Stay Informed About the Coronavirus — A Comprehensive Guide

New York City Comprehensive List of Contacts and Agencies for Coronavirus Help

by New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal

My office is fielding many calls from constituents with questions about unemployment insurance. The State is aware that there is a substantial wait time for online or phone inquiries and is actively working to hire more staff to handle the increased demand. More detailed information about unemployment insurance is below.

In addition to the anxiety caused by COVID-19, the social isolation that accompanies the voluntary quarantines and social distancing can cause stress, anxiety and even depression. In addition to changes to vital programs and services listed below, I have also tried to provide access to mental health services. If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please contact immediately the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255.

Constituent Services

My district office is now closed to walk-ins and meetings until further notice. My staff and I are working remotely to handle your questions and concerns. You may contact the office at 212-873-6368 or rosenthall@nyassembly.gov. We are doing our best to respond to everyone within 24 hours and will prioritize urgent cases.

You can contact the New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Hotline 24/7 at 888-364-3065.

Cases

As of 5 pm today (3/19), there are a total of 4,152 cases in New York State. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has reported a total of 3,615 cases in New York City. Twenty-six New Yorkers have died.

Testing & Hospital Capacity

All New Yorkers should consider themselves potentially exposed to coronavirus. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath or other cold or flu-like symptoms. Most people experience mild to moderate symptoms and fully recover. Older adults and those with chronic health conditions, such as lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and a weakened immune system should take extra precautions.

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, call your healthcare provider. Do not go in person. Go to the emergency room if symptoms are severe.

Anyone can get medical care, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. Call 311 if you need help getting medical care.

Your healthcare provider will authorize testing for COVID-19 if you meet the criteria, such as having close contact with an infected person, exhibiting symptoms and recently having traveled to a country where the CDC has issued a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice.

New York State is working to expand access to tests, but supplies remain limited. These criteria will be in place until the State has reached full testing capacity.

The United States Navy has deployed the USNS Comfort to New York. It has a capacity of 1,000 hospital beds and is scheduled to dock in New York Harbor in early April.

The State of New York announced that New York City opened its first mobile testing clinic in Staten Island today, and is actively working to open more mobile testing sites.

All elective surgeries have been canceled to preserve hospital capacity. If you or someone you know is a retired health care provider or medical student, please contact my office or the New York State Department of Health. The State will relax rules temporarily allowing you to come out of retirement to help during this public health emergency.

High Priority Patients

If you are a high priority patient either because of age, preexisting condition or symptoms, you should call 1-844-NYC-4NYC for more information.

Eight of the ten acute care centers are now open on an appointment-only basis, including the following Health + Hospitals facilities: Bellevue, Elmhurst, Harlem, Metropolitan, Kings County, Lincoln, Woodhull, and Queens. Assessment and testing centers at Coney Island and Jacobi Hospitals will be live early next week.

One drive-thru testing site, Jacobi, is currently operational; Coney Island becomes operational this Friday.

Housing

I spoke with Ruth Anne Visnauskas, Commissioner and CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal about the need for the State to implement a rent collection freeze for tenants statewide.

The State of New York has waived mortgage payments for 90 days based on financial hardship. Anyone who is unable to pay their mortgage as a result of COVID-19 will have the benefit of the following:

  • No negative reporting to credit bureaus
  • Grace Period for a loan modification
  • No late payment fees or online payment fees
  • Postponing or suspending foreclosures

National Alliance of Mental Illness of NYC (NAMI-NYC)
Helpline 10 am-6 pm: 212-684-3264 or helpline@naminyc.org

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (TTY 1-800-846-8517).

CDC

Resources list for managing stress and anxiety in response to COVID-19

World Health Organization

Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak (PDF)

Make the Connection

Military Veterans mental health information and resource locator

Care for the Homeless

Medical, substance abuse, and mental health services for homeless New Yorkers
30 East 33rd Street, 5th Floor
(212) 366-4459

The Institute for Urban Family Health

Free medical and mental health clinics for the uninsured
Walton Family Health Center 1894 Walton Avenue Bronx, NY 10453
Sidney Hillman Health Center 16 East 16th St., 3rd Floor New York, NY 10003
Bronx: (718) 583-3060
Manhattan: (212) 206-5200

Banks

The New York State Department of Financial Services will be instructing state-chartered banks to waive ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees and fees for credit cards to help reduce the financial hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic on New Yorkers.

Social Security

Scammers may be trying to trick people into thinking Social Security payments will be stopped because of COVID-19. Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security, issued a notice today that this is not true-—you will continue to receive your monthly benefit.

In-person services at Social Security Administration offices are suspended nationwide, but help is still available online at www.SSA.gov or by phone at 1-800-772-1213.

Workforce

The Governor has issued an Executive Order mandating that all non-essential businesses implement work-from-home policies and that those relying on in-office personnel reduce in-office staff by 50%. Exempted essential services include food, pharmacies, healthcare, shipping, and supplies.

Income Tax Extension

The federal tax filing and payment deadline have been moved to July 15 (from April 15). Californa and New Yor Stare have confirmed to follow these federal deadlines and other states will most likely follow. Individuals can defer up to $1 million in payments for 90 days from the April 15 deadline. Corporations can defer up to $10 million in payments for 90 days. During this 90-day period, the IRS will not charge interest or penalties.

New York State has not yet announced plans for state filings.

Senior Centers

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has put together a list of senior centers and the times when lunch will be available.

Here is today’s updated list of senior center meal pickup locations in our area:

  • Goddard Riverside Senior Center from 12 noon-1pm
  • Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center (Goddard) from 12 noon-1 pm
  • Project FIND Hamilton Center from 11 am-12:30 pm (Sunday through Friday)
  • SAGE Harlem from 12 noon-1 pm
  • Encore Senior Center starting at 11:30 am
  • Project FIND Coffeehouse from 10:45 am-12:30 pm
  • Project FIND Clinton Senior Center from 10:30 am-12:30 pm
  • Project FIND Woodstock Senior Center from 8-9 am (breakfast) and 10:45 am-12:30 pm (lunch)
  • Hudson Guild Senior Center pick up from Elliott and Fulton sites on Mondays from 12 noon-1 pm (bring cart as seniors will receive multiple meals for the week).

Senior Grocery Hours & Other Shopping

I spoke with Trader Joe’s management today about creating a senior shopping hour and will be reaching out to other local supermarkets to do the same.

Whole Foods at 10 Columbus Circle is offering senior (60+) shopping hours from 7 am-8 am daily

Morton Williams Fresh (917 9th Ave in Mount Sinai West) and Morton Williams (15 West End Ave) are also allowing seniors to shop 7 am-8 am daily

Key Food (530 Amsterdam Ave) offering senior (65+) hours 7 am-8 am daily

Pioneer Supermarket (289 Columbus Ave) is offering senior shopping hours 8 am – 8:30 am through Sunday, March 22.

UberEats has suspended delivery fees for delivery orders from independent restaurants. Caviar will suspend delivery fees for the next month for any new customers.

Seamless, DoorDash and GrubHub are all reducing or completely waiving the commission fee on independent restaurants, ensuring local businesses do not lose out on any earnings during this time. Delivery fees remain in place on these apps and vary by restaurant.

*DoorDash is also providing sanitizer & gloves to their couriers and will provide financial assistance to couriers diagnosed with COVID-19

All of these apps are offering “contactless delivery” with the option of having your food left in your lobby/at the doorstep.

Pet Food Delivery

The local pet stores listed below are open and have waived delivery fees and required minimum purchase prices:

The Pet Market 212-799-4200
224 West 72nd Street

Pet Central Broadway 212-712-1707
235 West 76th Street

Greenland Pet Supply & Grooming 212-956-9600
33 West End Avenue

Canine Styles West 212-799-9799
2231 Broadway #A

Canine Styles West 212-799-9799
2231 Broadway #A

Little Creatures 212-799-4800
569 Columbus Ave
$30 Minimum

Releash NYC 212-877-3167
100 Riverside Drive
Delivery Area: 10 block radius

Pet Central 100 Street 212-663-9160
2643 Broadway
No minimum

Local Veterinarians

Columbus Circle Veterinary Hospital – 2 Columbus Avenue # 3,
Basing hours on need and scheduled appointments, best to call ahead. Routine visits will proceed as normal but doctors may take precautions to avoid unnecessary contact (ex: asking owners to wait outside exam room)

West Side Animal Hospital – 666 10th Avenue
Shortened hours – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10 am – 6 pm
Wednesday 11 am – 6 pm
Friday 10 am – 5 pm
Saturdays 9 am – 3 pm
Routine visits will still be allowed, but appointments are being spread out to reduce number of people in the building.

Blue Pearl Pet Hospital – 410 West 55th Street
Still operating 24 hours daily, but keeping to emergency visits only. Clients are being asked to schedule with their primary vet for routine, non-emergency visits. Clients are being asked to drop pets off at the door.

Hudson Animal Hospital – 238 West 61st Street
Hours are changing daily based on need and scheduled appointments, call ahead.
Until at least April 13th, only seeing animals for emergency sick visits and vaccines. Routine appointments will be rescheduled.

Lincoln Square Veterinary – 140 West 67th Street
Hours changing daily based on appointments, still seeing animals for routine visits.

City Veterinary Care – 220 West 72nd Street
Open regular business hours but limiting number of clients in at one time. Annual exams and wellness visits are postponed through the end of the month; still seeing animals for sick visits.

Riverside Animal Hospital South – 219 West 79th Street
Regular business hours but have instated minimal contact exams, asking that pets be dropped off for exam during the four-hour window and be picked up later when exam/treatments completed.

Animal Medical Center – 510 East 62nd Street
May ask that pet be dropped off at the door and communicate with owner via cellphone.
Only allowing one owner per pet and urging anyone who feels sick to reschedule

New York State Health Insurance Enrollment

The New York State of Health and New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has announced a special enrollment period for eligible individuals to enroll in health insurance coverage through the official state health plan marketplace.

The special enrollment period will last from March 16, 2020 until April 15, 2020, and coverage will begin April 1. Enrollment in other programs (Medicaid, Essential Plan, and Child Health Plus) continues to be available year-round.

Enroll online at www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov or by phone at 855-355-5777.

Reminder: NY insurers are required to waive any cost-sharing related to COVID-19 testing, including ER, urgent care and office visits. Medicaid recipients are not subject to any copays for COVID-19 testing.

Unemployment Insurance

The State has waived the 7-day waiting period for qualifying for unemployment insurance. If you lose your job for COVID-19-related reasons, you will immediately qualify for benefits. I have asked the Governor to create a similar relief program for those who would not normally qualify for unemployment insurance coverage, including domestic workers, freelancers, and other independent contractors.

Victims Services

*Effective today, March 19, all civil and criminal temporary orders of protection shall be automatically extended. *

New York State Office of Children and Family Services and the New York State Department of Health have issued guidance to residential programs and domestic violence shelters to take extra precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including enhanced cleaning procedures, providing gloves, masks, and other protective equipment and protocol to follow if a resident needs to be quarantined or isolated, including a separate bathroom for those who are sick if possible.

Survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault face additional challenges when they are required or encouraged to quarantine or isolate themselves at home, particularly when they live with their abuser. Services remain available to help.

Safe Horizon

Domestic violence shelters remain open. Those in need of help can call 1-800-621-HOPE.

Streetwork Project locations for homeless youth remain open. Further information can be found at https://www.safehorizon.org/streetwork/

Rape and sexual assault hotline can be reached at 1-212-227-3000 or you can use the online chat Monday-Friday between 1 and 6 pm at www.safehorizon.org/safechat

Sanctuary for Families

Main office, shelters and the EMPOWER Center remain open with reduced staff.

Shelters are stocking up on food, implementing enhanced cleaning procedures and providing masks.

Childcare and aftercare staff are engaging with parents and children who are out of school.

Staff attorneys are rotating to cover cases that arise. Courts will continue to hear emergency cases, including those for orders of protection.

Further information is available at www.sanctuaryforfamilies.org or by calling 212-349-6009.

NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault

Walk-in hours are suspended, but staff is available to provide services by email, phone or web conference during their regular business hours of 9 am to 5 pm, Monday-Friday.
Email correspondence will be prioritized at survivorsupport@svfreenyc.org
Staff working remotely will be checking the phone line – 212-514-SAFE

NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Domestic violence programs are available to assist those in need by phone. A list of programs that serve NYC can be found at www.nyscadv.org/find-help/program-directory.html

Coalition for Homeless Youth

Runaway and homeless youth in need of help can call the national hotline at 1-800-786-2929 or visit www.nychy.org for a list of programs in New York City that continue to provide services.

Department of Sanitation & Trash Collection

As of 3/18, garbage, recycling, and organics collections are running according to a regular schedule.

ALL Special Waste Drop-Off Sites are closed until further notice. SAFE Disposal Events scheduled to take place in April have been canceled and Curbside E-Waste program has been suspended.

USPS Mail Delivery

Mail is being delivered as normal and few delays have been reported.
Mail and packages being delivered to/from China, Hong Kong and some European countries may see delays as airlines have been restricted.

USPS Mail is considered an essential service and would not be impacted by any possible “shelter in place” restrictions.

New York State Department of Motor Vehicles

The DMV is not accepting any reservations or allowing lines to form for individuals looking to make the transition to a NY Real ID.

The State of New York is working on a plan for car inspections.

For license renewals, please provide my office with the following information, which we will give to the DMV:

  • Full name
  • A working email address and telephone number
  • Preferred date and time of appointment
  • Preferred appointment location

Schools

Pre-K: The deadline for pre-k applications has been extended to March 29. You can apply online at www.myschools.nyc or by phone at 718-935-2009 between 8 am-6 pm, Monday through Friday.

New York City public schools are closed until April 20, 2020, by order of the State. Teachers are being asked to report to their schools this week to be trained in remote learning. Schools are scheduled to implement remote learning on Monday, March 23rd.

Schools will be offering grab and go meals to those in need. Visit here to find a site near you.

Public Gatherings

The Federal government has limited public gatherings to no more than 10 people. The State of New York has ordered a mandatory closure of all restaurants and bars, which will be take-out or delivery only. The State Liquor Authority will waive rules and allow liquor take-out. Gyms, movie theaters and casinos are closed.

On Thursday at 8 pm (3/19) indoor sections of shopping malls, amusement parks, and bowling alleys are also ordered to close.

Unified Court System

HUD announced they will suspend evictions, suspensions, and foreclosures until the end of April.

Commercial and residential evictions are suspended.

All non-essential functions of the courts were suspended as of 5 pm on Monday, March 16. Jurors should not appear for duty. Potential jurors will hear from the Court in the future with another date for service. The Courts are working to establish an emergency telephone number, and I will share that as soon as it is available.

Transportation

The MTA remains open. Subway cars, buses and commuter trains are being disinfected at least twice a day.

Beginning on 3/19, shared rides for Access-A-Rides services will no longer be scheduled. Customers are still permitted to travel with a personal care attendant or approved guest.

Utilities

Con Edison has temporarily suspended all collections-related activities. Spectrum is offering 60 days free wi-fi for any families (not current subscribers) with students who will be home from school. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile have all pledged not to charge late fees for 60 days.

State Parks

Entrance fees for state, county and local parks have been waived.

New York City Parks

New York City parks and playgrounds remain open, except for the High Line. Comfort stations within the parks will be sanitized and resupplied regularly, any issues can be reported to 311.

All New York City recreation centers and nature centers are closed to the public until further notice.
NYC Parks has canceled all events with 50 or more expected attendees through April 12.

Shape Up NYC programs are canceled through March 29, follow Shape Up NYC on Facebook for news on upcoming free online fitness opportunities. Indoor Ranger programs are canceled through March 29. All tournaments and sports practices are canceled. All special events held in recreation centers have been canceled.

Volunteers

For vulnerable neighbors, like the sick and elderly, the impact is already incalculable. The elderly and those suffering from an underlying medical condition may not be able to tend to their everyday needs. We are hearing from and reaching out to vulnerable constituents to determine if they have needs. If you are interested in volunteering to help a West Sider in need, please email me here and we will work to connect you with someone who could really use the help.

Price Gouging

Price gouging is illegal. You can contact the New York State Consumer Protection Division Hotline at 800-697-1220 to report price gouging.

Alcoholics & Narcotics Anonymous

New York Inter-Group office is closed to volunteers and customers but will continue to offer help via telephone and web chat to those in need of a meeting.

NYIGV will be rolling out an ‘NYIG’ Zoom Meeting Room’ over the next week, so A.A. groups can access Meetings via our own organization’s Zoom account. We will continue to provide up-to-date information on this initiative, and will post to our website as well as updates via email.

For a comprehensive list of AA Meeting closures, click here.

Census 2020

The 2020 Census has officially begun, and it is vital that your household complete the Census this year. Millions of dollars in federal funding and Congressional representation rests on a complete and accurate count. The ability of Census takers to conduct door-to-door visits has been impacted by the spread of COVID-19, so please complete the Census and encourage your family, friends and neighbors to do the same.

NYCHA

NYCHA’s Administrative Hearing Office is postponing all cases for two weeks, at which time they will reevaluate the hearing schedule to determine if the postponement should be extended.

Parking

Alternate side of the street parking is suspended for one week, from March 17-March 24, 2020.

Debt Collection

Individuals and businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19 can apply to suspend debt collection activities related to their accounts, and the State will suspend the collection of medical and student debt owed to it for at least 30 days. For more info, visit the page of NY Attorney General Letita James.

Elections and Presidential Primary

Presidential: The New York State Board of Elections is discussing the possibility of delaying the presidential primary from April 23rd to June.

The Queens Primary has been canceled until further notice.

 

Assembly Updates: nyassembly.gov/coronavirus

Read all our Coronavirus updates as information becomes available.