Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates March 15th

MARCH 15th RESOURCES AND UPDATES:

 

As of 11am this morning, 22.5 percent of New Yorkers have completed at least one vaccine dose. Over the past 24 hours, 122,778 total doses have been administered. To date, New York administered 6,699,848 total doses with 11.6 percent of New Yorkers completing their vaccine series. See data by region and county on the State's Vaccine Tracker: ny.gov/vaccinetracker.

COVID hospitalizations rose slightly to 4,517. Of the 127,005 tests reported yesterday, 5,807, or 4.57 percent, were positive. There were 923 patients in ICU yesterday, down four from the previous day. Of them, 614 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 58 New Yorkers to the virus.

Indoor dining in New York City can expand to 50 percent capacity beginning on March 19. Currently, New York City and New Jersey restaurants are operating at 35 percent capacity. This decision is made in partnership with Governor Murphy and will coincide with New Jersey expanding indoor dining to 50 percent on March 19. Other New York restaurants outside of New York City will expand to 75 percent capacity beginning March 19.

To date, New York has conducted over 40 million COVID tests. In just five days, New York has conducted an additional one million COVID tests. Getting tested for COVID regularly is a great way to ensure your health and the health of those around you. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID or believe you may have been exposed to the virus, 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 site.

Starting March 10 all New Yorkers 60 years of age and older are eligible to receive the vaccine. Beginning March 17, eligibility will expand again, allowing public-facing essential workers from governmental and nonprofit entities to get the vaccine. This expansion also includes public-facing essential building services workers. New Yorkers will be able to make appointments through the Am I Eligible tool or by calling the NYS Vaccine Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).

Effective March 17, most vaccination sites will be able to vaccinate any eligible New Yorker, no matter the category. Any vaccine provider will be able to vaccinate any eligible New Yorker, excluding pharmacies, which will focus on individuals over the age of 60 and teachers, in line with federal policy. Pharmacies may begin vaccinating individuals over the age of 60 and teachers starting March 10.

The MTA released a new digital feature to help locate vaccine sites. The MTA's Live Subway Map can now be used to find vaccination sites in New York City. The map includes links with each location that directs users to the appropriate scheduling website. If the site takes appointments over the phone, the map provides the phone number.

Starting April 1, quarantine for domestic travel to New York will no longer be required. Mandatory quarantine will remain for international travelers. The Department of Health still recommends quarantine as an added precaution and all travelers must complete the Traveler Health Form.

Fourteen community-based pop-up vaccination sites came online last week. These sites are expected to vaccinate more than 4,000 people throughout the week. Since January 15, 135 community-based pop-up sites have administered more than 54,000 first doses and more than 41,000 second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. As has been the case with previous pop-up sites, these sites will be re-established in three weeks to administer second doses.

Governor Cuomo signed legislation granting employees time off to get the COVID-19 vaccine. No employee should be penalized for needing time off to get vaccinated. Under this new law, public and private employees will be granted up to four hours of excused leave per shot that will not be charged against any other leave the employee has earned or accrued. This legislation takes effect immediately.

The State is expanding the New York Forward Rapid Test Program to help businesses reopen. The Rapid Test Program connects New Yorkers with affordable rapid tests: $30 in 30 minutes. Within the next week, 26 sites will open in New York City, Hudson Valley, Capital Region, Western New York and on Long Island for a total of 38 active sites statewide. To make an appointment, visit the program website.

Excelsior Pass is coming soon. Earlier this month, New York announced a pilot program with Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center to test Excelsior Pass—a free, fast and secure way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results at businesses or venues. New York is now testing Excelsior Pass with select "Beta" participants. If you are interested in being a "Beta" tester and helping New York safely reopen, fill out this screening form and you may be selected to be among the first to get a look at Excelsior Pass.

Dr. Anthony Fauci continues to warn against premature reopenings; last Friday (3/5) he said that cases had plateaued at between 60,000 and 70,000 new cases per day, the lowest since October, but also close to last summer’s peak. “When you have that much of viral activity in a plateau, it almost invariably means that you are at risk for another spike.”

The CDC urges that even the vaccinated continue to wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to the other prevention measures we all know about when in public. It also recommends the vaccinated avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings; and to get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (don’t forget that there’s still a chance you can catch COVID even if you’re vaccinated; it’s likely to be a less severe case, but still best to be careful).

New recommendations from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the CDC now allow guests the freedom to go inside nursing homes to visit residents regardless of whether the visitors or the residents have been vaccinated.

The NYC Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC) has created “Stop COVID Hate: A Toolkit for Addressing Anti-Asian Bias, Discrimination, and Hate.” The link to an animated video about reporting discrimination (available in 17 languages) had expired, but it’s now available here (or on page 5 of the toolkit).

The Mayor released the “NYC Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Draft Plan” last week in response to the Governor’s order for police reform proposals by April. I recently published a “Police Reform Toolkit” to aid in these efforts (click the link to read the toolkit).

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced a ‘vaccine supercharge’ initiative for New York, which will involve a large supply of vaccine being distributed to over 100 Community Health Centers throughout the state. These sites will be federally funded and organized by the Department of Health and Human Services. Click here for additional details. Thank you, Majority Leader Schumer, for this much needed boost to our state vaccine supply!

As previously shared, the City is starting to vaccinate homebound New Yorkers who are residents of NYC, who are fully homebound, who are eligible for the vaccine, and who do not have access to another vaccination program. If you are homebound and need to get vaccinated, you can complete an online form by following this link: https://forms.cityofnewyork.us/f/homebound.

Education/Parenting

Blended learning students in grades 9-12 return to buildings beginning 03/22. If you previously selected blended learning but wish to stay fully remote, you may do so by changing your preference as soon as possible at nycenet.edu/surveys/learningpreference. For more information, please see the Chancellor's Message for Families.

High school sports will resume practices in April and competition in May, with the season extending through the summer. Athletes will be required to wear masks, no spectators will be allowed, and participants will undergo weekly COVID testing. Students who opted for fully remote learning will be allowed to participate in athletics. I joined last month’s Rally to Restart High School Sports for many reasons, including that students would lose out on college athletic scholarships; NYC suburbs have already restarted school sports.

The US Census is currently distributing colorful, printed, double sided, USA wall maps in boxes of 50 which include census data to schools.  While supplies last, they can gladly send some of these free maps your way to share with local schools, classrooms and students.  See a K - 8 map here.  See a high school map here.  In addition, to build awareness about their wonderful Statistics in Schools program, we would be happy to share a 30 minute virtual presentation and live demonstration with you and your team members, teachers and/or administrative staff.  Statistics in Schools brings school subjects to life using real-world Census Bureau statistics to create materials for use year after year for K-12 students, including ELL and adult ESL. Contact Joli Golden at [email protected] for more information.

Free English/Spanish crisis counseling is available to youth and families who need help managing and coping with the changes and challenges of the pandemic, courtesy of Project Hope at the Association to Benefit Children. Contact [email protected] or 212-845-3827 to make an appointment.

Wednesday (3/17) at 6 pm, local doctors will speak with the East Harlem community about the COVID vaccine, sponsored by the East Harlem Community Partnership. Join the Zoom: meeting ID 865 2538 5697, passcode 669182.

Thursday (3/18) at 5 pm, parents and caregivers of multilingual students can get remote learning support during the weekly virtual “Parent Guide to Remote Learning” series from Rep. Adriano Espaillat and the NYC Dept. of Education. Register here.

Thursday (3/18) at 6 pm, parents are invited to a virtual info session about the Gifted & Talented program (applications close Friday, 4/9). Join the Zoom here, or click here for information about Arabic, Urdu, and Haitian Creole translation.

The pre-K application opened on February 24, 2021; the deadline to apply is April 7. During the application period, you can apply online or by phone. Here's what you can do now:

  • Sign up for the pre-K admissions email list (Open external link). The Department of Education will send you updates, tips, and reminders throughout the process.
  • Learn how to apply and how pre-K offers are made on this page. Missed the virtual Elementary Admissions Events? A recording from one of DOE's January sessions will be available soon, with captions in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Korean, Haitian Creole, Spanish, Russian and Urdu.
  • Throughout the admissions process, you'll use MySchools.nyc (Open external link)  to learn about pre-K programs, apply, get your offer, and learn about waitlists. Before the application opens you can:

Applications close Tuesday. 3/30, for the YouthBridge-NY fellowship, open to current high school sophomores. Fellows meet with NYC leaders, develop professional skills, and take action on issues they’re passionate about. Apply here.

Nominations are now open for the Sloan Awards for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics in New York City Public High Schools from the Fund for the City of New York. Seven math and science teachers will each receive $5,000, and their department will receive $2,500. Nominate an outstanding teacher here.

Entertainment/Distractions

Beginning Thursday (3/18), the Frick Collection will move into the former home of The Whitney, on Madison at 75th St., while the Frick Mansion is renovated and expanded. Many paintings that have been in the same place for upwards of 100 years will be re-mounted in galleries arranged by region of origin and then in chronological order within each region (Northern European works will be on the second floor, Italian and Spanish on three, British and French on four). Admission is by timed ticket ranging from $22 for adults, $17 for seniors and those with disabilities, and $10 for college students and those 10 - 17 years; capacity will be limited to 25%, making for pleasantly uncrowded galleries.

The first vaccine vial is becoming a permanent part of American history. On December 14, 2020, New York ICU nurse Sandra Lindsay made history as the first American to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The vial of the first vaccine used is now headed to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. to document this important moment in society's fight against the virus.

The New York Aquarium in Brooklyn recently welcomed a new resident: a harbor seal pup named Sidney. Sidney, who will be joining the Sea Cliffs exhibit at the aquarium, is an orphaned harbor seal pup that was rescued by Pacific Marine Mammal Care in California in February 2020. She arrived at the aquarium in November of last year, but needed some time to acclimate to her new environment. She already has a new friend—another harbor seal pup named Murphy. Welcome to New York, Sidney.

The Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach will return this year on Memorial Day weekend. The outdoor show, sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union, features a range of military and civilian aerial performers. This year's show will be a ticketed event, with reduced capacity and social distancing measures in place to ensure a safe return of the patriotic Long Island tradition.

A missing baby kangaroo was safely returned home thanks to a community coming together. Stokoe Farms in Scottsville, NY, is known for Christmas trees and pumpkin patches but also cares for kangaroos. One of their young kangaroos (or joeys), Kaia, recently escaped her handler, but thanks to the efforts of a group of volunteers who organized a search, the joey was found and returned safely to the farm's care.

FINANCIAL AND LOCAL BUSINESSES UPDATES

Last week, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion economic relief package that includes much-needed assistance for hospitality businesses and workers. The new law:

Improves the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)  

  • Adds$1.25 billion to the SVOG program and $7.25 billion to the PPP
  • Allows a business or nonprofit to apply for both a PPP loan in 2021 and an SVOG award (An SVOG award will be reduced by the total amount of 1st draw or 2nd draw loans received by a grantee on or after Dec. 27, 2020)

Creates a new grant program for restaurants and bars 

  • Creates the new $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant program for food and beverage businesses, of up to $5 million for individual establishments and $10 million for groups
  • Grant eligibility is calculated according to “pandemic-related revenue loss,” or the difference between 2020 revenue (including PPP loans) and 2019 revenue
  • During the first 21 days, applications from restaurants owned and operated by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals will receive priority

Provides additional support to small businesses 

  • Allocates $10 billion in funding for the State Small Business Credit Initiative
  • Adds $15 billion to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program for those who applied previously and did not receive the full $10,000 grant

Provides assistance and support to individuals  

  • Extends Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) through September 6, with a weekly benefit of $300
  • Provides direct assistance to households across America with checks of up to $1,400 per eligible person
  • Offers a COBRA subsidy of 100% for employees (and their family members) who experience a loss of group health coverage due to involuntary termination or reduced hours of employment through September
  • Provides $25 billion for emergency rental assistance and extends the current 15% increase to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits

Provides funding to local governments to maintain vital government services  

  • Allocates $6 billion to New York City and $12.6 billion to New York State

Free English conversation classes are available over Zoom through the Harlem Empowerment Project. Intermediate-level classes meet Mondays from 2:30 - 4:00 pm and Thursdays from 1 - 2:30 pm. Contact inf[email protected] or 646-450-9218 to register.

Governor Cuomo signed the COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Businesses Act of 2021. This act establishes eviction and foreclosure protections for small businesses. These new protections build on moratoriums on commercial evictions and foreclosures established by Executive Order that have given New York businesses peace of mind since COVID first arrived in New York over a year ago. The legislation will initially apply to small businesses with under 50 employees that demonstrate a financial hardship, as well as small businesses with 10 or fewer units.

Empire Pandemic Grant Program There is now $29 million available through the Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund, a program to to support essential workers and first responders  Coordinated by the Office of Children and Family Services, the program is designed to reimburse out-of-pocket childcare, transportation, lodging, and other qualifying expenses that enabled essential workers and first responders to perform their critical duties throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity (TRIE) is seeking requests for information (RFI) from community-based organizations or M/WBE certified owned businesses with a commitment to reducing equity gaps for communities of color, helping strengthen neighborhood coalitions, and promoting stronger recovery from COVID-19 by serving as TRIE Neighborhood Coordinators (TNCs). Please see the RFI for more information. To learn more about this opportunity, you may also attend an information session scheduled for March 17, 2021 from 9:30am-10:30am. The meeting information is available here. Meeting number: 132 738 6438 Password: i3TKaJXxk72. Join by phone: +1-408-418-9388,,1327386438## United States Toll

Free construction career training is available through workforce development nonprofit STRIVE. Learn more at a Zoom info session Mondays or Wednesdays at 10 am (meeting ID 951 5238 1566). Classes start Friday, 4/16.

Community groups that care for green space can apply for a grant of up to $3,000 to strengthen their outreach, membership, and program-planning capacity, sponsored by Partnerships for Parks.

Applications close Saturday, 5/1 for Women’s Film Preservation Fund grants up to $10,000 from New York Women in Film & Television. Apply here.

Thursday (3/18) at 12:30 pm, digital series Food for Thought: A Matter of Time” kicks off with a discussion of time management and setting attainable goals, hosted by Brookfield Place. Click the title to register.

Wednesday (3/17) at 5 pm, learn about free tax preparation services and financial counseling during a webinar hosted by Council Member Diana Ayala and the NYC Dept. of Consumer and Worker Protection. Join the Zoom: meeting ID 847 7618 8773, passcode 816 246.

Tuesday through Thursday (3/16-18) is the free virtual “Bloomberg Equality Summit: From Words To Action,” bringing together CEOs, senior executives, influencers, activists, and thought leaders taking action against inequities in every facet of business and society. Register here.

Wednesdays at 4 pm this month, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health hosts virtual “COVID-19: Emerging Issues Forums,” featuring updates on evolving government guidelines and enforcement, the labor developments, and scientific advancements. Click the title to access the forums.

The NYC Parks Dept. is hiring camp counselors, wildlife monitors, playground associates, security guards, and more this summer. See openings here.

East Side and Roosevelt Island low-income tenants can get free housing legal advice from the Tenant Advice Helpline through Lenox Hill Neighborhood House. Leave a message at 212-218-0330, and the legal team will return your call within a week.

The next OSHA 30 construction training class from the SUNY Manhattan Educational Opportunity Center begins Monday (3/8). Apply to the five-day course here and then submit the required documents to [email protected].

Free one-on-one counseling for entrepreneurs is available through the Pace University Small Business Development Center. Make an appointment here.

“Open Culture” street permit applications open Monday (3/1) at noon for outdoor events. See guidelines and eligible locations.

In other arts news, NY PopsUp has begun with pop-up performances throughout the State, part of the Governor’s effort to safely reopen the arts. Find out about upcoming performances on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Applications close Friday, 4/23 for the National Academy of Design’s Abbey Mural Prize. Click the link for eligibility and application guidelines.

Musicians can register to participate in the Associated Chamber Music Players’ virtual “Worldwide Play-in” from 3/20-21. Register here.

Homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness can connect with a social worker who can answer questions, locate resources, and provide service referrals through CHIRP (Community Human Services Information and Referral Program) from the Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter. Call 888-645-8570 Tuesday, 5-7 pm; Wednesday, 3-5 pm; or leave a message.

SBS also offers small business owners and employees free training on technology tools and COVID-19 safety through “NYC Means Business: Training Your Employees” to help bridge the digital divide. Zoom and Google Workspace trainings are also available in Spanish and Mandarin. Apply for the program here.

Free financial counseling is available through the NY Legal Assistance Group. Make an appointment by calling 311 and asking for NYLAG or by visiting this website.

Applications close Saturday, 5/1 for four $10,000 grants for businesses owned by Black women and femmes, sponsored by Merchant Maverick. Apply here.

Free legal services are available in all languages for low-income people through the City Bar Justice Center’s Legal Hotline, via their online application or 212-626-7383 (open Mon-Thu, 9 am - 5 pm, Fri 9 am - 1 pm). Those seeking a referral for a lawyer can contact the New York City Bar’s Legal Referral Service, which has waived its initial consultation fee for all legal issues until further notice. Request a referral online or by calling 212-626-7373 (212-626-7374 in Spanish) Mon-Fri, 8:30 am - 5:30 pm.

File your taxes for free if you earned $68,000 or less in 2020, thanks to NYC Free Tax Prep. If you didn’t receive some or any of the two pandemic stimulus checks, NYC Free Tax Prep can assist with claiming the equivalent amounts as a “Recovery Rebate Credit.” (Volunteer tax preparers are needed for these sites, too.)

The Biden administration has extended the pause on most federal student loans -- due to expire Sunday (1/31)-- through 9/30, which means payments are suspended, collections on defaulted loans are stopped, and the interest rate is 0% through September. The Federal Student Aid Office’s website has a detailed FAQ about eligibility.

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

Applications open Thursday, 4/1 for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants aka Save our Stages. Arts venues and representatives can see eligibility criteria here and should note they must have been in operation as of 2/29/2020 and must not have received a Paycheck Protection Program loan on or after 12/27/2020. For additional info, contact [email protected].

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.

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.

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

Invisible Hands is a nonprofit that helps neighbors challenged by COVID-19 by performing essential delivery of food, medicine and other necessities throughout NYC, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey and Philadelphia. Volunteers can either perform deliveries in their neighborhood or work remotely in the call center or delivery center. Volunteers needed in all areas of NYC to perform deliveries in their local neighborhood or by car. Remote volunteers take orders from clients, field inquiries and also troubleshoot existing orders. You should be comfortable using Slack, internet telephone, and Zoom. Visit https://invisiblehandsdeliver.org/ for more information.

New York State is encouraging eligible New Yorkers to train to become vaccinators. If you are a licensed practical nurse, a dentist, an EMT, a medical nursing student with at least a year of clinical experience, and more—then you may be eligible to take training to become a vaccinator and help New York administer COVID vaccines over the coming months. See how you can get involved.

Animal Care Centers of NYC is seeking donations of large crates, no-pull harnesses, toys, and pet food.

Helpers for COVID-19 is an organization that delivers essential goods to the immunocompromised. To volunteer, click here. To request deliveries, click here or call (862)-621-9614‬. Assistance is available in English, Hindi, Russian, Mandarin, Spanish, and Hebrew.

The NYC Civic Corps is seeking nonprofit organizations to host 2021-2022 AmeriCorps members, who help develop host organizations’ volunteer programs. Learn more and apply 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.)

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.

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

Learn about exciting new research using psychedelics to address end of life distress. The discussion will include information about the effectiveness of psychedelics to improve the quality of our lives near the end of life, and about the process, and the patient experience during guided facilitated drug therapy sessions.

Speakers:

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

You will have the option of joining the event online through Zoom, a webinar hosting service.

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.

If you do not have access to a computer, tablet, or other electronic device, you can listen in by telephone.

**Once you register for the event, you will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom and Facebook links, and the call-in information.**

The event will feature a question and answer session with Dr. Anthony Bosis and Mary Cosimano. If you have questions about how effective psychedelics are in easing distress at the end of life, and what a patient can expect during a facilitated guided treatment session, please RSVP for the roundtable event. Attendees will be able to submit questions through Zoom and Facebook during the event but are strongly encouraged to submit them in advance.

Please let us know you plan to attend the March 18th Roundtable by registering at https://tinyurl.com/seniorroundtable3-18.

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