Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates April 15th



Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order today that all people MUST wear a mask or face covering in public in situations where social distancing is not possible.

Hunter College is offering “Hunter at Home”, a series of interactive lectures, readings, and discussion with Hunter faculty who will share their research and take your questions.

Instructions on how to applying for an absentee ballot. You MUST APPLY for an absentee ballot by calling 866-VOTE-NYC for a postage-paid application or downloading the form at When applying, you must check off “temporary illness,” and submit 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.

Our Town reports that the mayor announced Tuesday that the city is working on attaining a regular supply of test kits in order to increase its testing capacity and, hopefully, be on the path toward normalcy. Mayor Bill de Blasio said he hopes acquire 400,000 tests per month and that the city will buy 50,000 test kits per week from a company in Indiana. The first order will take place next Monday. Manufacturers and labs in the city will also work to supply another 50,000 per week, starting next month. The mayor has said that widely available testing will be the only way to know if community spread is under control, which is the key to the city reopening businesses and schools.

There have been reports of the virus’ inequitable impact on the African-American and Latino communities. For articles on health equity from a world perspective, see the list on the Academy of Medicine website at

There are resources and articles for older adults and those who care for them at An article, SUPPORTING OLDER ADULTS THROUGH CORONAVIRUS: IDEAS FROM EXPERTS AND LEADERS ACROSS NYC can be found at, with plenty of ideas on public policy.

The Department of Building’s has updated their COVID-19 Response Page with new information on Service Notice, Enforcement of Essnetial and nonessential Construction, and their FAQs. Click here to find that information ( A reminders that any complaints concerning work being performed in violation of the suspension of non-essential construction should be called into 311 and they will be responded to promptly. Please refer to the Essential Active Construction Sites Map to identify essential and emergency construction sites.

See for resources for key populations, such as those with disabilities, immigrants, survivors of domestic violence and those who use drugs.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has a page of resources at You may email questions about resources or ask to have a resource included by emailing [email protected]

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.

More data about COVID cases. DOHMH has added different breakdowns of the available data to their website in an effort to be as transparent as possible. Please note, the numbers are constantly changing, and there is sometimes a lag:


Although whether public schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year is uncertain, New York City revealed a Five-point Plan for Helping Parents and Teachers Throughout the crisis.

  1. Complete deliveries of internet-enabled digital devices for remote learning to all remaining students by the end of April.
  2. Expand parent helpline, tech support hours, and staffing.
  3. Creative At-Home Programming involving media companies that create programming for families.
  4. Come up with a plan to graduate approximately 75,000 seniors over the next week and coordinate with students who will not graduate and will need remedial schooling over the summer.
  5. Create a comprehensive plan to re-open schools in September 2020 while combating learning loss.

For more information on New York Public Schools COVID-19 related updates visit

Enrichment Centers Open for Service Industry Workers

If your family works in an essential industry, find out if you qualify for childcare at one of the City’s Regional Enrichment Centers. As of April 7th, all child care centers, with the exception of emergency child services operated or authorized by the Department of Education, are closed due to an Executive Order from the Mayor. Programs will likely reopen with New York City public schools, unless otherwise authorized by the Health Commissioner.

City Parks Foundation has created recommendations for indoor activities, including everything from staying fit to starting an indoor garden to listening sessions featuring both new and beloved SummerStage artists. Check out their website for new recommendations.

The Public has converted their website ( to highlight access to digital content and provide resources to artists and the general public in the wake of COVID-19.

  • Health and Safety info from NYC and other sources including guidance related to COVID-19, mental health resources and work from home resources


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.

The dedicated staff at the Stanley Isaacs Center, 415 E. 93 St., needs help supporting their older adult clients through meals and case management services. Interested in volunteering? Contact [email protected]

Donate blood. Blood is urgently needed. Please go to to make an appointment (walk-ins) are no longer allowed and for more information.

In addition to giving blood, there are many ways New Yorkers can help with the state's coronavirus response, from donating goods and services to contributing to the state's First Responders Fund to volunteering. And you can continue to help us just by social distancing and acting responsibly. Learn more here.

Stay home. While Governor Cuomo stated that the worst may be over, he also emphasized that they way to move forward to normalcy is to persist in what we have been doing -- stay home, practice social distancing, and follow other restrictions.

Look after your neighbors. See if they’re ok, if they need groceries, if they'd like to talk for a minute. The loneliness of social isolation may be especially difficult for the homebound elderly.


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

Jobs: Temporary opportunities are available by clicking here. Additionally, NYCHA has Seasonal Jobs. 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, your constituents who are NYCHA residents can contact their local NYCHA Property Management Office:

To watch the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce April 14 webinar, click here.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has issued guidance on applying for the $75 million it was allocated in the CARES Act. If a nonprofit cultural organization has received NEA support in the last 4 fiscal years, they are eligible to apply for a direct grant and can apply here before April 22.

If you’re looking for the SBA website, the correct website is Anything from is incorrect and probably involves a scam.

A one-stop shop to help you navigate city and federal forms and requirements may be found at Information is provided by the SBS and partners.

Women entrepreneurs may find information, events  and resources (not all COVID-19 related) at

Households within the New York City Housing Authority, may qualify for a rent reduction based on rent hardship if all the following conditions are met:

  • There is at least a 5% reduction to gross income
  • Current rent is more than 30% of net household income

Loss of income examples include but are not limited to: 

  • Cut Hours 
  • Laid off
  • Lowered business profits

Residents can initiate an Interim Recertification via the NYCHA Self-Service Portal or by requesting a paper form to be mailed to their residence by calling respective Management Offices. Contingent on the documents provided, your rent may be adjusted for the month following the submission of your interim. Any rent adjustment that does take place will be retroactive to the first of the month after you submitted your complete interim recertification (including verification documents). If it takes longer than a month for NYCHA staff to process your interim, you may not see a change in your rent immediately.

Madison Avenue Now Offers & Experiences!

To keep their local clients engaged while New York is on "Pause," the BID created a sponsored “ Madison Avenue Now” social media campaign on Facebook & Instagram targeted to the Upper East Side (Zip Codes 10021, 10022, 10028, 10065, 10075 & 10128) that highlights special offers, products or experiences at Madison Avenue retailers. These special offers can be something that can be enjoyed now in-store or online, or enjoyed at a later date when our stores will reopen. We can also highlight special experiences that you are able to offer, such as a virtual fitness class, or Zoom talk about fashion trends, or an incentive to purchase for a later date - "A Gift Card for the Future." For businesses that have multiple locations, the offer or experience need not be exclusive to your Madison Avenue location.

The sponsored social media campaign directs guests to a dedicated page on their website,, where they will list the experience of that day, as well as the offers/experiences of the last few days that have passed (unless the offer/experience is only available for one day). Each post will direct clients on how to redeem or utilize each offer or experience. The program will also be promoted on the homepage of the BID's website, along with our other COVID-19 information.

There is no cost to participate in this program….they just want to keep the positive spotlight on Madison Avenue and its stores.

To take part, please send over to Matthew Bauer ([email protected]) the specific text that you would like them to post, and any graphics or social media tags that you wish to use. Feel free to reach out to Matt with any questions you may have.

Both WWD and NYC & Company featured the campaign as an important way to reach clients and keep Madison Avenue top of mind for visitors. Click here for a link to the WWD article.


There are unfortunately so many scams popping up in relation to COVID-19, we don’t have anything that mentions them all but they are mostly phone scams that start off the way most phone scams do.

They pretend to be the CDC or various other government agencies and all want either money or access to your money.

They claim to have cures for the virus or offer corona cleaning services for your home.

Here is a good article we shared on social media regarding some of the potential scams.

A good rule of thumb is if anyone calls or comes to your door and says anything about COVID-19 to just hang up. There is no one calling or coming around from the CDC or any other government agencies to conduct corona tests or assessments.

Receive a COVID-19 call? HANG UP IMMEDIATELY. Never provide personal information over the phone or to anyone in person.

In addition there are scammers pretending to be calling in regards to the stimulus check and ask for personal information to obtain your identity and money, hang up! No one is calling regarding stimulus payments.

Small businesses have also been targeted. If a Small business is looking for financial relief due to COVID-19, Small Business Services says scammers are targeting them with grant and loan fraud. Beware of robocalls and phishing emails. Small businesses should official info here:

In addition there have been reports of fake COVID-19 testing kits being sold online. There are no such kits or cures being sold online, these are scams. See attached image below:

This covers most of the popular scams that have been recorded occurring in the country. It’s not all of them as we know criminals adapt to current world situations and prey on suspects using fear so undoubtedly methods will keep changing. As a final note if anyone calls asking for personal info or money just hang up. If anyone calls and mentions COVID-19 just hang up. Any if anyone calls mentioning stimulus checks or small business loans or grants just hang up.


To watch Council Member Ben Kallos’ April 7th Town Hall with Health Commission Dr. Oxiris Barbot you can hear her answers to your neighbors’ questions, including when New York City could be ready to reopen, by watching on or

Borough President Gale Brewer moderated a virtual Town Hall on April 13 in partnership with the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center, the NYC Dept. of Small Business Services (SBS), the NYC Hospitality Alliance, the New York Women's Chamber of Commerce, and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce on “Small Business Relief during COVID-19.” The recorded video session is now available on YouTube

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: