Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates April 2nd



The State is launching an online portal that will help connect our hospitals and healthcare facilities with the nearly 80,000 healthcare workers who have volunteered to help. The portal will prioritize the deployment of NY-based workers to hospitals with the greatest need. Volunteers are expected to be deployed as early as this week.

The deadline to get a "Real ID" has been extended to October 1, 2021. For more information on whether the Real ID is right for you, visit the NY DMV webpage.

The Department of Information Technology has developed a portal as a new tool to help guide the City's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The portal is available in 11 languages and allows New Yorkers to self-report COVID-19 information and will help the City better communicate with affected people and identify areas that may need enhanced response. Inputs are confidential. People without internet access or who need help can call 311.

Older New Yorkers who are feeling isolated can connect with friendly volunteers to talk with over the phone through the Friendly Visiting Program by calling 212-AGING-NYC (212-244-6469). For other mental health resources, including for veterans and caregivers, visit this website.

All NYC playgrounds will be closed to enforce social distancing guidelines. Other open spaces remain available, but please practice social distancing. Law enforcement is continuing to enforce these guidelines and will impose fines to those who are not compliant.

NYS is extending the open enrollment period for New Yorkers without health insurance to May 15. Please get covered if you are not already. Enroll here.

Should you disinfect your groceries. Click here to read more.

For an article with information on the 90-day prohibition on evictions for failure to pay rent, click here.

Other ways in which payments or actions for non-payment are suspended:

  • Utilities:  Con Edison has temporarily suspended service shutoffs for customers having payment difficulties (those relating to safety concerns will still take place); National Grid has "suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections," until the end of April.
  • Debt collection on medical and student loans:  The NYS Attorney General, Tish James, announced her office will suspend medical and student loan debt collection until at least April 16-- with a potential extension then.
  • Cable and internet for homes with school-age children:  Cable and internet providers like Verizon and Spectrum are providing free internet for, as well as, in Verizon's case, offering free access to learning tools and a few premium TV channels for 60 days.
  • NYCHA encourages households experiencing a partial loss of income to access their rent hardship program by completing an Interim Recertification via the NYCHA Self-Service Portal  (click or call their Property Management Office to request a paper form be mailed. If your household experiences a complete loss of income, you may qualify for NYCHA’s Zero Income Policy; call the property management office to set up the required eligibility interview.

This Friday, April 3, 2020, at 3 pm, Arts and Culture Committee of The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the Harlem Arts Alliance, and the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance to convene a special teleconference for locally-based arts and culture organizations, independent artists, galleries, and venues to discuss managing the impact of Covid-19. The Friday teleconference will be held via ZOOM on Friday, April 3, 2020 at 3pm. Here is more detail on the call and call-in directions.

For those who access food themselves, the Get Food NYC Food Delivery Program may be able to help. Click here to find out if you are eligible. If you meet the substantial requirements, it will deliver food for 2 days at a time. The website also contains a link to help you find food pantries.

The Service Program for Older People,, offers comprehensive mental health care for older adults. During this time, SPOP staff are providing mental health treatment through telehealth.

If you need help finding a health care provider, call 311.

Borough President Gale Brewer urges grocery shoppers to avoid shopping over the next few days to enable those on SNAP and WIC to buy food, especially since their food supplies may have run out faster than usual with children at home. She also asks that shoppers avoid buying items tagged with WIC labels.

If you are interested in history and how this pandemic can be studied from a historian’s perspective, the recently named Borough Historian Rob Snyder will be offering a webinar on how historians can study, document and analyze the pandemic. " The Zoom meeting will be available by clicking here and the meeting ID is: 281 509 628 (use that for the participant ID as well).  Or you can dial in for audio only at (646) 876 9923 using those same IDs.

For pet owners, the ASPCA has established a pet food distribution center in New York City in partnership with the Petco Foundation, Blue Buffalo, and PetSmart Charities to provide dog and cat owners free access to crucial food and supplies, including kitty litter.  To keep in line with social distancing guidelines, food and supplies will be available by appointment only. Pet owners should call the ASPCA Pet Food Distribution Helpline at (800)738-9437 to request an appointment. This includes dog and cat supplies only, and distribution is subject to eligibility and availability. Open to residents of New York City; no same-day appointments; one-hour window for pick-up, don't come early and call if you're running late; bring a photo ID and be prepared to carry supplies!  (DON'T bring pets!)

New York City’s list of resources for those affected by COVID-19 may be found by clicking here.

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program may help with utility costs for New Yorkers who are income eligible. For more information, click here.

The NY Public Library has created a resource for How to Talk to Kids About COVID-19. Find resources and information on talking about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) with your children and teens from our partners and outside organizations. There are resources for each age group, along with multilingual resources. All grade levels. Click here to learn more.

Have questions about how COVID-19 affects housing? The State's Homes and Community Renewal Agency has set up a Frequently Asked Questions page with information about housing issues for tenants, landlords and homeowners.

The New York Academy (PDF) and Center for Urban Future have compiled ideas and resources on supporting older adults through the coronavirus.


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.

New York State is establishing a volunteer SWAT Team of companies and individuals who will be deployed across high-impact and urgent coronavirus response activities to help develop and build technology solutions that will accelerate and amplify our response to COVID-19. We are looking for impactful solutions and skilled tech employees to help. If you are interested in joining the SWAT Team, click here.

Gift cards are recommended as a way to help small businesses and restaurants.

The Department of Education The Regional Enrichment Centers (RECs) provides childcare for healthcare workers and first responders who are critical to the COVID-19 Response effort.

If your child is an NYC resident and you would like to enroll in one of these centers, please complete the form here.

If you are on the staff at the Department of Education and would like to volunteer, please complete the survey here.

The New York City Nonprofits website has a lot of information to assist nonprofits. Click here for more. 

For information to assist those with disabilities, see the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities by clicking here

Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Blue Hill, NYC, have started a program allowing customers to purchase boxes of food, with proceeds going to employees and independent farms. Meals can be donated to health care workers. Click here for information and to place an order to be picked up or donated.

Famiglia's Pizza (at Madison and 97th street) is doing a pizza matching program: if you pay for a pizza for the hospital workers at Mt. Sinai, they will match your number of donated pizzas. (Order one pizza to donate to the hospital and they will deliver 2.)  Give them a call at 212-996-9797.


The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.

The credit is available to all employers regardless of size, including tax-exempt organizations. The only exceptions are small businesses who take small business loans.  For IRS information, eligibility requirements and explanation, click here.

Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund​

LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) will use Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. Click here to learn more.

Additionally, Verizon recently launched #PayItForwardLIVEa weekly livestream from big names to pay it forward for small businesses. Viewers can tune in every Tuesday and Thursday at 8PM ET/ 5PM PT on @Verizon’s Twitter, Yahoo, Twitch, and Fios Channel 501. As people support their favorite small businesses with #PayItForwardLIVE, Verizon will commit an additional $10 per use of the hashtag, up to $2.5 million, for a total of up to $5 million in support.

Suggestions on What Retailers Should Post Now on Social Media

This very helpful piece by the editor of JCK (the jewelry industry publication) offers guidance on the tone and content of fashion and jewelry social media postings in this challenging time. Please click here to read the article.

The Open for Business Hub lists free or low cost technology assistance for small businesses. For information, click

To read the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s coronavirus small business guide, click here

A Gift Card Primer from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Gift cards are being touted as an excellent way for retailers and restaurants to generate revenue now by giving clients a way to support these businesses while they are temporarily closed Please click here for a helpful primer on gift cards prepared by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Restaurants and workers may find resources compiled by the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation to help them during this time by clicking here


Resources for freelance artists may be found by clicking here

The Actors Fund, in partnership with industry organization, is  providing assistance for performing artists in many entertainment areas. For information on the financial assistance, including eligibility, click here. For the Actors Fund resource list, click here.

Undocumented food service workers may be eligible for small grants. For more information, click here. 

A law firm, Paul, Weiss, has set up a portal of resources, including federal state and city resources, the Coronavirus Relief Center. Click here to get to the portal.

For information and eligibility requirements for the Small Business Continuity Loan Program, click here. 

For a list of small business relief programs compiled by Forbes, click here.

For information about resources available for not-for-profits, click here. 

The National Council of Nonprofits has also compiled information and resources. Click here to view.

The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund was created to aid nonprofit service providers struggling with the health and economic effects of the coronavirus. It will give grants and loans to NYC-based nonprofits that are trying to meet the new and urgent needs that are hitting the city. Priority will be given to nonprofits addressing essential healthcare and food insecurity as well as arts and culture. For information, click here.

The Robin Hood Relief Fund will provide grants for emergency support to not-for-profits serving those affected by this crisis. For more information, click here.

The New York Times published FAQs on the federal Stimulus legislation. To read the article, click here.

The Governor announced the launch of a new PSA that provides information on how to apply for unemployment benefits. You can watch the English-language PSA here and one with Spanish subtitles here.

From City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, a chart to help explain Unemployment Insurance

New York State prepared information on unemployment insurance as a result of COVID-19, click here for more information.

If your employer does not provide benefits required by New York State for employees impacted by COVID-19, you may file a complaint. For more information, click here.

There’s Pandemic Insurance from New York State for those not eligible for unemployment insurance, such as independent contractors and self-employed, and others. Click here for more information.

The NYC Office of Nightlife has extended the deadline for its COVID-19 Impact Survey for nightlife businesses, workers and freelancers. If you work in NYC nightlife, please complete the survey by Friday April 3rd so that the Office of Nightlife can best represent you and your needs. Available in 10 languages. Survey link:

The NYS Department of Labor released a new PSA to help New Yorkers file unemployment claims. It urges applicants to file on a weekday that’s tied to your name. Click here to watch the video.

An updated DOL FAQ is available by clicking here.

Business interruption FAQ is available by clicking here.

Since, tomorrow marks the beginning of applications for that Paycheck Protection Program, at 12 noon the Jewish Federations of North America is sponsoring a Zoom conference on the process of applying for those new PPP loans which are available to nonprofit organizations in the CARES Act. There is $350 billion available to companies and non-profit organizations with fewer than 500 employees; the Mayor describes this funding as first-come, first-serve!  Register here for the 12 noon call and they will send a meeting/participant ID:

Here's a sample paycheck protection program application form that may be helpful (PDF)

The U.S. Small Business Administration confirmed yesterday that business owners who have already applied for its Economic Injury Disaster Loans MUST REAPPLY using a revamped website:

The City of New York is seeking businesses with the ability to quickly source and/or make medical supplies and other products needed to support the City’s coronavirus response. If you are a supplier or distributor with access to a stock of ready-made supplies to sell, please complete this form:

If you are a manufacturer and able to create new products from scratch, please complete this form:


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: