Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates January 19th

January 19th, 2021

JANUARY 19th RESOURCES AND UPDATES:

 

Last week, we started with a thorough explainer of Vaccines, with at h/t to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for making a concise and easy to understand explainer detailing who can receive the vaccine and how to get it. MBP Brewer has created a Testing & Vaccine webpage on my site in an attempt to create a one-stop portal.

People 65+ are now eligible for a vaccine. New Yorkers in Phase 1a and segments of Phase 1b are eligible for vaccines. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that eligible groups have been expanded to people age 65 and over, in addition to doctors, nurses, health care workers, first responders, teachers, public transit workers, grocery store workers and public safety workers.

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)

Governor Cuomo asked Pfizer if New York can directly purchase vaccine doses from them. Since Pfizer is not bound to commitments that are a part of Operation Warp Speed, NY asked Pfizer, a New York-based company, if they will sell vaccine doses directly to New York State. Read the letter here.

As of this morning, New York State has now administered over one million total doses: 903,131 first doses and 103,747 second doses. The pace of vaccination is rapidly accelerating. If the Federal Government can increase supply, we are ready to inoculate New Yorkers and scale up the vaccine distribution.

Governor Cuomo issued a letter demanding U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar explain his false claim that vaccine doses in reserve would be shipped to states. In case you missed it, last week the Federal Government told not just New York, but all fifty states, that vaccine doses that had been "held in physical reserve" would be shipped to states. This came as welcome news, as federal supply of the vaccine is extremely limited. But it turned out that this was false. These doses had already been distributed to the states. Whether this was an act of incompetence or an act of intentional falsehood, New York and the public deserve a full accounting.

There are around 7 million New Yorkers who are eligible for the vaccine but New York only receives 300,000 doses per week, and the next weekly allocation from the federal government will be even less: just 250,000 doses. Due to this limited allocation, appointments have filled up quickly.

The Jacob K. Javits Center, Westchester County Center and New York State Fair Expo Center opened to begin administering vaccines to eligible New Yorkers. These are the first three state-run sites to open. A site at Jones Beach will open tomorrow, January 14th, and a site at SUNY Albany will open on Friday, January 15th. Vaccinations are by appointment only and New Yorkers can determine eligibility and find a provider to receive their first dose through the State's "Am I Eligible" app or call the New York State Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829). And New Yorkers will be able to schedule an appointment to receive the required second dose on site after receiving their first dose. New Yorkers should not attempt to book their second appointment online.

Nearly 1,200 senior NYCHA residents have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Last week, the State deployed five "community vaccination kits" to NYCHA housing complexes. These sites will be set up again three weeks from now to administer second doses. Kits will be deployed to additional locations to further bolster our efforts to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in communities that are underserved by traditional health care institutions.

Eight vaccination kits have been deployed to churches and cultural institutions in New York City, Long Island and Westchester. These pop-up sites also serve our mission to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to low-income communities and leave no New Yorkers behind.

As part of Governor Cuomo’s 2021 State of the State, an additional $25 million will go to continuing the Nourish NY Initiative. 2020 was a painful year for many New Yorkers but the Nourish NY program ensured that no food was going to waste at a time when people are hungry. The program redirected 17 million pounds of food from local farms to New Yorkers in need. We will continue to ensure all families in New York have access to healthy, locally grown food.

Last Thursday, New York State reported 324,671 COVID tests, a record high. Remember, testing is open to any New Yorker. Getting tested frequently allows us to identify positive cases so we can stop the spread. If you are experiencing COVID symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to someone positive for COVID, get tested. Find a testing site near you. You can also call 1-888-364-3065 to make a free appointment at a New York State-run testing location.

Volunteers Requested! Cornell Tech Research Project: One of professors and her lab are conducting COVID-19 response research to document what it is like to be in NYC during the epidemic. And they could use your help! The researchers are creating a map with stories of how people who live in New York City are experiencing the pandemic and the ways in which it has changed their routines and urban surroundings. If you live in NYC (both before and during the pandemic), use a smartphone, go into Manhattan frequently, and are willing to participate in a 30-minute walking interview via Zoom, please contact [email protected]. Do not worry if you are not digitally savvy, you will be guided through the technical details. More about the lab’s research and the people involved can be found here.

The deadline to sign up for a health plan starting on February 1 through the NY State of Health is this Friday. New Yorkers have until Friday, January 15th, to renew or enroll in a health plan that begins on February 1. Visit their website or call 855-355-5777 to enroll.

An additional case of the UK variant has been found in New York. This new case was identified in Nassau County. To date, there are now 16 known cases of the more contagious virus strain in New York. In case you are wondering why there is such concern about the U.K. variant of the virus, here are four reasons:

  1.  This strain has been found to be 50 – 70% more contagious than the original virus,
  2. Children are more susceptible to contracting and spreading this strain of the virus,
  3. There is uncertainty to what degree this variant may decrease the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, and
  4. Both the U.K. and Ireland have recently gone on shutdown due to dangerously high positivity rates, due in part to the U.K. strain spreading throughout communities.

Several days last week have each seen more than 4,000 COVID deaths, an all-time high.

Tomorrow (1/19) from 10 am - 4 pm, Harlem Wellness Center hosts a Racial Healing Hub at the northwest corner of Marcus Garvey Park in honor of the 5th annual National Day of Racial Healing.

Tomorrow (1/19) at 5:30 pm, ADAPT Community Network hosts a Q&A about COVID vaccines. Join the Zoom here (password: 618860).

Wednesday (1/20) at noon, NYCHA hosts a virtual town hall about the Blueprint for Change, with a presentation by Chair Greg Russ and a Q&A. Translation is available in Spanish, Russian, and Chinese. Register here.

Wednesday (1/20) at 2:30 pm, webinar “Science, Older New Yorkers and the Covid-19 Vaccination” features health, aging, and medical experts for a discussion on why all older New Yorkers can confidently get vaccinated against COVID-19, sponsored by the Dept. for the Aging, the Global Coalition on Aging, and Age-friendly NYC. Click the title to register.

Education/Parenting

Tomorrow (1/19) at 6:30 pm, Dept. of Education Chancellor Richard Carranza joins a virtual town hall with the Citywide Council on High Schools. Translation is available in Spanish and Mandarin. Register here.

Thursday (1/21) from 2-6 pm, parents and educators are invited to a free virtual conference, “STEAM Education at Home: What's Working?” hosted by Robofun. Click the title to register.

Thursday (1/21) at 5 pm, the Dept. of Education hosts a virtual middle school admissions information session. Translation is available in Spanish and Chinese. Register here.

The Dept. of Education announced that this April is the last time the Gifted and Talented test will be administered. The City hasn’t yet said what will become of the Gifted and Talented program.

2021 is an election year for NYC’s Community Education CouncilsParents can learn more here about how to run for a council and help shape policies and priorities for city schools.

Teens age 15-18 can apply until Monday, 3/1 for Virtual Encampment for Youth, a summer civic training program, sponsored by The Encampment. Apply here.

Teachers can order free NY Sun Works Home Hydroponic Kits, which include growing materials and a six-week curriculum. Order kits here by Friday, 2/12.

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.

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.

Entertainment/Distractions

Over the weekend, the Buffalo Bills defeated the Baltimore Ravens to head to the AFC Championship—the first time since 1994. During the game, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was injured, but Bills fans pooled together and donated a total of $150,000 to Jackson's charity "Blessings in a Backpack," to help provide kids with food. New Yorkers are tough but they're also loving and this was a perfect example of that spirit. And thank you to BioReference for another successful weekend to allow fans to attend this weekend's game safely.

Every year, Animal Planet hosts their "Puppy Bowl" on the day of the Super Bowl. For the 17th annual game, on Sunday, February 7th, two puppies from the great State of New York have made the roster to play. The puppies, Yogi and Bailey, from Paws Crossed Animal Rescue in Elmsford, NY, will play for the "Lombarky" trophy. While Yogi and Bailey have both been adopted already, the Puppy Bowl will feature other rescues up for adoption from across the nation.

Syracuse-born musician Post Malone is donating 10,000 pairs of Crocs to support frontline workers. In partnership with the nonprofit Musicians on Call, the shoes—popular with nurses and other health care workers—will be distributed to staff at 70 hospitals across the country to thank them for their efforts during the pandemic.

Tomorrow (1/19) at 11 am, preview the forthcoming Art21 short film featuring Abigail DeVille’s “Light of Freedom” sculpture, on view in Madison Square Park through the end of the month. The film will be followed by a discussion on documenting public art, hosted by the Madison Square Park Conservancy. Register here.

Tomorrow (1/19) at 3:30 pm, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine invites the public to light a candle on the cathedral steps during “Let It Shine: Lighting a Candle for Unity, A Vigil on the Eve of the Inauguration” at 1047 Amsterdam Ave. At 5:30 pm, St. John’s will ring its bells in a moment of unity with houses of worship nationwide, while to memorialize those lost to COVID, the Presidential Inaugural Committee will host a candle lighting around the Reflecting Pool in Washington, DC, at 5:30 pm.

Tomorrow (1/19) at 6:30 pm, “Facing the Plastic Pollution Crisis” features a virtual discussion with Judith Enck of environmental activism group Beyond Plastic, hosted by the BrooklynBronx, and Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Boards and the Queens SWAB Organizing Committee. Click the title to register.

Tomorrow (1/19) at 7 pm, poet Roberto Carlos Garcia speaks about his latest collection, “[Elegies]” in a virtual parlor chat with Morris-Jumel Mansion. Register here.

Thursday (1/21) at 8:30 am is the Manhattan Borough Board. In response to the Governor’s order for police reform proposals by April, the Mayor’s office will present its preliminary plan and solicit recommendations. I recently published a “Police Reform Toolkit” to aid in these efforts (click the link to read the toolkit). Register to watch the meeting 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.

FINANCIAL AND LOCAL BUSINESSES UPDATES

NYC created "What to Expect When You’re Inspected: NYC Indoor and Outdoor Dining Checklist for Participating Establishments." Check it out here. 

The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment + NYC Office of Nightlife invite you to attend our multi agency Town Calls for business owners and workers in nightlife, hospitality, entertainment and the arts this Thursday, January 21 and Friday, January 22 from 1:00-2:30pm. Get information about the latest federal stimulus packages, PPP, EIDL and the forthcoming Shuttered Venue Operators Grants, plus City and State loans, grants and other available resources.

  • Town Call for Entertainment / Art / Nightlife / Hospitality BUSINESSES. Date: Thursday, January 21, 2021. Time: 1:00 - 2:30 PM. Register here.
  • Town Call for Entertainment / Art / Nightlife / Hospitality WORKERS. Date: Friday, January 22, 2021. Time: 1:00 - 2:30 PM. Register here.

Wednesday (1/20) at 3:30 pm and Thursday (1/21) at 10:30 am, Upper Manhattan small business owners are invited to a Spanish webinar about applying for the Paycheck Protection Program and other financial assistance, hosted by the Dept. of Small Business Services. Register for Wednesday or Thursday’s webinar.

Friday (1/22) at 10:30 am, SBS will hold the same webinar in English for Manhattan small business owners. Register here.

Thursday (1/21) at 12:30 pm, webinar Demystifying NYC’s Newly Released Property Tax Assessments” delves into the implications of COVID-19 on tax assessments and the issues to consider in preparing appeals to the Tax Commission, sponsored by law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and the Real Estate Board of New York. 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 opened 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.

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.

WAYS YOU CAN HELP

Thursday (1/21) from 2-8 pm, volunteer to text New Yorkers to connect them to free health insurance enrollment assistance before the Open Enrollment Period deadline Sunday, 1/31, sponsored by GetCoveredNYC. Register here.

The Dept. of Sanitation is seeking locations with indoor storage space that can host eCycleNYC bins for electronics recycling. Interested building owners and managers can fill out this form, and DSNY will be in touch.

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 nyc.gov/donatefood; for non-food donations, visit nyc.gov/donate.

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 nybc.org 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 https://supportlocal.usatoday.com/cities/

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 [email protected]org

LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS' TELE-TOWN HALLS 

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 https://tinyurl.com/2021SeniorRoundtableSeries.

 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

- TBA

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 nyc.gov/health/coronavirus 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