Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates May 11th

MAY 11TH RESOURCES AND UPDATES:

 

The Governor will issue an Executive Order mandating that all nursing homes and adult care facilities test all personnel for COVID-19 two times per week and report any positive test results to the State Department of Health by the next day. All nursing home and adult care facility administrators are required to submit a plan on how they will accomplish this testing and a certificate of compliance with this order to the State Department of Health by this Friday, May 15. Nursing homes or adult care facilities found to be in violation of the Executive Order may have its operating certificate suspended or revoked or may be subject to a penalty for non-compliance of $2,000 per violation per day. Any personnel who refuse to be tested for COVID-19 will be considered to have outdated or incomplete health assessments and therefore will be prohibited from working in the nursing home or adult care facility until testing is performed. The Executive Order also mandates that hospitals cannot discharge a patient to a nursing home unless that patient tests negative for COVID-19.

NYC has 38 recent cases of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, with 9 more pending investigations. Of these patients, 47% tested positive for COVID-19, and 81% of others had antibodies. Symptoms seem to include persistent fever, rash, abdominal pain, vomiting. In response to these new findings, the City will be taking the following immediate actions:

  • NYC Health +Hospitals (H+H) testing for all children with symptoms for antibodies
  • Convening citywide conference with Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and H+H
  • Alerting parents of more than 1 million children citywide
  • Directing Regional Enrichment Centers to increase enforcement of masks, use of hand sanitizer

Today Gov. Cuomo announced a set of regional “control rooms” made up of the top government officials and academic and healthcare professionals in each region to help plan eventual, gradual re-openings in each region. These regional bodies will help monitor the hospitalization and death rates, hospital bed capacity (including ICU beds), testing and contact tracing progress, and alert the state if the region's metrics no longer meet the state’s reopening guidelines and adjust the reopening plan for that region accordingly. I look forward to representing Manhattan's unique needs. Here are the members for New York City (and here is a link to the complete list of all regional bodies):

  • Regional Captain: Rossana Rosado, Secretary of State
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
  • Kathy Wylde, President and CEO of Partnership for New York City
  • Vinny Alvarez, NYC Central Labor Council President
  • City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
  • Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
  • Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
  • Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee
  • Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams
  • Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo

The Associated Press broke the news that the Trump administration had shelved a CDC report which offered criteria on best practices for gradually reopening the economy. The 17-page document provides  interim guidance for employers (with or without vulnerable employees); school, child care and day camp administrators; communities of faith; restaurants and bars; and mass transit administrators.  Read the AP’s copy of the CDC report here. Borough President Gale Brewer also uploaded it to her site here in case the AP link disappears).

The Coronavirus has had significant disparate racial and ethnic impact. To address these racial disparities, NYS is partnering with Northwell Health to establish 24 new temporary testing sites at churches and houses of worship in impacted communities.

In response to uncertainty about whether antibodies confer immunity to COVID-19, Governor Cuomo is speaking more about using antibody tests to determine statistics about the spread of infection. “We use the antibody test more for an indicator for infection rate," he said during a briefing Friday in Poughkeepsie. “We’re not taking action off that antibody test. It’s not like we tell you, ‘OK, you can go back to work now because you’re safe.’ We use it more for statistical purposes.” The change comes amid concerns about the reliability and accuracy of antibody tests and whether they can truly tell if someone has built up immunity to COVID-19 and for how long.

Governor Cuomo asks New Yorkers to explain why wearing a mask in public is important in a video submission contest. The winning video will be used in a TV ad. Videos should be less than 30 seconds long and should show how to wear a mask properly, covering both the mouth and nose. The submission deadline is May 15th. Learn more at WearAMask.ny.gov.

The Governor announced that Schmidt Futures will help integrate New York State practices and systems with the best advanced technology tools to build back better. Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO and Executive Chairman and founder of Schmidt Futures, will lead the state's 15-member Blue Ribbon Commission and use what the state has learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with new technologies, to improve telehealth and broadband access.

Governor Cuomo has extended the Executive Order allowing out-of-state health care professionals to practice in New York State. We are forever indebted to the countless doctors, nurses, physician assistants, respiratory therapists and other health care professionals from neighboring states who came to help the family of New York when we needed it most.

A Federal judge reinstated the New York Presidential Primary, ruling that the decision to cancel it unconstitutionally deprived New Yorkers of the right to vote.

The New York Times reports that the City’s Health and Hospitals will take over contact tracing from the Health Department which has conducted tracing for decades. 

The Rent Guidelines Board cast a preliminary vote Thursday in favor of a proposal that would freeze rents on rent-stabilized apartments for one year. The freeze would apply to one-year leases signed on or after Oct. 1 2020, and the first year of two-year leases. For the two-year leases, the proposal allows for a one percent increase in the rent during the second year of the lease. The final vote will be held on June 17.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also signed an executive order Thursday extending the state’s eviction moratorium beyond June to August 20. The moratorium includes both commercial and residential spaces.

For more information on the inequities of COVID-19 around the country, click here

The City will be increasing the use of civilian agency staff to be “Social Distancing Ambassadors” from 1,000 to 2,300 by next weekend. The City will also be using community partners to increase education and conduct outreach and increase face covering distribution in coordination with local officials and organizations. NYC will ensure all front line staff, including NYPD, wear face coverings when they’re in contact with the public.

New York City has trained 285 new call-takers, built out 4 new call centers, and incorporated FDNY and NYPD leadership into 311 operations. As a result, typical peak volume wait times have dropped 75%. "Express Lanes" focused on COVID-19 and food have little or no wait times most of day and are offered in English and Spanish.

Face Coverings: For specified dates, times, and locations of face coverings distribution sites, click here.

DHS will be moving 1,000 more people from shelters into commercial hotels, prioritizing large shelters. Their goal is to increase client move-outs by 1,000 each week as NYC moves towards wide-scale testing. H+H and DHS are now working together to provide medical oversight to all DHS sites. The City is launching testing this week at DHS shelters, and working to expand across the system by Mid-May and identify and isolate all clients who are COVID-positive.

The City’s COVID-19 Hotel Program provides free hotel stays to eligible New Yorkers who can’t isolate where they live, as well as frontline healthcare workers who hope to reduce the risk of transmission to others at home. Learn more.

The Interfaith Center of New York and Lincoln Center have joined to present "Memorial for Us All" an online memorial concert to honor New Yorkers who have died in the pandemic. The first concert last Sunday featured Wynton Marsalis and included 100 names of the dead. This Sunday's (5/10) concert artist is Yo Yo Ma; and May 17's is Brian Stokes Mitchell. Community members are invited to submit the names of a neighbor, friend, or loved one to honor during the May 17 concert by 6 pm this Monday (5/11) by completing this formFor multi-lingual fact sheets on the coronavirus, see https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-main.page

ActionNYC is available to help every immigrant New Yorker during the COVID19 outbreak. You can get free, safe immigration legal help and information over the phone.  Call Monday through Friday, 9am to 6pm, at 1-800-354-0365.

Hunger Free America has a pretty comprehensive set of NYC food access guides (also available in Spanish).

The Office of the City Clerk has released Project Cupid, a tool for getting your marriage license online in a few simple steps.

The ULURP timetable continues to be suspended, through to this Friday (5/15). However, the City Council and many Community Boards are taking up projects that underwent prior phases of review before the suspension.

Alternate Side Parking (ASP) will also remain suspended, until Sunday (5/17); but then, next week, ASP restrictions will resume for a thorough cleaning of streets (from Monday to Sunday, 5/18 - 5/24). Then ASP will be suspended again from 5/25 until 6/7.

As of last Saturday (5/9), the 7 line at Grand Central Station has reopened.

The state will extend the window for victims to file cases under the Child Victims Act for an additional five months until January 14, 2021.

The State Department of Health is actively pursuing a new drug therapy in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS is distributing an antiviral medication called Remdesivir that may help patients infected with COVID-19 recover more quickly. New York will use the medication to treat 2,900 people at 15 hospitals.

New York nurse Andrea Dalzell is the first registered nurse to use a wheelchair. In an interview, Dalzell discusses her work battling Coronavirus — and shares why she believes it's so important for people with disabilities to serve in medical professions.

In partnership with BioReference labs, the city will expand antibody testing for New Yorkers by conducting its own antibody survey at community testing sights in all five boroughs. The survey, which will help officials better understand the spread of COVID-19, will test approximately 70,000 New Yorkers over a two-week period, administering up to 5,000 tests per day.

The City has set up a Phone-A-Clinician hotline for those with COVID-19 related medical concerns to receive free tele-medicine consultations. Call (844) NYC-4NYC for more information.

Northwell Health's Lenox Hill Hospital Community Update

Education/Parenting

New York State is collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a blueprint to reimagine education in the new normal. As New York begins to develop plans to reopen K-12 schools and colleges, the state and the Gates Foundation will consider what education should look like in this new normal.

TIME Magazine for Kids-- which was made free to access in late March-- has launched in Spanish! Click here to access the English version of the page, and here for Spanish

The New York International Children’s Film Festival website has links to short films, talking points and art projects related to the films. See https://nyicff.org/nyicff-recommends/

New York announced the members of the state's Reimagine Education Advisory Council. Made up of teachers, students, parents and education leaders, this council will help districts strengthen our state's schools for the challenges of today and tomorrow. See the full list of council members here.

Next Friday (5/15), at 3:30 pm, Borough President Gale Brewer is hosting a virtual Town Hall calling for a City budget allocation to fund one social worker in each public school. She has  been pushing for this for some time, and we’ve never needed to provide mental health care more than in the aftermath of this pandemic. For more information, and to register click here.

Entertainment/Distractions

In honor of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of The Netherlands in World War II, the singers of The Netherlands' Haarlem Choir School were arranging a "Thank You Tour" to offer appreciation to the United States for our country's role in freeing theirs. While the pandemic made their tour impossible, the choir has remotely recorded a performance of Shenandoah, now available on YouTube.

“Mondays with Michelle Obama,” Story-Times with Penguin Random House and PBS KIDS Streaming on YouTube and Facebook. Click here for more information.

The Frick Collection is now “open” for online visits for schools, colleges, and universities. Sessions are tailored to lesson plans, and led by Frick educators who will guide discussions of selected works of art from the Frick’s collection. Teachers: to learn more and make a reservation, please email [email protected] with your preferred date and time, the grade level of your students, and the subject of your course.

[email protected] programs from May 14 through May 21, click here.

The Milk Street Online Cooking School is making all of their cooking classes available for free through May 31. 

Google Arts and Culture can take you on a virtual tour of over 2000 museums around the world, six cities with outstanding architecture and more.

Class Central is offering free classes from the Ivies  during this crisis. For information and access to the classes, click here.

Billboard has provided access to livestreamed and virtual concerts during this crisis. Click here for more information.

Upright Citizens Brigade Online Training Center offers online classes.

Randall’s Island remains open, but for those of us who can’t visit, the Randall’s Island Park Alliance is offering a range of online programming, including a virtual park experienceeducational resources, and free live yoga classes every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 pm

BookExpo and BookCon will be going online this year with a week’s worth of free programming between May 26-31. Attendees of BookExpo virtual event can expect author dinners, book panels, spotlights on graphic novels and more curated content for booksellers, publishers, and librarians. Click here for information about BookExpo and BookCon, an event for storytellers  at https://www.bookcon.com for BookConline events on May 30 and 31.

Thursday (5/8) Spike Lee released “NEW YORK NEW YORK,” a 3-minute tribute to New York, its people, and the first responders working to keep us all safe. Watch here.

WAYS YOU CAN HELP

The CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute is seeking citizen researchers to support its COVID-19 Food Availability Survey. The next time you're shopping for groceries in stores or online, please help their data collection on food availability by filling out this brief formVisit their site for more information.

The disparities in the deaths wrought by COVID-19 extend to who is publicly memorialized. THE CITY  found that fewer than 5% of our city’s nearly 20,000 coronavirus victims were remembered with a paid or staff-written news outlet obituary or other death notice, and that most of the New Yorkers whose passings were marked in those ways generally did not come from some of the hardest hit communities.

THE CITY is asking folks who know any New York City residents who have died of COVID-19 to fill out a simple form to tell them about the lives of those we’ve lost. Their goal is to put as many names, faces and details to the numbers as possible. You’ll find more here — including the form.

On behalf of Sin City Burger on 76th between 2nd and 1st, owner David Kholdorov (he’s also the proprietor of the Men’s Lounge Barber Shop next door) has set up a Go Fund Me to donate meals to front line workers. https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-save-one-another

Aging Connect is the New York City's direct link to aging services. Call 212-AGING-NYC to speak with an Aging Specialist and learn about services and support available to older adults and their caregivers, as well as volunteer opportunities

You can hear concerts of music from around the world and help the artists and small businesses. All proceeds from the ticket sales go to the artists and businesses. For more information and a description of the music, click here.

A digital cookbook, “Serving New York: For All the People Who Make NYC Dining Unforgettable,” with recipes from dozens of restaurants, will support ROAR and the Robin Hood Foundation to help restaurant workers. For more information and to purchase the book, click here.

Recipes for Relief, which has signed on a number of chefs and bartenders who sell their recipes online ($2 and up) to benefit their restaurants and their employees as well as nonprofits of the participants’ choosing. It was created by the chef Josh Sharkey, with the feature that recipes can be adjusted for different amounts of servings or ingredients. For more information and to purchase recipes, click here.

"Nourish New York" is making sure food doesn't go to waste and instead goes to people who are in need. The new initiative helps to address two problems at once: excess agricultural products at New York farms and food insecurity. To date, food and products have been purchased from more than 2,100 Upstate farms and nearly 50 food banks, soup kitchens and food pantries have been supported. We are asking philanthropies that want to help in this effort to please email [email protected].

Order directly from restaurants rather than from third-party delivery services who may be charging the restaurants a significant fee. See this article for more information.

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.

Donate to the First Responders Fund. The fund will assist COVID-19 healthcare workers and first responders with expenses and costs, including child care. Donations can be made electronically at www.healthresearch.org/donation-form/ or by check, mailed to "Health Research, Inc., 150 Broadway, Suite 560, Menands, NY 12204." (For checks, the donor should specify the donation is for "COVID-19 NYS Emergency Response.")

Complete your Census form.  Census responses can't be used for any purpose other than tallying up population-- it's the law. And no enumerators will be knocking on doors today. So, please, if you haven't yet done so, take the time to fill in your form at www.my2020census.gov.  New York City’s response rate is 10% behind the overall U.S. rate. We need every dollar and every Congressional seat. These depend on the census count. Please complete your form.

FINANCIAL AND LOCAL BUSINESSES UPDATES

US Department of the Treasury released new guidance and FAQs for the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program. This information is important for those who have already applied and received a PPP loan, as well as those currently applying. The CARES Act legislation continues to be interpreted by the federal agencies, and more guidance is expected soon. To download the new FAQs, please click here.

Borough President Gale Brewer compiled a list of grant opportunities for freelancers on her  website. (The list is too long to go into here).

Governor Cuomo announced $30 million in funding for child care scholarships to income-eligible essential workers, which includes health care providers, pharmaceutical staff, law enforcement, firefighters, food delivery workers, and grocery store employees. They must be using a regulated child care provider (see a list of resource and referral agencies here); apply for one of these scholarships. Learn more

The New York State Department of Labor, through a partnership with Google, launched a more streamlined, user-friendly approach to filing for unemployment. The new application can be found here.

NYC Free Tax Prep:  The tax filing deadline is July 15th. While all NYC free tax prep providers have suspended in-person services, we are now providing virtual and assisted self-prep free tax prep services.

  • New Yorkers who earned $64,000 or less in 2019 are eligible for Virtual Free Tax Preparation with a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) certified preparer.

  • New Yorkers who earned $69,000 or less in 2019 are eligible for free Assisted Self-Preparation. Filers will need access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone; a stable internet connection.
  • The City currently offer services in English, Spanish, French, Haitian Creole, Russian, Arabic, with others to come. Please visit  www.nyc.gov/taxprep for latest updates and the list of providers.

The CDC has offered guidance on how to prevent the Coronavirus from being on surfaces in your store. Click here.

Both the City and State are hiring employees and supervisors for contact tracing: reaching out to the contacts of those diagnosed with COVID-19 to track the spread. Learn more here for the City (three types of contract tracer jobs along with many non-tracing jobs listed), and here for the State (contact tracersteam supervisors, and community support specialists).

NYC Service is providing one-time funding of up to $10,000 to support nonprofits engaging volunteers to deliver essential services, particularly meals and food, to residents throughout the COVID-19 crisis. View all eligibility and funding details. Applications are due today Monday (5/11) at 5 pm.

DSS/HRA has issued an emergency rule increasing the burial allowance from $900 to $1,700, and also extended the timeframe for when you can apply to 120 days from the date of the individual‘s death.

CityLore posted that The Center for Art, Tradition and Cultural Heritage (CATCH) is awarding grants of $500 to folk, traditional and community-based artists from the New York City metropolitan area impacted by Covid-19. CATCH is a consortium including City Lore, the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, Bronx Music Heritage Center, Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center, Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, New York Folklore and the Folk Arts Program of the Brooklyn Arts Council. The deadline for the first round of funding is May 18th. Please share it with any artist whom you think might want to apply. Applications can also be submitted on behalf of artists. Applications are accepted in multiple languages. The application can be easily accessed by CLICKING HERE.

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 OpportunityNYCHA.org 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.

The City is hiring 1,000 Contact Tracers. People with experience in the healthcare field are preferred. Contact tracers will interview people who are positive, identify others who may have been exposed, and follow-up with those people in turn to be tested. Hiring will be done through the Fund for Public Health. If you're interested, please visit FPHnyc.org for more information, or email [email protected].

NYC Health and Hospitals is hiring for several positions - patient transportation, clerical and cleaning staff. You can apply today at http://nyc.gov/getwork.

UPDATE FROM THE 19TH PRECINCT

We are seeing bikes that are left unattended while delivering food are being stolen and in some cases the bike is robbed directly from the cyclist.

The safety of the delivery personnel has been our top concern, but secondary are the huge costs associated in the loss of a bike to businesses reliant on the bicycle for deliveries.

We suggest a few things we hope you can pass along to establishments:

  1. Lock the bike up whenever left unattended (even if for a second, that’s all it takes)
  2. Use sturdy lock or multiple locks.
  3. If they notice anyone suspicious following them on another bike or by foot while they are making their deliveries to call 911. Some suspects have been working in groups to rob the bike from the delivery cyclist and put it into an awaiting van or vehicle.
  4. Suggest to owners to place GPS devices discretely on the bicycles, so that if stolen we can track it. We have had success with this in past.
  5. If businesses or cyclists notice any one or groups of persons around bike racks or touching parked bikes to call 911 immediately.
  6. If making deliveries during nighttime hours to park and lock bike up close to entrance and in direct light.
  7. If building permits and if possible bring their bike into building vestibule with them or if present ask a doorman to keep an eye on it (but also still lock it up)
  8. Remain alert and if anything feels uncomfortable or not right to turn in opposite direction and call 911 if feel unsafe.

We have also posted a video on twitter and Facebook
https://twitter.com/nypd19pct/status/1259951333085532160?s=21

LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS' TELE-TOWN HALLS

Senator Liz Krueger is holding a Virtual Town Hall on Thursday, May 14th from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., join Senator Krueger and Dr. Charles Platkin, Executive Director, Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center and Editor of DietDetective.com for a Virtual Town Hall discussion. Dr. Platkin will present on Food Safety and Security during the COVID-19 pandemic. He will provide information about how to handle the food you buy at the supermarket and the meals you order for delivery. He will also discuss healthy eating and examine broader systemic issues about food supply in New York and across the country. To register and submit questions in advance, please follow this link: https://www.lizkrueger.com/virtual-town-hall-rsvp-food/.

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 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: