Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates April 27th


New York Board of Elections Canceled the Democratic Presidential Primary. Read about it in the New York Times by clicking here.

Governor Cuomo outlined a phased plan to safely reopen New York at the appropriate time, taking a regional approach. Phase one will be to reopen low-risk construction and manufacturing businesses in parts of the state that have experienced a 14-day decline in the hospitalization rate. Phase two will open certain industries based on priority and risk level.

There will be a two-week waiting period in-between phases of this plan to monitor the effect. This will help ensure that the hospitalizations and infection rates are not increasing as some workers begin to return to work. Businesses and industries will create plans that include new measures to protect employees and consumers.

Multi-state coordination is key, especially in downstate New York, where the outbreak has been more severe. In downstate New York, special attention will be taken to ensure the safety of low-income communities.

The Governor also announced a new initiative to ramp up testing in African-American and Latino communities by using churches and places of worship in those communities as a network or possible testing sites.

Alternate side parking is extended until Tuesday, May 12.

New York essential workers will be honored with an air show on Tuesday. The US Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force Thunderbirds will fly over the New York Metropolitan area as a tribute to all the workers on the frontlines of this pandemic.

Governor Cuomo will issue an executive order allowing all pharmacies to test for COVID-19, instead of limiting testing to the large chains currently doing diagnostic tests. 

New York is expanding diagnostic testing criteria to include all first responders, healthcare workers and essential employees, permitting testing even if they don’t have symptoms. 

The City is serving over 500,000 Halal meals at all 400+ grab-and-go sites during Ramadan in a partnership between the NYC Department of Education (DOE) and Community Based Organizations. To see the full list of school sites with increased Halal meals, please visit

Families of nursing home residents who are concerned about the care they are getting can file complaints by calling 833-249-8499 or by visiting

For visitation guidelines to New York Presbyterian, see

The City will open 40 miles of streets to pedestrians over the next month. This will begin with an initial roll out on streets adjacent to parks. The longer-term goal is to open up 100 miles of streets to pedestrians.

The City plans to hire 1,000 contact tracers immediately.

The City has opened COVID-19 testing centers for high-risk patients in all five boroughs. These centers, run by NYC Health + Hospitals, will offer testing on a walk-in basis, prioritizing those over the age of 65 with pre-existing conditions. You can learn more about these centers and their hours here.

The New York Peace Institute is offering online mediation services free of charge for families and workplaces struggling to manage conflict during the pandemic. Access their onboarding form here.

For those in need of help in the burial of a loved one, the Human Resources Administration (HRA) is providing funeral assistance and payment of expenses for qualifying individuals. Learn moreSee the application here (PDF). 

NYS launched a new texting program and confidential service to help New Yorkers experiencing domestic violence. Text 844-997-2121 or visit to confidentially chat with a professional at any time of day or night.

New York State and Hip Hop Public Health have partnered together to remind you to wash your hands for "20 Seconds or More." In collaboration with DJ Doug E. Fresh and a crew of hip hop legends, Hip Hop Public Health has created a fun educational video teaching New Yorkers how to stay safe and stop the spread of Coronavirus. Watch the video here and learn more about the campaign here.

For advice on using disinfectants and instructions on how to make your own, see.

Every Monday from 2 - 3 pm, the New York branch of the National Council of Jewish Women is hosting a Coping with COVID-19 Virtual Support Group, led by Letitia Maun, LMSW. Contact Letitia to schedule a pre-registration phone call at [email protected] or by calling (646) 884-9471

Columbia students are suing the university for refunds after being forced to leave campus and take classes online. The students argue, in their federal lawsuit, that they are not receiving the services paid for by their tuition.

Dr. Rob Snyder, the Manhattan Borough Historian, writes: Ellen Noonan (an NYU professor and Director of the Archives and Public History Program at New York University) has created a great new web site. She's compiled all the known  worldwide projects and initiatives documenting the COVID-19 pandemic in one place:

A reminder on tenant protection; it is illegal for a landlord to evict you or ask you to leave your home because you are sick. If you are struggling with a landlord, call the tenant hotline via 311 for free legal help, regardless of immigration status.

SECTOR ADVISORY COUNCILS: Re-opening the city will be a gradual process, and different strategies informed by on the ground experience will be used to do so as seamlessly as possible. The City will form a series of Sector Advisory Councils that will guide the Administration's efforts to reopen the economy and city life. The Councils will serve as critical links to disseminate information about re-opening and provide guidance to shape the City’s response to the pandemic. These councils will start in the first week of May and meet weekly thereafter. Sector Advisory Councils will include:

  • Large Businesses
  • Small Businesses
  • Public Health and Health Care
  • Arts, Culture, and Tourism
  • Labor
  • Nonprofits and Social Services
  • Faith-Based
  • Education and Vocational Training

New York Road Runners has been working diligently to adjust Rising New York Road Runners, our youth fitness program, to accommodate families sheltering in place and at-home learning as both parents and teachers transitioning to this new way of home learning. Here’s what we’ve done:

  • Launched a new, openly accessible online portal called “Active at Home” with videos that include Olympic Bronze Medalist Jenny Simpson leading fitness activities at home.
  • This portal allows both parents and teachers to download activities and videos based on the child’s developmental stage.
  • Teachers can upload the activities into Google Classroom or assign an activity that parents can access from our online portal
  • This new portal includes activities that have been specially curated for smaller spaces and taking social distancing into account.

NYC parents and teacher can access free games and activities to keep NYC children active at home while our City continues to shelter in place.

The City is working to make sure no New Yorker goes hungry. This includes $25 million worth of support to make sure food pantries stay stocked. If you need food visit or call 311. Free meals are available to every New Yorker at more than 400 locations. You can learn more online at or by texting "NYC FOOD" or "NYC COMIDA" to 877-877. You can read more about the $170 million plan to make sure no New Yorker goes hungry here.

As a reminder, free Halal meals are available at NYC Meal Hubs for those observing Ramadan.

For tips on how to make distance learning more effective and easier, see.

If you have college-age and college-bound kids, for an analysis of the likely impact of virtual education on in-person college experiences, see.


NYC & Company has compiled Virtual NYC, an ongoing and comprehensive list of virtual cultural offerings by local organizations, sorted by interest (i.e. Family Friendly, Performing Arts, Museums etc.). They also have a form to submit upcoming events and experiences and add to their expanding list.



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 Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center is looking for volunteer callers to help update their 59 Coronavirus NYC Neighborhood Food Resource Guides. These guides are essential to helping keep communities informed on everything from soup kitchens to farmers markets to available resources for families depending on the SNAP and WIC programs. If you are interested in volunteering, please email [email protected] with the subject line: “Volunteer for Food Resource Guides.”

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.

Complete the census. We need all the help and Congressional representatives we can get.

The Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center is looking for volunteer callers to help update their 59 Coronavirus NYC Neighborhood Food Resource Guides. These guides are essential to helping keep communities informed on everything from soup kitchens to farmers markets to available resources for families depending on the SNAP and WIC programs. If you are interested in volunteering, please email [email protected] with the subject line: “Volunteer for Food Resource Guides.”

An organization created to provide relief to New York City’s restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic announced the sale of a new cookbook containing recipes to dishes from some of the city’s most iconic dining establishments.

The cookbook — "Serving New York: For All The People Who Make NYC Dining Unforgettable" — includes more than 45 pantry-friendly recipes based off of dishes from some of NYC’s most popular restaurants, All of the proceeds will go to ROAR and Robin Hood’s restaurant relief fun, providing cash assistance to the city’s restaurant workers. The books are priced at $14.99 and are now available for presale at In addition to the cookbook, you can buy gift cards to an assortment of restaurants on the website.

For suggestions on how to help, read this New York Times article.



Our Town reports that In an effort to provide aid to small businesses hurt by the COVID-19 outbreak, the West Side Community Fund (WSCF) is launching a grant application for financial relief. The program aims to help vulnerable businesses as well as nonprofits and community groups that may be less eligible for federal stimulus loans. The Citizens Committee for New York City will administer the grants.

The program is intended to assist with operating costs that businesses with a demonstrable revenue decline may otherwise be unable to pay. Funds will be allocated based on an assessment of greatest need, with special consideration for minority and/or immigrant-owned businesses. The organization’s top priority is to preserve workforces and keep businesses afloat Grant applications opened on April 23 and awards of between $5,000 and $10,000 will be announced on a rolling basis.

The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) and Americans for the Arts have partnered to survey nonprofit cultural organizations in the city in order to understand the full breadth of the financial impact COVID-19 has had on the culture sector.

Medicare recipients are an especially rich target for scams. Our Town reports an estimate that one out of every five Americans over 65 is a victim caught by calls that sound like one FTC has posted to its website:

The introduction of “stimulus” checks is another rich field of profit for scammers. For example, if a paper check arrives before about mid-May or you get a check when you’re expecting a direct deposit, it’s a fake.

What to do if someone targets you? The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) says, ignore it. No personal information by phone, email or text. No cash payment in advance for some “COVD kit” or remedy. No clicking on links that look like they come from a friend but really don’t. And never ever hit that tempting Unsubscribe button. Doing that tells the scammer your email is address is real, which means more spam. Worse yet, it might link to a website that downloads malware onto your device.

Covid-19 scam overview:

Consumer scam alerts:

COVID-19 scam statistics:

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.

250 of the jobs for NYCHA residents listed on have yet to be filled. These positions are for temporary per diem workers to assist with general maintenance at NYCHA properties. Per diem income will not have an impact on your rent. Apply here.

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.

The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) has launched a new, streamlined application for New Yorkers to apply for COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance without first needing to apply for Unemployment Insurance. Prior to today, New Yorkers were required to apply for regular Unemployment Insurance and be rejected before applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. This new application, which aligns with updated federal policy, allows New Yorkers to simply fill out one form to get the correct benefits without requiring applicants to call the DOL. The agency has installed more than 3,100 representatives solely dedicated to answering unemployment benefit needs seven days a week. The DOL previously had 400 representatives in the call center. The DOL has paid out $2.2 billion in unemployment benefits to 1.1 million New Yorkers so far. The new form is available here.



On Wednesday (4/28) at 6:30 pm, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will be moderating a virtual town hall on “Bridging the Digital Divide during COVID-19,” a discussion of potential solutions for the many disparities in technology laid bare by this pandemic. Partners include the Columbia University School of Social Work, BetaNYC, the West Harlem Development Corporation, Silicon Harlem, and Community Board 11. Panelists include Silicon Harlem’s Clayton Banks, Dr. Desmond Patton of the School of Social Work, Nilsa Orama of Community Board 11, and Noel Hidalgo from BetaNYC.

On Tuesday (4/28) at 6:30 pm Manhattan Community Board 4 and Housing Conservation Coordinators are hosting a virtual forum, “Tenant Protection & Housing Security during COVID-19 Pandemic.” Register here to ask questions in the Zoom meeting or watch it live on CB4's YouTube channel.

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: