Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates November 16th

November 16th, 2020



The State prepared a chart for the red, orange and yellow zones to outline restrictions

The red zone in Brooklyn met the State’s criteria to become an orange zone, allowing fewer restrictions. Parts of Staten Island have been identified as micro-clusters, leading to restrictions for yellow zones.

 New COVID-19 Restrictions being Implemented Statewide to Address the Increasing Positivity Rates in New York City and Other Parts of New York State

On Wednesday, November 11th, the Governor announced the following restrictions will be in effect as of Friday, November 13th at 10:00 p.m.:

  1. State Liquor Authority-licensed bars and restaurants must close from 10:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m.
  2. Restaurants may provide curbside food-only pick-up or food delivery after 10:00 p.m., but are not permitted to serve alcohol to go.
  3. Gyms and fitness centers must close from 10:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m.
  4. No more than 10 people may attend indoor or outdoor gatherings at private residences.

The FDA granted emergency-use authorization to a drug manufacturer’s experimental antibody treatment.

Governor Cuomo gives advice on the upcoming holidays. Thanksgiving dinners can be celebrated most safely if you limit the group to only your immediate household. If you are going to spend time with people outside of your household, there are steps you can take to mitigate risk: Be outside as much as possible. If indoors, wear a mask at all times that it is possible to do so. Open windows to increase ventilation if you can. Keep six feet or more of distance and limit the amount of time you spend at indoor gatherings. COVID spreads among strangers but it also spreads among friends. Additions to the new rules for anyone travelling to other states, except Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In addition, essential workers will also be exempted from these new requirements. Finally, all covered individuals returning from out of state must fill out a Traveler Health Form.

With cases surging and holidays approaching, New Yorkers are strongly encouraged to follow the precautions outlined in the Dept. of Health’s holiday guideincluding hosting virtual gatherings, celebrating outdoors, and not traveling-- or quarantining and getting tested if travel is unavoidable. These echo the CDC’s holiday guidelines, updated yesterday (11/11). (This week the CDC also published updated evidence that masks can protect the wearer as well others from the spread of the coronavirus, and endorsed “universal masking policies.”)

Instead of having an in-person Thanksgiving dinner this year, consider a virtual alternative. To help facilitate virtual Thanksgiving celebrations during the pandemic, Zoom will lift its 40-minute meeting limit. The extended service will be available starting midnight on November 26th, Thanksgiving Day, through Friday, November 27th at 5 a.m. This Thanksgiving, spread thanks, not COVID.

Today, the State launched a new web application to help New Yorkers find state services and benefits. The "Find Services" web application was developed in partnership with, to assist New Yorkers in locating appropriate services with one streamlined web application. Due to the pandemic, unfortunately, we're seeing an unprecedented demand for social services and this application provides an easy-to-use starting point for first-time program users.

The CDC has now determined that cloth masks protect the wearer of the mask, in addition to others, in mitigating against the risk of contracting COVID-19.

The CDC recently noted that pregnant women are now considered at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as compared with non-pregnant women. Previously, the CDC had stated that pregnant women might be at increased risk, but recent data has now confirmed the agency’s suspicion. Recent data shows that intensive care unit admission, invasive ventilation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and death are all more likely for pregnant women. Additionally, there is an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth.

New York has launched a Flu Tracker, which displays daily and weekly flu data and provides timely information about local, regional and statewide flu activity. Take a look—and please get a flu shot if you haven't already.

As we near closer to the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC issued clarifications of common myths and misconceptions about such vaccinations.

For those interested in getting tested, all New Yorkers can receive free COVID testing, regardless of whether or not you have symptoms or are at an increased risk. Click here for more information and to find a testing center. The NYS Department of Health has created a map where individuals can find all of the state-run testing sites.To find a NYC Health + Hospitals testing site, click here.

For more on testing, DOHMH has established multiple COVID Express sites throughout the City where you can receive your COVID diagnostic test results within 24 hours of your visit. Tests administered at the COVID Express sites are free to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status. You must schedule an appointment at one of the COVID Express locations in order to receive a rapid test. For more information and to schedule your test, click here.

H + H Antibody Testing: Individuals can receive antibody testing at NYC Health + Hospitals (H + H) locations. Antibody testing is free for everyone at all H + H and Gotham Community Health Center locations. For more information on antibody testing, click here. You can find the locations of antibody testing here.

Testing and contact tracing are essential to handling the surge. Through H + H, the city is working to ensure that all those who test positive for COVID-19 receive the services they need. Additionally, they are working on behalf of all New Yorkers to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19. If you receive a call from “NYC Test + Trace”, “(212) 540 - ****”, or (212) 242 - ****” please answer those calls as it may be a representative from the Test and Trace Corps.

Under the “Take Care” portion of Test and Trace, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will receive help securing all the services they will need in order to comply with the 14-day quarantine. This includes access to a hotel if you are unable to quarantine in your home. For more information on the Test and Trace Corps, click here.

DOHMH has released an updated COVID-19 data pagewhich presents more detailed and timely information about COVID-19 in NYC.

The NYC Citywide Information Portal and 311 have created COVID-specific resource guides for New Yorkers. These resource guides contain information relating to emotional well-being, rent and housing, NYCHA residents, and more. To access the guides, click here for the Citywide Information Portal and here for 311.

Governor Cuomo shared this graphic image to demonstrate how COVID-19 can spread.

The Times’s Sarah Kliff has spent months collecting patients’ bills related to virus testing. Here’s her advice for avoiding unexpected costs.

Did you know you can quarantine for free at a hotel if you can’t self-isolate at home after testing positive or becoming sick? Call 212-COVID-19 (212-268-4319), and select option 4 to find out more.

On November 23 at 6 pm, Borough President Gale Brewer’s office is cosponsoring a virtual Tenants Resource Fair with the Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development, tenant organizations and local elected officials. Learn about tenant protections during the COVID-19 pandemic, including ongoing protections for seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and those in rent-regulated apartments. Also learn more about the City’s affordable housing lotteries using the “Housing Connect” portal. Use this link to register for the Zoom meeting (download the Zoom application for Windows, MacOS, Android or iOS here).

The Section 8 waiting list is now open for Lakeview Apartments at 4 E. 107th St. Download an application, due Wednesday, 12/16.

President-elect Biden’s COVID Task Force has rightfully gotten a lot of coverage, but he has also appointed “Agency Review Teams” to help manage his transition process; view the list of appointees here (including NYC Dept. of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Dept. of City Planning Chair Marisa Lago).

The GetFoodNYC Emergency Food Delivery program provides meals to homebound New Yorkers and will continue to be managed by the NYC Dept. of Sanitation. To enroll, call 311 and mention “Get Food,” or visit, and click on “NYC Food Delivery Assistance.” Seniors who haven’t received meal deliveries or experienced other issues with the Emergency Food Delivery program should email [email protected].

If you need to cancel a subscription service or gym membership, it has become much easier. New Yorkers can now more easily cancel their gym memberships and other subscription services after Gov. Cuomo signed into law a consumer protection bill sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman. It bans convoluted automatic renewals and ensures remote cancellation options.

Open enrollment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace ends Tuesday, 12/15. Sign up through (or for Spanish)-- having health insurance is more important than ever. Coverage begins Friday, 1/1/2021.

Seniors can get free remote counseling on selecting a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan from Lenox Hill Neighborhood House’s Legal Advocacy Department. Monday, 12/7 is the last day to change Medicare Advantage or Part D plans.

Lighthouse Guild’s virtual book club for individuals with vision loss is accepting new members. The next meeting is Wednesday, 12/2. Register here.

Monday (11/16) thorough Wednesday (11/18) at 6 pm, the Meyer Cancer Centerhosts virtual lung health panels in English, Spanish and Chinese, in honor of Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Register here.

Tuesday (11/17) at 9:30 am, The Impact of COVID-19 on Restaurants” explores how restaurants are faring and their future, hosted by the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center & Food Tank. Click the title to register.

Wednesday (11/18) at 11 am, veterans can learn “How to Respond to Summonses from NYC Enforcement Agencies,” a virtual symposium that Borough President Gale Brewer is  cosponsoring with the other Borough Presidents and the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings. Register here.

The CCRB published new rules for public comment that would empower the agency to investigate sexual misconduct and allegations of untruthful statements made by members of service against civilians in official proceedings or on official NYPD or court documents. The Civilian Complaint Review Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed rules on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 4:00 pm via WebEx. Attached is additional information on the meeting, how the public may submit testimony, and the proposed rules.

Thursday (11/19) at 8:30 am, join the Manhattan Borough Board’s monthly charter-mandated convening of the Borough President and all of Manhattan’s Council Members and Community Board Chairs. Register here.

Thursday (11/19) at 6 pm, Embodying Sanctuary: Faith, Activism, and Creativity at Judson Memorial Church” discusses the meaning and call of sanctuary, presented by Village Preservation. Register for the Zoom here.

Thursday (11/19) at 6pm, SAGEVets explores the military’s history of purging queer service members and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Register for the virtual event here.

Thursday (11/19) at 7 pm, eCornell hosts “Racism in America: Education and Housing,” a discussion moderated by Atlantic writer Adam Harris. Click the title to register.


In response to rising infection rates in the region, Syracuse and Albany Universities will switch to remote learning. The University of Albany switched to online learning and Syracuse will switch this week. The State announced a Yellow Zone in Onondaga County, placing pandemic-related restrictions on the Syracuse area.

Here’s an update on P-EBT from last week: Keep your child’s P-EBT 2020 card because the P-EBT benefits that were extended through September 2021 will be added to that card. P-EBT helps families cover the cost of meals that are normally served at school. Younger children who might have received meals at daycare centers that are closed or operating on reduced hours will receive P-EBT cards, too, so look for an envelope with a card in it in the coming months (it’s not junk mail from a credit card company!).

Free Grab & Go meals are available at 259 schools -- see this map of sites. Students and their families can pick up meals during the school day, and the general public is welcome from 3 - 5 pm.

The Regents exams scheduled for January have been canceled, though students still must pass the related course. The NYS Education Dept. has not made a decision about the June 2021 Regents yet.

Nominate your favorite teacher or counselor for the NYC Dept. of Education Big Apple Award, which recognizes inspirational educators. Nominations close 1/10/2021.


For a story on Alex Trebeck’s views on why Jeopardy represents the American Dream, and links to other stories, including astronauts in Congress and clues about Roanoke, in the Smithsonian Magazine.

For a look at the Met Collects, click here.

To see what’s on WNYC, including what the election means to New York, click here.

If you’d like to explore New York, NYC & Company’s “All In NYC: Neighborhood Getaways” offer more than 250 ways for locals to save when they visit New York cultural institutions, restaurants, hotels, museums and tours across the city. Included in the initiative is an offer from MasterCard that offers $10 back on every $20 spent on the experiences for up to $100 in statement credits per cardholder (while supplies last).

A new book, written by longtime friend of Borough President Gale Brewer’s office Betsy Bober Polivy, profiles businesses from 1st - 155th Sts. (Manhattan’s original street grid),“Walking Manhattan Sideways – Side Street Businesses That Have Stood the Test of Time.”

Immigrants Mean Business: An Enduring History of Entrepreneurship” is the Tenement Museum’s new virtual exhibit, in partnership with the NYC Dept. of Small Business Services.

Thursday (11/19) at 5 pm, the National Association of Women Artists hosts a virtual opening reception for its new members exhibition.

For a podcast about a moving, complicated, and at times ecstatic conversation between two groundbreaking women, click here.

For a story about a film about the art forger who painted fifty fake Vermeers (he painted fewer than 40 in his lifetime) and tricked the Nazis, click here.

For the Met’s virtual programs, click here.

For the Met Opera’s programs, click here.


The City’s new Open Storefronts program will now allow storefront businesses to operate directly outside their store from Friday, 10/30 through Wednesday, 12/31. Read the FAQ for eligibility and operating guidelines, and apply here.

Open Restaurants that use outdoor heating must follow newly released guidance from the Dept. of Buildings and the FDNY for electricnatural gas and propane heaters.

If you are a New York City renter at risk of eviction, you may be eligible for free legal assistance. For more information, please contact the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants or the City Tenant Helpline by calling 311, or visit the New York City Tenant Resource Portal by clicking here. You may also seek help through the Legal Aid Society by calling (212) 577-3300 or by clicking here for more information.

NYC Department of Social Services/Human Resources Administration (DSS/HRA): For updated information on COVID-19 and changes to social services benefits, including SNAP food assistance, cash assistance, and burial assistance, please refer to DSS/HRA’s Important information about COVID-19 and your HRA benefits.

DOE Meal Hubs: The NYC Department of Education (DOE) is continuing to offer free meals across New York City. Remote learning students and families may pick up their meals Monday through Friday, from 9 AM to 12 PM. Any New Yorker may pick up their meals Monday through Friday, from 3 PM to 5 PM. Kosher and Halal meals are also available at select locations. Click here for more information, including your nearest locations.

For information on City Council actions during this crisis, see Speaker Corey Johnson’s newsletter.

Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.74 announcing new COVID-19 restrictions on bars, restaurants, gyms, fitness centers, and residential gatherings. The following restrictions are effective on Friday, November 13 starting at 10 PM:

  • All bars, restaurants, gyms, or fitness centers, as well as any State Liquor Authority-licensed establishment will be required to close from 10 PM up to 5 AM daily statewide.

  • Restaurants will still be allowed to provide curbside pick-up or delivery after 10 PM. *(Alcohol to go is prohibited after 10:00 p.m.).

  • Indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to no more than 10 people, provided that social distancing, face covering, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols required by the NYS Department of Health are adhered to.

  •  These restrictions are subject to reasonable limitations and procedures set by Chairman of the State Liquor Authority (SLA) and/or any relevant Department of Health guidance. SLA will issue further guidance for licensees as to what sales are continued to be permitted.

Newly released DOT Winterization guidelines for outdoor structures:  Below, we’ve laid out new roadway barrier requirements, enclosure guidelines and expectations during snowfall, along with ways in which the City will assist restaurant owners remain compliant.

Important reminder: If your establishment is operating an outdoor dining area, please note that at least 50 percent of the side wall surface area must remain open for a partial tent or other shelters enclosures.

Also, an outdoor dining space will be considered indoor dining if more than 50 percent of its total wall area is covered and will be subject to the 25 percent capacity limit and other indoor dining restrictions, including spacing tables six feet apart, per NYS Guidance for indoor dining.  

Certified minority, women and local business enterprises can apply to work on construction of the 100 Claremont Avenue project in Morningside Heights. Submit the pre-bid questionnaire by Monday, 11/30.

Applications (or nominations for others) for the David Prize close Friday, 12/4. The David Prize awards $200,000 to five visionary New Yorkers seeking to better the city through transformative projects.

Free financial counseling is available by phone through the NYC Dept. of Consumer and Worker Protection. Book an appointment online or by calling 311.

Robin Hood’s COVID-19 Relief Fund is now accepting grant applications for nonprofits that provide frontline support to vulnerable populations.

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

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.


Through Wednesday (11/18) from noon - 4 pm, donate shelf-stable food to benefit Midtown women’s shelter Crossroads Community Services, sponsored by the Second Stage Theater. Drop off food at the Tony Kiser Theater, 305 W. 43rd St.

Volunteer on Thanksgiving Eve (11/25), 4:30 - 6:30 pm to rescue excess food from the Union Square Greenmarket, which will benefit food-insecure New Yorkers, cosponsored by City Harvest and Gramercy Neighborhood Associates. Email [email protected] by Wednesday (11/18) to sign up.

The West Side Campaign Against Hunger has begun its annual Turkey Challenge, seeking donations to buy turkeys for families in need this Thanksgiving.

Religious facilities can share their space with dancers looking for rehearsal space, a project of Partners for Sacred Places. NYC Dance in Sacred Places can be a mutually beneficial opportunity for artists struggling to find affordable studios and sacred places seeking to share space with the community.

Get a flu shot. Find pharmacies and clinics offering flu shots through the NYC Health Map. You can sort for free shots and for locations covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

Give your friends a call. Check in with your family. Ask them how everything is going and how they are feeling. Let's show each other some love because mental health is just as important as physical health. New Yorkers can also call the State's mental health hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for free emotional support, consultations & referrals to a provider.

If you order for delivery, order directly from the restaurants, and not through third-party apps that charge restaurants high fees, making it even tougher for them.

The pandemic has caused declines in organ donations. With so many people awaiting lifesaving organ transplants, Governor Cuomo urges New Yorkers to become organ donors and join the NYS Donate Life Registry.

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

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 Center, 415 E. 93 St., needs help supporting their older adult clients through meals and case management services. Interested in volunteering? Contact [email protected]


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:

New York State developed a contact tracing app to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The app uses Bluetooth technology — not location data — to quickly alert users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Once alerted, users can quickly protect themselves and others by self-quarantining, contacting their physician and getting tested.

Governor Cuomo assures us that the app does not violate privacy. The app does not compromise privacy or collect your personal information. Use of the app is completely voluntary and anonymous. The app will never track your location. Privacy is protected because your data is kept anonymous and is not identifiable to any individual. Any data you voluntarily choose to share is anonymous and can be deleted at any time. Learn more about the app's expert-vetted security and privacy here.

As you go about your day, the app uses Bluetooth to sense when another person with the same app comes within 6 feet of you. Your phone exchanges a secure random code with the other phone to record your proximity.

 If the app notes that you've been within 6 feet of someone for more than 10 minutes, the app adds their phone's random code to a list of close contacts. When a fellow app user tests positive for COVID-19, a Case Investigator from the county health department will ask if the person is willing to share the app's list of "close contact" codes to help protect other people. Sharing your list is secure and private. The app never reveals who you are to anyone.

Each day, the list of codes for "confirmed cases" is sent to every phone that has the app. The app compares its own list of close contact codes to the list of confirmed cases. If there's a match, the app displays a COVID Alert. Using these lists of anonymous codes, the alert is kept private. No one ever knows who generated the COVID Alert. Neighboring states including New Jersey and Pennsylvania have launched Exposure Notification Apps that work in concert with New York's.

Alerts can only come from other people who use the app, so we need as many New Yorkers as possible to download the app.

Download the app on your iPhone here.  Download the app on your Android device here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Past Updates from CB8