Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates October 5th

October 5th, 2020



The Governor announced the State's Tenant Safe Harbor Act will be expanded until January 1, 2021 to protect additional residential tenants from eviction if they are suffering financial hardship during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Executive Order extends the protections of the Tenant Safe Harbor Act to eviction warrants that existed prior to the start of the pandemic.

International travelers arriving in New York must self-quarantine. Travelers arriving in New York from Level 2 and Level 3 countries must complete a 14-day quarantine and fill out the NYS Department of Health traveler health form. The order applies to almost all foreign nations, and will aid in the state's robust contact tracing efforts and further prevent the spread of COVID-19. Learn more here.

There have been higher infection rates in certain zip codes in and around New York City. Governor Cuomo asks that you get tested if you live or work in one of these zip codes  Rockland County (10952, 10977), Brooklyn (11230, 11204, 11219, 11223, 11229, 11210, 11234), the Bronx (10465, 10462), Manhattan (10040), Queens (11374), Staten Island (10306, 10304), Suffolk County (11717, 11746) and Nassau County (11580). The State is sending rapid testing machines to these areas.

27 percent of all positive cases on October 1 were only from 20 hotspot ZIP codes. The Department of Health will have people on the ground in the hotspot ZIP codes today, including in Orange County, Rockland County, New York City and a small area in Nassau County.

Governor Cuomo reports that the Commissioner of Health will issue a Section 16 order to local governments in hotspot areas setting specific consequences for failure to enforce State regulations related to social distancing, mask compliance, and capacity limitations.

The State Department of Financial Services is extending its emergency regulation requiring NY health insurers to waive out-of-pocket costs, including cost-sharing, deductibles, copays and coinsurance, for in-network mental health services for New York's frontline essential workers until November 27.

The State has issued updated guidance for taxis, for-hire vehicles and other transportation services. Drivers are encouraged to transport passengers with the windows down to increase ventilation, and to implement physical barriers between rider and driver, in addition to the mandatory mask wearing requirement for both drivers and passengers. See the updated guidance here.

When the pandemic hit New York City, many food truck vendors put their businesses on hold — but they did not stop cooking. To help combat food insecurity in New York City, the Urban Justice Center's Street Vendor Project has worked with food truck vendors and found a way to keep the grills on. Food truck vendors have since whipped up 6,500 meals that have been distributed throughout Brooklyn and the Bronx. The program, which ends on Friday, has helped many immigrant-run businesses stay afloat while providing many tasty meals to New Yorkers in need.

Our Town looks at the restaurant industry during this crisis, click here.

Census Update – The Deadline to Complete the 2020 Census Is October 31st. A federal court has again clarified that the deadline to complete the 2020 Census is October 31, 2020 - not October 5, 2020.

Council Speaker Corey Johnson sponsored a rat academy to teach rat prevention. See Our Town’s report here.

Community Food Advocates has a map and list of Grab and Go free meal locations, including hours and where Halal and Kosher options are served.

The Manhattan Social Security Card Center remains closed for walk-in visits, so call 866-657-3406 to apply for an original or a replacement Social Security card. For all other Social Security services, visit

Tuesday (10/6) and Wednesday (10/7) at 6 pm, New York Housing Conference hosts a panel and interactive discussion about how the next mayor can increase access to quality housing. Tuesday’s event is in Spanish; Wednesday’s is in English.

Wednesday (10/7) at 9 am, Borough President Gale Brewer joins the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and all Manhattan Borough President candidates for a virtual forum about the 2021 race. Register here.

Colorado has been added to the State's COVID-19 Travel Advisory. Arizona and Virginia have been removed from the list and visitors from these two states no longer need to self-quarantine upon arriving in New York. See the full list here.


Schools in New York City — public and private — will temporarily close in-person learning starting tomorrow in hotspot ZIP codes identified by New York City.

Now that school has started, it’s crucial for families to sign up for a NYC Schools Account if they haven’t already, which enables schools to alert you to confirmed COVID-19 cases, your child’s grades, test scores, schedules and transportation information.

While Halloween won’t be the same, there is still a parade (though not the same as the Greenwich Village Parade) Submit a costume photo by 10/16 for this year’s virtual Children’s Halloween Parade hosted by NYU and Community Board 2 (covering Greenwich Village, Little Italy, SoHo, NoHo, Hudson Square, Chinatown and the Gansevoort Market). This year’s theme is storybook characters, but you can email a photo of any costume to [email protected]. The virtual parade is 10/31 at 1 pm and will feature a magician, musical performance and costume contest. Register here.

Next Thursday (10/8) at 9:30 am, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York continues its Racial Equity Advancement Labs Equity Events with “R.E.A.L. Talk - Housing Equity and Racial Justice.” Click the title to register.


The Brooklyn Book Fest is online.

For a look at television debates from the past, and from now, click here.

If you’re interested in learning more about art fakes and forgeries, click here.

Autumn is in full swing, as shown in I Love NY's latest fall foliage report

The Shed reopens 10/16 with artist Howardena Pindell’s video exhibition “Rope/Fire/Water.” Reserve free timed-entry tickets here.

Tuesday (10/6) at 1 pm, the American Folk Art Museum’s Reflections Music Series hosts a Zoom concert for adults living with memory loss, playing Spanish songs. To register, contact [email protected] or 212-265-0605.

Tuesday (10/6) at 7 pm, the Tenement Museum hosts a virtual book talk with Julia Rose Kraut, author of “Threat of Dissent: A History of Ideological Exclusion and Deportation in the United States.” Watch on YouTube.

Next Thursday (10/8) at 7 pm, the Tenement Museum hosts “Contraceptives and Controversies,” a discussion about birth control from the 1870s - 1930s. Watch on YouTube

Wednesday (10/7) at 7 pm, the Andrew Goodman Foundation hosts a panel about the film “Let the People Decide,” which documents the struggle for voting rights since the 1960s. Register here for the free link in order to watch the film on your own before the 10/7 Zoom panel.

While the Art Fair on Governor’s Island was cancelled, there are virtual artist talks by artists-in-residence there.

For the digital fall ballet season of the New York City Ballet, click here.

Election 2020 Resources

Some New Yorkers have received an absentee ballot with a misprint that reads “Official Absentee Military Ballot” instead of “Absentee/Military Ballot." The ballots are VALID and can be used.

The Manhattan Board of Elections has posted the poll sites for early voting and election day. Election logistics: First, if you’re NOT registered to vote in New York City, the deadline to register is October 9, 2020. Not sure if you’re registered? Check here.

Once you are registered, you may vote three ways:

Early voting is a great option to avoid mail-in ballot delays and potentially long lines on Election Day (11/3). Absentee voting is best if you’re not comfortable going to the polls. Our Town covers early voting as an important option, click here.

Become a poll worker. New Yorkers who are currently unemployed can apply to be a paid poll worker without losing their unemployment benefits. Poll workers are vital in ensuring that Election Day runs smoothly and I signed an Executive Order that allows New Yorkers who currently collect unemployment benefits to sign up for temporary work on November 3rd. Sign up to become a poll worker.

How to Complete Your Absentee Ballot

  1. Carefully read and follow the instructions printed on the ballot and the ballot envelopes.
  2. Mark your votes on your ballot using a pen with black or blue ink - please make sure not to make any stray marks, as this could interfere with the scanner properly reading the votes marked on your ballot.
  3. Fold the ballot and put it in the smaller envelope provided by the Board of Elections
  4. Sign and date the back of the envelope - you will see a red X that marks where to sign your name, and there is a line directly below to write the date.
  5. Seal the envelope - there is an adhesive on the envelope for sealing - do not use tape or glue to seal the envelope
  6. Put the smaller envelope in the larger envelope provided by the Board of Elections, which is addressed to the Manhattan Board of Elections Office.

Please Note: if you have not followed all of these steps, your absentee ballot will not be counted.

Options For How to Submit Your Absentee Ballot

1. Mail Your Ballot

  • One stamp is sufficient to mail your ballot to the Manhattan Board of Elections Office. However, if you are concerned about your ballot being delivered, you can use two stamps
  • Ballots that are postmarked by Election Day will be counted if they are received by the NYC Board of Elections no more than 7 days after Election Day. However, if your absentee ballot is not postmarked, it must be received by the Board by the day after Election Day in order to be counted. Since there is no way for you to know whether the Post Office will actually postmark your ballot, and due to strong concerns about delays in mail being delivered, I urge you to mail in your absentee ballot as far in advance of Election Day as possible.

2. Deposit Your Ballot at a Poll Site Absentee Ballot Collection Box

  • There will be an absentee ballot collection box at every Early Voting and Election Day Poll Site.
  • You may deposit your completed absentee ballot at any Early Voting or Election Day Poll Site in New York City, however, it is best and preferred that the Poll Site be in Manhattan. If you deposit your absentee ballot at a Poll Site that is outside of the five boroughs, it will not be counted.

Please Note: You can deposit your completed absentee ballot at a poll site collection box personally, or a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member can do so for you.

3. Deposit Your Ballot at the NYC Board of Elections Office

  • You or a trusted individual can take your completed absentee ballot and deposit it at the Manhattan Board of Elections Office at 200 Varick Street, 10 Fl, New York, NY 10014 through Election Day at 9:00 p.m.
  • We will provide more information about Board of Elections office hours as details become available.

If there is a problem with your absentee ballot, you can contact the NYC Board of Elections office:

  • By email at [email protected],
  • By phone at 1-866-868-3692, or
  • On Twitter, send a direct message to the NYC Board of Elections (Twitter handle @BOENYC)


Complete your Census! It's more important than ever to ensure our communities are counted, so that we can receive our fair share of federal funding during these tough economic times. New York is also in danger of losing two Congressional seats. Please encourage everyone you know to fill our their Census form at my2020census.govEach individual response (multiply for families or others living in the same apartment) brings approximately $4000 in federal funding to New York City. If you are spending your summer outside New York City, you may complete the form with New York City as your residence. If you have a second home, please fill out any census form you may receive there with “0” residents if you filled out a census form previously with New York City as your primary residence.

Apply to become a member of the NYC Community Emergency Response Teamwhich assists first responders with community preparedness and disaster support. Apply here.

NYU Langone Health Center is recruiting adults age 18+ to participate in a COVID-19 vaccine trial, especially those who are more likely to be exposed and vulnerable, including people with underlying medical conditions, seniors, those who could be exposed in their workplace (including elder-care facility residents or workers, and jail or prison workers) and Black, Latinx and Native American adults. Sign up at NYU Langone’s online registry at (that url is a little odd, but it is correct!). For more information about COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials in general, visit

Get a flu vaccine. While the flu vaccine will not prevent COVID19, it will help lower the risk of you and your family getting sick with the flu and needing medical care. All New Yorkers should get the flu vaccine. Find a flu shot location near you:

Donate Plasma: Recovered COVID-19 patients are needed to donate plasma, which is used to treat critically ill patients across the country. Donate at a NY Blood Center location. Eligible donors can give convalescent plasma up to eight times in a three-month period.

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.

Wear a mask: The New York Times found that those ignoring the mask rule are nearly twice as likely to be men as women. 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.

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]


New York launched "Empire State Digital" to help small businesses compete in the digital economy. This new initiative accelerates NY small businesses' ability to grow their online presence through a first-in-the-nation program with leading global e-commerce enablers, including Shopify, Square, Clearbanc, and Etsy and will help them compete with larger online retailers.

The NYC Small Business Resource Network, a public-private partnership, helps small business owners access personalized financial, technological, real estate, legal and marketing assistance. Learn more and sign up here.

The registration period for the CARES Act’s “Economic Impact Payments” of $1,200 ($2,400 for couples, and $500 for each child) closes 10/15 for these categories of taxpayers, who do not normally file returns: Social Security retirement, survivor, disability or Railroad Retirement beneficiaries, or Supplemental Security Income or Veterans Affairs benefit recipients who have qualifying children and did not file a return in 2018 or 2019 OR otherwise did not supply information via the nonfilers tool on the IRS website.  Those who didn’t receive payments or who don’t submit the information by 10/15, may claim the $1,200 as a tax credit next year on the 2020 federal income tax return.

The three U.S. credit reporting agencies offer free weekly credit reportsAs missed payments, mortgage forbearance and rent negotiations pile on, it’s important to check that creditors are maintaining their side of the bargain.

Businesses that received $0-$50,000 in Paycheck Protection Program assistance may apply for low-interest loans through the New York Forward Loan Fund. Apply here.

Tuesday (10/6) at 3:30 pm, small business owners are invited by Pace University’s Small Business Development Center to a webinar titled “Small Business Leases and Evictions: What is legal; what is reasonable?.” Click the title to register

Tuesday (10/6) at 6 pm, the New Amsterdam History Center hosts “New York is a Dutch City,” moderated by Manhattan Borough Historian Rob Snyder. Click the title to register.

Wednesday (10/7) from 9 am - 12:30 pm, accounting firm Marks Paneth hosts its 5th Annual Nonprofit Industry Update Seminar, featuring updates about nonprofit accounting, regulatory compliance and fundraising technology. Click the title to register.

Open Restaurants Update: On September 25, 2020, NYC announced that the popular Open Restaurants program will be made permanent, and restaurants will be permitted to use heating and enclosures, and expand seating to adjacent properties with neighbors’ consent. Specific guidance is forthcoming.

Adjacent Properties

  • The City will allow restaurants to expand seating to the frontage of adjacent properties, as long as the adjacent property owners formally agree to the use of the space for a specified period of time and commit not to charge a fee for its use
  • The City will work with the State Liquor Authority (SLA) on any requirements associated with extending alcohol service to the expanded seating in front of adjacent properties
  • In early October, NYC DOT will issue a template agreement and provide instructions on how to file the agreements
  • Adjacent properties may not be used prior to the release of official instructions and formal agreements


  • As cooler weather arrives, the City will allow restaurants to incorporate heating elements into their outdoor dining setups
  • Electrical heaters will be allowed on both sidewalk and roadway
  • Propane and natural gas heaters will be allowed on sidewalks only; they will remain prohibited in roadway seating
  • Propane will require a permit from FDNY and compliance with FDNY regulations for outdoor use, handling and secure outdoor tank storage overnight
  • Official guidance on what will be considered approved installation and use of heating elements will be released before the end of September, and restaurants are prohibited from installing heating elements until guidelines are released and followed


  • Restaurants will also be permitted to use tent enclosures to keep diners warm
  • In partial tent enclosures, at least 50% of the tent’s side wall surface area must remain open and electrical heaters are allowed
  • In full tent enclosures, the tent’s side walls may be closed but occupancy limitations will be capped at 25% of capacity, and indoor dining guidelines must be followed; electrical heaters will also be allowed
  • Enclosed structures, such as plastic domes, will be allowed for individual parties and must have adequate ventilation to allow for air circulation

Roadway Safety

  • As the program’s duration will now continue through the winter months, and winter weather creates potential for inclement weather to impact road conditions, the City will engage the restaurant industry and other stakeholders to develop additional safety features to further strengthen roadway barriers
  • To ensure timely implementation, the City will require restaurant owners to comply with new safety features by November 15, 2020
  • In addition, significant snow events may necessitate the temporary removal of some barriers from the roadway

The Aspen Policy Acceleration Partnership Grant will fund city, county and state agencies who can extend services and supports to help college students who are parents. Attend an online information session 10/1 at 3 pm and apply by 12/11 for a $150,000 grant.

The Dept. of Small Business Services has launched Career Discovery NYC, a free career search and skills training tool.

If you’re a property owner or building manager, please advise your staff and residents to allow (properly identified) Census enumerators into the building to visit those residents who have not completed their census forms.

Restaurant & Bar Reopening Toolkit – Find all the guidelines and resources you need in one place, including checklists, Open Restaurant siting criteria, and posters. Download it here, and find additional guidance and resources for restaurants on SBS’ restaurant reopening guide here.

Find Outdoor Dining Fixtures & Equipment – Please click here for the City's directory of equipment rental fixtures & equipment for safe outdoor dining.

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.


Senator Krueger's Virtual Senior Resource Fair

Tuesday, October 13th from 2 pm – 3:30 pm
Join us at the theater, at a lecture, and a concert, look at art in the museum, and attend class at the University.

Presentations by:

  • Carnegie Hall
  • DOROT- University Without Walls, On Site and special programs
  • The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
  • Theater Development Fund
  • The Streicker Center at Temple Emanu-El

Wednesday, October 14th from 2 pm – 3:30 pm
Put on some comfortable clothes to exercise and meditate, and find out about programs designed to keep us healthy and to reduce stress.

Presentations by:

  • Asphalt Green
  • Lenox Hill Neighborhood House - learn about the Simionson technique, and organic approach to movement
  • Health Advocates for Older People - learn about how to exercise with arthritis

Thursday, October 15th 2 pm – 2:30 pm
Findinga job is never easy, and it’s even harder for individuals over 50, especially during the time of COVID.  We are continuing our partnership with the Science Business and Industry Library (SIBL) to help you hone your job search skills. Topics include establishing the right mindset for the job search, creating an effective resume, and refining yourinterviewing skills.

Please let us know if you plan to join us on October 13th, 14th and15th.  You can attend one, two or all three events. RSVP 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:


Fill out your Census at OR by phone in these languages:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Past Updates from CB8