Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates March 29th


Starting Tuesday, vaccine eligibility will expand to New Yorkers age 30 and older, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today. And on April 6 the state will hit “universal eligibility”; all New Yorkers 16 and older will be able to receive the vaccine. The White House has said that the vaccine needs to be open to all adults by May 1. Cuomo also said that to date, more than 2 million total COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered at New York State-run and FEMA-assisted mass vaccination sites. Statewide, more than 9 million total doses have been administered across all vaccination sites.New Yorkers can check their eligibility and schedule an appointment at or by calling the NYS COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).

New York launched Excelsior Pass, a free and voluntary platform for businesses & individuals that can be used to easily access secure proof of a recent negative COVID test or vaccination. The question of "public health or the economy" has always been a false choice—the answer must always be both. As more New Yorkers get vaccinated each day and as key public health metrics continue to regularly reach their lowest rates in months, the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Pass will assist as the next step in our fact-driven, science-based reopening. Learn more and have your testing and vaccination information in an easy-to-carry and share digital form.

COVID hospitalizations rose to 4,575. Of the 184,530 tests reported yesterday, 7,622, or 4.13 percent, were positive. There were 890 patients in ICU yesterday, up 13 from the previous day. Of them, 521 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 57 New Yorkers to the virus.

As of 11am this morning, 29.6 percent of New Yorkers have completed at least one vaccine dose. Over the past 24 hours, 171,419 total doses have been administered. To date, New York administered 9,056,970 total doses with 16.8 percent of New Yorkers completing their vaccine series. See data by region and county on the State's Vaccine Tracker:

Over 2 million vaccines have been administered at the NYS-FEMA mass vaccination sites. These six sites are hard at work getting eligible New Yorkers vaccinated as fast as supply allows. If you're eligible, book your appointment today at

New York expanding testing capabilities to commercial landlords. The New York Forward COVID-Safe Offices partnership with commercial landlords will expand access to COVID-19 testing for employers statewide. As part of the initiative, 21 participating landlords have committed to provide space and facilitate access to testing services for tenants interested in conducting regular diagnostic testing of employees.

The State is partnering with SOMOS to vaccinate underserved communities at community medical practices. In partnership with SOMOS Community Care, the State will provide COVID-19 vaccines directly to accredited primary care physicians in SOMOS' health network who will vaccinate underserved New Yorkers. The program will initially cover 75 practices in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, and will scale up to 100 practices as supply allows. The program will launch in the coming weeks and New Yorkers will be able to make appointments directly through SOMOS. New York is committed to breaking down barriers to vaccine access for all.

Enroll to become an NYS Citizen Public Health Leader. To continue the fight against COVID and prepare for the next public health emergency, the State announced the launch of a free, online Citizen Public Health Training course for New Yorkers. This innovative course, delivered by the New York State Department of Health in partnership with Cornell University and supported by the State University of New York, will prepare and equip New Yorkers to become NYS Citizen Public Health Leaders and build an informed network of community health leaders across the state. Enroll today.

Remember, mental health resources are available for New Yorkers who need them. Now that it's officially spring, we are slowly getting outside again and enjoying the warmer weather but we still recognize the mental and emotional strain many are feeling during the pandemic. New Yorkers can visit for free mindfulness resources or call our support hotline at 1-844-863-9314.

Pharmacies are now vaccinating New Yorkers 50-59 years old in addition to those who are 60+, P-12 school faculty and staff, childcare workers, and those with underlying conditions.

President Biden and his administration continue to take steps to combat the health and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, that included beating President Biden's goal of administering 100 million vaccinations in 100 days. You can read the President's remarks marking this benchmark here.

The Administration also extended the ACA open enrollment period through August 15, 2021. You can learn more here.

Roll Up Your Sleeve Campaign:  This week, the State launched its “Roll Up Your Sleeve” campaign to encourage houses of worship of all faiths across the state to sign up as vaccination sites for their communities. All houses of worship can begin to serve as points of distribution for the COVID vaccine starting in April. As part of this new campaign, medical providers are being asked to volunteer to partner with houses of worship to conduct vaccination clinics. Interested medical providers and houses of worship can sign up here.

Brazilian Variant: The first case of a COVID-19 P.1 variant, commonly referred to as the Brazilian variant, was confirmed in a New York State resident this week. The case was identified by scientists at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and verified by the Department of Health's (DOH) Wadsworth Center Laboratories. The patient is a Brooklyn resident in their 90's with no travel history. DOH is working with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to learn more information about the patient and potential contacts.

Expanded Eligibility for Financial Assistance: Expanded tax credits will be available through NY State of Health, New York's health plan marketplace. The expansion will result in more New Yorkers being eligible for financial assistance and the further reduction in health insurance premiums in New York State. Through the American Rescue Plan, increased tax credits are available to more than 150,000 consumers who are already enrolled in coverage, further lowering health care costs. In addition, in June 2021, NY State of Health will -- for the first time -- expand tax credits to tens of thousands of additional New Yorkers with higher incomes. More information here.

Fourteen community-based pop-up vaccination sites are coming online over the next week. These sites at houses of worship, community centers and local businesses are expected to vaccinate more than 4,200 people throughout this week. Since January 15, more than 160 community-based pop-up sites administered more than 62,500 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

To date, New York has conducted over 43 million tests. New York continues to lead in testing and in less than a week we've conducted one million tests. Getting tested for COVID regularly is a smart way to ensure you stay in good health. 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 location.

The Governor announced that for the first time more than 200,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered over a 24-hour period in New York State. 202,123 doses have been administered across the state's vast distribution network in the last 24 hours, and more than 1 million doses have been administered over the past seven days. The week 15 allocation from the federal government is in the process of being delivered to providers. Vaccine Dashboard Will Update Daily to Provide Updates on the State's Vaccine Program; Go to

The CDC has taken steps to extend the federal eviction moratorium, set to expire 3/31. The CDC has not said when an extended moratorium would expire.

Social Security Administration Update: The agency has launched a national campaign to raise awareness of the SSI and SSDI programs and encourage people to apply, including:

People can apply for SSI benefits, and for other benefit programs, through a telephone appointment with the agency, even while local offices are not able to accept walk-in visitors.  More people need to be made aware of the SSI program and reminded that they can call toll-free 1-800-772-1213, or their local Social Security office, to make a phone appointment to apply for SSI.  People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call Social Security’s TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.

In the third round of the program, Nourish NY has so far spent $3.5 million to help New Yorkers in need. So far, over 2 million pounds of raw milk has been turned into dairy products and distributed by food banks, along with 924,000 pounds of produce. Over two million households in need have received products sources from New York farms.

Following a 32,000-participant clinical trial, AstraZeneca reported that its two-shot COVID vaccine is 76% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID, slightly lower than the 79% it had reported earlier last week. The company was compelled to recalculate its findings after an independent monitoring board accused AstraZeneca of excluding more recent data that showed the vaccine may actually be 69-74% effective. As the NY Times put it, “The fight is about the degree of effectiveness of a vaccine that is undisputably effective.” AstraZeneca reiterated that the vaccine is 100% effective against severe disease and hospitalization. The company said it is preparing to submit its emergency use authorization application to the FDA.

A new NYCHA residents-only vaccine site has opened at Johnson Community Center (1833 Lexington Ave. btwn 112th and 115th Sts.), a partnership between NYCHA and NYC Health + Hospitals. The site is open every Thursday-Sunday from now through 6/20, 8 am - 6 pm. All NYCHA residents eligible for the vaccine can make an appointment by calling 332-240-3330. Bring to your appointment: government-issued photo ID, proof of eligibility for the vaccine, and proof of NYCHA residency. See current vaccine eligibility criteria here (50+, certain jobs, and certain health conditions).

Fully homebound New Yorkers can request an in-home vaccination appointment through this form or by calling 877-829-4692. FDNY personnel will then call to confirm the homebound individual’s eligibility and schedule the appointment. If there are other vaccine-eligible individuals in the household (family or home health aides), they can also request an in-home appointment during that call.

Indoor family entertainment centers and places of amusement are now open with a 25 percent capacity limit. Last month, I announced that indoor family entertainment centers will be able to reopen with 25 percent capacity and health protocols in place, which went into effect Friday, March 26.


The opt-in period for in-person learning reopened for all students from Wednesday (3/24) through Wednesday, 4/7. To opt in, select “Blended Learning” in the Learning Preferences Survey or call 311. Students in 3K, pre-K, and elementary grades (including in District 75) who opt in will return to the classroom in April. Return dates for newly opted-in middle and high schoolers have not yet been announced. The City is reopening the opt-in period following new CDC guidelines that say students can be spaced three feet apart, instead of six, meaning classrooms can now fit more students.

Schools can get free U.S. maps from the Census Bureau. Contact Joli Golden at [email protected] or 862-336-2911 to order.

Thursdays through 4/22 at 10:30 am, public school teachers and students are invited to Ice Theatre of New York’s virtual ice show and skating clinic. Email [email protected] to register ASAP.

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 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 (Open external link)  to learn about pre-K programs, apply, get your offer, and learn about waitlists. Before the application opens you can:


Three Dolphins Spotted Frolicking In East River Near Greenpoint, read about it and see them in Gothamist.

At the young age of 94, Joy Morrow-Nulton and John Shults of Kingston, NY, fell in love during the pandemic, and now plan to get married but on one condition—they both must be vaccinated. Now both Morrow-Nulton and Shults have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and can begin planning their vows for their wedding day. Congratulations to the happy couple.

Community Immunity: A Rap Anthology About Vaccines” is a five-part animated rap series about the COVID vaccines, including why they’re effective and safe, common myths, and what to expect after getting vaccinated. The series features Grammy-winning rappers and renowned medical professionals, presented by the West Harlem Development Corporation and Hip Hop Public Health. Click the title to watch the videos.

Citizen Public Health Training” is New York State’s free new course to help people recover from the pandemic and prepare for future health crises. In partnership with Cornell University, the 16-hour online course will focus on health communication and community engagement to empower New Yorkers as public health leaders, beginning Friday, 4/30. Register here and preview course materials here.

Shakespeare in the Park is returning after taking last summer off, the Public Theater announced. Beginning in July and running for eight weeks, “Merry Wives,” a 12-actor, intermission-free version of “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” will be set in Harlem and imagine Falstaff as an African-American seeking to woo two married women who are immigrants from West Africa. Current state regulations would allow 500 audience members in the outdoor theater if everyone presents proof of a negative COVID test.

Lincoln Center is now posting free streams of past productions, starting with 2012’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” available through Sunday, 4/11.


Economic Impact Payments. The Internal Revenue Service, on behalf of the Treasury Department, worked to quickly begin delivery of the third round of Economic Impact Payments authorized by Congress in the American Rescue Plan Act in March 2021. Here are answers to some common questions about this set of stimulus payments, which differ in some ways from the first two sets of stimulus payments in 2020, referred to as EIP1 and EIP2. Where can I get more information? For more information about Economic Impact Payments, visit Check the payment status at For other COVID-19-related tax relief, visit

Thursday (3/25), the Mayor announced an initiative to help Broadway reopen. In the next month, the City will open a vaccination site on Broadway for theater workers and a mobile unit for off-Broadway workers. There will also be pop-up COVID testing sites for theaters, and the City will help develop crowd-management plans for before and after shows, hopefully reopening in the fall. Although some in the theater industry are eligible for the vaccine because of their age, health, or other employment, it’s unclear when the State might make the entire industry eligible.

Open Culture program - Artists can apply for outdoor performance permits on these streets through Sunday, 10/31 and can charge admission.

Cultural Development Fund - Grants for nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, from the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs. Applications close Monday, 4/12.

The application launch for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant has been delayed a week to Thursday, 4/8. Companies and nonprofits that operate live-performance venues, talent/management agencies, and others can apply for up to $10 million in relief from the Save our Stages Act in the December stimulus bill via the U.S. Small Business Administration. ​The SBA will host a webinar next Tuesday (3/30) at 2:30 pm about how to apply, necessary application documents, and what the application process will look like. Register here.

Tech kits for performing artists are now available through New York Public Library grab-and-go locations. Click here to learn about the kits (which include audio- and video-recording equipment) and how to borrow one.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.


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 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.

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.)

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.

THE CITY is asking folks who know any New York City residents who have died of COVID-19 to fill out a simple form to tell them about the lives of those we’ve lost. Their goal is to put as many names, faces and details to the numbers as possible. You’ll find more here — including the form.

Donate blood. The New York Blood Center says that levels of blood are dangerously low. To make an appointment to donate, visit or call 1.800.933.2566. Appointments are strongly recommended.

Support local businesses by buying gift cards. We have posted links to sites selling gift cards. Another site selling gift cards to restaurants, barber shops, and events like ghost hunts, and museums, see SupportLocal at

New York City Service is looking for volunteers to help those affected by COVID-19, click here.

New York State has provided a form for the donation of goods, services, or space. To access the form, click here.

The dedicated staff at the Stanley Isaacs Center415 E. 93 St., needs help supporting their older adult clients through meals and case management services. Interested in volunteering? 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

“Ranked Choice Voting: Just the Basics"

 Wednesday, April 7th 7 pm- 8:30 pm

New York City will implement ranked choice voting for the first time during the upcoming June 22nd primary election for all municipal races, including City Council, City Comptroller, and Mayor. During this Virtual Town Hall, you will hear from the experts about the history of ranked choice voting, learn how to fill out your ballot, and find out how your votes will be counted. More importantly, you will learn why this new voting process enhances the power of your vote, and helps to make New York City elections more democratic.

The event will feature:

  • Dr. Sarah Sayeed, Chair and Executive Director, NYC Civic Engagement Board
  • Allie Swatek, Director of Policy and Research, NYC Campaign Finance Board

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 Sarah Sayeed and Allie Swatek. If you have questions about the mechanics of ranked choice voting, how to maximize the impact of your vote, and how ranked choice votes are tabulated, please RSVP for the April 7th Virtual Town Hall. 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 Wednesday, April 7th  Ranked Choice Voting  by registering 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, 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