Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates August 3rd


The application deadline for COVID rent relief has been extended to August 6. The COVID Rental Assistance Program will provide direct aid for tenants who lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which is part of the CARES Act. New Yorkers can access the program application here.

The following is a list of resources available to you for help with the application process:

  • The website – – provides the application, FAQs and other documents in six different languages to ensure New Yorkers with limited English proficiency have proper access to the application and program tools.
  • HCR has created a dedicated call center to provide residents, including those with limited English proficiency, with help Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Call the COVID Rent Relief Program Call Center at 1-833-499-0318 or email at [email protected]
  •  There is also a list of community-based organizations in each region of the State who are available to assist non-English-speaking residents with their application. The New York State Office for New Americans can also offer assistance.
  • Residents may also authorize a caseworker, attorney or other personal representative to apply for the COVID Rent Relief Program on their behalf. The Authorized Representative Release Form is available and can be downloaded from the Rent Relief Program website

Rep. Maloney announced the need for Urgent Repairs to the East River Esplanade and Urged the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation to Continue Full Inspection of Deterioration of the Esplanade. View the letter here.

If you like it, you could get a copy of the New York Tough poster. The historically influenced poster visualizing our state's struggle with COVID is still available. You can order your poster here.

Governor Cuomo reminds us that if you are in a dangerous domestic situation, New York State will help you find safe shelter. You aren't trapped because of COVID. If there is an issue where you face imminent harm, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you need help, you can call the State's Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-942-6906, or text 844-997-2121.

Mayor de Blasio announced the City's Test & Trace Corps is now reaching 96% of COVID-19 cases citywide, according to the program’s latest metrics spanning the past two weeks. Seventy- four percent of positive cases are also completing intake, meaning they are isolating at home or at a hotel with the City monitoring them. Both metrics are surpassing or nearing the Test & Trace Corps' initial, benchmark goals.

NYS has investigated 240 cases of the Kawasaki Disease-like syndrome, known as MIS-C. The State Department of Health published a study of patients younger than 21 who met the criteria for MIS-C in the New England Journal of Medicine. One of the findings of the study is that the hyper-inflammatory syndrome is associated with cardiac dysfunction.  The majority of the patients in the study had no documented underlying conditions.

Empire State Development has identified 20 companies that will receive state investment to manufacture COVID-related supplies.

Governor Cuomo reminds us that even though the weather is scorching, we must wear our masks. He also urges us to stay indoors, especially if we are particularly sensitive to the heat.

If you do not have an air conditioner, you may qualify to receive one free of charge through the City's Cooling Assistance Benefit. You may also qualify for utility payment assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) from the Human Resource Administration online.

The state has suspended liquor licenses for 12 New York City bars after finding egregious violations of pandemic-related Executive Orders. Over the weekend, the state task force, led by the State Police and State Liquor Authority, conducted over 1,300 compliance checks, documenting violations at 132 establishments. A list of licensees charged and businesses served with summary suspension orders can be found here.

For an article on the suspension of Nellos’ liquor license for serving diners indoors, click here

Governor Cuomo has invited MLB teams to play in New York if they are having trouble playing in their home states.

NYC Test & Trace Corps launched a “Tracer Feedback line”

The Phone Number: 646-614-3025

Welcome Message: "Thank you for calling the Tracer Feedback line. Our mission is to support New Yorkers impacted by COVID-19 and work together to suppress the virus in our city. We appreciate you taking a moment and sharing your Tracer experience with us"

They are monitoring and retrieving voicemails left to this number in two different ways:

  • Online – receives notification each time a voicemail is left on at the phone number, and can retrieve the message online, and

  • Shared Email Mailbox –  receives an email notification to a shared mailbox each time a voicemail is left at the phone number. The mailbox emails are viewable by several of the Test & Trace Corps senior staff assigned to this duty, and who are qualified to determine appropriate actions.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced it has launched a pilot program to mount dispensers of free surgical masks inside buses to further protect customers while on board. The MTA has already completed the installation of dispensers on 100 buses on six bus routes in three boroughs. Customers on the Bx12 SBS and Bx41 SBS routes in the Bronx, S53 Staten Island local route, and X63, X64 and X68 express routes in Queens can now easily access the free surgical masks from dispensers mounted at the rear doors of the SBS and local buses, and at the front door of express buses. The MTA plans to roll out the pilot across every borough on more than 20 routes and 400 buses by the end of August. All customers and MTA employees are required to wear a mask while riding public transit.

DMV-licensed driving schools can now conduct Pre-Licensing Courses online.

Governor Cuomo announced that along with three additional states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico were added to the tri-state quarantine list, bringing the grand total up to 36 states, one national capital, and one US territory. This indicates a growing part of the country that would now be required to self-isolate for 14 days if they were to arrive in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

On Friday, July 24, eight public pools have reopened throughout all five boroughs in the city. Capacity is reduced to 30%, and lifeguards have been trained on how to resuscitate someone without using mouth-to-mouth. The CDC has stated that the chlorine levels in pools act as a disinfectant and prevent transmission of the virus. The CDC website said, “Currently, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to people through recreational water. However, it is important to limit close contact with people outside of your home when visiting public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds, as well as natural bodies of water — like beaches and lakes — to slow the spread of COVID-19.” Eight more pools opened August 1.

The NYC School Construction Authority is actively looking for additional space to house education and childcare programs starting September. Sites must be no higher than four stories, contain rooms no less than 650 square feet, have dedicated entrances and bathrooms, be code compliant and be able to house programs serving children and teens. Submit sites that meet these requirements to [email protected] ASAP.

Alternate side parking regulations will resume this week, from 8/3 to 8/14, suspend for 8/15, and resume again from 8/17 to 9/5.  Remember, under the summer rules, if a side of a street has an ASP sign showing multiple days, street cleaning regulations will be in effect on that side of the street only on the latest day of the week posted on the sign.

ULURP remains suspended, but the City Planning Commission will meet for the first time Wednesday (8/5) at 10 am and will vote on several citywide itemsLivestream the meeting.

City Planning Commission Chair Marisa Lago announced that the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) is set to resume on Monday, Sept. 14.

Nominate outstanding City government employees for two prestigious awards from the Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services by September 25. The Isaac P. Liberman Public Service Awards celebrate employees who have improved city services, and the Frederick O’Reilly Hayes Coronavirus Crisis Response Awards recognize exemplary work under the unprecedented circumstances.

Weigh in on poletop designs for 5G transmission units, which will start dotting our neighborhoods in the years ahead. Submit feedback to the city’s Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications by August 8.

The special enrollment period for NYS’s health plan marketplace has been extended to August 15. Those currently without health insurance can apply for coverage through NY State of Health.

Governor Cuomo announced that NYS is supporting 12 New York companies that will begin producing COVID-related equipment and supplies to support our present and future needs. As a condition to receive the grants, each of the companies will make PPE available to the State of New York for our healthcare facilities when and if we need it. This helps Manhattan too.  Old garment manufacturing businesses in Manhattan have pivoted to the business of making medical gowns. These investments aren't just necessary in order to ensure our future needs in a crisis like this one — they also represent an opportunity to revitalize the New York manufacturing sector and support the economy. See the companies that received grants here.

Governor Cuomo has also announced grants for preparation for flu season. More than $30 million in grants was awarded to counties, allowing them to enhance COVID-19 contact tracing and flu prevention in advance of the fall flu season. The upcoming flu season is expected to add stress to both contact tracing and testing infrastructure; these funds will allow counties to prepare accordingly. Funding by county is available here.

Mayor de Blasio canceled all large events requiring a permit through September 30, prioritizing open spaces for public use. (No Chainsmokers concerts in NYC!) Events that are one city block or smaller and do not interfere with Open Streets or Open Restaurant areas may still apply for permits.

Wednesday (8/5) the MTA will launch two new overnight express bus routes to other boroughs: M99 (Hell’s Kitchen-East New York via 14th St., 1 - 6 am) and Bx99 (West Village-Woodlawn, 1 - 6 am).

 National Farmers Market Week begins today (8/3), so visit your farmers market for local, fresh food-- and remember that Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer cards (for families of public school students) can be used at many farmers markets.

Applications are now open for Borough President Gale Brewer’s Manhattan Community Award Program(MCAP). Every year, her office makes these small awards to nonprofit organizations and public schools;  this year (FY21) we will prioritize funding to organizations working with communities experiencing disproportionate impacts of the COVID pandemic and efforts to address racial justice. Community Awards enhance the work of local nonprofits and schools and enrich and improve neighborhoods. 

Borough President Brewer’s office is especially seeking innovative proposals that will address things like food pantries and distribution of fresh food, urban farming, community-police relations, racial justice and arts programming (whether school-based or remote).

  • Award Size: One-time contracts ranging from $5,000-$7,500
  • Deadline: 5:00 pm, August 21, 2020
  • Find out more: (with links to application)
  • For questions, contact her Budget Unit: Vanessa Diaz-Lopez, Nelson S. Andinoand James Thomas.


The NYC Department of Education has revealed how it will handle coronavirus cases at schools once buildings reopen via Chalkbeat. Click here to view the plan on the DOE website.

The International Children Film Festival is presenting short and long films celebrating disabilities in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. For more information and to see the films, click here.


The men's U.S. Open Championship will be held at Winged Food Golf Club in Mamaroneck from Sept. 14-20 without fans. The USGA will put protocols in place to protect players and staff, including rigorous procedures for testing, cleaning, use of face coverings and social distancing.

Save the date for Open House New York -- October 17 and 18-- which will be reimagined as a hybrid of virtual and outdoor self-guided experiences.

NYC Parks’ Summer on the Hudson is offering online fitness, arts and family programming in lieu of its annual Riverside Park festival.

Develop new digital skills with the New York Public Library’s daily TechConnect classes, featuring topics like Photoshop, HTML and Excel.

Enjoy daily free concerts at home with Concerts in Motion’s Virtual Visiting Series.

Take a Jane Jacobs-esque bike tour of public art and monuments in Greenwich Village with Village Preservation’s bike tour series

The Wave Hill public garden in the Bronx reopened its doors after being closed for four months. The 28-acre estate features views of the Hudson River and the Palisades Entry to the gardens must be booked online ahead of visits to maintain social distancing. Learn more.

To watch Broadway performances and other theatre events, click here.

For suggestions on what to do and see and where to go during a New York City staycation, click here.

For more on staycations from the New York Times, click here.

The Frick Collection announced that it will reopen to the public in early 2021 in the former site of the Whitney Museum of American Art at 945 Madison Avenue (currently the Met Breuer). The temporary location, called Frick Madison, will house the Frick’s collections, programs, and staff during the renovation and expansion of its historic buildings at 1 East 70th Street.


The Departments of Education and Youth & Community Development are seeking organizations-- human service agencies, afterschool providers, community center providers, childcare programs-- to operate childcare for youth ages 3 and 4, and Learning Labs for K-8 students during weekdays when students are not receiving in-person instruction in a NYC Dept. of Education school or program. Read and respond to the Request for Information.

Nominate an individual or organization doing outstanding urban public health work for the Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize. Nominations will be accepted until December 31.

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 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]


The 19th Precinct has recommended the installation of security films on storefront windows for they can significantly delay forced entry. They recommend doing your research before choosing a film and installer, to only use a certified security film installer, to have the film attached to the frame of your storefront windows, and of course, to get multiple estimates.

A multi-agency task force, comprised of the NYC Departments of Small Business Services, Transportation, Health, and the Offices of Nightlife and Special Enforcement, has created a NYC Open Restaurants Program Checklist for Participating Establishments (click here to download) to help participants comply with program-specific and Covid-19 health and safety requirements, and prepare for inspections. Please be sure that you have reviewed each requirement and that you have incorporated all of them into your outdoor setup and daily operations. The checklist provided in this document lists the guidelines often found to be non-compliant by inspectors. Highlighted in blue are the most common items of non-compliance.

Please note that this checklist is not comprehensive, and does not include all of the federal, states, and local laws that apply to food establishments. It MOSTLY refers to new requirements related specifically to the Open Restaurants Program and Covid-19-related measures from City and State agencies. These requirements include: New York State Laws and Guidelines, including Executive Orders for Food Service; New York State Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirement; NYC Department of Transportation Open Restaurant Guidelines; Outdoor Seating, Sidewalks; Outdoor Seating, Roadways; and Accessibility Guidelines. All guidance is subject to change, so please make sure to continually review updates from City and State agencies.

Facebook is starting a $100 million grant program for Black-owned small businesses. While the application is not yet available, you can learn more about the program by clicking here.

Unemployment benefits update from the New York State Department of Labor (DOL). DOL has announced the following benefit extensions:

  • Traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits are now extended for up to 59 weeks: Traditional UI lasts for 26 weeks in New York, and has been extended by both the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which adds 13 weeks, and the Extended Benefits (EB) program, which adds an additional 20 weeks.
    • To be eligible for PEUC, you must first exhaust 26 weeks of regular UI benefits and continue to be unemployed.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits are now extended for up to 46 weeks: Under Federal law, those receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) are not eligible for PEUC or EB, but are now eligible for up to 46 weeks of benefits in New York – up from the original 39 weeks.
    • To be eligible for EB, you must first exhaust all 26 weeks of traditional unemployment insurance benefits and all 13 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits (a total of 39 weeks of benefits) and continue to be unemployed. Alternatively, if your benefit year for regular unemployment insurance expired after July 1, 2019 and you received the 13 weeks of PEUC benefits, you may be eligible for EB. In addition, you must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
      • You are not eligible for regular or extended compensation under any other state or federal law.
      • You meet basic state eligibility requirements such as being ready, willing and able to work and are searching for work.
      • If you are currently employed, you cannot quit your job to claim Extended Benefits — doing so will result in disqualification
      • DOL will send letters to those who may be eligible for EB. If you do not receive a letter, you may check your eligibility online at or at 888-581-1220.
  • Please note that in order to continue receiving your unemployment benefits, you must continue to certify each week. You do not need to re-apply or contact DOL unless you are specifically told to do so. You can certify online at or on the phone by calling 1-888-581-5812 (for UI) or 1-833-324-0366 (for PUA).

Apply by Monday (8/3) for a Local Initiatives Support Corporation Small Business Relief Grant of up to $20,000. Priority will be given to entrepreneurs of color, women and veterans.

Applications are due Wednesday (8/5) for Section 8, Section 202 and Section 811 property owners to be eligible for supplemental payments from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to cover COVID-related expenses, like deep cleaning and PPE. Read more about eligible costs and applying.

Calling all storytellers-- enter WomensActivism.NYC’s story writing contest by August 16. Share stories about inspirational women for a chance to win prizes of $150, $350 and $500.

The Center for an Urban Future studied the employment impacts of the pandemic on NYC, sorted by industry sectors. The complete report is available at

The Partnership for New York City issued “A Call for Action and Collaboration,” which is a sobering report about the business situation overall. "It will be far more difficult to restart and repair the economy than it was to shut it down. The attractions that New Yorkers value most in the city—its cultural, social, and entertainment assets—will remain at least partially shuttered until next year. As many as a third of the 230,000 small businesses that populate neighborhood commercial corridors may never reopen. The unemployment rate has risen to 18.3%, leaving as many as a million households struggling to feed their families and pay rent, with hardship concentrated among Black and Hispanic communities and lower wage workers.”

PFNYC also compiled a selection of their original research and statistics, as well as that of other contributors, and posted it as a Resource Collection “for those who want to take a deeper dive into the material.”

August 4 at 2 pm, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and TD Bank Charitable Foundation will host a webinar for small businesses, “Assessing Your Company’s Financial Needs.”

City of New York Offers Free Technical Assistance for Restaurants

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).

Johns Hopkins University announced a second free course in the series, Measuring and Maximizing Impact of COVID-19 Contact Tracing. This new course aims to give guidance to managers and developers of contact tracing programs on making use of the most important performance indicators. This course is also beneficial for decision-makers interested in knowing more about the characteristics of effective contact tracing programs and the resources required to support them. For more information, click here.


Ageism and Ableism in the Time of COVID  

On Thursday, August 6th from 7pm – 8 pm, join  Senator Krueger, Ashton Applewhite, internationally recognized ageism expert, and disability rights advocate Peter Slatin, President and Founder of the Slatin Group, for a conversation about the connection between ageism and ableism (discrimination against people with disabilities), in the time of COVID.  Is our fear of contagion, of catching something from older people and people with disabilities, making them feel even more isolated and vulnerable?  How has the current pandemic exacerbated existing discrimination and how can we move forward from the crisis toward a more inclusive society? How can we challenge our assumptions about the roles older people and people with disabilities can play in the workforce, in our communities, and in the broader culture? What can be done to change the framework and to increase social access for these marginalized groups?

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 If you do not see the video when you land on Senator Krueger's Facebook page, please hit "refresh" in your browser to reload the page and see the video. Please note that the video will not appear until just before 7:00 p.m. If you do not have access to a computer, tablet, or other electronic device, you can listen in by telephone. Once you register for the event, you will receive a confirmation email with the call-in information.

The event will feature a question and answer session with Ashton Applewhite and Peter Slatin   If you have questions about what ageism and ableism are, how they are connected,  if the fear of COVID is increasing feelings of isolation among older adults and people with disabilities, and how we can change the framework as we build the new normal to fully integrate older people and those with disabilities into the community, then register at the link below.  Attendees will be able to submit questions through Facebook during the event but are strongly encouraged to submit them in advance.

Please let us know if you plan to attend on August 6th 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:


Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Past Updates from CB8