Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates July 20th


New York City entered Phase 4 today but without indoor activity. Phase 4 allows for the reopening of media production, low-risk outdoor entertainment, professional sports competitions (without fans), and more. At this point, additional indoor activity at malls, restaurants or cultural institutions will not be permitted. Read more about Phase 4 here.

NYC LGBTQ COVID guide.This mobile-accessible website contains nearly 100 listings of LGBTQ+ affirming services still available citywide, including food programs, legal services, health resources & more. Check it

According to city health officials, a spike in coronavirus cases among young adults ages 20-29 is due to New Yorkers flooding newly reopened bars and restaurants. New cases have emerged recently in Manhattan and Brooklyn.However, the city says that they can’t attribute this increase in cases to the thousands flocking to anti-police protests.

Renters impacted by the pandemic can now apply to a new COVID Rental Assistance Program. The program will provide direct aid for tenants who lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fun, which is part of the CARES Act. New Yorkers can access program applications here.

 The deadline for health insurance special enrollment has been extended to August 15, 2020. New Yorkers without health insurance can apply for coverage through the NY State of Health Health Plan Marketplace.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the City Planning Commission will start holding remote meetings in August. This will allow developments that create affordable housing, jobs, health facilities, resiliency projects and more to move forward after a safe and inclusive public review. Information about how to participate in public hearings is available at NYC Engage, the newly launched portal to facilitate public engagement in remote hearings.

The CPC’s resumption of meetings comes alongside the launch of a web portal to connect New Yorkers with remote public meetings held by City agencies. NYC Engage will provide information about upcoming meetings and how anyone can participate online or by phone, as well as general guidance to acclimate New Yorkers to remote public engagement.  Events will be added to NYC Engage in the coming months from the CPC and other agencies. CPC meetings will take place remotely for the foreseeable future.

The CPC August meetings will include actions on development projects that are not subject to the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) and on ULURP projects that were already in public review prior to March 16. The August meetings will also include discussion and DCP presentations related to development projects that are expected to begin the ULURP public process in the fall. The Mayor’s Executive Order suspending the ULURP clock will not be lifted until September.

This staggered restart is aimed at helping ensure that the City’s 59 community boards, which must adhere to ULURP’s timeline but often do not meet during summer months, are ready to host remote public meetings as soon as the clock restarts. To help community boards be ready in September, the Administration has secured video conferencing licenses for community boards. The Department of City Planning will be working with the boards to assist with training needs.

Travelers from hotspot states can be fined for non-compliance of quarantine rules. Please help spread the word to anyone traveling from the designated states that they must complete a Traveler Health Form. If you are a NYS resident returning from any of these hotspots and do not have appropriate accommodations for quarantine, Governor Cuomo urges you to call your local health department.

Bars and restaurants in New York City can now only serve alcohol to people who are ordering and eating food (which were the rules before the pandemic) and all service at bar tops must only be for seated patrons who are socially distanced by six feet or separated by physical barriers. Patrons who see violations or are concerned can report complaints, including photos, to the State Liquor Authority at As part of a broader 'Three Strikes and You're Closed' initiative, any establishment that receives three violations will be closed for business by the SLA. Egregious violations can result in immediate loss of liquor license or closure before a third strike.

The application window opened July 16 and ends July 30 for a new rental assistance voucher program to cover rent some tenants affected by the pandemic can’t pay, operated by NYS Dept. of Homes and Community Renewal.Learn more and apply. Borough President Gale Brewer’s staff is ready to assist any tenant who needs help with their application-- leave a voicemail at (212) 531-1609.

For an article on the Black Lives Matter Murals, see The ‘Black Lives Matter’ Murals That Contain Multitudes.

About Greenmarkets: View the list of city Greenmarkets that are functioning here.

The Office of the Parking Summons Advocate has a new page to learn more and get assistance:

The Animal Care Centers of NYC have opened a new pet adoption search portal at

The New York Public Library began grab-and-go service at three Manhattan branch locations:

Patrons can also place holds in the online catalog to pick up those titles when ready.

Lincoln Center has reopened its outdoor spaces (only Damrosch Park remained open since March); hours are now 9:00 am - 9:00 pm for Josie Robertson Plaza and Hearst Plaza, and 7:00 am - 9:00 pm for Damrosch Park..

On July 20-21,, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health is offering a free online training which enables those who complete the two-day program to earn an OSHA-10 card from NYCOSH. Click here to register now. (The OSHA 10 General Industry Training teaches workers how to prevent, recognize, and mitigate the risk of workplace hazards.)

Applications are open until July 22 for Bike New York’s Street Action Now! street safety leadership program.

The Salvation Army, Doctors Without Borders, and the Coalition for the Homeless are running mobile hygiene and resource locations for homeless New Yorkers. Learn more.

The CDC has banned cruises in U.S. waters until at least October 1.

Governor Cuomo has launched a campaign to persuade everyone to wear a mask. The #MaskUpAmerica campaign will consist of 8 ads produced by Jane Rosenthal of Tribeca Enterprises and the Ad Council in partnership with Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, and will be aired on donated media time throughout the country. Morgan Freeman narrates the first video, see it here.

For a link to the Museum of the City of New York’s photographic documentation of COVID’s impact on New York, see For Our Town’s coverage of the documentation, click here.

The Studio Museum in Harlem website has links to articles and lesson plans.


Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City is planning to provide quality, safe, free childcare options for 100,000 children this fall. This follows the release of the Mayor and Chancellor's preliminary school reopening plan, which utilizes a blended learning system with both remote and in-person education for students. The City's childcare options will provide relief for families who cannot stay home or find alternate care for their children on days they are not in school buildings. Childcare will be made available for children in 3K through 8th grade, and there will be approximately 50,000 seats available each day. Given the nature of a blended remote and in-person approach, this means the City plans to serve at least 100,000 students total. The Administration is working to identify locations and maximize available space for childcare in schools, community centers, libraries, cultural organizations, and more. New Yorkers with available space that could potentially be utilized for childcare should visit

The Governor announced new, data-driven guidance for reopening schools in New York State. Schools in a given region can reopen in Phase Four, if it's 14-day average daily infection rate is below 5 percent. Schools will be closed if the regional infection rate rises above 9%, using a 7-day average, after August 1. The State will make a determination between August 1 - 7. Read the NYS school reopening guidance here.

ICE has rescinded their policy change that would have seen thousands of international students expelled from the country if their colleges were online-only in the fall.

The deadline has been extended to 5 pm on July 22 for $65 million in federal CARES Act funding available for child care providers statewide through the New York Forward Child Care Expansion Incentive program. $20 million is available for expanding capacity for reopening child care centers with proper precautions, alongside $45 million to cover costs for newly opened classrooms.

About NYCHA Family Days. A task force made up of Resident Leaders (appointed by the Citywide Council of Presidents, NYCHA staff and the NYPD) explored different options, reviewed input and developed a menu of options for Resident Leaders who are opting to host a virtual Family Day this summer. Options include virtual activities for youth, seniors and the general population such as BBQ meal distribution, gift bag and school supply giveaways, mobile DJs and virtual bake-off/cook offs.

If you missed the Town Hall that Borough President Gale Brewer hosted with Columbia University on “The Future of Childcare in NYC” in partnership with Columbia University, the full video is available on YouTube.

Chelsea Piers and NBC Sports have started NBC Sports Camp, a free online summer sports program for 7- to 12-year olds.

The New York Children’s International Film Festival website has links to short and longer films.


Through the end of July, grab some binoculars and head outside to hopefully catch a glimpse of the comet NEOWISE as it passes Earth. The comet is usually visible about an hour and a half after sunset and the next time this comet will be visible from Earth is in another 6,800 years.

For the Met Opera schedule of nightly opera streams for July 20-26, click here.

On July 20 at 6 pm, The Joyce Theater is hosting “Dancing Dialogues,” a panel conversation with well-known dancers, choreographers, and artistic directors addressing important topics in the dance community today. RSVP here.

On July 22 at 7 pm, Michael Kaback, CB 5 member and NYC tour guide, is once again holding a "Virtual Garment District Educational History Walking Tour,” co-sponsored by Borough President Gale Brewer  and the Garment District BID.

Michael Gittes, an L.A. artist, donated 1800 paintings to the workers at the Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn. See the story here.


Complete the Census: For an article of the serious impact a low Census response rate will have on the City, see “Rich New Yorkers Aren’t Filling Out the Census. Poor New Yorkers May Suffer. Please do your part to ensure New York gets the resources we need; visit do not need a code; click “Start Questionnaire” and then “If you do not have a Census ID, click here” link below the login button.)

There are also paid opportunities to help get out the count! NYC Census and BrownMillerGroup are hiring Census Outreach Canvassers (Google Doc) and Census Outreach Team Leaders (Google Doc).

Wear a mask:  Watch a New York 5-year-old explain why everyone should wear a mask

The City Dept. of Sanitation is seeking vendors to deliver meals as part of the Older Adult Emergency Food Access Program. See an FAQ here (PDF) and the bid document here (PDF). The deadline to apply is July 21 at 4 pm.

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. To make an appointment to donate, visit 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

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]


Low-income renters who have suffered an income loss due to the pandemic may apply for a rental subsidy under the state’s new COVID Rent Relief Program. The program launches on Thursday, July 16thand applications will be available here: . The application period will be open for two weeks only. To qualify, applicants must meet all of these requirements:

  • Must be a renter with a primary residence in NYS. (At least one household member must be a U.S. citizen or have eligible immigration status.)
  • Before March 1, 2020 and at the time of application, household income must have been below 80% of the area median income, adjusted for household size. You can find your county’s area median income, based on your household size here.
  • Before March 1, 2020 and at the time of application, the household must have been paying more than 30% of gross monthly income toward rent. (Gross income includes wages as well as any cash grants, child support, social security, unemployment benefits, etc.)
  • Applicants must have lost income during any period between April 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020.

On July 22 from 11 am - 1 pm, the Children’s Rescue Fund is hosting a virtual career fair, hiring housing specialists, case managers, social workers, and supervisors. To register, email [email protected].

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.

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

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).


Senator Krueger's Virtual Town Hall:

Navigating the Healthcare System in the Time of COVID-19

On Thursday, July 23th from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., join Senator Liz Krueger and Dr. Peter Steel, Director of Clinical Services for the Department of Emergency Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell, to talk about navigating the healthcare system. Many of us remain unsure where, when, and how to safely access health care in the time of COVID-19.

In his role as Director of Clinical Services, Dr. Steel oversees all operational, quality, patient safety, and patient experience initiatives; leads grant-funded EM-based research; and serves as a leader on multiple New York-Presbyterian (NYP) Hospital projects. With this scope of expertise, Dr. Steel will guide us through the healthcare system, providing information on: use of telehealth visits and how to prepare, when to schedule an in-office appointment with your doctor instead, what types of COVID-19 tests are available and where you can go for testing, and how to know when you should go to the emergency room.

You will have the option to view the event online through Facebook or to listen by calling in. Please note that you do not need a Facebook account or profile to view the event. Due to there being a limited number of participants who can call in, we ask that you please view the event through Facebook if you have internet access.

To view the event, go to Please let her office know you plan to attend Navigating the HealthCare System on July 23rd by registering at:

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 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: