Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates January 11th

January 11th, 2021



First, some news about COVID vaccines to start off the week. H/t to MBP Brewer for these great tips.

1. Figure out if you’re eligible here (NYC Dept. of Health site) or here (NYS site-- if it doesn’t work in one browser, try another). The Governor expanded eligibility to several groups (Phase 1b) starting today (1/11). They are:

  • People age 75+
  • Public-facing grocery store workers
  • First responders and support staff
  • Correctional facility staff
  • P-12 schools, college, and child care staff (including school bus drivers)
  • Public transit employees (including airport and airline staff)
  • People living, working, or volunteering in congregate homeless shelters

The groups already eligible (phase 1a) are:

  • Health care workers and public health professionals who see patients in person
  • Home health aides
  • Nursing home residents and staff
  • Staff and residents in facilities run by various NYS health agencies (Offices for People With Developmental Disabilities, Mental Health, and Addiction Services)
  • Medical examiners, coroners, and many funeral home workers
  • Lab staff working with COVID-19 specimens or those administering vaccines

2. If you are eligible, make an appointment:

  • Ask your primary care provider if they are administering vaccines,
  • Use the NYC COVID vaccine finder,
  • Call the NYC vaccine hotline (877-VAX-4NYC or 877-829-4692), 8 am - 9 pm, for a NYC Health + Hospital vaccine clinic (phone wait times may be long, so be patient), or
  • Contact providers listed in the NYS eligibility survey.

3. Complete this online form(Once you complete the form, you’re then supposed to receive a submission ID number by email.)

4. Bring to your appointment:

  • Your submission ID and
  • Proof of employment (employee ID card, pay stub, or letter from your employer certifying you work there), though this isn’t applicable to people 75+

More types of health professionals are now eligible to vaccinate patients. See the full list and how to get trained here.

The expansion also makes the vaccination available to:

  • Teachers, Child Care Workers, College Instructors, Education workers - 870,00 people
  • First Responders - 207,000
  • Public Safety workers - 100,000
  • Public Transit workers - 100,00
  • Grocery workers & Shelter Residents

The closest city-operated locations to the district are:

NYC Health + Hospitals, Metropolitan
Hospital-Based Health Center/Clinic
1901 Fist Avenue, 4A, Manhattan, 10029
(between East 97th and 99th Streets)

NYC Health + Hospitals, Bellevue
Hospital-Based Health Center/Clinic
462 1 Avenue, Manhattan, 10016
(between East 26th and 28th Streets)

The State says it will open the Javits Center as a mass vaccination site on Wednesday (1/13).

Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order expanding the eligible pool of trainees who can administer the vaccine at distribution sites. As we continue our footrace in the vaccination process, we need as many eligible hands on deck as possible. The expanded pool includes licensed practical nurses, pharmacists & pharmacy technicians, dentists and certain dental technicians, midwives, podiatrists, EMTs and certain eligible students (in programs like nursing and medicine with at least one year of clinical experience). All eligible New Yorkers wishing to become vaccinators must undergo training. Learn more here.

Health professionals and students in health career programs may be able to help vaccinate New Yorkers by joining the NYC Medical Reserve Corps. Apply here.

As of 3:00pm today, New York has administered 605,677 vaccine doses. Of those doses, 511,369 were administered in hospitals, while 94,308 were administered in Long Term Care facilities. With the beginning of Phase 1b vaccinations today, we will keep up the pace and ramp it up even further.

H + H Antibody Testing: Individuals can receive antibody testing at 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.

Wednesday (1/13) at 6 pm, “The NYS Emergency Eviction Prevention Act & Breaking Down the Basics of Holdovers” is the topic of Council Member Helen Rosenthal’s monthly housing clinic. Click the title to register for the Zoom.

Friday (1/15) at 1 pm, seniors are invited to “Organizing & Decluttering,” a Zoom workshop with professional organizer Felice Cohen, sponsored by Search and Care. Click the title to register.

Enrollment closes Sunday, 1/31 for New York State’s health insurance marketplace. Visit for a comprehensive list of affordable options. Visit the same link to enroll in Medicaid, which is open all year long.


Gov. Cuomo has eased state rules on school openingsPreviously, schools were required to close if the community infection rate exceeded 9%; now, schools may remain open as long as testing rates of students and staff show that their positivity rate lags behind the overall community rate. The United Federation of Teachers disagrees and believes schools should close when community spread exceeds 9%.

Registration closes Friday (1/15) for the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test. Register here. Testing begins Wednesday, 1/27.

Free online ESL classes for all levels are available through Inwood Community Services. Classes begin the week of Monday, 1/25. Email [email protected] or call 212-942-0043, ext. 128 to enroll.

Get free homework help from licensed teachers through the United Federation of Teachers by calling 212-777-3380 or visiting the Dial-A-Teacher website, Mondays through Thursdays, 4-7 pm Help is available in Armenian, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, Greek, Haitian-Creole, Hebrew, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Tagalog.

The city’s Department of Education announced that applications opened for children applying for a kindergarten seat next fall; the deadline to submit applications is January 19, 2021. Parents should check the DOE website for further information and sign up for update emails at

Students applying to arts high schools that require auditions must register by Tuesday, 2/23/21 and submit the virtual audition material by Monday, 3/1/21 (depending on the school, it might require a PDF, video, or other digital supplement). Learn more here.

Rising 6th graders in a K-8 school and rising 9th graders in a 6-12 school will have priority for seats in their current schools.


Now through Sunday (1/17), new theater works are available to stream from the “Under the Radar Festival,” sponsored by the Public Theater. Click the title to RSVP for the free shows.

Mixed media art installation “Los Reyes Siempre Llegan / The Three Kings Always Come” is available to view by appointment, hosted by La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña. Free viewings are available Wednesday (1/13), Friday (1/15), and Saturday (1/16) from noon - 4 pm and Sunday (1/17) from noon - 2 pm at El Barrio’s Artspace PS 109, 215 E. 99th Street. RSVP at (914) 424 -1612.

The Museum of the City of New York’s new exhibit, “New York Responds: The First Six Months,” crowdsourced objects and artwork documenting the city’s response to the dual crises of the pandemic and structural racism from March-September 2020. Timed-entry tickets are available here.

Don’t get blindsided by Ranked Choice Voting this year-- check out this guide about the new ballot from the NYC Campaign Finance Board. NYCCFB is also offering “train the trainer sessions” to prepare organizations to educate community members about Ranked Choice Voting. Sign up for one of 14 training sessions in January and February here.

Apply now to join your Community Board, the most grassroots form of local government. The Boards are pivotal in shaping their communities and work to enhance and preserve the character of the city’s many unique neighborhoods. Applications close Monday, 2/1/2021.


To be eligible to apply for the Columbia University Grow Vendor Development Programapplicants must attend the virtual information session tomorrow (1/12) at 11 am. RSVP here. Program applications close Wednesday (1/13).

Tomorrow (1/12) at 2 pm, Set Your Business Up for Success in 2021” is a free small business webinar hosted by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. It features advice on taking advantage of the new federal stimulus package, the latest consumer behaviors, and free resources for online marketing. Click the title to register.

Monday, 2/1 is the deadline to apply for COVID Rent ReliefThe State will subsidize eligible tenants’ rent for April, May, June, and July 2020. Apply here. (Those who previously applied for this relief over the summer and were denied will be automatically reconsidered for this next round.) To qualify, tenants may now meet these criteria:

  • Earned reduced income in April, May, June, or July 2020, compared to March 2020 and paid more than 30% of that income in rent.

  • Had a household income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income before 3/7/20. (See the 80% AMI for your household size here.)

If you need help with your application, gather your income and rent documentation for the March-July period and call 212-531-1609 ASAP (leave a voicemail if necessary and we’ll call you back!).

Applications open Monday (1/11) for the new Raising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund. Empire State Development and partners will award grants of up to $5,000 to eligible restaurants. Learn about how to apply here.

The President finally signed the $908 billion coronavirus relief package on Sunday, 12/27/20. The package includes these provisions (according to this piece at the Washington Post):

  • $600 stimulus checks for those earning under $75,000 annually, including children-- so a family of four would receive $2,400. (The size of the payment decreases for people who earned between $75,000 and $99,000 in the 2019 tax year until it is eliminated above $99,000.)

  • Extended unemployment benefits of up to $300 per week, at least through 3/14/21.

  • Extended Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for part-time and gig workers who did not qualify for state unemployment insurance benefits. But there’s a twist: Applicants must provide documentation proving employment or self-employment within 21 days of applying; those extending their benefits before 1/31/21 have 90 days to submit the documentation.

  • $284 billion for first and second forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans, expanded eligibility for nonprofit organizations, news outlets, churches, and faith-based organizations and modifications to the program to better serve smaller businesses and independent restaurants.

  • Recipients of forgiven PPP loans will be allowed to deduct the costs covered by those loans on their federal tax returns.

  • $20 billion for targeted grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program.

  • Extension, until 1/31/21, of the federal moratorium on evictions (slated to expire at the end of this year) and $25 billion in emergency assistance to renters.

  • $20 billion for the purchase of coronavirus vaccines, $8 billion for vaccine distribution, and $20 billion to assist states with COVID-19 testing.

The relief package also included $15 billion to fund the “Save Our Stages Act” to help save independent cultural venues ranging from Broadway theaters to dive bar rock clubs, from museums to movie theaters (and includes talent agents and managers, too).

The Mayor extended the City’s Open Storefronts program through 9/30/21, allowing storefront retail businesses to continue operating directly outside their store. Plan now for warmer weather; read the FAQ for eligibility and operating guidelines, and apply here.

Save the date (Tuesday, 1/12/21 at 2 pm) for “Set Your Business Up for Success in 2021,” a free small business webinar hosted by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. It will feature advice on taking advantage of the new federal stimulus package, the latest consumer behaviors, and free resources for online marketing. Click the title to register.

You could work as a snow laborer removing snow and ice for the city Dept. of Sanitation. If you apply now, you’ll be ready to work after the next storm. Pay is up to $22.50 an hour; you must be over age 18 and eligible to work in the U.S. (The Census Bureau is also hiring-- looking for employees to take additional surveys. View a field representative job description and application link here.)

Learn about the Paycheck Protection Program application process at a webinar hosted by Congressmember Adriano Espaillat. Watch on FacebookYouTube.

TechCongress, a technology policy fellowship, is recruiting for its 2021 Congressional Innovation Scholars program, which places technologists to serve as tech policy advisors to Members of Congress. The program pays a stipend equivalent to an annual salary of $60,000 and other benefits. Scholars have been working on the House Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee report on Big Tech, helped pass the OPEN Government Data Act into law, and worked to change defense procurement policy to allow start-ups to better compete with larger contractors. TechCongress will host an information session Wednesday, 1/27 at 2 pm. Applications close Friday, 2/5.

Apply by 2/16/21 for one of 32 affordable apartments in six West Harlem buildings (118 W. 139th St., 123 W. 112th St., 30 W. 132nd St., 281 W. 118th St., 120 W. 139th St., and 122 W. 139th St.). Studios to four-bedrooms are available with income limits of $48,480-$120,080. Apply through the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development’s Housing Connect portal.

Apply by Wednesday, 1/27/21 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s paid internships for undergraduate and graduate students. The internships all begin in the summer but vary in length.

Arts organizations can now apply for an ArtTable fellow for summer 2021. ArtTable provides $4,000 stipends for women arts students or emerging professionals to spend up to eight weeks with an arts organization. Host organizations can apply here by Sunday, 1/31.

The Department of Small Business Services issued the following advice about PPP.

$284 billion was just allocated for another round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a forgivable business loan offered through the federal government’s Small Business Administration (SBA) that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

The first round of funding ran out fast, and many businesses who were not prepared ahead of time were unable to successfully apply for funding. Although guidelines and applications are not live yet, we recommend preparing now so you are ready to apply as quickly as possible.

Please note: requirements may change, but below are a few ways to start preparing.

Prepare Your Documents
Each lender may have different requirements, but you can begin collecting some commonly required documents, including:

  • Copy of Photo ID for all owners who own 20% of the business or more
  • 2019 and 2020 Profit and Loss Statements to show revenue loss during 2020
  • 2019 Business Tax Returns
  • For partnerships – include IRS Form 1065 and Schedule K-1
  • For sole proprietors – include IRS Form 1040 Schedule C
  • Articles of Incorporation / Business Organizational Documents
  • Payroll Reports with a list of gross wages, paid time off, and taxes assessed for all employees for all 12 months of 2020
  • 2020 Employer IRS Documents (including one of the following for all 4 quarters of 2020):
  • Form 941: Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return
  • Form 944: Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return (for smallest employers)
  • Form 940: Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return
  • Form W-3: Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements
  • Documentation to support Health Insurance and Retirement expenses incurred as a part of payroll expenses (for example: a statement from insurance or retirement company)
Sign Up for Notifications
Be sure to sign up to receive updates from your lender and from SBS to stay in the loop on when and how you can apply.
Determine How Much You Can Apply For
You can apply for up to $2 million or 2.5 times your monthly payroll, whichever is less – if you are a restaurant or a hotel, you can apply for 3.5 times your monthly payroll up to $2 million.

Loans will be forgiven (meaning you do not need to pay them back) if you use them for eligible expenses, including 60% for payroll expenses and 40% for other eligible operating expenses.

Even if you already received a PPP loan you still may be eligible for a second award.

To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Show proof of 25% economic loss in at least one quarter during 2020
  • Have 300 employees or less
  • Have operated your business since on or before February 15, 2020

We recommend getting your business paperwork in order as soon as possible so you are ready to apply when applications go live.

Applications are now open for the Cultural Arts Capital Loan Fund from the Fund for the City of New York. This loan initiative provides bridge financing to assist small and mid-sized nonprofit cultural arts organizations with their capital project expenses, with a priority to groups that have capital grants from the Borough President, City of New York and the Department of Cultural Affairs. BIPOC-led organizations are strongly encouraged to apply. Fill out this inquiry form to start an application.

Eligible storefront businesses can apply for an interest-free NYC LMI Storefront Loan of up to $100,000, from the NYC Dept. of Small Business Services and Pursuit.

The Interest Rate Reduction Grant reduces the interest expense owed on an existing business loan with select Community Development Financial Institutions. Click here to find participating CDFIs and more information.

Artists are invited to apply for the Experimental Projects Residency Program from Alfred University’s Institute for Electronic Arts. Apply here.

Applications for HEAP can be accessed by calling 212-331-3126 or visiting the ACCESS HRA website for instructions here. HEAP applications are available for download here.

Learn new job skills and earn certificates to advance your career through 4,000 free online courses offered by the state Dept. of Labor and Coursera, such as “How to Manage a Remote Team” and “Entrepreneurship.” View the course catalog.

The DSNY has issued the below information about restaurant outdoor dining and snow. For more information, click 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. Open Restaurants are subject to new regulations pertaining to roadway barriers, snow and dining enclosures, per the Dept. of Transportation.

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.

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

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.


Order directly from restaurants, not from delivery apps. See why the New York Times.

Businesses and organizations can donate extra food and supplies to local organizations that can then redistribute them. Details about eligible donors and recipients can be found online: For food donations visit; for non-food donations, visit

Borrow free equipment for community clean-ups from the Dept. of Sanitation by calling 311, emailing [email protected] or submitting this form.

If you are experiencing COVID symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to someone who is positive, get tested. Find a testing site near you. You can also call 1-888-364-3065 to schedule a free appointment at a New York State-run testing location.

If you get a call from NYS Contact Tracing, pick up. Contact tracers are working around the clock to trace clusters and inform people who have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID. How can you help? Simply by picking up the phone. If your caller ID says "NYS Contact Tracing," pick up and help New York stop the spread. (Tracers will never ask for your Social Security Number or financial information; if someone does, they are not an official tracer and you should hang up.)

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.

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.

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? Shifts: Meal Plating from 7:00am-9:00am; Meal Delivery from 9:45am-1:00pm; Cold Packing from 10:00am-1:00pm. Contact


Senator Krueger's Virtual Town Hall Series
COVID-19 and the Vaccines

On Thursday, January 14th from 4 pm – 5 pm, Dave A. Chokshi, MD, MSc, Commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, will join Senator Krueger for an update on the course of the COVID-19 virus in New York City and information about the FDA-approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Now that we have approved vaccines to fight COVID-19, Dr. Chokshi will share information about the immunization process. Topics of discussion will include the City’s plans to administer the vaccines, vaccine safety and efficacy, who should be vaccinated, and logistics required to vaccinate all New Yorkers who want to be immunized.

You will also have the option to view the event online through Facebook. Please note that you do not need a Facebook account or profile to view the event through Facebook. Watch the event on Facebook at

2021 Virtual Roundtable for Boomers and Seniors from Senator Liz Krueger. “Being Mortal: Thinking About End of Life Decision Making”

This year's Roundtable series will bring together experts to offer concrete tools to assist with end of life planning, and provide a forum to ignite our imagination about what we value and how we want to live as we age.

To RSVP for any or all of the sessions in this year's series, please go to

 Thursday, January 21st - Palliative Care and Hospice 10 am – 11:30 am

- R. Sean Morrison, MD, Ellen and Howard C. Katz Chair Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai
- Brenda Green, LMSW, APHSW-C Social Worker for Palliative Care at Home Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai
- Adrienne Rudden, MS, AGACNP-BC, ACHPN Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai

Thursday, February 18th - Health Care Proxies and Living Wills 10 am - 11:30 am

- Sally Kaplan, Program Director, What Matters: Caring Conversations about the End of Life, Marlene Meyerson JCC
- Tina Janssen-Spinosa, Senior Staff Attorney, Total Life Choices Program Coordinator, NYLAG

Thursday, March 18th - Research on the Use of Psychedelics to Address End-of–Life Existential Distress 10 am - 11:30 am

- Anthony Bossis, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, NYU Langone Health
- Mary Cosimano, MSW, Director of Guide/Facilitator Services, Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, Johns Hopkins

Thursday, April 22nd - Living Well: What Do We Value Most? 10:00 am – 11:30 am

- Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl, Senior Rabbi, Central Synagogue
- Jeannie Blaustein, PhD, D. Ministry, Founding Board Chair, Reimaging End of Life, Adjunct Faculty, Pace University, Psychology

Thursday, May 20th - Reimagining Later Life Care Models 10 am – 11:30 am


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:

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Past Updates from CB8