Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates March 31st

MARCH 31ST RESOURCES AND UPDATES:

 

Gov. Cuomo has delayed the New York Presidential Primary to June 23, 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.

Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security, reminds the public that Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit payments will continue to be paid on time during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The agency also reminds everyone to be aware of scammers who try to take advantage of the pandemic to trick people into providing personal information or payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, internet currency, or by mailing cash, to maintain Social Security benefit payments or receive economic impact payments from the Department of the Treasury.

Tomorrow is April 1st, and many people and businesses have rent due. The NY Times published "What if I Can’t Pay My Rent Now?" and many may find it helpful. Bottom line? You can't be evicted for nonpayment of rent during the next 90 days.

NYC Health and Hospitals/Gotham Health is opening COVID-19 Assessment and Testing Centers outside two of their hospitals in Manhattan: One opened this past Friday at Gotham Health/Sydenham and Wednesday, April 1 will see one open at Gotham Health/Gouverneur.  Physicians will assess the patients after they are evaluated for symptoms, co-morbidities and other risk factors such as age. Patients with mild or no-symptoms will be assessed but generally not tested; patients determined to be high risk and having a likelihood for imminent hospitalization will be tested. Those who require hospitalization will be immediately transferred to their  nearest facility,

  • Sydenham, 264 W.118th St., M – F  9 – 5 pm 
  • Gouverneur, 227 Madison St., M – F  9 – 5 pm (opens Wednesday 1st April, 2020)  

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.

NewYork-Presbyterian has published several stories (below) about how to protect your health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak.  They also are translated into Spanish and Chinese. You can find them and more at www.healthmatters.nyp.org.

  • For information on depression, click here. 
  • For information on the complications vaping can cause to those with COVID-19, click here.
  • For information on how to cope with and actually enjoy staying at home, click here.
  • For an explanation of why social distancing works to stop the spread of coronavirus, click here.
  • Call the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065 for information and answers on COVID-19. Assistance is available in over 100 languages. 

The NYC COVID Worker Care Network is up and running! They're a self-organizing network of more than 2000 volunteer 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; sign up at the link above or follow @NYCCOVIDCare on Facebook for updates or send an email to [email protected] with any questions.

The Hunter College Food Policy Center has created a series of Coronavirus NYC Neighborhood Food Resource Guides. Each of the 59 editions includes listings of food pantries, soup kitchens, farmers' markets, grocery stores, meal distribution sites for children and seniors, and resources for immigrants and undocumented individuals.

Drivers license and auto registration and inspection expirations are suspended retroactively since March 1st, and for as long as the Governor's Executive Order for Coronavirus is in effect.

Alternate side of the street parking rules have been suspended for TWO weeks, until April 14. And the ULURP suspension has been extended for another five days. The Department of City Planning will let us know what the new deadlines will be when the ULURP clock resumes eventually.

The Governor announced a statewide public-private hospital plan to fight COVID-19. Hospitals across the state have agreed to implement a new balanced approach to fighting the virus where hospitals that are reaching or exceeding capacity can transfer patients to other hospitals that are not as full. Also under this plan, the hospital systems have agreed to share supplies, staff, and other resources as needed.

The field hospital tents in Central Park are opening today to start treating COVID-19 overflow patients. This increases hospital capacity by 68 beds and 10 ICU beds.

Mayor de Blasio says FEMA will be sending 250 ambulances to the city.

The publication THE CITY produced this article on how the City is working to stop the spread of COVID-19 among the homeless living on the streets.

The Governor issued an executive order to allow schools to host day care free of charge.

Put an End to Bias Incidents and Hate Stemming from #COVID19 Stigma: Call 311 to report any COVID-19 related discrimination to the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Call 911 if you are a victim of or witness a hate crime. Click here for more information.

For Survivors of Domestic and Gender-based Violence: New York City's Family Justice Centers are still available by phone to provide vital services for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence. NYC's 24 hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-621-4673. Click here for more information.

An update from Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a resource of great value for vulnerable members of our community. The Women’s Mental Health Shelter at the Park Avenue Armory is one of our highest priority programs.  The shelter is temporary home to 80 homeless women age 45-80 living with mental illness. Almost all of these women have multiple underlying health challenges, including substance issues, hypertension, diabetes and asthma ‒ three of the clients are on oxygen.  This is an extremely challenging situation for all. We have brought in additional nursing to support clients, as well as additional cleaning staff. We are triaging constantly and looking to save this group of women. The situation is evolving rapidly and, unfortunately, the clouds are very dark. 

We continue to make and deliver food to our Women’s Shelter and Casa Mutua, our supportive housing residence for 54 formerly homeless adults, and to provide “grab and go” meals to 100 older adults each day.  We’re also about to serve as a staging location for hundreds of meals to be delivered to the homes of members of our two senior centers. Electricians have just wired the back area near our auditorium as we moved two large refrigerators to this spot to use as a safe daily drop-off and pick-up point. 

Our Geriatric Care Managers are calling to check in with our 1,200 homebound older clients.  Each day, staff are assessing needs and coming up with creative solutions to provide assistance.  We are using emergency funding to purchase grocery store gift cards, necessary medications from local pharmacies and needed medical devices (we just bought a hospital bed for a bedbound client).  We are the organization that turns on Meals on Wheels for all homebound clients ‒ and intake is ramping up by the day. These clients are often alone and now afraid; this work is vital and challenging. Even our Friendly Visiting Program is in action ‒ weekly in-person visits have switched to virtual ones.  Volunteers are now ‘visiting’ socially-isolated seniors one to three times each week over the phone or with FaceTime or Skype.  

Teachers and Social Workers in our Early Childhood Center are in regular contact with the 138 children and families we serve, and we are sending online curriculum and additional supports to help these children continue to learn and stay engaged while at home, while also supporting families with information about staying safe and where to pick up food at local schools.  Our teachers are preparing videos and Read Alouds so that the children can continue to learn during this frightening time and are working with families of older children to help them prepare for the transition to kindergarten.

Our Legal Advocacy Department is working remotely to meet a huge surge in demand for assistance accessing healthcare and benefits and requests for emergency assistance, and our staff are working daily with hundreds of individuals and families in crisis.  Since we already had thousands of cases, we are working to handle these now that courts have closed and government benefits are needed.

Our Visual and Performing Arts team is working to mitigate the impact of social isolation for the thousands of members of our two senior center members by rolling out virtual programming, from Knitting Community to Acting Classes, Musical Theater Choreography, Ballet Barre and Drawing Techniques. 

We’ve set up our gym and conference rooms as an emergency sleeping area for 50 ‒ we’re ready with cots, emergency supplies and more for both clients and staff as this worsens.

MORE WAYS YOU CAN HELP

New Yorkers who are recovered from COVID-19, Mount Sinai Health System is initiating a procedure known as plasmapheresis, a process in which the antibodies from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 will be transferred into critically ill patients with the disease, with the expectation that the antibodies will neutralize it. If you have recovered from COVID-19, please click here.

If you have ventilators or personal protective equipment to donate, please contact nyc.gov/helpnow.

Stanley Isaacs Center is looking for volunteers to help serve residents with Meals on Wheels. Those interested should email [email protected]

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office is looking to buy gear for hospitals and is happy to accept donated equipment. Jonah Bruno, a spokesperson of the state Department of Health, said the state is taking donations of “all sizes” — from corporate sources as well as individuals. Cuomo’s office provided the following contact information to connect donors to those who need equipment: Call 646-522-8477 or email [email protected].

More information for those offering donations is also available through the governor’s COVID-19 donation website.

NYC Health and Hospitals, which oversees all of the city’s public hospitals, is not accepting physical donations of personal protective equipment outside of federal agencies in order to ensure they meet medical grade standards, according to a spokesperson.

The public hospitals system is asking for monetary donations through its Network for Good site to help those fighting COVID-19. Funds will be used to help cover meals, groceries, hotel rooms, laundry service and scrubs for medical staff. To donate, click here.

NewYork-Presbyterian is accepting donations of masks and other personal protective equipment. They should be sent to the attention of David Chong, MD, Milstein Hospital Building, 177 Fort Washington Ave., 6th floor, Center 12, New York, N.Y., 10032. Dr. Chong is the medical director for all Critical Care Services NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

To donate to Bellevue Hospital, please send all inquiries about donations to [email protected] Include a detailed description of donation offers.

The group PPE2NYC, founded and run by medical students in New York, is connecting donors with protective equipment directly to young people working in hospitals. They have six drop-off sites in Manhattan and offer pick-up service. You can set up a donation through the PPE2NYC Instagram page or on their website.

FINANCIAL AND LOCAL BUSINESSES UPDATES

Congresswoman Maloney’s office is here to help you navigate the new resources that are available from the federal government related to the CARES Act. They have created this FAQ sheet for small businesses and nonprofits to help them navigate some of these new resources. If you need help with a federal agency and navigating the changes brought on by coronavirus mitigation efforts, please reach out to her office at 212-860-0606.

Some credit card issuers are offering a break, offering opportunities to request deferred payments or rescinding late fees. To see information for your bank(s), Credit Karma offers a useful roundup of the measures taken by the largest firms.

The amounts of federal appropriations for New York City provided for in the new federal legislation.
CARES ACT/Coronavirus 3: $10.2 Billion

  • State Relief Fund: $5.1B
  • MTA: $3.8B
  • Education Stabilization Fund: $1.16B
  • Child Care Community Grants: $162.4M

Coronavirus 2 Families First Legislation: $5.2 billion

  • FMAP: $5.2B ($6.7B in aid shared with NYC/counties that pay a share of Medicaid)

FEMA Disaster Declaration: $426 million

  • New York State has obligated $426 million from the Disaster Relief Fund for COVID19. Congress just appropriated $45 billion in new dollars for the DRF which will ensure that New York State gets billions in FEMA reimbursement for COVID-19.

The New York State Tax Department has prepared a response to the Coronavirus, click here to view.

More information is now available about various business funding programs created through the CARES Act, including a $10,000 grant (you do not have to pay it back) available via the ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN (EIDL) GRANT program.

These grants provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). To access the advance, you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance, and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.

Funding Opportunities

Trinity Church has created a rapid response fund to provide one-time grants of up to $25,000 for their current grantees who are working with communities that are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.  

Asian American Impact Fund is announcing grants from $1000-2000 for nonprofits providing assistance to the API community in rapid response to COVID-19.

Center for Disaster Philanthropy has created a response fund dedicated to nonprofits in regions with a large number of people affected by COVID-19 who work with vulnerable populations, such as seniors, people with disabilities, immigrants and hourly workers.

No Kid Hungry: Community-based organizations and school districts can submit inquiries for emergency grants to support local nutrition programs. The New York Foundation for the Arts has compiled a list of organizations offering emergency grants to artists impacted by COVID-19. To read the list, click here.

UPDATE FROM THE NYPD 19TH PRECINCT

Hello Friends & Neighbors,

We hope you are all doing well and are healthy.

We wanted to update you on a few nighttime commercial burglaries in the neighborhood. In both of the cases the glass doors were broken/smashed, suspect enters looks around but doesn't take anything.

3/25/20- 1625 2nd Avenue (Café D'Alsace) 12:55am-1:01am- register draw removed & dropped on floor but nothing was taken.

3/28/20- 220 East 60th Street (Tina Nail & Spa) 4:50am-4:51am- entered location, looked around but left quickly and did not take anything.

If you have a business that has closed please keep these incidents in mind. We have noticed some locations have chose to board up there stores with plywood and for locations which have rolldown gates, but don't normally utilize them, this is the time to strongly consider using them.

Criminals may use times like these to take advantage of closed stores, so please do whatever you can to prevent a break in.

If you have not already please consider turning interior lights on, make sure your alarms are activated, empty all cash registers and leave the empty cash drawers in the open position.

If your business is still open, please help your neighbors by keeping a watchful eye on their closed establishments. If you notice anything out of the ordinary please alert them/us and if you suspect criminal activity please call 9-1-1 immediately.

We remind you your 19th Precinct officers are continuing duties as normal and patrolling our community 24/7 to keep everyone safe.

We wish you, your family and associates all the best.

Stay safe, stay healthy and wash your hands.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs & Resources

To get regular updates on the latest developments with coronavirus in New York City text COVID to 692-692. You will receive regular SMS texts with the latest news and developments. Please check nyc.gov/health/coronavirus for the latest updates

If you are experiencing stress or feel anxious, contact NYC Well at 888-NYC-WELL (888-692- 9355) or text WELL to 65173. NYC Well is a confidential help line that is staffed 24/7 by trained counselors who can provide brief supportive therapy, crisis counseling, and connections to behavioral health treatment, in more than 200 languages.

Additional resources:

CENSUS 2020

U.S. Census Bureau has made some necessary changes to help keep residents safe while still working to ensure a complete census count. This includes extending the national deadline for the count from July 31 to August 14 and postponing all door-to-door outreach campaigns until May. With the majority of our businesses and libraries closed across the state, this gives local communities more time to adjust their outreach plans and helps prevent our state from being put at an unfair disadvantage.

Fill out your Census at My2020Census.gov OR by phone in these languages: