax returns
    • Bank Statements (2019 & 2020)
    • Quarterly sales tax filings
    • Point-of-sales reports
    • Certified profit & loss statements

Apply here for the NYC Employee Retention Grant Program.

 

  • Application For Suspension Of Debt Collection Activityhttps://ag.ny.gov/covid-19-debt-suspension-application This application is for persons or businesses that owe (non-medical and non-student; an application is not needed for medical and student debts) debts to the State of New York that have been referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection and litigation. Any such person or business, or their dependents, that have been financially impacted by COVID-19, or the international, national, and state responses designed to prevent its spread, may complete and submit this application to be considered for certain forms of relief, including relief from collection activity, interest accrual, and the assessment of collection fees.

  • WeWork for Good initiative
    We Work is contributing workspace at no cost to governments and nonprofits (including those who are existing members) playing an active role in supporting the public health response and the economic resiliency of impacted communities due to COVID-19. Click here for more information.

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Consumer Protection

  • Price Gouging: If you become aware of any stores that may be price gouging items such as cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer, please call the State Division of Consumer Protection at 1-800-697-1220 or call 311 to file a complaint.

  • COVID-19-Related Fraudulent Activities: As of April 16, the FDA has issued 32 warning letters to firms for selling fraudulent products with claims to prevent, treat, mitigate, diagnose or cure coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
     
    Additionally, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in conjunction with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is alerting consumers of phone scams in the midst of COVID-19. These scams may include, but are not limited to, calls or texts:

    • Offering free home testing kits;
    • Promoting cures;
    • Offering low-priced health insurance; and
    • From individuals impersonating a government entity offering additional money, offering student loan repayment, or asking recipients to take a mandatory COVID-19 test using the included link.

  • Scams: Visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Information on Coronavirus web page to learn about coronavirus scams and how the FTC is addressing them: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing

  • Visit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Look Out for Coronavirus-Related Investment Scams – Investor Alert web page: https://www.sec.gov/oiea/investor-alerts-and-bulletins/ia_coronavirus

  • Visit the New York Office of the Attorney General Guidance on Coronavirus Resources and Warnings about Consumer Scams web page: https://ag.ny.gov/coronavirus
  • New York Attorney General Letitia James ordered AllerAir IndustriesAirpura Industries, and Sylvane Inc., companies that sell air purifiers, to immediately cease and desist marketing their products as tools that can prevent the spread and contraction of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The companies have been misrepresenting to consumers that COVID-19 is primarily an airborne disease and that its air purifiers can effectively prevent people from contracting the virus by removing the virus particles from the air. Studies from countless health organizations across the globe have determined that the primary transmission of the virus is through respiratory droplets, not air transmission, making these claims deeply misleading to consumers. COVID-19 poses serious risk to public health, and the misrepresentations by the companies could put consumers in jeopardy.

  • Beware of Census scams. No one should be knocking on your door claiming to be a Census Taker or Enumerator, since now that phase will not begin until early summer. So for now, do not open the door to anyone claiming to be with the Census.

  • Help fight Medicare fraud: Con artists may try to get your Medicare Number or personal information so they can steal your identity and commit Medicare fraud. Medicare fraud results in higher health care costs and taxes for everyone.

Protect yourself from Medicare fraud. Guard your Medicare card like it’s a credit card. Remember:

    • Medicare will never contact you for your Medicare Number or other personal information unless you’ve given them permission in advance.
    • Medicare will never call you to sell you anything. You may get calls from people promising you things if you give them a Medicare Number. Don’t do it.
    • Medicare will never visit you at your home.
    • Medicare can’t enroll you over the phone unless you called first.

Learn more tips to help prevent Medicare fraud.

Check regularly for Medicare billing fraud. Review your Medicare claims and Medicare Summary Notices for any services billed to your Medicare Number you don’t recognize.
Learn more about how to spot fraud.

Report anything suspicious to Medicare. If you suspect fraud, call 1-800-MEDICARE.
Learn how to report fraud.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

 

  • What is the Novel COVID-19?

From the CDC website: A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practices for naming of new human infectious diseases.

 

  • How does COVID-19 Spread?

The coronavirus is believed to spread primarily between people in one of the following ways:

    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet);
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes; or
    • Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads
  • What are common symptoms of the coronavirus?
    Common symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, and muscle aches. Symptoms range from mild to severe, with most people experiencing mild symptoms. People who are most vulnerable to contracting a severe case are older adults, people with compromised immune systems, and people with underlying health conditions.
  • What can I do to help prevent contracting and spreading the coronavirus?
    Prevention is key. The CDC and Departments of Health recommend the following:
    • Get a flu vaccination if you have not already.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Individuals who are experiencing symptoms (fever, coughing, and having trouble breathing in particular) and may have traveled to areas of concern or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas should call their health care provider first before presenting for testing or treatment, unless they are experiencing a medical emergency.

  • What if I Feel Sick?
    • Stay home and call your doctor if you have cold or flu symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, fever or sore throat.
    • If you do not feel better in 24-48 hours, seek care from your doctor.
    • Avoid going out in public.
    • Do not go to school or to work until you have been fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever reducing drugs like Tylenol or ibuprofen.
    • The NYC and NYS Health Departments may change recommendations as the situation evolves.
    • If you need help getting medical care, call the 24-hour state hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or 311 to receive assistance.
    • NYC will provide care regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.
    • Hospital staff will not ask about immigration status.
    • Receiving health care is not a public benefit identified by the public charge test.
  • Can I contract COVID19 if I drink tap water?
    No. COVID19 cannot be spread through NYC’s public water supply because it is not a waterborne illness.

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Online Activities, Meetings, and Webinars

  • All 12 Manhattan Community Boards have been provided Zoom teleconferencing accounts, and will be able to conduct full board meetings, committee meetings and other necessary multi-participant conferences. These sessions will be posted for the public’s participation on each Board’s website. The Borough President’s office will also conduct monthly Borough Board and Borough Service Cabinet meetings using this same web-based meeting tool. Community Boards will continue to be supported by the civic technology nonprofit BetaNYC (through a strategic partnership that employs CUNY Service Corps members who have been trained by BetaNYC to become Civic Tech Fellows).

  • Moving For Life: Online dance and movement sessions. Calendar here.
  • Fitness Blender: Several free workout videos here.
  • Goji Fitness: Daily yoga classes. You can register for free here.

During this unprecedented time, our need for connection is urgent and we are putting all our resources into finding ways in which we can bring you exceptional content from the programs of 92Y. Here’s where you can find new livestreamed concerts and events, highlights from our archives, family activities and ways our community can gather together online.

We are also pleased to be able to offer classes and courses online. Explore our growing list of online classes.

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Cultural Resources Available Remotely

  • The Graduate Center
    We know that many people were planning to attend public programs in the coming weeks. While events are postponed, we will be highlighting videos from our archives. Take a look back at fascinating conversations, or catch up on events you may have missed, while staying home. We will feature videos in two main categories—discussions providing insight about current events, and conversations with leading writers and artists. BROWSE EVENT VIDEO
  • Quarantine Culture: 8 Ways to Experience Design and Art Without Leaving Your Home: https://www.surfacemag.com/articles/quarantine-culture-design-art-without-leaving-home/

  • The Greene Space at WNYC and WQXR’s Free Digital-Only Streams
    Since its opening in 2009, the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, a broadcast studio and venue for New York Public Radio stations WNYC and WQXR, has hosted reliably slam-dunk guests from all corners of the creative spectrum. From inside the street-level oasis, Janelle Monáe sang “Sincerely, Jane,” pianist Lang Lang played Dvořák, artist Laurie Anderson interviewed activist Chelsea Manning, and the American dance troupe Pilobolus performed its mind and body-bending contortions. The pandemic won’t stop the space from carrying on with its programming, which will be streamed across its websiteFacebook page, and YouTube channel for free from March 16 until April 3. Highlights include violinist Timmy Chooi, who will perform excerpts from renowned classical scores on April 1, and a conversation between Tribeca Therapy founder Matt Lundquist, Graphic Policy Radio podcast host Elana Levin, and journalists Angélique Roché and Ashley Fetters, who, on March 19, will consider whether or not technology is obliterating human connections.

  • New York Academy of Medicine
    • Digital Collections: NYAM offers many engaging and unique digital materials including the recently-launched NYC hospital postcard collection, our Harry Potter-themed digital exhibit, and highlights in anatomy, cookery, drugs and medicine (pictured), midwifery and childbirth, and more.
    • Online Resources: Find information through our online resources, which include archives and manuscripts, databases, recommended resources, data sets and grey literature.
    • Family-friendly Fun: Relax a bit by Coloring Our Collections! Research suggests that coloring can be beneficial in improving mood, enhancing mindfulness and reducing mental health stress. Visit the Color Our Collections website to download free coloring books from hundreds of libraries, museums and other institutions worldwide. We also invite you to use the hashtag #ColorOurCollections to share your creations on social media! 

  • Roosevelt House Public Programming Encore
  • Children’s Museum of Art
    Free resources for at-home arts education

  • The Frick Collection
    Take a virtual tour of the galleries, or enjoy an audio tour or lecture.

  • Guggenheim Museum
    While the museum is closed, they invite you to visit the Guggenheim from home. Enjoy a virtual tour and explore their collection!

  • The Metropolitan Opera
    The Metropolitan Opera is offering Nightly Met Opera Streams on its website for worldwide audiences. Each stream will begin at 7:30pm and will stay up for 20 hours.

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Virtual Tours, art tutorials, and exhibits from one of New York’s premier arts institutions.

  • El Museo del Barrio
    View pieces from their permanent collection or enjoy a salsa concert- all online.

  • Museum of the City of New York
    Explore New York’s past through nearly 205,000 objects from the museum’s collection.

  • Museum of Natural History
    The museum is providing a wealth of exhibits and online offerings, including materials for families and teachers to virtual tours, videos, games, and more.

  • New York Public Library
    During the current period of closure, New Yorkers who do not have a library card can apply for one online and access all of NYPL’s resources including e-books, audiobooks, digital collections and more!

  • Broadway World Living Room Broadway Concerts
    Broadway performances direct to you from the living rooms of Broadway performers.

  • Google Earth National Park Tours
    You can tour some of America’s most beautiful natural parks from the comfort of your own home.

  • Google Arts & Culture: Virtual Tours
    Take a virtual tour of some of the world’s greatest museums and heritage sites.

  • Google Arts & Culture: Virtual Museum Tours
    https://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en
    Google’s Arts & Culture platform has digital documentation of more than 1,200 international institutions. You can access anything from virtual tours to high definition images of works from the collections. You can search by artist or art historical periods, or you can look at museums from a particular country or browse your local area in the map view. The institutions included on the platform include everything from the Met and the Guggenheim to smaller galleries like Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum and one of my personal favorites, the Georgia O’Keeffe gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 
  • Google Arts & Culture: Virtual Heritage Site Tours
    https://artsandculture.google.com/project/street-view?hl=en
    If heritage is more your thing, Google also has a range of cultural sites you can explore online through its street view. You can choose from bucket-list locations like Stonehenge, Machu Pichu, the Colosseum and the Pyramids, to name but a few. If you are looking for more than just 360-degree views, the Arts & Culture platform recently launched the Heritage on the Edge project, which calls attention to five Unesco World Heritage sites under threat from climate change.
  • Living Room Broadway Concerts
    https://www.broadwayworld.com/topic/LIVING-ROOM-CONCERTS
    Broadway World has partnered with Jagged Little Pill’s Kathryn Gallagher, Dear Evan Hansen’s Andrew Barth Feldman, and a bevy of other actors to present “Living Room Concerts,” a daily series of (very charming) mini-performances. And while you’re swooning to Gallagher’s rendition of “You Learn,” consider supporting struggling artists through a donation to The Actors Fund or Broadway Cares.
  • New York Public Library (NYPL)
    https://www.nypl.org/about/remote-resources
    NYPL is offering expanded digital resources during the Library’s closure period for those holding a library card. You’ll be able to access the NY Times and New Yorker Digital Archive, for example. Scrolling down, you’ll see Online Tools for Kids and Parents with lots of educational resources. If you’re a NY resident and don’t have a library card, you can apply for one using their SimplyE app. See link above.
  • Stars In the House from The Actors Fund
    The Actors Fund will be showing concerts by Broadway musical stars.
    Stars In The House will air twice daily at 2 pm and 8 pm, and can be viewed online at youtube.com/theactorsfund as well as Playbill.com and BroadwayWorld.com, beginning Monday, March 16 at 8 PM ET. 

https://www.newmuseum.org/audioguides?utm_source=New+Museum&utm_campaign=3132ad80aa-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_03_MidMonthNews_Saul&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6c3938a7e5-3132ad80aa-&mc_cid=3132ad80aa&mc_eid=c6a30bde12&utm_source=New+Museum&utm_campaign=3132ad80aa-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_03_MidMonthNews_Saul&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6c3938a7e5-3132ad80aa-409709845&mc_cid=3132ad80aa&mc_eid=c6a30bde12

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Opportunities to Help

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