Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates June 29th

JUNE 29th RESOURCES AND UPDATES:

Alternate-side parking (which returned this week) will only occur once a week during the summer. DOT hasn’t yet issued details, but the Mayor is quoted in press reports saying where signs currently list two time-frames in a single week when alternate-side rules are in effect, car owners would only have to observe the later of the two times. The City will evaluate the change as the summer progresses.

Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio are reconsidering allowing indoor dining as part of Phase Three reopening as COVID-19 cases surge in other states which reopened their bars and restaurants.

If you are inclined to try outdoor dining, follow this link to view a map of restaurants throughout the five boroughs that are open. Follow this link to view NYC DOHMH guidelines on how to dine out safely. If you do decide to eat out, and if you are able, please give a larger tip than you normally would to help support our restaurant workers. If you do not feel ready to dine at a restaurant, there are also many take-out options.

Once the City enters Phase 3 of reopening, New Yorkers will be able to enjoy soccer fields and basketball, tennis, volleyball, bocce, and handball courts. The City will also reopen dog runs for public use. While enjoying these amenities, New Yorkers should maintain social distancing, wear face coverings, and wash their hands frequently. Participants in higher risk sports including basketball should only partake in individual or distanced group training. To support social distancing, Parks Ambassadors will continue staffing parks and playgrounds, handing out masks and educating patrons about maintaining safe distancing.  Playgrounds re-opened on June 22nd and NYC Parks continues to re-open skate parks and outdoor fitness equipment. New York City is expected to reach Phase 3 on July 6th.

As part of Phase Two of the reopening of New York City, the Mayor announced that the city’s beaches will be open for swimming and general leisure starting July 1. The 14 miles of beach will be manned by active duty lifeguards from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. City parks workers will be constantly patrolling the beaches and ensuring that people comply with social distancing rules, wear masks, and hand out masks and sanitizers. And as certain areas of the beach get more crowded, visitors will be asked to move to less crowded areas to contain the masses.

Meal Hubs at schools will continue operating on a summer schedule: weekdays from 7:30 am - 1:30 pm starting Monday (6/29).

Macy’s fireworks is adapting to our new era. Starting this Monday (6/29), each borough will get its own brief Macy’s July 4 Fireworks Show at an unannounced location so as to avert overcrowding. There will be a finale shown on NBC from 8 - 10 pm the evening of Saturday, July 4th. For information on how to see the several days of smaller fireworks displays and the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks show, click here.

Also on the fireworks front, a new task force has been formed among the NYPD, FDNY, and the NYC Sheriff's Office to crack down on the rash of illegal fireworks sales and use.

The 2020 New York City Marathon has been cancelled.

Borough President Gale Brewer’s office  has prepared @ProudlyProtesting, an Instagram page dedicated to both celebrating Pride Month and supporting the protests against systemic racism and police brutality. Submit protest and Pride Month pictures to [email protected].

Thank you to the grocery store workers who have been on the frontlines during this crisis. For a video that New York State prepared to honor these workers, click here.

The ULURP timetable remains suspended through this Friday (7/3).

Governor Cuomo announced, along with New Jersey Governor Murphy and Connecticut Governor Lamont, that they will issue an advisory instructing anyone arriving in the tri-state area from a state with a positive COVID-19 test rate of over 10 per 100,000 residents to follow a strict 14-day quarantine.

Borough President Gale Brewer testified before the City Council’s Cultural Affairs Committee meeting on the impact of the pandemic on cultural organizations. Read her testimony here (PDF).

Even if you have already been tested and were found to be negative, you should get another test if:

You have symptoms of COVID-19.

You or your provider is concerned by a possible exposure, such as:

  • Spending time in large crowds 

  • An exposure to someone with confirmed or possible COVID-19 

  • Breaches in wearing a face covering or maintaining physical distancing

  • You work in a residential congregate setting, such as a nursing home or shelter.

  • You are planning to visit someone at highest risk for severe COVID-19 illness, including people 65 or older and people with serious underlying medical conditions. Try to maintain strict physical distancing and other precautions for at least 10 days before you get tested. If you have had COVID-19 symptoms within the last 14 days, no matter how minor, postpone your visit.

Lenox Hill / Northwell Health Monthly Update, click here.

The MTA Subway system had more than 1 million daily riders in a single day last week, the highest since the COVID-19 crisis began. Ridership is still far below its pre-COVID daily weekday average of 7+ million riders. Every single day, every single subway car is disinfected and cleaned, just one of the several precautions undertaken to protect the health of passengers.

The City’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) announces that as of July 1, they will once again be penalizing those who do not respond to summonses from City agencies.

Summonses can be answered via mail, email, online, or over the phone-- how to do so is detailed in the summons. If you are unable to respond remotely, you may request an in-person hearing by emailing [email protected].

To learn more about your rights and the hearing process, call the OATH Help Center at (212) 436-0845 or email [email protected]. If you’re a small business, OATH also offers dedicated assistance at smallb[email protected].

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) launched a Recovery Initiative, intended to help owners of historic buildings and commercial tenants resume business operations as quickly and effectively as possible. As part of the initiative, LPC has created a new, dedicated recovery team, hotline and expedited permit process to serve the needs of restaurants and retail establishments. The initiative supports New York City’s reopening and recovery. For more information and access to the new application form, click here. Download the flyer for more information on work types. Learn more at nyc.gov/landmarks by clicking on Applications.

When New York City enters Phase 4, there may still be risky activities that will not be available. Governor Cuomo states that malls, movie theaters and gyms are unusually risky from a health standpoint. The State is undertaking further study to ensure we make informed decisions before reopening these businesses.

Borough President Gale Brewer co-hosted a town hall on June 24 with the New York Public Library and U.S. Census Bureau yesterday on outreach efforts and the benefits to filling out this year’s census-- watch it on YouTube.

There has been an upswing in domestic violence during this crisis. Daily meal distributions sponsored by domestic abuse survivors’ support group We All Really Matter (W.A.R.M.) and Jose Andrés's World Central Kitchen are at rotating locations at sites in Northern Manhattan, each from 2 - 4 pm.

The application for 94 affordable apartments at Victory Plaza (11 West 118th St.) has opened for New Yorkers over the age of 62 (or households with at least one person that age) who meet income requirements. Learn more through Housing Connect

As Phase Two of reopening has begun, Mayor Bill De Blasio has made a push for more accessible and prevalent testing for COVID-19. NYC Health + Hospitals will now offer free testing at its 11 locations, in addition to new facilities offered by CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) and SOMOS, with a focus on serving vulnerable communities in neighborhoods hardest hit by the virus.

May de Blasio  announced that some 10-20 streets will be added to the Open Streets program by the Fourth of July, and that Open Streets will be granted additional space for Open Restaurant seating. (The City Dept. of Transportation has released an interactive citywide map of all Open Restaurants with seating on sidewalks and streets.)

In advance of July 4, June 27-July 2, the FDNY is distributing educational materials on fireworks safety and answering questions from 4 - 8 pm at sites around the city, including these in Manhattan:

  • Tuesday (6/30): Corner of Rutgers Avenue and East Broadway (Lower East Side)
  • Tuesday (6/30): Corner of E 116 and 2nd Avenue(East Harlem)
  • Wednesday (7/1): Corner of Grand and Chrystie Streets (Lower East Side/Chinatown)
  • Wednesday (7/1): Corner of Nagle Avenue and Dyckman Street (Inwood)
  • Thursday (7/2): Corner of E 110 Street and 3rd Avenue (East Harlem)
  • Thursday (7/2): Corner of W 163 Street and Amsterdam Avenue (Washington Heights)

Even though beaches are scheduled to open July 1, the City is providing other means of escaping the heat. New York City is expanding the number of spray caps, distributing reusable water bottles and providing air conditioners to thousands of seniors. Click here to learn more.

 New York restaurants and bars can continue selling alcoholic beverages for takeout and delivery for an additional 30 days. This extends a measure first implemented March 17th. Remember that bars are responsible for the sidewalk/area in front of their establishment and must comply with health regulations or they can lose their liquor license.

The FDA released a consumer update titled “Getting Smarter about Food Safety: The Pandemic and Lessons Learned.” It explains the FDA’s actions to create a more digital, transparent, and safer food system. The FDA also plans to release a blueprint for the New Era of Smarter Food Safety in the coming weeks.

Education/Parenting

Governor Cuomo announced $65 million in federal Cares Act funding is available statewide through the New York Forward Child Care Expansion Incentive program, with $20 million in grants available for expanding capacity for reopening child care centers with proper precautions, and $45 million to cover costs for newly opened classrooms.  Details on the grants and how child care programs can apply are available here.

Advocates for Children of New York have an Education Helpline to assist students, families and teachers on navigating education-related issues and updates: call (866) 427-6033 Monday-Thursday from 10 am - 4 pm.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020. The City will host a citywide graduation celebration on June 30. The graduation will bring the entire city together in celebration of the accomplishments and bright future of the Class of 2020, featuring student spotlights, musical performances, and special guest speakers—including award-winning artist, and former NYC Public School student and teacher, Lin-Manuel Miranda. The graduation celebration will air live on PIX11’s TV channel, website, and social media channels at 7:00 PM on June 30th. It will also be livestreamed on the DOE’s and City’s social media channels, as well as at https://www.nycclassof2020.com/.

The Summer Reading Challenge has begun! Call Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright’’s office at 212-288-4607 or email her  at [email protected] to request your calendar to keep track of your student's reading this summer.

Consider picking up a book at the Little Free Library in our community at 321 E 83rd Street or other locations which can be searched here.

Entertainment/Distractions

The Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona hosted its first concert since mid-March but instead of people, the concert hall was filled with 2,292 plants. The UceLi Quartet performed Giacomo Puccini's "Crisantemi" that was also live streamed for people at home. The plants will be donated to 2,292 healthcare workers throughout Barcelona. Click the link above to see the theatre and read the story. To hear the concert, click here.

For online programming at the Guggenheim, click here.

For the Met Opera’s schedule of nightly opera streams, click here.

For plenty of articles on all kinds of subjects from the Smithsonian, click here.

To see the Miami City Ballet dance to nine Frank Sinatra songs, click here.

WAYS YOU CAN HELP

The Nursing Home Card Project” is an initiative to fight loneliness in nursing homes, which were allowed no visitors during the pandemic, by sending homemade cards to senior residents. Sign up to make and send cards at caringbycard.com.

Practice social distancing and other health directives including wearing a mask. Governor Cuomo reports that a study found that New York State is one of only three states currently on track to contain COVID. The two other states were New Jersey and Massachusetts, according to COVID Act Now. He urges New Yorkers not to  jeopardize this incredible progress.

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.

Donate blood. The New York Blood Center says that levels of blood are dangerously low. The center is hosting a blood drive at MetLife Stadium on Thursday, May 28 from 12 to 8 p.m. To make an appointment to donate, visit nybc.org or call 1.800.933.2566. Appointments are strongly recommended.

If you have recovered from COVID-19, you may be able to save lives by contacting the state to donate blood. People who have recovered from the virus may have convalescent plasma in their blood, which has antibodies against the virus and could help with the development of a treatment. More information about how to donate is available here.

Support local businesses by buying gift cards. We have posted links to sites selling gift cards. Another site selling gift cards to restaurants, barber shops, and events like ghost hunts, and museums, see SupportLocal at https://supportlocal.usatoday.com/cities/

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 Center415 E. 93 St., needs help supporting their older adult clients through meals and case management services. Interested in volunteering? Contact [email protected]

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.

FINANCIAL AND LOCAL BUSINESSES UPDATES

Changes to the Payroll Protection Program (PPP); Final Deadline to Apply is in the Next Few Days. The Small Business Administration (SBA) changed the criteria for the PPP to be more favorable for businesses!

Key changes include: 

  • Time period during which the proceeds must be used: now 24 weeks from 8 weeks

  • Proceeds that must be used for payroll: lowered from 75% payroll requirement to 60%

  • Repayment Period for Unforgivable Loans: lengthened from 2 years to 5 years (for loans approved after 6/5/20)

  • Period to Rehire Employees: extended from June 30th to December 31st, 2020

  • Deferral Period (no payments required): extended to 10 months after the loan forgiveness covered period (from 6 months)

  • New Exceptions will be considered for borrowers that are unable to return to the same level of business activity because of covid-19 regulations and worker safety

This program ends on June 30, 2020. Reach out to your lender to apply! Need application assistance? The NYC Department of Small Business Services can help! Learn more.

Outdoor Dining: Combing two popular programs, Open Streets and Open Restaurants, will expand seating options for restaurants on select restaurant corridors. The first tranche of corridors will focus on streets that are already participating in the Open Streets program and/or corridors with organizations that have worked with DOT on street closures, and will be open for street dining starting July 4th weekend. The second tranche will be operational starting Friday, July 17th will include additional applicants such as groups of restaurants that coordinate a single entity acting as a partner organization.  The hours of operation for this new expanded seating option for restaurants will be 5PM – 11PM on Fridays, and noon – 11PM on Saturdays and Sundays. Expanded seating will last until Labor Day. Find locations on DOT’s Open Restaurants Portal: www.nycopenrestaurants.info.

The City is distributing 2 million more face coverings to small businesses opening in Phase 2, and connecting business owners with a directory of wholesalers selling sneeze guards, PPE, and other equipment. Go to nyc.gov/business to find resources and guides. You can also call the Restart Hotline for business owners at 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692), or contact my office for assistance.

The City’s Restaurant Revitalization Program will support unemployed and underemployed restaurant workers from the 27 communities hardest hit by COVID-19. The program will be funded with $3 million from NYC Opportunity, Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, and One Fair Wage. Find more information here.

Emergency Grants are available for small businesses who experienced material damage to their storefronts over the last few weeks. More information available here.

As part of their annual TD Ready Challenge, TD Bank has announced four kinds of grants for community nonprofits: Financial SecurityVibrant PlanetConnected Communities, and Better Health. Click on each title to learn more. Applications are due August 13.

Related: A group of NYC businesses have created Rebuild New Yorkan online platform for businesses citywide to discuss information and best practices for reopening.

The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) will work to ensure that the most up-to-date guidance and materials needed by small business owners for a safe phased-in reopening are readily available. The information will be housed on a centralized resource page with guidance and best practices for the restaurant industry across all five boroughs. SBS will also launch a reopening supplies marketplace for easy access to wholesalers selling PPE, gloves, sneeze guards and other equipment. Business owners can call a hotline at 1-888-SBS-4NYC to ask questions about this process.

Business guidance for Phase 2 of the state's reopening plan is available here.

Business guidance for Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan is available here.

The City released information for businesses and nonprofits ahead of Phase 3.

Reopening businesses must submit affirmations to confirm compliance with relevant reopening guidelines.

SBS Reopening Webinars

PPE for Small Businesses: NYC SBS coordinating with 70+ BIDs and Chambers of Commerce to provide 2 million pieces of PPE to small businesses citywide. Find a distribution partner near you at: Free Face Coverings for Small Businesses & Their Employees

If a store owner would like social distancing floor decals for inside the business (not on the sidewalks), please contact CB8 and we will send you some.

The City’s Department of Small Business Services has shared their new “Find a Job” page, which lists open employment listings from across NYC. Learn more and search the listings.

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).

LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS' TELE-TOWN HALLS

Tuesday, June 30th, at 12pm, Senator Liz Krueger will be hosting Part 3 of her New York City Reopens Virtual Town Hall series. She will be joined by Dr. Heidi Larson of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to discuss the relationship of vaccine development and vaccine hesitancy to our ability to reopen society in the face of COVID-19. Please see below for more information and registration details. All of her Virtual Town Halls can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/statesenatorlizkrueger/. If you prefer not to use Facebook, you can also view her previous Virtual Town Halls here. Please let her know you plan to attend Part 3 on June 30th by registering at https://tinyurl.com/ReopeningPart3.

On June 30 from 6 - 7 pm, Borough President Gale Brewer will host a Special Education town hall: “What Will Special Education Look Like This Summer & Fall?” with INCLUDEnyc’s Lori Podvesker. We’ll discuss what a fall semester might look like for students with disabilities and how best to plan. Register here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs & Resources

The State's Coronavirus Hotline is open 24 hours if you have any questions or concerns: 1-888-364-3065. **If you need help getting medical care, you can also call 311. New York City will provide care regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.

The NYP COVID Hotline 646-697-4000 can answer questions about COVID-19. This hotline is a public service to provide information only and not to diagnose, treat, or render a medical opinion. Their Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions document is available on the NYP Coronavirus website.

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: