Coronavirus (Covid-19) Community Resources

Senator Anna M. Kaplan

April 16, 2020

Coronavirus Community Resources, Senator Anna M. Kaplan

Dear Friend,
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We're living through an unprecedented moment in our shared history, and as a State Senator, I've been focused on doing everything I can to support my constituents during this impossible time.  With so much change taking place so quickly, it can be hard to keep track of everything that effects you and your family.  To help, I've created a daily newsletter called Nassau Coronavirus Update, which you can have delivered to your inbox each night by clicking the button above or below.  My staff and I have also assembled this comprehensive resource guide to help you access important programs and services.

It's my great honor and privilege to be your Senator, and I want you to know that I'm here for you through this, and I'm always here to help you and your family with whatever I can.  Don't hesitate to contact my office at any time if I can be of service.

Sincerely, 

 

 

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Our Office

What You Need to Know Read More

What You Need to Know (Last updated 5/26/20)

  • New York is currently on PAUSE: Policy to Assure Uniform Safety for Everyone.  This 10 point plan details the steps we all need to take in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus and to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.  
  • Governor Cuomo has provided extensive details on how New York will proceed with a careful and methodical reopening of our communities. As has been detailed before, each region will be opened on its own timeline, based on the circumstances on the ground in that region. To guide the decision on timing, four key metrics will be used: the number of new infections, health care capacity, diagnostic testing, and contact tracing.  For the full details, please click here.
  • Governor Cuomo will issue an executive order requiring all people in New York to wear masks or face coverings in public.
  • The CDC posted a detailed guidance document for reopening schools, mass transit, and nonessential businesses. The plan outlines a three-phased approach for reducing social distancing and proposes the use of six “gating” indicators to assess when to move through to another phase. The guidance recommends that schools remain closed in the first phase, along with most child-care programs, and bars, and that restaurants should be limited to takeout only. They also recommend that mass transit remain closed to all but essential workers in the first phase. You can read the full guidance document here.
  • An executive order directs employers to provide essential workers with masks free of charge to wear when interacting with the public.
  • With New York's Contact Tracing program starting soon, New Yorkers should be on the lookout from calls that come through on your phone from “NYS Contact Tracing”. 
    • If you get one of these calls, please pick up your phone. It’s important to speak with our local contact tracers if they’re trying to reach you, so that you can make informed decisions about your health. 
  • New details on Congress’ HEROES Act show that the proposed second round of “economic impact payments” would include another payment of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples with the same eligibility thresholds (individuals earning up to $75,000 and couples earning up to $100,000).  Unlike the first round of economic impact payments, the second round would make all dependents, not just those under 17, eligible for additional credits and would increase the amount of those dependent credits from $500 per dependent to $1,200 with each household being eligible for a maximum of three dependent credits. The proposal would also allow recipients who who file taxes with a taxpayer identification number (TIN) rather than a Social Security Number to receive a check.
  • Nassau County will be holding a car parade on Memorial Day in order to safely honor and recognize those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom. It will proceed from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum to the Veterans Memorial in Eisenhower Park. You can watch the procession live on Facebook here.
  • Schools and nonessential businesses will stay closed through June 13th.
    • 100% of the  workforce must stay home, excluding essential services. Exemptions from Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order include: shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, veterinary practices and animal shelters, utilities, banks and related financial institutions. For guidance on whether your business is subject to this workforce reduction order or to request designation as an essential business, please visit ESD Guidance on Essential Businesses (esd.ny.gov). 
  • New York State has begun accepting applications for people interested in becoming contact tracers to serve the people of New York and help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Applications are being sought for the roles of contact tracerteam supervisorand community support specialist.
  • The IRS has completed the direct deposit of economic recovery checks for most Americans who had direct deposit information on file. If you believe you should have received your payment but have not, you can check the status of your payment here
  • Starting May 21, religious gatherings of no more than 10 people will be allowed statewide where strict social distancing measures are enforced and all participants wear masks.
  • Veterinarian practices are allowed to resume full operations statewide.
  • If you are a non-filer or otherwise haven’t given your direct deposit information to the IRS, you can do so here in order to expedite receiving your payment
  • As of May 15, certain low-risk activities resumed statewide.  Those activities include landscaping, gardening, drive-in movie theaters, and outdoor singles tennis.
  • Governor Cuomo issues an executive order requiring nursing homes to inform family members of residents of COVID-19 cases.
  • Governor Cuomo announced that New York State and local governments will provide death benefits for frontline workers who died from COVID-19 during the state of emergency.
  • Governor Cuomo issues executive order allowing individuals assisting with COVID-19 response to stay in a hotel in New York City for more than 28 days without becoming a tenant.
  • Governor Cuomo and several northeast state Governors announced the creation of a multi-state council to restore the economy.
  • New COVID-19 testing facilities are opening downstate, primarily in minority communities. Find testing site locations and hours or operation.
  • New Yorkers who have recovered from COVID-19 are encouraged to donate blood. Here’s information on how to donate.
  • New Yorkers without health insurance can apply through NY State of Health through June 15, 2020; must apply within 60 days of losing coverage.
  • New Yorkers can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling.
  • Testing is free for all eligible New Yorkers as ordered by a health care provider.
  • Your local health department is your community contact for COVID-19 concerns.
  • Governor Cuomo has extended the deadline to file State Income Tax returns from April 15 to July 15.
  • Extra precautions are in place for New Yorkers aged 70+ and those who are immunocompromised. These individuals are advised to remain indoors, pre-screen all visitors by taking their temperature, wear a mask in the company of others, stay at least 6 feet from others and refrain from taking public transportation unless urgent and absolutely necessary.
  • Governor Cuomo Go has ordered that marinas and many golf courses can reopen with safety restrictions.
  • Governor Cuomo signed an executive order allowing New Yorkers to obtain marriage licenses and perform ceremonies remotely.
  • Preliminary Phase I results of Antibody Testing Study show 13.9% of the population have COVID-19 antibodies. Find more information and FAQs on antibody testing.  
  • $30 million in Child Care Scholarships will be provided to essential workers and supplies for child care providers.
  • State Health Department will partner with Attorney General James to investigate nursing home violations.

Resources for Businesses Read More

Resources for Businesses

  • Empire State Development Covid-19 Resources
  • The federal paycheck protection program still has over $100 billion in funds available to support small businesses. If you could benefit from a PPP loan but haven’t yet applied, I urge you to do so before the funding runs out. Learn more at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program 
  • As New York begins Phase 1 reopening of some regions across the state, the Governor’s Office has created yet another helpful online tool to help you navigate the reopening process. The New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool will help you determine whether or not your business is eligible to reopen. Check it out at https://www.businessexpress.ny.gov/app/nyforward
  • The New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership is holding a series of webinars to help Manufacturing Businesses survive our present situation. Check out what’s coming up at https://newyorkmep.org/covid19-webinars/
  •  Governor Cuomo announced that the state is extending sales tax interest and penalty relief through June 22, 2020.
  • On May 26, the state launched the New York Forward Loan Fund, a $100 million fund to provide flexible and affordable loans to help our small businesses, especially MWBEs (Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises) that did not receive federal Covid-19 assistance. The program will take a smart, targeted approach for distributing these loans, focusing on truly small businesses, with 20 or fewer employees and less than $3 million in gross revenues. If you’re a small business who didn’t get federal assistance, you should learn more about this program. To learn more and apply, visit esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans
  • Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the entire Town Board unanimously approved resolutions designed to help businesses impacted by Covid-19. The package of legislation will be eligible for a vote on June 18th and includes proposals like refunds for certain building department fees, extended hours for commercial construction, local preference in contracting, and expanded opportunity for outdoor seating for restaurantsFor more information, click here. 
  • The National SBDC (Small Business Development Center) Information Clearing House has extensive, industry-specific resources to help your small business weather the coronavirus outbreak and navigate a safe reopening.  There’s information, guidance, tools, and support for a wide variety of businesses, from restaurants, to retailers, to service businesses, manufacturers, and so much more.  Check it out here.
  • Senator Kaplan held two webinars on Facebook Live to help small business owners make sense of the different relief programs that exist to help during this difficult time.  You can watch the replays here.
  • Newsday hosted a webinar on Helping Long Island Businesses Survive Coronavirus: the latest on the paycheck protection program and economic injury disaster loans.  Click here to watch the webinar.
  • Guidance for determining whether a business enterprise is subject to a workforce reduction under recent executive orders
  • The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) held its weekly webinar on the topic of “Small Business and COVID-19: PPP Loan Forgiveness Explained and Other Questions Answered.  To watch, click here.
  • The US Small Business Administration (SBA) customer service center can be contacted with any questions about SBA disaster assistance at 800-659-2955.
  • The US Small Business Administration is offering several temporary programs to help small businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak, including:
  • New York Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is offering free remote counseling sessions with business advisers. Get assistance with how to start a business, the small-business loan application process and more. You must schedule an appointment, and you can do so by calling at 800-732-7232, or visiting nysbdc.org/appointment.html  
  • This Friday from 10-11:30am, Newsday will be holding a webinar on small business emergency survival. "Keeping Your Business Afloat During These Challenging Times," a panel of financial, business and legal experts will be available to update you on the latest developments in federal, state and other resources for small businesses, and ways to deal with business and legal issues precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, hosted by SCORE NYC. The webinar is free, and you can register now at nwsdy.li/bizsurvival

Availability of Government Services Read More

Availability of Government Services

  • The Town of Hempstead has closed town facilities to the public, but essential services are continuing to operate.  For more details, visit the town website.  
  • The Town of North Hempstead has closed town facilities to the public, but essential services are continuing to operate, and the town's 311 Call Center remains open to callers 7 days a week. For more details, see A Message from Supervisor Bosworth.
  • The Town of Oyster Bay has closed town facilities to the public, but essential services are continuing to operate.  For more details, see this update. 
  • County Executive Laura Curran announced that Nickerson Beach cabanas will open on Father’s Day, with strict social distancing guidelines, and the cabanas will only be able to be used for storage.
  • The Nassau County Board of Elections has begun mailing applications for absentee ballots to the homes of registered voters eligible to vote in the June 23rd primary election. If you plan on voting by absentee ballot because you’re concerned about Covid-19, please be sure to return the application to the board of elections as soon as possible, as no application will be accepted if it’s postmarked later than June 16th. If you have any questions, contact the board of elections at 516-571-2411 or visit their website at www.nassauvotes.com for more information. Please note: In our district, there are only primaries involving Democrats on June 23, so only registered Democrats will receive an application for an absentee ballot.  
  • Governor Cuomo announced Friday that state beaches will be open starting Memorial Day Weekend, beginning Friday, May 22. Municipalities and other local governments will be making their own decisions about opening beaches within their jurisdiction, and they must inform the state no later than Wednesday, May 20th of their decision to open. They also must put safety guidelines in place that meet or exceed standards for state owned beaches. Visit these links for more information on town and county beaches in Nassau County:
  • https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/DocumentCenter/View/2834/Town-Beaches?bidId=
  • https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/2802/Nickerson-Beach-Park
  • The safety guidelines that will be in place for state beaches when they reopen include:
    • Operating at no more than 50% capacity
    • No pools will be open
    • No group contact activities, i.e., playgrounds, volleyball, football etc.
    • Picnic areas and pavilions will be closed
    • No concession areas open
    • Masks must be worn by staff at all times and visitors must wear masks when they cannot adequately social distance
  • Nassau County has restricted access to Nickerson Beach to county residents only. The emergency measure was adopted after the NYC Mayor refused to take steps to open city beaches, and instead suggested the 9 million residents of the city should overwhelm our recreation areas on Long Island.  
  • The Town of Oyster Bay has restricted beach access to residents-only, and free beach parking is offered to senior citizens, the disabled, and those on social security disability with new procedures in place to get your pass. To protect your health and safety during this COVID-19 pandemic, you will simply be asked to show your driver’s license and registration from behind the window when visiting the beach for the first time this season. A parking sticker will then be adhered to your vehicle to ensure continued free
  • Updates from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, and changes that impact drivers:
    • All DMV field offices are closed and all road tests have been suspended until further notice. All reservations have been cancelled. Licenses and registrations expiring March 1st or later have been extended until further notice. Many transactions can still be completed online.​
    • The State has extended the validity of driver licenses that expired on or after March 1, 2020.  These licenses will be considered valid for the duration of this emergency.
    • All inspections expiring March 31st or later have been extended until further notice.
    • All DMV Traffic Violations Bureaus (TVBs) are adjourned until further notice. Those who are scheduled to appear during this time will receive an adjournment notice from the DMV.  Please see the Tickets, Points, and Penalties page for many TVB transactions that can be completed online while the office is closed.
    • DMV has temporarily stopped downgrading CDLs due to expiring Medical Certifications until further notice. The downgrade process will resume after the state of emergency is lifted and normal processing may occur.
  • The Governor issued an executive order to postpone several local elections as we deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Any special election which was previously scheduled to occur on April 28, 2020 will occur on June 23, 2020. Any school board, library board, or village election scheduled to take place in April or May of 2020 is postponed until at least June 1, 2020 and subject to further directive as to the timing, location, or manner of voting in such elections.
  • The Village of Flower Hill has established a Volunteer Corps with the goal of identifying village residents who may not be able to get their own food, supplies, or need other assistance during the crisis, and to help them.  For any Flower Hill resident in need of assistance, or any resident interested in volunteering, contact 516-627-5000 or email volunteer@villageflowerhill.org .

General Information, Hotlines, Newsletters, and Fact Sheets Read More

General Information, Hotlines, Newsletters, and Fact Sheets

 

Testing and Health Care Read More

Testing and Health Care

 

In order to make sure more New Yorkers are getting tested, Governor Cuomo has further relaxed the criteria for who can get a test. 

Testing is now available to:

  • Any individual who has COVID-19 symptoms
  • Any individual who has had contact with a person known to be positive with COVID-19
  • Any individual who is subject to a precautionary or mandatory quarantine
  • Any individual who is employed as a health care worker, nursing home worker or first responder
  • Any essential worker who directly interacts with the public while working
  • Any individual who would return to the workplace in Phase 1 of the state's reopening plan. This includes construction, manufacturing and wholesale supply chain, retail for curbside pickup and drop-off or in-store pickup, agriculture, forestry, and fishing
  • If you are concerned you might need a test but you’re not sure if any of these criteria apply to you, take the online self-assessment at https://covid19screening.health.ny.gov/
  • Please remember you must always schedule an appointment to get a COVID-19 diagnostic test by calling 1-888-364-3065 or your healthcare provider.   

 

*Note: In Nassau County, all workers interacting with the public are now eligible to receive diagnostic testing, whether you have symptoms or not.* 

 

  • Uninsured New Yorkers can get a free diagnostic COVID-19 test at any CityMD urgent care facility. All CityMD locations are offering nasal swab tests seven days a week, and walk-ins are accepted.
  • Please do not go to your primary care provider’s office, an urgent care center, or to an emergency room without calling first unless you are experiencing a medical emergency. This is important in order to protect the safety of health care providers and other patients. 
  • If you have questions about symptoms you are experiencing, or about getting tested for the coronavirus, please call your primary care provider or an urgent care center to discuss your situation. If you do not have a primary care provider, please call the 24-hour state hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or 311 to receive assistance.
  • CVS is offering self-administered testing at their drive through locations in Floral Park, New Hyde Park, Mineola, and Westbury. Schedule an appointment here.
  • Coronavirus Diagnostic Testing is now available at the Westbury Health Center and Elmont Health Center by appointment Monday-Friday from 9am-1pm. Call 516-396-7500 if you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. All are welcome to call regardless of insurance or immigration status. This service is provided in partnership with Nassau County and Long Island FQHC. 
  • The state is operating a drive-through coronavirus test site at Jones Beach State Park. In order to get tested, you must have an appointment. For more information, please call the New York State Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
  • There are now over 700 locations statewide where New Yorkers can get diagnostic testing, and in order to make sure more New Yorkers are getting tested, Governor Cuomo has further relaxed the criteria for who can get a test and created some helpful online resources.
    • If you are concerned you might need a test, but you’re not sure if you meet the criteria, take the online self-assessment at https://covid19screening.health.ny.gov/ 
    •  *Note: In Nassau County, all workers interacting with the public are now eligible to receive diagnostic testing, whether you have symptoms or not.*
    •  To locate a testing site near you, visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you and enter your address to view a list and a map view of the nearest testing sites. The state has also partnered with Google Maps to display testing site results when you search "COVID testing near me" on Google Maps.
    • Please remember you must always schedule an appointment to get a COVID-19 diagnostic test by calling 1-888-364-3065 or your healthcare provider. 
  • New York State took the lead by being the first state in the US to issue a formal health advisory defining the criteria for what is now being officially referred to as Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome or PMIS.  Only 17 days have passed since warnings about a strange pediatric post-COVID-19 syndrome were first raised by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. The New York State Department of Health is investigating 110 reported cases in New York that have led to at least 3 children tragically losing their lives.
    • If your child is experiencing symptoms such as prolonged fever, severe abdominal pain, change in skin color, racing heart and chest pain, make sure you call your doctor.  For more information, click here.
  • As directed by Governor Cuomo, all New York insurers will waive cost-sharing for coronavirus testing. If you have questions or concerns about health insurance costs related to Coronavirus tests or care, please call the Office of the Attorney General’s Health Care hotline: 1-800-428-9071.
  • The New York State Department of Financial Services announced a special healthcare enrollment period for uninsured New Yorkers and New Yorkers who recently lost their health insurance due to losing their employment.
  • Be an informed participant in your own health care! Review The 5 Steps to Safer Health Care, a helpful resource for individuals and their families who are preparing to navigate the healthcare system. 
  • The NYS Cancer Services Program is still open and provides free or low-cost cancer screening services. If someone you know feels a lump or a mass please contact Angelica Medina at 516-877-4331 or via email at amedina@adelphi.edu.
  • The Adelphi Breast Cancer Program remains open and will continue providing free and confidential services to the breast cancer community.  If you or someone you know needs support, call Adelphi Breast Cancer Program’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-877-8077.
  • NYU Winthrop Hospital Department of Urology is holding a free Men’s Health Webinar Lecture Series, and the next virtual live event is on “Advances in Prostate Cancer & Prostate Cancer Screenings: From Conventional to Holistic Approaches.” It will be taking place on Tuesday, June 4, 2020 at 7pm, and you can register by clicking here.   

 

The state completed its preliminary phase 1 antibody testing study and issued initial estimates:

  • 13.9% of the statewide population had antibodies to the coronavirus, meaning they were exposed to it at some point, were infected by it, and developed antibodies to fight the infection. 
  • 16.7% of Long Islanders (72 positives out of 432 tested) had antibodies. Put in the context of our total identified positives, that means that for every 1 identified positive we know about, there are likely 7 or 8 other Long Islanders who had it but were never tested. 
  • Elsewhere around the state, 21.2% of NYC residents had antibodies, 11.7% of Westchester/Rockland County residents had antibodies, and across the rest of the state only 3.6% had antibodies. 
  • Communities of color represented a disproportionate percentage of those who had antibodies, which supports the need to bring more testing and tracing capabilities to communities of color as we seek to un-pause NY. It also further validates the need to address the health disparities impacting communities of color as we seek to build a stronger, better New York on the other side of this crisis.
  • These statistics suggest that 2.7 million people may have been infected statewide, at approximately 15,500 total fatalities, which puts the death rate at around .5% of those infected.  
    • It must be noted that this data does not include in-home deaths in it’s measurements, and recent studies show that there are likely many more coronavirus-related deaths than previously measured. 
  • People who have antibodies are not necessarily immune to the virus. 

Pre-K - 12 Schools Read More

Pre-K - 12 Schools

Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order closing schools in Nassau County and around the state until at least May 15th.  Additionally, he issued an Executive Order that eliminates the aid penalty for schools directed to close by state or local officials or those closed under a state or local declaration of emergency that do not meet 180-day requirements if they are unable to make up school days. 

  • Schools in our area are continuing to provide free meals for students who typically receive free or reduced lunch or breakfast in the classroom. 
  • ​ Click here for more information about school meal programs being provided in our community
  • In response to COVID-19, The College Board is developing AP Exams for this year that students can take from home. Students can take this year's online AP Exams either during the May 11-22 window or the June 1-5 window.  For more information, click here. 
  • The State Education Department has suspended all state assessments for grades 3 to 8 for the remainder of the school year. The state has applied for federal waivers for testing, accountability and reporting requirements, and the federal education department has announced that they will grant waivers to states in these circumstances.  Cick here for more information.
  • The State Education Department (SED) has cancelled this year's regents exams.
  • Governor Cuomo announced that summer school will be conducted through distance learning this year to help reduce the risk of spread of the coronavirus.  
  • The State will make a determination on the fall semester and issue guidelines in June so schools and colleges can start to plan for a number of different possibilities.
  • The College Board has cancelled the June 6 SAT exam, but plans to expand opportunities for high school students to take the SAT, including offering the college entrance exam once a month beginning in August if public health allows. The organization said it is also considering administering the test at home if schools remain closed in the fall.  More updates on the PSAT and SAT available here.
  • The National Federation of State High School Associations released a 16 page guidance document titled “Guidance for State Associations to Consider in Re-opening High School Athletics and Other Activities,” outlining protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. It advises that high school sports return in three phases. In the first, there are highly modified practices in lower- and moderate-risk sports. Only in the third phase do higher-risk sports like football, wrestling and competitive cheerleading begin competition. Now common practices like social distancing, disinfecting equipment and donning face coverings wherever possible are central in each phase. You can read the full guidance document here.

Child Care Providers Read More

Child Care Providers

The Office of Children and Family Services is working closely with the New York State Department of Health to supply child care providers with the most up-to-date information regarding the coronavirus

Resources for Parents and Expecting Parents Read More

Resources for Parents and Expecting Parents

  • Adelphi University has an Institute for Parenting "Warmline" (calls are returned Mondays & Thursdays) for parents, caregivers, and educators of young children (ages 0-6) who have questions regarding babies' and young children's development and wellbeing, especially in times of heightened stress. Your call will be returned by an infant and early childhood specialist from the Institute for Parenting at Adelphi University. Contact 516-515-1948. 
  • Expecting mothers understandably are experiencing a lot of fear and concern right now, and to help address their concerns and get answers to their questions, Northwell Health has set up a hotline for expecting parents. If you’ve got questions, call: 833-487-2273.
  • New York State will provide child care scholarships to essential workers. Child care costs will be covered for essential staff whose income is less than 300% of the federal poverty level — or $78,600 for a family of four. Essential workers (including health care providers, law enforcement, food delivery workers, grocery store employees and others) can use these scholarships to pay for their existing care arrangement.If an essential worker needs child care, they can use the below link to begin the application process (select by language spoken)

 

Below, you can find some helpful Online Education Resources to supplement your child's online learning: 

 

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Resources Read More

Mental Health° and Substance Abuse* Resources

The outbreak of the coronavirus is a source of significant stress, anxiety and fear for many people, potentially causing overwhelming emotions in adults and children. If you begin to feel these or related emotions, please reach out to friends, family, or the resources below. We are all in this together.

Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Read More

Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault

Amid an uptick in domestic violence incidents, NYS has launched a new 24/7 texting program and confidential online service to help abuse victims safely interact with the Domestic Violence hotline without being overheard by their abuser. If you’re in an unsafe situation, know that you’re not alone, and you’re not trapped. There is help—text 844-997-2121 or visit opdv.ny.gov.  

The Safe Center LI provides the following services to anyone in need:

  • 24/7 Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault hotline, always operational and answered by a live person: 516-542-0404
  • Ongoing Legal, Counseling, Advocacy, and Case Management (services will continue remotely)
  • The Child Advocacy Center is always operational to assist children and families
  • Nassau County’s only domestic violence shelter will remain open
  • For More Info:  http://www.tscli.org/
  • Thanks to the support of Uber, Nassau County residents who need to escape a dangerous situation, or access support services, will have one less thing to worry about when seeking help. Anyone in need can call The Safe Center’s 24/7 hotline, and operators will deploy an Uber to their location to bring them to a safe shelter or someplace else in order to access services, and the caller’s privacy will always be protected by personnel at the hotline.

Colleges Read More

Colleges

State University of New York and the City University of New York will implement distance learning and eliminate in-person classes, beginning March 19, 2020, for the remainder of the Spring semester.

  • All campuses will develop plans catered to the campus and curriculum-specific needs while reducing density in the campus environment to help slow possibility for exposures to coronavirus. Distance learning and other options will be developed by individual campuses.  
  • In response to growing financial impairments resulting from the spread of coronavirus, the New York State Attorney General will temporarily halt the collection of medical and student debts that are owed to the State of New York and that have been referred to the OAG for collection for at least a 30-day period, from March 16, 2020 through April 15, 2020. After this 30-day period, the OAG will reassess the needs of state residents for a possible extension. It is important to note this relief only applies to students that owe student debt to the State of New York -- this does not apply to federal or private student loans.
  • President Trump announced he would waive the interest on all federal student loans, but this does not mean federal and private student loan payments are being stopped as of this time. 
  • If you have student loans and need guidance, the Community Service Society EDCAP program is providing remote counseling services to help you. The helpline is available M-F, 9am-4pm at 1-888-614-5004. You can also visit edcapny.org for more info.

Consumer Protection Tips Read More

Consumer Protection Tips 

Price Gouging

  • If you become aware of any stores that may be price gouging on items such as cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer, please call the State Division of Consumer Protection at 1-800-697-1220 or call 311 to file a complaint. Report incidents of price gouging in Nassau County to pricegouging@nassaucountyny.gov
  • New York Attorney General Leticia James has created a dedicated price gouging complaint form specifically for offenses related to coronavirus.  

 

Scams

Unfortunately, there are people who are seeking to exploit our crisis in order to scam people in our community.  Please be vigilant and visit the following resources to learn more about the types of scams that exist, and how to avoid them.

Employment Protections and Assistance Read More

Employment Protections and Assistance

The New York State Department of Labor administers unemployment insurance benefits for New York State, and their website is a great first-stop if you're looking for answers to questions about unemployment benefits.

 

The CARES/HEROES Act

 

  • HEROES ACT: Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced a new coronavirus stimulus bill called the HEROES Act. This proposal calls for more than $3 trillion in aid to state and local governments, increases testing, extends unemployment insurance and provides for expansion of voting by mail.

    • The bill also proposes to give Americans another $1,200 in direct payments and additional mortgage relief. While the bill will likely pass the House, it will have an uphill battle in the US Senate. However, it is vital that state and local governments which have been devastated by the effects of this virus be given financial assistance in order for them to continue to fund basic public services including education, police and fire departments, road maintenance and sanitation services. I am hopeful that reason prevails, and this bill does not fall victim to another series of partisan divides. New York cannot wait any longer!
  • The federal CARES Act was signed into law March 27, 2020.
  • The Act provides enhanced UI benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for New Yorkers. 
    • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides payment to workers not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (including people who are self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus emergency.  For more information, click here.
       

Coronavirus Emergency Paid Sick Leave Bill 

  • On March 19, 2020, the State Legislature passed an emergency bill to enact paid sick leave for New Yorkers facing quarantine due to exposure to the virus, and waiving the 7-day waiting period for unemployment insurance. Effective immediately, employees in New York subjected to mandatory or precautionary orders of quarantine or isolation are eligible for some form of paid leave. Sick leave for coronavirus will not be charged against existing accrued sick leave. 

 

​Who does this apply to? 

  • Employers with 10 or fewer workers - unpaid sick leave until the termination of emergency order. Eligible for paid family leave program ($840.70 per week) with any difference made up by disability insurance program (up to $2,043 per week). 
  • Employers with between 11 and 99 employees, also includes high earning small employers - 5 days paid sick leave 
  • Employers with 100 or more employees and all public employers - 14 days of paid sick leave during the order.  

To find out if you are eligible, and to apply for paid quarantine leave if you are, call 1-888-364-3065 or visit https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/paid-sick-leave-covid-19-impacted-new-yorkers
 

Additional Employment Protections and Resources: 

  • NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus closures or quarantines. You can apply for UI benefits here
  • Workers in New York State have up to 10 weeks of paid leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition. This leave may not be used for your own health condition. For more information, please visit the NYS Paid Family Leave resource site or call the Paid Family Leave toll-free helpline at (844)337-6303. 
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if you have a serious health condition or are caring for a family member with a serious health condition. You must have worked for your employer for a year and your employer must have 50 or more employees. For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • If you are sick, you may also be able to request unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation under laws that prohibit disability discrimination. For more information, please visit the NYS Division of Human Rights
  • If you have questions about your rights in the workplace or if you believe your employment protections have been violated, including violations of workforce reduction mandates and essential business guidance, please contact the OAG’s Labor Bureau: 212-416-8700.
  • Short term disability insurance is potentially available to workers who take time off due to illness. For more information, please visit the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board
  • Attorney General Letitia James’ office is closely monitoring the treatment of employees across the state as the workforce reduction mandates go into effect, and she’s publicized a hotline and email address for anyone to report a violation of existing state labor laws or any recent executive orders that are potentially putting workers in harm's way. Her office can be reached is 212-416-8700 or by email at labor.bureau@ag.ny.gov

Student and Medical Debt Relief Read More

Student and Medical Debt Relief

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James has temporarily suspended medical and student debt collections referred to her office amid the coronavirus crisis for at least 30 days.
  • New Yorkers with non-medical or non-student debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the OAG, may also apply to temporarily halt the collection of state debt. Individuals seeking to apply for this temporary relief can fill out an application online or visit the OAG's coronavirus website to learn more about the suspension of payments. If an individual is unable to fill out the online form, they can also call the OAG hotline at 1-800-771-7755 to learn more.

Food Assistance, Local Restaurant and Supermarket Promotions Read More

Food Assistance, Local Restaurant and Supermarket Promotions

Housing Read More

Housing

  • The county sheriff has been directed to stop all eviction proceedings, and Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order stopping all eviction proceedings during this crisis.  If you experiencing eviction or harassment, call the Sheriff's Department at 516-571-2120.
  • The Department of Financial Services has issued a new directive to New York State mortgage servicers to provide 90-day mortgage relief (forbearance) to mortgage borrowers impacted by the coronavirus.  Click here for more information.
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency has released a new mortgage directive in the wake of coronavirus.  If your ability to pay your mortgage is impacted, and your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be eligible to delay making your monthly mortgage payments for a temporary period.  Click here for more information.
  • The Governor has issued an executive order putting in place a rent freeze to prohibit rent prices from rising during the coronavirus crisis.  Please contact the Attorney General’s office for more information and to file a report.

Utilities Read More

Utilities

  • Utility companies (PSEGLI, National Grid, and local water authorities) have been ordered to maintain service even if an account becomes delinquent. Additionally, there is a moratorium on all new rate increases during the crisis.  If you experience a service shut-off, please let my office know by calling 516-746-5924 and emailing kaplan@nysenate.gov, and contact the Department of Public services here.

Public Transportation Read More

Public Transportation

  • Nassau Inter-County Express / NICE Bus in Nassau County will switch to a reduced schedule beginning April 5th. The service will operate on a Saturday schedule from Monday-Saturday, and Sunday service will be unchanged. This does not apply to the Elmont Flexi Shuttle, the Mercy Medical Community Shuttle, the Port Washington Shuttle, and the n19, n57, and n80 routes, which will all continue to run normally.  For more information, click here. 
  • The Long Island Railroad is running the MTA Essential Service Plan until further notice.  For more information and schedules, call the LIRR customer service center at 718-217-5477 or click here.\
    • The MTA announced that it will clean and disinfect trains and buses on a daily basis and the LIRR will add more cars to trains where necessary to meet social distancing requirements. Please remember that wearing a mask or face covering is mandatory when riding public transportation.

Resources for Frontline Healthcare Professionals Read More

Resources for Frontline Healthcare Professionals

Nursing Homes/Long Term Care Facilities/Senior Centers Read More

Nursing Homes/Long Term Care Facilities/Senior Centers

On March 20, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced Matilda's Law to protect NYers aged 70+ and those with compromised immune systems. The guidelines are as follows: 

  • Do not go to the homes of your relatives or homes with multiple people in them.
  • Limit visits in your own home to immediate family members or close friends for emergency purposes only. 
  • Any visitors to your home should be screened for fever before being allowed to enter.
  • Everyone in the home of a senior or vulnerable person (including the vulnerable person themselves) should wear a mask for the duration of the visit.
  • Engage only in solitary outdoor exercise activities (taking a walk, etc.)
  • Stay home unless necessary to obtain supplies, medical care, or emergency services.

Older adults are one of the most vulnerable populations for contracting a severe case of the coronavirus. Out of an abundance of caution, the State has issued a directive, effective Friday, March 13th at 5 p.m., prohibiting non-medical visits at nursing homes and long term care facilities until further notice. If your family member is currently at a nursing home, you can inquire about the possibility of setting up a Skype or other type of virtual visit. Staff will be screened and will be required to wear face masks to help prevent any spread of the virus. Additionally, please find the below resources for Seniors: 

  • LICC Senior Helpline: 516-679-0000
  • RSVP Suffolk Senior Reassurance Line: 631-979-9490
  • Circulo de la Hispanidad, Inc – Project SALVA 24/7 Billingual Domestic Violence Hotline: (516) 889-2849
  • Nassau County Department of Senior Citizen Affairs Senior HELP-LINE Available Monday-Friday 9am-5pm: (516) 227-8900
  • Supervisor Bosworth and the Town of North Hempstead launched a new program to provide our seniors with remote companionship during these isolating times.  The “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” program matches volunteers with seniors in the Project Independence program, and is designed to provide a sense of reassurance and comfort.  To participate or to volunteer, call 311 or 516-869-6311.​
  • The Alzheimer's Association is running support groups via telephone/webinar, as well as a 24/7 hotline for those in need.  For more information, call (800) 272-3900 or click here.

 

Governor Cuomo announced efforts to provide further oversight of the conditions inside New York’s nursing homes. The State DOH and Attorney General Tish James will be reviewing compliance with all DOH directives, CDC directives, and executive orders, and will inspect any facilities found out of compliance with any of these rules, including staffing policies, family/resident notification policies, staff safety provisions, and policies around usage of PPE.

  • Are you concerned that a family member of yours isn't getting proper care in a nursing home? If so, we encourage you to file a complaint by calling 833-249-8499 or by visiting www.ag.ny.gov/nursinghomes.

Veterans Read More

Veterans 

  • The Nassau County Veterans Services Agency is continuing to provide critical services to our county's heroes.  If you are a Vet in need, please call the VSA to see how they can help at 516-572-6565. 

    • Counseling services for veterans will take place over the phone
    • Transportation services will continue to drive Veterans to important medical procedures.
      • Vehicles are thoroughly cleaned before and after each trip. 
  • Nassau County's "Vet Mart" food pantry is open to vets in need, and now has a drive-up program. If you can't pick up, volunteers can come to you. The pantry is located at 2201 Hempstead Turnpike, Building Q, East Meadow, NY and is open Monday-Friday from 9 AM to 12 PM. Contact: 516-572-6526

How You Can Help Read More

How You Can Help

  • The Nassau Veteran's Association is in need of drivers to help with deliveries and transportation services. Call 516-572-6565 for more info. 
  • New York State is seeking highly trained technologists to assist with our Covid-19 Technology SWAT team. Individuals from leading global technology companies are being deployed across high-impact and urgent coronavirus response activities across a range of functions, including Web/Mobile Development, Data Science/Analytics, End User Support and Digital Content Strategy. Individuals, technology companies, universities, nonprofits, research labs, and other organizations with technology expertise are invited to submit an expression of interest. Learn more at https://www.ny.gov/programs/new-york-state-covid-19-technology-swat-team
  • In order to help research effective treatments for Coronavirus, plasma donations are needed from people who tested positive for coronavirus but have since resolved and gotten better. Your plasma will be used to help save lives of ill patients using the convalescent plasma method, and you can learn more and donate by visiting https://www.nybc.org/donate-blood/convalescent-plasma/
  • The State established a new partnership with the New York State Court System to create a pro bono network of volunteer lawyers to provide New Yorkers in need with free legal assistance. Volunteers will begin to receive training and start offering assistance next week. Lawyers interested in volunteering can sign up at www.nysba.org/covidvolunteer
  • To help support our First Responders, New York created the First Responders Fund. The fund will assist COVID-19 health care workers and first responders with expenses and costs, including child care. The State Department of Health is accepting donations for the fund, and received an anchor $10 million contribution from Blackstone. Donations can be made electronically at www.healthresearch.org/donation-form.
  • If you see people putting themselves and others at risk of infection by defying the Governor’s executive orders, the Nassau Police urge you to contact shutdownenforcement@nassaucountyny.gov or call Nassau County Fire Communications - Firecom on their 24/7 hotline at 516-742-3170 for a more urgent situation.
    • The Governor increased the maximum fine for violations of the state’s social distancing protocols from $500 to $1,000.  If you would like to report a violation of social distancing protocols, call 1-833-789-0470.
  • Amid a shortage of personal protective equipment — or PPE — products in the state, including gloves, masks and gowns, the Governor is asking all PPE product providers to sell to the state any products that are not essential or not currently being used. Businesses interested in selling products to the state should contact Simonida Subotic at 646-522-8477 or covid19supplies@exec.ny.gov.
  • The Governor is encouraging any company with the proper equipment or personnel to begin to manufacture PPE products if possible. The state is willing to provide funding to any company to obtain the proper equipment and personnel. Businesses interested in receiving state funding to manufacture PPE products should contact Eric Gertler at 212-803-3100 or covid19supplies@exec.ny.gov.
  • NYS is accepting donations of essential goods, services, and spaces to support New York’s response to the coronavirus public health emergency. For more information, click here.
  • New York Blood Center is reporting critical shortages of donated blood, which is becoming even more important during this national emergency. If you are unsure if you can donate, but would like to, call the NYBC experts at 800-688-0900 or visit nybloodcenter.org for more information.
  • RXR Realty has created a platform called RXR Volunteer, where accountants, attorneys, consultants and others with important skill sets, can offer their services to small business owners, non-profit leaders and others trying to navigate through our present crisis.  The site is currently open to volunteers and those seeking help.  Click here for more information.
  • Frontline Foods is now in Nassau County and they need donations to do their great work supporting our local restaurants and our healthcare heroes. This innovative nonprofit organization takes your 100% tax-deductible donation, uses it to purchase food at local restaurants in our community, and brings the food to our healthcare heroes in local hospitals. Visit https://www.frontlinefoods.org/nassaucounty to learn more and make a donation.
  • To help get the message across about wearing masks, the Governor and the State launched a contest asking New Yorkers to create a video and share in their own words why New Yorkers should wear masks in public. After receiving over 600 great submissions, five finalists have been selected. The winning video will be chosen by an online vote and will be used as a PSA. Watch the videos and vote for your favorite here: wearamask.ny.gov.

Stay Connected Read More

Stay Connected

While we are all doing our best to ensure that we practice effective physical distancing, it's important that we remain socially connected. Below are some virtual activities for you to engage in to keep healthy both physically and mentally during this difficult time.

 

  • Organize weekly virtual hangout sessions with family and friends where you watch a movie, drink tea, talk about life and helpful coping mechanisms, play games and enjoy each others’ company!
  • Sign up for Senator Anna M. Kaplan’s Coronavirus Update Emails here.
  • Remember to virtually celebrate important milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries, test grades and more.
  • The Adelphi Breast Cancer Program is hosting numerous online self-help programs, including a four-week Paths To Wellness Online Series and a six-week Art Therapy Support Group.  For more information, visit the Adelphi Breast Cancer Program website here.
  • Subscribe to one (or more) of our fabulous local news publications.  For a list of community newspapers serving our area, click here
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is hosting weekly Virtual Creativity Exhibits. To learn more and to participate, click here.
  • This Sunday, several of our wonderful faith leaders from across our district are hosting a webinar on Teachings of Hope for Dark Times from Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Spend an hour gaining insight from the teachings of hope and promise from five faith leaders, followed by an inspirational dialogue. To register, click here.

Pet and Animal Care Read More

Pet and Animal Care

Below are some helpful tips and information for keeping your fur-family members healthy and safe during this time. 

  • Please refer to the Interim Guidance for Animal Care Operations for important information regarding essential animal care services
  • North Shore Animal League: Temporarily closed to the public but accepting pre-approved adoptions on an appointment basis. The Veterinary Medical Center remains open for sick and emergency patients only. All routine check-ups will be postponed/rescheduled.
  • Ensure you have enough food and treats for your four-legged family member! Online distributors and pet retailers remain open for these needs.
  • Have an emergency plan in place in case you can no longer care for your animal at this time. This includes stocking a bag with food, medicine/chip information, a picture of your animal, contact information for yourself and who your designated caregiver is.
  • Consider fostering an animal! Contact your local shelter to see if they are in need of foster homes during this difficult time.  To find animal shelters in your area, click here.
  • The Nassau County SPCA has launched a Coronavirus Hotline for Pet owners. The hotline will help pet owners get information they need, as well as help find important resources for their pets, including accessing pet food, medical services, temporary shelter, and supplemental care. Call 516-843-7722 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for assistance.

 

​Considerations for coronavirus patients under home care and isolation who have pets or other animals: 

  • Let your public health point of contact know that you have pets or other animals in your home.
  • Limit interaction with pets and other animals. Specifically, while symptomatic, maintain separation from pets as you would with other household members.
  • Service animals are permitted to remain with their handlers. 
  • Designate another household member to care for pets in the home. If this is not possible, ensure good hand washing before and after caring for pets.

The 2020 Census Read More

The 2020 Census