COVID-19 Facts and Updates

March 5th, 2020

What You Need to Know About COVID-19

The State's Coronavirus Hotline is open 24 hours if you have any questions or concerns: 1-888-364-3065. **If you need help getting medical care, you can also call 311. New York City will provide care regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.

The NYP COVID Hotline 646-697-4000 has been created to answer questions about COVID-19. This hotline is available as a public service to provide information only and not to diagnose, treat, or render a medical opinion.They have also developed the Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions document linked to below, available in multiple languages, and the NYP Coronavirus webpage

Governor Cuomo Announces All Nonessential Employees to Work from Home 

Governor Cuomo issued guidance on "Essential Services under the "PAUSE" Executive Order. View that information, here. This executive order went into effect at 8 pm tonight.

Here's an interactive map for finding soup kitchens, food pantries, senior centers, or SNAP enrollment sites.

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 Robin Hood Foundation has done something similar at

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. Interested organizations can get more information and apply here.

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 this form.  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.

Rear-door boarding officially went into effect on City buses. Operators have been explicitly instructed to accommodate anyone requesting to board through the front doors.

NYC Ferry will remain open but will operate on a modified schedule until further notice. Starting Monday, March 23, weekend schedules will remain the same, while weekday schedules will be operating with a reduced frequency to account for lower ridership. Riders are strongly encouraged to download the NYC Ferry mobile app and activate push notifications to receive the latest status of the system as well as to avoid using paper tickets to reduce contact points for crew. To view schedules for each route, please visit

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. Or going to "find a free meal location near you"

The DOE has set up as a resource for Parent Coordinators.

Girls Who Code has launched #CodeFromHome, a series of free resources, available at and updated weekly.

NYC 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.

NYC Parks: While solo exercise is okay, team sports (such as basketball, football, softball, and soccer), are not permitted in our parks at this time. Our parks are essential, but visitors must practice social distancing and keep six feet between themselves and others. Parks Enforcement Patrol officers and NYPD will be out in the field to help enforce social distancing in the parks. We are relying on you to help keep New York safe.

Restaurant Resources: 
Here are two applications for emergency funds for restaurants and restaurant workers.
Please share.James Beard Foundation Relief Fund:Who it is for: "independent food and beverage businesses in need" JBF is asking folks to fill out this link to get more information on the fund criteria and application process. & Partners Crisis Relief Fund:Who it is for: "those employed by or own restaurants or bars or are employed by a restaurant or bar supplier that are faced unforeseen expenses that cannot or will not be covered by insurance." Link to: Application
The New York State Department of Labor's Shared Work Program 
may provide an alternative to your business for laying off workers. Please watch the video which explains how it works. To learn more, please click here.
Steve Banks, Commissioner of the city's Human Resources Administration held a call recapping these details:  

  • No one should go to a Dept of Social Services office to get any benefit. Go to AccessHRA instead, or call 311. (Ignore the blurb that says their offices are "open"!)
  • All evictions and utility turn offs are suspended.
  • If a person is homeless and has symptoms or is ill, the Dept of Homeless Services has 500 isolation beds. 10 are occupied now. (DHS is looking for more drop-in space; they have one more building but they are looking for more.)
  • Homeless individuals are waived out of the income savings plan program at this time.
  • They are receiving more sanitary wipes but they are scarce. Soon DHS will give out thermometers to groups working with the homeless.
FreshDirect, in partnership with the five NYC Borough Presidents, is launching a daily delivery of 400 food boxes per day -- with about ten pounds of staples, fresh produce, and canned goods-- to each of the five boroughs. My office is coordinating dropoffs to a different NYCHA complex each day, in concert with the local tenant leaders, for distribution to households in need. Locations will include Dyckman, Taft, King, Johnson, Clinton, Carver, Lehman, Baruch, Baruch Addition, Vladeck, Riis, Wald, Smith, Grant, Rangel, Polo Grounds and nearby developments. Residents there should contact their tenant association leaders for pick up times and days.
Beginning Monday, the DOE's Office of Food and Nutrition Service will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch for everyone 18 years and younger, BUT the pickup locations will shift from every public school to a slightly more limited "hub" system.

A child can pick up meals for themselves as well as other children in the household; an adult can pick up meals for children in their household without the children needing to be present. Distribution of one breakfast and upto two lunches are available Monday-Friday from 7:30 am - 1:30 pm. There will be alternative items for children with nut and milk allergies; vegetarian and halal options will also be available. Families with disabled students with mobility limitations will have meals delivered through a special arrangement made between DOE and Door Dash.

🛒Upper East Side Grocery Store Special Hours for seniors, immune suppressed, & disabled:

  • D’Agostino’s (7:00 A.M. – 8:00 A.M. on Tuesday and Wednesday) – 1074 Lexington Avenue
  • D’Agostino’s (7:00 A.M. – 8:00 A.M. on Tuesday and Wednesday) – 1233 Lexington Avenue
  • Morton Williams (7:00 A.M. – 8:00 A.M.) – 1066 Third Avenue
  • Morton Williams (7:00 A.M. – 8:00 A.M.) – 1211 Madison Avenue
  • Walgreens/Duane Reade (8:00 A.M. – 9:00 A.M. on Tuesday) – 1091 Lexington Avenue
  • Walgreens/Duane Reade (8:00 A.M. – 9:00 A.M. on Tuesday) – 1111 3rd Avenue
  • Walgreens/Duane Reade (8:00 A.M. – 9:00 A.M. on Tuesday) – 1191 2nd Avenue
  • Walgreens/Duane Reade (8:00 A.M. – 9:00 A.M. on Tuesday) – 1231 Madison Avenue
  • Walgreens/Duane Reade (8:00 A.M. – 9:00 A.M. on Tuesday) – 1279 3rd Avenue
  • Walgreens/Duane Reade (8:00 A.M. – 9:00 A.M. on Tuesday) – 773 Lexington Avenue
  • Westside Market (7:00 A.M. – 8:00 A.M.) – 1407 Lexington Avenue
  • Whole Foods (7:00 A.M. – 8:00 A.M.) – 1551 Third Avenue
  • Gristedes: 7-8am (Tues./Wed.)
  • Ctown Markets: 8-9am
  • Key Food 1769 Second Ave: 6-7 am
  • Cosco: Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m
  • Citarella (3d Ave/75th St): 8am-9am
  • Grace's Market (2d Ave/68): their website said if someone is senior/compromised and needed assistance, they could call and staff will assist.

*All at stores discretion, contact stores for specifics*

Financial Information:

Income Tax Filing Deadline:
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced that the IRS will move the national income tax filing deadline to July 15th.

The State has stopped all evictions of residential and commercial tenants for 90 days.

Mortgage Relief:
The Governor announced the Department of Financial Services has issued a new directive to provide 90-day mortgage relief to mortgage borrowers impacted by the novel coronavirus. This includes postponing or suspending foreclosures.

Financial Fees Waived:
The Governor has asked DFS to instruct state chartered banks to waive ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees and fees for credits cards to help lessen the financial hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic on New Yorkers.

The Governor directed the New York State Department of Public Service to suspend public utilities from cutting off service - including power and heat - to customers affected by COVID-19. The State's major utilities will take immediate action to suspend service shutoffs to households during the COVID-19 outbreak and will continue to offer deferred payment plans for customers struggling financially due to the outbreak.

Unemployment insurance:

File for unemployment benefits even if you have not received paperwork from your employer to avoid denial of benefits. File without delay and submit with all requested information. Dept. of Labor website, click here.

Update for Artists

Musicians and performers are especially at risk with the cancellation/postponement of public performances. An elected officials staff member who is a musician researched these links for anyone who falls into that category and needs help-- or if you want to donate. The National Endowment for the Arts has posted this page for both artists and organizations.
Here are more specific links:

Some recommendations from ABNY:

  • Help Food Bank for New York City prepare for increased need;
  • Donate now to Citymeals on Wheels to help your elderly neighbors in need;
  • Support God’s Love We Deliver in providing emergency kits to all clients;
  • Share the mission of Invisible Hands to provide safe, free food deliveries for NYC’s most at-risk communities facing COVID-19; and
  • Sign up for alerts from New York Cares to learn more about what city agencies and community partners are doing to help those most impacted by COVID-19.
Ways  I Can Help:

NY Needs Health Professionals
Our healthcare professionals are on the front lines of this crisis and we thank them for all that they do. In the event that the novel coronavirus crisis worsens, the State needs the help of qualified retired health professionals and related professionals to supplement our hospital capacity on a temporary basis to treat seriously ill coronavirus patients including those that may need to be intubated. The NYS Dept. of Health will recertify individuals for the purpose. You can apply here.

NY Needs Protective Medical Equipment
New York State has offered to pay a premium for protective medical equipment like gloves, gowns, and masks. If you are a business that does not currently manufacture these types of products, but have the capacity, New York State wants to hear from you. Interested businesses can send an email to [email protected]. You can also contact our office at [email protected], and we will put you in touch with the appropriate contact.

Help for Seniors
Aging Connect is the New York City's direct link to aging services. Call 212-AGING-NYC to speak with an Aging Specialist and learn about services and support available to older adults and their caregivers, as well as volunteer opportunities.

Novel Coronavirus

  • Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause mild illnesses like a cold, to more serious illnesses like pneumonia.
  • Infections with this new virus have been reported in many countries, including the U.S. For an updated list of affected areas, visit
  • The virus is likely to be spread from person to person, but it is currently unclear how easily it spreads.
  • Commonly reported symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • Most people (80%) with COVID-19 will feel like they have a bad cold or the flu. Some people will require hospitalization. People who are at most risk for severe illness are elderly or have other health conditions.


What should New Yorkers do?

New Yorkers should go about their daily lives, but take certain precautions:

  • Get the flu shot—it’s not too late. Although the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu which has similar symptoms to this coronavirus.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you feel sick, stay home.
  • If you have fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, and recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread of coronavirus, or have been in close contact with someone who has recently traveled to any of those areas, go to your doctor.
  • If you have these symptoms, but no travel history, stay home and call your doctor.
    • If you need connection to a health care provider, call 311.
    • Hospital staff will not ask about immigration status. Receiving health care is not a public benefit identified by the public charge test.

At this time, New Yorkers do not need to:

  • Limit travel within the city.
  • Avoid public gatherings and public transportation.
  • Change anything about where you get your food or how you prepare it.
  • Wear a face mask if you are not sick. Face masks are only recommended if directed by a health care provider.
    • People wear protective face masks for many reasons, including seasonal allergies, pollution or protecting those around them from a common cold. They should not be harassed or targeted for wearing one.


What can international travelers do to protect themselves?

  • Avoid nonessential travel to affected areas. Visit for the latest travel health notices.
  • If you were recently outside of the U.S and do not have a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath go about your daily life but monitor yourself for these symptoms. If they develop go to your doctor.
  • If you were recently outside of the U.S. and have a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, go to your doctor.
  • If you doctor asks you to stay home:
    • Avoid going in public, 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.
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve, not with your hands.
    • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.


It is important that we separate facts from fear and guard against stigma.

A lot of information circulating about coronavirus on social media and even in some news reporting is not based in the facts. Support your friends, neighbors and colleagues by proactively sharing this message and countering misinformation. Obtain information about COVID-19 from trusted sources like the NYC Health Department, the CDC, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

If you are being harassed due to your race, nation of origin or other identities, you can report discrimination or harassment to the NYC Commission on Human Rights by calling 311 and saying “human rights.”

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.

The NYC Health Department may change recommendations as the situation evolves.

This is a rapidly changing situation. Please check for the latest updates.

CDC recommendations on large gatherings:

NYC Hospital Updates:

04-02 NYP Community Update newsletter

LHH Community Update_4.3.20

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 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: