Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates April 17th

APRIL 17TH RESOURCES AND UPDATES:

Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order that effective April 17 at 8 p.m., New Yorkers MUST wear masks or face coverings on public transportation systems and while taking private transportation or riding in for-hire vehicles. Additionally, all operators of public systems, private carriers and for-hire vehicles must wear a mask or face covering at all times while working. This is part of the order requiring everyone in New York to wear face masks in public and where social distancing cannot be maintained.

New York on PAUSE is extended until at least May 15. Non-essential workers must stay home and social distancing requirements still apply.

Governor Cuomo has outlined a plan to begin returning to normal, as different as it may be.. As part of the strategy to reopen, we will strengthen the healthcare system; use diagnostic testing, antibody testing and contact tracing to limit the spread of the virus; and implement a phased return to a "new normal" — which will include evaluating risk by industry, starting with the most essential businesses that present the lowest risk, rethinking the workplace to make it safer, and implementing protocols for response if a worker develops COVID-19 symptoms. Real the full plan here.

Even as this pandemic drastically changes the lives of millions, all people still deserve to properly celebrate the lives of those who have passed. City Hall has released guidance documents for funerals and burials in EnglishSpanish (PDF), Traditional Chinese (PDF), and Simplified Chinese (PDF).

311 is working hard to be able to provide help for every New Yorker who needs it, including by hiring 120 new call takers. Meanwhile, the City is asking New Yorkers to help bring down 311's call volume by not calling and submitting service requests unrelated to COVID-19 online, either at nyc.gov/311 or via the 311 mobile app.

Beginning this week, New York State will start conducting antibody tests, prioritizing frontline healthcare workers, first responders and other essential workers. Using a new finger prick method, the state will test up to 2,000 New Yorkers per day for antibodies (proteins in our blood that indicate someone has had the virus). The state is also asking the FDA for expedited approval of a finger prick antibody test that could test up to 100,000 New Yorkers a day.

An Executive Order will be issued requiring nursing homes to report positive COVID-19 cases and deaths to the families of those who are living in the nursing home facility within 24 hours. The order will include adult home and other assisted living facilities.

More information about absentee ballots for the Primary on June 23. Prof. Ester Fuchs’ wonderful website, whosontheballot.org, clearly explains the several ways you can request an absentee ballot, and the many ways you can return the completed ballot. Follow the link above to go straight to the explanation.

Short version? You can download an application at vote.nyc or by calling 1-866-VOTE-NYC (1-866-868-3692). Return it by mail, postmarked no later than June 22, or by hand to the Manhattan BOE offices (200 Varick St.) during business hours before June 22, or before 9 pm on Election Day.

SUNY and CUNY students, faculty and staff are using 3D printers to produce critical personal protective equipment for New York's frontline health workers. SUNY campuses are producing about 2,100 face shields a day, while teams at six CUNY colleges have adapted their 3D printers to make elements that are used in protective face shields for local hospitals. The face shields are being donated to medical teams across the state.

Welcome back Officer Prieto, from the 19th Precinct. We’re glad to see you. Officer Prieto has fully recovered from COVID-19.

Metrocards. If you have not yet activated your Unlimited-Ride MetroCard, you can hold on to the card and start using it anytime until the expiration date listed on the back of the card. Unfortunately, once you start using your Unlimited-Ride MetroCard, it cannot be paused. If you use pay-per-ride, Any money you have on your Pay-Per-Ride full fare MetroCard will remain on the card until the expiration date on the back of the card. If you have money left on the card once it expires, you can transfer the balance to a new card at no additional cost. You can transfer any money left on a card for up to a year after the expiration date. Transfer of balances can be completed at a booth, a MetroCard Vending Machine, or by mailing it in to a MetroCard Customer Claims. No cash refund will be made for any value left of the card.

The Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) has released many of their most popular workshops for media makers online (in Spanish and English!), and is hosting Virtual MNN, an online meeting space for those needing help with media production or looking to learn more about MNN productions and available resources.

For guidelines on visitation policies at NYC Health + Hospitals, click here

Patients who are admitted to the hospital and for whom a support person has been essential to their care are permitted by New York State rules to have one support person in the emergency room during hospitalization. Those patients who are hospitalized for a prolonged period of time may designate two support people; however, only one may be present in the room at a time. You can find more information here.

NYC Health and Hospitals has also launched an at-home COVID-19 text message-based symptom monitoring platform for discharged Emergency Department (ED) patients. This text platform is meant for individuals who have been discharged from the ED, are suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients, and do not require admission to the hospital. Once signed up, patients will receive text messages every 12 to 24 hours to assess their symptoms. If you report escalating symptoms, you will receive a follow-up call from a care team member and admitted to the hospital, if necessary. Currently, the platform is available in English and Spanish, with plans to include 14 more languages.

If you have experienced discrimination or harassment, or witness an incident due to race, national origin, or other identities, please call 311 or file a complaint online with the NYC Commission on Human Rights. You may also call the New York State Hate Crimes Task Force if you have been involved in a hate crime by calling (888) 392-3644. The NYS Division of Human Rights has informational flyers on discrimination related to COVID-19.

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. Oats is also looking for volunteers.

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 [email protected].

The NYS Department of Health and the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene have provided information regarding COVID-19 and how it might impact those living with HIV.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has an FAQ page for individuals with diabetes. The ADA is asking individuals to pay attention to potential COVID-19 symptoms, including: fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. Call your doctor if you feel you are developing symptoms.

The Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) has created a FAQ page that is updated frequently with new information regarding the care of animals during this pandemic. Additionally, ACC is encouraging all individuals with pets to create a plan for their pets in case they are hospitalized. You can find more information about creating a plan here. Requests submitted by mail must be postmarked by June 16, 2020. You can also find photos and information about animals to foster or adopt. No in-person browsing of animals is permitted, but you can pick from the website. Children are encouraged to create artworks of animals to inspire adoption and fostering.

Hotel Rooms are donated for use by healthcare workers. Two mega hotel chains, 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. Thank you.

NYLPI, a civil rights advocacy organization, has compiled information and resources. NYLPI has committed to serving New Yorkers directly impacted by COVID-19.If you are an individual or family seeking assistance, click here.If you are a nonprofit organization seeking help, click here.Click here to learn more about NYLPI.

Sexual and reproductive healthcare, including but not limited to abortion, is considered essential in the State of New York. If you need birth control, emergency contraception, abortion, or other reproductive healthcare, please contact your provider -- many (but not all) services can be done via telemedicine. Additionally, if you need abortion care and cannot afford it, resources like the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF) can help with the cost of the procedure.

Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY) is offering virtual appointments where individuals can video-conference and chat with clinicians. PPGNY is offering a range of sexual and reproductive health care services. Additionally, PPGNY’s centers remain open in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens for essential abortion care, IUD implants and removals, and STI testing and treatment. You can view all of PPGNY’s services or book an appointment online or by calling 1-800-230-PLAN.

Coalition for the Homeless has created a special crisis hotline for individuals who are in immediate need of shelter or other critical needs. Call 212-776-2177 for more information.

Covenant House continues to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, offering housing and supportive services to youth who are experiencing homelessness. Please visit their website or call 212-613-0300 for more information.

Many individuals who have problems with addiction are now confined in their homes, often with little to do and alone. Help is available through online meetings provided by SMART Recovery and Alcoholics Anonymous. Both organizations are offering mutual support meetings that are free and open to anyone seeking to abstain from addictive behavior.

OASAS is working to support New Yorkers  seeking addiction support. They have created a flyer, which contains information for individuals looking for help., and have expanded their services during this crisis. To find a recovery or open access center, please click here. You can also call New York State’s Hopeline to help find resources and support at 1-877-846-7369 or by texting 467369.

BIGVISION, an organization offering support to young adults (ages 18-35) who are currently in recovery from drug and alcohol use and living sober lives, is offering free virtual social events. These events include hangouts, cooking demonstrations, and game nights. Click here for more information and to register for these events. 

In times of crisis, having support you can count on is vitally important. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), is continuing to offer mental health resources.  NAMI offers a variety of support resources to help you or a loved one with general or COVID-related mental health concerns. Their help line continues to be available as a source of information and support. You can call them from 10 AM to 6 PM at (212) 684-3264 or email [email protected] If you reach their voicemail, please leave a message and they will get back to you as soon as possible.

The Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center continues to remain open Monday through Saturday. All young people, aged 10 - 22, can access free comprehensive health services. For more information, please visit their website or call 212-423-3000.

The Trevor Project has a toll free confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth. Trained counselors are available through this national hotline 24/7. To reach the hotline, please call 1-866-488-7386

On April 10, Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Johnson announced $25 million in emergency funding to help emergency food providers across NYC. This funding will help pay for over 19 million meals.

 New York Common Pantryone of the city's largest food pantries and soup kitchens, is welcoming new clients for intake at their 8 E. 109th Street site from 10 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Saturday. Food distribution hours are between 10 AM and 2 PM, Wednesday through Saturday. Hot lunches are provided from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday. "Brown Bag" distribution is from 4 PM to 5 PM on weekends. They've also added a seniors-only (age 60+) food distribution on Mondays from 10 AM to 2 PM. Email [email protected] or call (917) 720-9700 for more information.

ActionNYCa 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.

CUNY Citizenship Now! 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 [email protected]

New York Immigrant Family Unity Project: 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.

Organization for Culture of Hispanic Origin (OCHO): 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.

NYSYLC has compiled a live document of resources for immigrants in NYC around COVID19 support efforts. Resources are prioritized based on availability for undocumented New Yorkers. If you or a loved one believe you have been a victim of an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raid or enforcement activity, you can call (212) 725-6422 to report the incident. Know-Your-Rights flyers in 15 languages are available here.

Building owners and property managers that work with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) are being asked to display the most up to date flyers with information on COVID-19 throughout buildings. The most recent flyer was updated on March 15th and is available in 22 additional languages. Click here to review the flyer.

The American Red Cross is extending the opportunity to take part in upcoming emergency preparedness and readiness WebEx presentations.

Happy 55th to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). In honor of that anniversary, LPC has created a new interactive story map to honor their vital work with highlights from decades of helping to make our city’s history tangible for every generation.

The Studio Museum in Harlem has released a series of Do it Yourself guided art projects for those looking to express their creativity and try out a new hobby from home.

On Monday (4/20) at 3:00 pm, Hunter College will host “Lessons on Pandemic and Age,” a webinar and live virtual Q&A on how disasters affect different age groups and the challenges of COVID-19 for seniors. Register here to join.

Education/Parenting

CUNY Update. Chancellor Matos Rodriguez has announced the following CUNY-wide updates as a result of COVID-19:

Commencement: Commencement ceremonies across the CUNY system will be postponed. College presidents and deans may still consider alternative celebrations that fit their campus. Please note that this will have no impact on diplomas. Degrees will be conferred at the end of the spring semester as scheduled.

The following are steps CUNY has taken in response COVID-19 to assist students navigating extraordinary circumstances.

  • Laptops: Students in need of a laptop to continue distance learning may request one through their school here.
  • Credit/No Credit: Due to the transition to distance learning, students have the option to convert any or all of the letter grades they earn this semester to Credit/No Credit grading. To learn more about this option, click here.
  • Dormitory Fees: Dormitory Fees will be credited to continuing students and refunded to students set to graduate. Click here to learn more about this refund policy.
  • Student Activity Fees: CUNY will waive 25% of the spring semester ‘Student Activity Fee’ for students enrolled in CUNY colleges on a 15-week calendar and 50% for students enrolled in CUNY colleges on a 12-week or six-week calendar. Click here to learn more about this refund policy.

Click here to visit CUNY’s continuity page, which provides resources, tools, and tips for students.

SUNY Update. SUNY students are encouraged to refer to SUNY’s Community Response to COVID-19 page for the most up-to-date information.

Sesame Street has created a guide to assist parents in talking to their children about COVID-19. Additionally, they have a website with coloring pages, videos, and information to help parents teach their children how to wash their hands.

 PBS published an article with helpful information about how to discuss COVID-19 with your children. They have also included resources with helpful tools to get your child to practice healthy habits.

Disney is offering free Disney-inspired themed family workouts. They feature workouts to Disney classics such as Peter Pan and The Incredibles. 

The Child Mind Institute is offering two webinars for individuals to learn how to deal with and manage stress during this crisis. The first webinar is designed for parents and caretakers to learn how to manage stress due to COVID-19. The second webinar is for mental health providers and is aimed at helping them provide support to students as they cope with learning from afar.

Join the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) for their free YouTube Live open classes, airing Wednesday - Friday every week from 6:30 - 7:15 pm.

Even though the Bronx Zoo is closed due to Coronavirus, you can still visit virtually through the zoo's Instagram page. You can catch up with many different animals, like the two recently hatched penguin chicks.

Tomorrow (4/18) at 4:00 pm, the environmental education organization Cafeteria Culture is offering a free virtual screening of the documentary Microplastic Madness, the story of 56 fifth graders from P.S. 15 in Red Hook, Brooklyn whose actions on plastic pollution morph into extraordinary leadership and scalable victories. Register here to join the screening, which will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s directors.

WAYS YOU CAN HELP

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 https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/node/1546 to make an appointment (walk-ins) are no longer allowed and for more information.

Do not leave gloves/masks on sidewalks, streets, or on top of collection material. Place used items in a securely tied trash bag for collection.

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

The Office of Emergency Management is accepting community spaces to support the City's emergency operations or be used for community outreach events. Click here for their survey, which assists the efforts of NYC Emergency Management in preparing and coordinating emergency responses on the community level.

How New York State is helping other states. New York's healthcare situation has stabilized so we can now help others in need. New York will never forget the generosity people across the country showed our state, and I said when you need help New Yorkers will be there. We will send 100 ventilators to Michigan and 50 ventilators to Maryland.

Open House New York invites you to join them for a series of conversations about the enduring value of cities at a moment of uncertainty about the future of urban life.Cities have been called humanity's greatest invention.

Over the next two months, in a series of conversations with leading experts and thinkers from a wide array of disciplines, OHNY will explore why cities continue to thrive, what propels them forward, and why our need for the human connection that cities make possible will always prevail over whatever challenges that may arise. Each conversation is organized around a broad theme, Conversations are free and will be hosted on live on GoToWebinar. For more information, see https://ohny.org/posts/2020-conversations

FINANCIAL AND LOCAL BUSINESSES UPDATES

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: https://twitter.com/NYCHA/status/1244685960564129792?mc_cid=b18a7c2c1b&mc_eid=50539dc993

The IBO has released a brief on the toll COVID-19 has taken on our local economy, with projections for tax revenue declines and job losses.

The NYC Department of Consumer & Worker Protection is extending certain license expiration dates and renewal application deadlines. Click here for a comprehensive list of industries and deadlines.

The CARES Act provides funding for counseling and training to specifically assist  Minority Business Development Agency clients. To find your local MBDA business center, click here.

Lawyers for Good Government Foundation (L4GG), a non-profit network of more than 125,000 legal advocates with lawyers in all 50 states, announced the launch of its Small Business Remote Legal Clinic, offering pro bono legal consultations for small business owners to help them understand and act upon the options available under the COVID-19 stimulus package and other grant and loan programs that may be available to them. The pilot program will launch in New York City shortly in partnership with the City Bar Justice Center, and will expand to additional cities across the country in the weeks ahead.

NHSNYC is offering one-on-one counseling during COVID-19 to help empower New Yorkers financially and through affordable lending. Click here to fill out a request form. NHSNYC’s goal is to support the attainment and sustainability of homeownership for underserved New Yorkers.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has put in place measures to provide financial relief to veterans. For more information on the financial relief programs, please click here.

Student Loans. Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced an agreement with New York's largest student loan providers to grant relief for borrowers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The Student Loan Relief Plan includes: 90 days of deferred monthly payments; waived late fees; no negative reporting to credit agencies; and more. Click here to learn more.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid has created an FAQ page. You can find resources related to default loans, the 0 percent interest period, and general loan questions.

For tenants struggling to pay rent during COVID-19, Mayor de Blasio announced a five-borough hotline through 311 to help educate tenants about their rights and sources of rent relief. 

Rent Freeze Program (SCRIE and DRIE)

The NYC Department of Finance has created an FAQ page for those who are part of the Rent Freeze Program, which includes the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) Program and the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE). To find out if you qualify for the Rent Freeze Program under SCRIE or DRIE, please click here. Please note, that if you are submitting your application for SCRIE or DRIE, you should mail your application to the address listed on the application and NOT to 59 Maiden Lane.

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 hereThe website includes resources and guides.

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

For an update on the new Department of Labor unemployment filing system, the DOL will contact New Yorkers who have already filed partial claims under the old unemployment insurance system. Since DOL staff are working from home, their call may show up as private or restricted. If you receive a private or restricted call, you can verify that the individual is a staff member from the DOL by asking them to verify their identity and provide the date you filed your application and what type of claim you filed. Scams proliferate. Check the caller.

The DOL released a helpful graphic that shows who is eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Click here to confirm your eligibility. If you would like to file a claim, please do so here.

The Managed Care Consumer Assistance Program (MCCAP) can help constituents in many ways - including how to use their health insurance, accessing low-cost healthcare, applying for hospital financial assistance, resolving medical billing issues, and appealing coverage denials. Call the MCCAP helpline Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM at (888) 614-5400. All services are free.  

Medicaid. All active cases within New York City will be extended. No Medicaid case within New York City will be closed for failure to renew or provide documentation. If your case is closed for failure to renew or provide documentation and you had Medicaid coverage on or after March 18, 2020, your case will be reopened and all coverage will be restored. Renewals of Medicaid will be extended for 12 months. Click here for more information.

Additionally, former SSI recipients and any discontinued Temporary Assistance or Medicaid cases that require a separate Medicaid eligibility determination will have their Medicaid coverage extended with no renewal or redeterminations required.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the following individuals are eligible to submit a Medicaid application via fax to (917) 639-0732

  1. New York City residents over the age of 65.
  2. Those living with a disability or blindness.
  3. Those in receipt of Medicare and are not a parent or caretaker relative of minor children.
  4. Young adults under the age of 26 who were formerly in foster care.

Applicants who are not included in the categories above can submit an application through the New York State of Health here or by calling (855) 355-5777.

Through May 15, health insurance enrollment is open for uninsured New Yorkers as part of a Special Enrollment Period. Click here to enroll or call 311 for free enrollment assistance. You may also text CoveredNYC (SeguroNYC in Spanish) to 877877 to be connected to a GetCoveredNYC Specialist.

Originally formed in 2008, the Volunteers of Legal Service Unemployed Workers Project has relaunched in response to the COVID-19 crisis. They are providing free advice to low-wage, unemployed workers in New York State who are seeking to access government benefits, as well as updates as state and federal rules change. You can call the Unemployed Workers Project hotline at (347) 521-5720 or fill out an interest form.

VOLS also provides resources for small businesses. https://volsprobono.org/important-update-for-nyc-small-businesses-affected-by-the-covid-19-pandemic/

If you’re looking for work, CAMBA, Inc. is in urgent need of essential workers who can provide critical services for their shelter programs. CAMBA offers over 160 programs to more than 65,000 individuals at 95 locations across New York City. Visit the website for information on the many programs they provide, such as for housing stability, family and community support, economic development, and legal services. In their shelter program specifically, they offer clients a supportive and structured environment where they can successfully transition adults and families into permanent and supportive housing.

CAMBA has openings for the following positions: Maintenance Workers, Security Guards, Shift Supervisors, Residential Aides, and Social Worker (LMSW and LSCW). If you are interested in any of these positions, please email your resume to [email protected].

If you do not normally file your taxes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a website dedicated to non-filers who may be eligible to receive an economic impact payment. Click here for more information and eligibility.

Social Security Recipients. Those who receive Social Security Income or benefits and do not typically file tax returns will not need to register to receive an economic impact payment. Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul recommends registering if a Social Security Income (SSI) beneficiary has a dependent under the age of 17 to ensure they receive an additional $500 per eligible dependent.

Additionally, new beneficiaries (as of January 1, 2020) for Social Security or SSI benefits, who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, will need to fill out the IRS’ Non-Filers website.

Recipients will get their economic impact payment the same way they receive Social Security benefits. Please click here for more information. 

The Property Tax and Interest Deferral Program, or PT AID, allows eligible homeowners to defer their property tax payments or pay only a small percentage of their income. To learn more or to download an application, visit www.nyc.gov/ptaid. To request that a PT AID application be mailed to you, please call 311.  

The Center for NYC Neighborhoods has created a list of resources for homeowners on topics ranging from scam protection, mortgage help, and rehab and retrofit help. You can find more information on their website.

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a program that helps low-income homeowners pay for utility and heating bills. Click here to apply to this program.

NYN Media, a news source for New York’s nonprofits, is hosting a webinar on Thursday, April 23, 2020 from 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM on ‘Managing the Impact of COVID-19 on Your Nonprofit. Click here to register for this free webinar. Click here for additional articles and resources for nonprofits from NYN Media.

New York State issued additional guidance that allows non-essential retail establishments (as defined by the Empire State Development Corporation) to fulfill delivery orders placed remotely via phone or online. Please note that only one employee may be physically present at the business location to fulfill orders.

The Small Business Administration placed the following note on its site:

SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding.

EIDL applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The IRS has begun transferring so-called “Economic Impact Payments” to taxpayer bank accounts (for those who have their accounts on file) or sending out physical checks. Use this webpage to start the process of determining if you are eligible to receive any of that funding.

For security reasons, the IRS plans to mail a letter about the economic impact payment to the taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days after the payment is made. The letter will provide information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment. If a taxpayer is unsure they’re receiving a legitimate letter, the IRS urges taxpayers to visit IRS.gov first to protect against scam artists.

Scams. The Wall Street Journal published “Don’t Click! Coronavirus Text and Phone Scams Are Designed to Trick You” with a useful reminder that now is a time when scammers on your phone can seem more legitimate. Columnist Nicole Nguyen wrote:

“A text comes in on your phone. It’s from the IRS, and your economic relief check is ready, pending your acceptance. There’s a form to fill out. All you have to do is click the link.

“If you don’t have time to read this whole column, please—for the love of sweatpants—just read this: Don’t. Click. The. Link.

“… Circulating schemes involve stimulus checks, airline refunds, charities, fines for breaking social-distancing rules, 'mandatory' Covid-19 preparedness tests, unproven treatments and sales of in-demand supplies like masks or thermometers. Experts say the scams are designed to get you to take immediate action, more and more through texts and calls...”

The NYC Bar Association’s City Bar Justice Center offers legal resources to help New Yorkers during the pandemic:

  • Their CBJC Legal Hotline at (212) 626-7383 is staffed by attorneys who offer free advice to low-income callers on a range of civil-- not criminal-- legal issues in English and Spanish (other languages available by using interpreter services).
  • Their COVID-19 Small Business Remote Legal Clinic connects volunteer lawyers with small businesses in need of help accessing relief and stimulus resources.
  • They’re providing free life-planning help-- wills and powers of attorney-- to front-line healthcare workers.
  • Their Legal Referral Service also remains open: (212) 626-7373 for English, (212) 626-7374 for Spanish, or submit a request online.  If you are referred, the initial virtual or phone consultation will be $35 or free, depending on the type of case, and will last for up to 30 minutes.

Two webinars for retail as it begins to look at the future:

Retail Store Tours will be hosting "What Can American Retail Learn from the Retail & Restaurant Industry in China?" on Tuesday, April 21 at 9am.  To learn more and to register, please click here.

Jewelry trade publication JCK will be hosting "10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Prepare Your Business for the Post-COVID-19 Recovery" on Thursday, April 30 at 3pm. To learn more and to register, please click here.

Local  and state elected officials, along with advocacy groups, signed a letter to the New York congressional delegation requesting $100 billion infusion of federal funds ($10 billion of which would go to New Yorkers) to go towards rent relief and subsidies.

LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS TELE-TOWN HALLS

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 YouTube.com or Facebook.com/BenKallos/Videos

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


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: