Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates April 26th

APRIL 26th RESOURCES AND UPDATES:

COVID hospitalizations dropped to 3,174. Of the 126,953 tests reported yesterday, 3,039, or 2.39 percent, were positive. The 7-day average positivity rate was 2.13 percent. There were 729 patients in ICU yesterday, down 25 from the previous day. Of them, 454 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 41 New Yorkers to the virus.

As of 11am this morning, 44.3 percent of New Yorkers have completed at least one vaccine dose. Over the past 24 hours, 115,854 total doses have been administered. To date, New York has administered 14,550,880 total doses with 31.4 percent of New Yorkers completing their vaccine series. See data by region and county on the State's Vaccine Tracker: ny.gov/vaccinetracker.

All City-run vaccine sites now accept walk-ins for all ages +16, no appointment needed, the Mayor announced Friday (4/23). Geographic restrictions for those sites have also been lifted. Find all city-run sites here. All Americans 16+ are now eligible to get vaccinated, so tell your friends and family in other states.

In-Home Vaccinations Return: The in-home vaccination program resumes this week using the Moderna vaccine. New Yorkers interested in receiving an in-home vaccination can sign up at nyc.gov/homebound or by calling 877-VAX-4-NYC.

FDA and CDC Lift Recommended Pause on Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine Use Following Thorough Safety Review. Agencies Underscore Confidence in Vaccine’s Safety and Effectiveness Following Data Assessment; Available Data Suggest Potential Blood Clots Are Very Rare Events. For additional details, click here.

New York resumed using the Johnson & Johnson shot this weekend.

The state is continuing to require appointments for now for people under 60 at the sites it runs. (Manhattan’s is the Javits Center, 429 11th Ave.), no appointment needed.

New York, in partnership with SOMOS Community Care and Urban Health Plan, announced five new pop-up vaccination sites that will take walk-in appointments for New York City bodega, grocery store and supermarket workers. Eligible New Yorkers can make appointments for the SOMOS sites here and for the Urban Health Plan site by calling 718-589-4755. These new pop-up vaccination sites are so important—they will make it easier for bodega, grocery store and supermarket workers, who have worked every single day to provide an essential service, to get vaccinated and protect themselves, their families and communities from COVID-19.

Reminder that public and private employees in NY are granted time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccines. Last month, Governor Cuomo signed legislation that grants employees up to four hours of excused leave per vaccine appointment that will not be charged against any other leave the employee has earned or accrued.

See how Excelsior Pass can help you be a part of NY's safe reopening. To help revitalize New York's economy safely, the State 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. Learn more.

Remember, mental health resources are available for New Yorkers who need them. The weather is warming up and New York is gradually reopening but we can't underestimate the mental and emotional strain of the pandemic. New Yorkers can visit https://headspace.com/ny for free mindfulness resources or call our support hotline at 1-844-863-9314.

On May 15, offices, gyms, and casinos and gaming facilities will expand capacity. Gyms and fitness centers outside of New York City will increase from 33 percent to 50 percent capacity. Casinos and gaming facilities will increase from 25 percent to 50 percent. Offices will increase from 50 percent to 75 percent capacity.

On May 19, spectator capacity at large-scale outdoor event venues will increase. These venues, including professional and collegiate sports and live performing arts and entertainment, will increase from 20 to 33 percent beginning May 19. This increase will coincide with the previously announced increase in large-scale indoor event venue capacity. Social distancing, masks, health screenings and all other State health and safety protocols remain in effect.

The online learner permit test for Class D (passenger vehicles) and Class M (motorcycles) is now available to New Yorkers statewide. The announcement comes after the launch of an online permit application pilot program last year. This new service allows New Yorkers to begin the permit application process and take the test from the comfort of their home, saving the customer significant time in the DMV office.

Get help making a vaccine appointment through the Neighbor Network’s Vaccine Navigators. Fill out this form or call 646-470-8259 (leave a message with your name and number). The Neighbor Network is also seeking more volunteer Vaccine Navigators. Learn more here.

Anyone without health insurance is entitled to free COVID testing, treatment, and vaccines (COVID vaccines are free to everyone regardless of insurance status). This flyer (Spanish version) from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services outlines what to do if you’ve been charged for COVID services and are uninsured.

If you are uninsured, there are still a few weeks left to sign up for Obamacare/ACA health insurance (the deadline is Saturday, 5/15). There are new subsidies included in the American Rescue Plan that make Obamacare more affordable than ever. Apply through the New York State marketplace or directly through insurers. If you have questions, make an appointment with a local marketplace navigator, who can help individuals, families, and small businesses choose an affordable plan.

The MTA’s subway map now displays vaccine sites and appointment links.

Help your community (and a local medical student) by participating in a survey as part of a Community Health Assessment of Community District 8! Details below:

My name is Layla Morgan and I am currently a student in the Sophie Davis/CUNY School of Medicine program conducting a Community Health Assessment for a Population Health Course at the school. Our school specifically focuses on caring for underserved communities and understanding health disparities in the community. Below is a survey that we would like members of the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island to complete that would enable us as future providers to learn to assess a future community for their health needs and respond to health inequities. Thank you for your time. https://forms.gle/XARGfFA6GoizCFB37

NYC Primary Elections, June 22: How to Get an Absentee Ballot. NYC Primary Elections will be held on June 22, and as before, we encourage you to request an absentee ballot at your earliest convenience, even if you are not sure how you will cast your ballot. Please do not wait too long, as this may delay getting your absentee ballot in time. Please see the following article in The City for helpful information and deadlines: How to Get an Absentee Ballot for New York City’s June 22 Primary

The Great New York State Fair will be returning this year. Today New York announced the 2021 Reimagined New York State Fair, a special end-of-summer celebration at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse from August 20 to September 6. The Fair will feature New York's best food and drink, live music and entertainment, rides, and more in four different concurrent festivals that will take place exclusively in the outdoor areas of the fairgrounds. I hope it can serve as a unique celebration for New Yorkers who have made so many sacrifices during this pandemic, while allowing visitors from across the state and the country to enjoy some of the best attractions the Fair has to offer with all necessary safety guidelines in place. This is an important step towards the full return of New York's largest events as we continue to reopen and reimagine our state's economy.

Tuesday (4/27) at 5 pm, virtual panel “Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine: The Science and Regulatory Backstory” features experts in a discussion of how the Pfizer vaccine came to be, including its efficacy and FDA approval, and its rollout, including equity, hesitancy, and scams. Click the title to register for the Zoom, hosted by John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Education/Parenting

Kindergarten offers are here!

  • If you applied online by the January 22, 2021 deadline, you can view your child's kindergarten offer letter now in MySchools

  • Be sure to accept this offer by April 30 to secure your child's seat at this school. You can accept this offer online with MySchools or through the school directly.

  • After you accept your offer, the school will work with you to register your child. Learn which documents you'll need to provide in the Registration Checklist.

 The US Dept. of Agriculture has announced it will extend universal free lunch through the 2021-2022 school year “to reach more of the estimated 12 million youths experiencing food insecurity.”

New York City's Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) is the largest youth employment program in the United States for people ages 14-24. Applications are now open for kids and young adults who want to be in the program, as well as employers who want to be worksites for the program. The deadline for kids and young adults to apply for the program is April 23rd; visit this application page to learn more and apply. The deadline for employers to apply for being a work site is May 16th; visit this application page to learn more and apply to be a worksite.

For K-8 students, applications opened today (4/26) for Summer Risingthe City’s new, free academic and enrichment summer program that creates a bridge back to school. Summer Rising combines academic classes, field trips, arts activities, and outdoor recreation. Programs will be run by local school leaders and trusted community-based organizations, and will offer breakfast, lunch, and a snack. The application can be found here.

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

FINANCIAL AND LOCAL BUSINESSES UPDATES

Empire Pandemic Grant Fund. Applications are now being accepted for the $26.6 million available to support essential workers and first responders through the Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund. The program is designed to reimburse out-of-pocket child or dependent care, transportation, lodging, and other qualifying expenses that eligible workers incurred while employed in New York State between March 1, 2020 and the date of application submission. Up to $1,000 is available per household.

Community-based organizations or M/WBE certified owned businesses are invited to submit a request for information to become TRIE Neighborhood Coordinators with the City’s Task Force on Racial Inclusion & Equity. Neighborhood Coordinators will promote a stronger recovery for the 33 neighborhoods hit hardest by COVID, focusing on vaccine and contact tracing education, community resource mapping, and service coordination.

The Manhattan neighborhoods eligible for funding are the Lower East Side, Chinatown, Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights, Central Harlem, East Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood. Click here for more details and information on submissions, which will be accepted on a rolling basis.

The City and State are both hiring for vaccine-related positions. The City’s Vaccine for All Corps is looking to hire people particularly from hard-hit communities and industries. No health care experience is necessary for roles in vaccine site management, operations, and client services; the corps is also hiring for clinical roles. Click the link above to apply through the Dept. of Small Business Services.

The State is hiring for clinical and non-clinical roles at vaccine sites. See openings here.

You can start preparing your documents now to get $800 toward an air conditioner or fan, known as the Home Energy Assistance Program Cooling Assistance Benefit. This link explains eligibility and necessary documents for when applications open Saturday, 5/3 for the first-come-first-served benefit.

Free tax prep services are available for New Yorkers who made less than $68,000 in 2020. The City is also looking for volunteer tax preparers. Tax Day is Monday, 5/17.

Apply by Friday, 5/7 for the full-time, paid Lincoln Center Workforce Development Program, which trains workers to do construction on the Center’s David Geffen Hall. Participants will get five weeks of paid training, a paid apprenticeship to work on the renovation, and future career opportunities. Apply here.

Essential workers can apply for grants of up to $1,000 to reimburse childcare, transportation, lodging, PPE, burials, or medical costs incurred because of your work responding to the pandemic. Apply by Tuesday, 6/15 for these grants from the State’s Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund.

Contemporary visual art writers can apply for grants of up to $50,000 from the Andy Warhol Foundation through Wednesday, 5/19. Apply here.

The Department of Financial Services will extend the emergency regulation requiring all regulated health insurers to waive co-pays for the COVID-19 vaccine until April 30. The extension of this regulation and guidance will help to ensure there are no barriers to New Yorkers accessing the vaccine as the State continues to implement its vaccine administration plan and get every New Yorker vaccinated. The vaccine will come at no cost to any New Yorker.

City Cleanup Corps is Hiring: The City Cleanup Corps (NYC CCC) will employ 10,000 New Yorkers for beautification across our city. NYC CCC workers will wipe away graffiti, powerwash sidewalks, create community murals, tend to community gardens, beautify public spaces, and work with community organizations to clean their neighborhoods. Check out available job opportunities.

Claiming Recovery Rebates: Information and assistance are available for individuals who are eligible for a recovery rebate credit but have no income or are not required to file an income tax return. In order to receive a rebate credit, all individuals are required to file an income tax return. The IRS Free File is available for those who are only filing a tax return to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. See the special section on IRS.gov about claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit if you aren’t required to file a tax return.

Applications for the NYC Open Streets program are now open. Administered by the NYC Department of Transportation, the program allows communities to dedicate roadway space to pedestrians and cyclists. Interested businesses and community partners can learn more and apply now at: nyc.gov/openstreets.

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

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.

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 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. 

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.

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

Donate personal care items to fill the 700 gift bags Community Board 10 is presenting to seniors in Central Harlem next month. Click here to see the list of needed items.

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

Ryan Health is looking for qualified volunteers -- physicians, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, and other licensed medical providers-- to administer the COVID vaccine at centers across Manhattan. Email [email protected] to volunteer.

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.

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

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.

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 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

Senator Krueger's Roundtable for Boomers and Seniors
Being Mortal: Thinking about End of Life Decision Making
Session V - Advanced Care Planning Part 2: For Yourself and Your Finances
Thursday, April 29th 10:00 am – 11:30 am

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.

Session V - Advanced Care Planning Part 2: For Yourself and Your Finances
Thursday, April 29th 10 am- 11:30 am

Learn about advanced care planning tools for yourself, including medical needs, Medicaid considerations, guardianship, and making funeral arrangements; and for your finances, including Powers of Attorney, trusts, and last wills and testaments. The discussion will emphasize that it is never too late to start planning, and will help you understand the basic procedures and documents you should consider when engaging in advanced care planning.

Speakers:

- Wendy Handler, LMSW, Director, Onsite and Special Programs, DOROT
- Tina Janssen-Spinosa, Esq. Senior Staff Attorney, Total Life Choices Program Coordinator, NYLAG

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 Tina Janssen-Spinosa, and Wendy Handler. If you have questions about advanced care planning, 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 April 29th Boomer Senior Roundtable by registering at https://tinyurl.com/seniorroundtable4-29.

Senator Krueger's Virtual Town Hall: "Managing Debt"

Thursday, May 6th, 7 pm – 8:30 pm

Behind in rent and credit card payments? Has the collection agency been in touch with you? You are not alone. During the pandemic many of us are facing economic hardship. These challenges are new to most of us. Join us for a discussion of your rights and responsibilities as you confront those unpaid bills and manage your debt.

Join us for a discussion to learn the best approaches to handle unpaid rent, utility, medical, and credit card bills. What are the steps to take if you hear from a collection agency? Learn best practices and requirements from the experts.

Speakers:

- Ellen Davidson, Staff Attorney, Civil Practice, Legal Aid Society
- Sarah Ludwig, Founder and Co-Director, New Economy Project
- Raquel Villagra, Staff Attorney, New Economy Project

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 Ellen Davidson, Sarah Ludwig, and Raquel Villagra. If you have questions about how to deal with your landlord or creditors about your debt, how to protect your assets, or if you are seeking clarity on what your rights are, please RSVP for this 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 if you plan to attend on May 6th by registering at https://tinyurl.com/townhallmanagingdebt.

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