Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates April 13th



The State established a new partnership with the New York State Court System to create a pro bono network of volunteer lawyers to provide New Yorkers in need with free legal assistance with unemployment claims. Volunteers will begin to receive training and start offering assistance within a week.

The IRS will be opening a new, online portal for economic impact payments. 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 reciveve economic impact payments.

For an article on the science of masks, and what kind of fabric to use (probably not what you think), click here.

Our Town reports that of the NYPD, 276 officers who had tested positive have now returned to duty, according to Mayor de Blasio. The FDNY has reported that 1,310 EMT, paramedics and firefighters either tested positive or were exposed to a patient who had tested positive, and they’ve since returned to duty. Sadly, the MTA is not doing as well. Thousands have been sickened or exposed and at least 41 have died.

The Governor issued an Executive Order to expand the eligibility of labs and workers to perform critical antibody tests to help ensure as many New Yorkers as possible have access to antibody testing.

In partnership with several New York-based nonprofit organizations, Lyft is offering free transportation to seniors, essential workers, patients with important medical appointments and other communities in need during the pandemic. Additionally, Lyft is providing rides to a number of nonprofit volunteers who are working to get groceries and meals to those who need them.

The City is collecting voluntary information about New Yorkers’ experiences with COVID-19. Click here for more.

Governor Cuomo announced he will issue an Executive Order directing employers to provide essential workers with cloth or surgical masks free of charge to wear when directly interacting with the public.

$200 million in emergency food assistance will be available for more than 700,000 low-income households enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Those enrolled in SNAP and not yet receiving the maximum benefit will receive an additional payment to bring them up to this amount in March and April. The supplemental benefits will be issued in April and delivered directly to recipients' exisiting Electionic Benefit Transfer accounts. In New York City, the emergency benefits will be issued starting April 14 and the issuance completed by April 25.

As of Monday, April 13, the City will start transitioning home delivered senior meals into the GetFoodNYC program. Over the next two weeks of transition, the GetFoodNYC team will be working with DFTA, senior centers, nonprofits, elected officials and advocates to “on-board” the seniors who have already registered. They’re also working on outstanding issues including building access, languages, and dietary restrictions. So from now on if you’re a senior who needs a food delivery, dial 311 to register for the GetFoodNYC program. Currently all program participants must renew every other day, before 11 am, but they’re working to automatically renew seniors.

As many struggle with sourcing food deliveries and long backlogs on many websites, EaterNY has released A Guide to Restaurant Wholesalers Now Selling Groceries to the Public. While costs are usually higher for these high-end groceries, this may prove to be a solution for many Manhattan families.

Alternate side parking rules are suspended for two more weeks, until April 28. And the ULURP suspension continues for another week.

Tomorrow (4/14) at 3 pm, Carnegie Hall is launching a new online series, “Live with Carnegie Hall” — not “from”— featuring original material as well as selections from their archives. The first program will feature a live performance and conversation with Tituss Burgess; on Thursday (4/16) at 2 pm the guest will be Yannick Nézet-Séguin with a special episode focused on Beethoven. Episodes will stream on Carnegie Hall’s Facebook and Instagram channels and will be archived for on-demand viewing later on

This week, the NYC Dept. of Education will be mailing activity packets with 10 days' worth of lessons in different subjects to families with children in grades Pre-K through 5. Parents can access material for all grades, for students who need Specialized Instruction, and for multilingual learning students on the Activities for Students section of the DOE website.


New York City Service is looking for volunteers to help those affected by COVID-19, click here.

New York State has provided a form for the donation of goods, services, or space. To access the form, click here.

If you have the capability to use 3-D printing to make PPEs. please contact New York City or New York State. We recently reported that a library on Long Island is 3-D printing masks. Students at SUNY-Albany are also using 3-D printers for PPEs.

NYC Health + Hospitals has raised more than $8.2 million since it began to accept donations last month. The fundraising campaign will direct funds to purchase comfort items like meals, groceries, taxi rides, and hotel rooms to support the heroic health care workers on the front lines. More than 5,000 individuals and organizations have contributed through Health + Hospital's Network for Good page.

Lawyers interested in volunteering for the new pro bono groups of lawyers to assist New Yorkers with unemployment insurance claims should sign up at There is a link to a free webinar for learning tips and strategies to advise clients on navigating the unemployment insurance application process.

Buy gift cards for local (and other NYC) businesses at There are links to many businesses. Manhattan is covered by balloons of businesses accepting gift card purchases through the site.

An op-ed piece from the New York Times that sharply articulates what many us think and feel and terribly miss about New York.

Renee Cafaro, a fashion editor at Slink Magazine, started a GoFundMe campaign called EATs for EMTs on Tuesday in partnership with Shake Shack to provide lunches for first responders. To donate, please click here.

On Wednesday April 15th from 12 - 2:00 pm, The Beach Cafe is going to offer FREE BEACH BURGERS AND FRIES to any hospital worker between 12-2 pm. The Beach Cafe will donate the first 100 Burgers and then match every donation dollar for dollar. You can learn more from their donation page.


When your business is thinking about the next phase and how to move forward, read the McKinsey & Company article, Getting Ahead of the Next Stage of the Coronavirus Crisis by clicking here. There are links to other articles that you may find useful.

For another article on the emerging retail landscape post-virus in China, click here to read.

As of Friday, April 10, NYS Department of Labor (DOL) has launched a new, streamlined, and more reliable online application system –at

  • DOL urges New Yorkers to use the new online system (, which can handle most applications from start to finish, dramatically reducing the number of New Yorkers who must speak to a claims specialist on the phone.
    • IF YOU HAVE BEGUN BUT NOT YET COMPLETED FILING a claim, DOL advises that their claims specialists will call applicants to complete their claims; applicants should stay close to their phones, expect a call from any number/ blocked number, and be ready to answer calls.
    • IF YOU HAVE NOT YET FILED a claim, will direct you to the new, streamlined system.
  • These instructions apply to all workers who may be eligible for unemployment benefits, including those not traditionally covered by these benefits.
  • When workers’ claims are approved they will receive benefits backdated to their first day of unemployment.

OSHA has provided new guidance for retail workers. You can get further information by visiting the OSHA Covid-19 website by clicking here.

NYC & Company, the city's official destination marketing organization and producers of NYC Restaurant Week, has developed a highly interactive (and highly promoted) website for restaurants offering takeout or delivery. To list your restaurant for free (you do not need to be a NYC & Company member), please click here. 

The NYC Department of Small Business Services has updated its Assistance & Guidance for Businesses Impacted Due to Novel Coronavirus page. Please click here to view.  There is also a chart comparing different COVID-19 financial assistance programs at has a portal to help promote small businesses with gift card programs, and hopes to aid small businesses that do not already have gift card programs to set them up. Notes the organization: If you’re a business with a gift card program: please visit and see if your venue is listed. If it isn’t, click the“Don’t see your favorite business?” button and fill out your details. You should see your venue listed shortly or someone will be back to you. To learn more, please click here.

The New York State Department of Labor's Shared Work Program may provide an alternative to your business for laying off workers. To learn more, please click here.

For-hire vehicle and taxi drivers who are self-employed or work as independent contractors are eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from the Small Business Administration. For drivers, the PPP loan funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. If the funds are used for these purposes—and at least 75% goes towards income—then the loan will be forgiven.

The City Bar Justice Center has launched a pro bono, remote legal clinic to help small businesses understand and access options available under the federal government’s COVID-19 stimulus package and other opportunities available through federal, state and local programs. Visit here to set up a free 45-minute appointment.

Open For Business has provided a list of tech companies that are offering free services to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, from help with working remotely and other tech solutions.

Emergency food organizations, from City Harvest to your neighborhood food pantry, are in serious need right now. Millions of New Yorkers rely on them to survive, but 1/3 of the city’s pantries have already closed during this crisis. Fundraising campaigns have ramped up and restaurants have donated millions of pounds of food, but there just aren’t enough volunteers to keep their doors open. In It Together NYC is a city-wide volunteer initiative that connects healthy, eligible New Yorkers to food pantries at risk of closing. They've signed up over 600 volunteers and sent them to the emergency food organizations that need them most.

The Actors’ Fund has released a round-up of resources available to artists, bartenders, and freelance creatives and shared similar lists made by the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Freelance Artist Resource Producing Collective.

NYC Health and Hospitals is hiring 500 non-clinical staff. No medical background is required and hiring will be expanded to thousands soon. Please visit for more information and to apply.


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 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:


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 OR by phone in these languages: