Latest Updates on Coronavirus from Senator James Sanders Jr.

March 30, 2020

Latest Updates on Coronavirus from Senator James Sanders Jr.

Important Note: For your safety as well as ours, Senator James Sanders Jr. asks that if you need to contact his office please do so via phone at 718-523-3069 or email at

UPDATE: March 30, 2020

News from Governor Cuomo

During his daily press conference today, Governor Andrew Cuomo offered the following information.

He said there are two missions – first, the public must follow the stay-at-home, social distancing and no density rules, and second, we must prevent the healthcare system from getting overwhelmed. The Governor added that our soldiers are our healthcare professionals in this war on coronavirus.

So far 66,497 people have tested positive in New York and 9,517 are currently hospitalized. There are 2,352 ICU patients and 4,204 patients have been discharged – that’s an increase of 632.

The number of deaths in New York is now at 1,218, that’s up from 965.

As far as future steps, the Governor said we must plan ahead so that we can get in front of the problem instead of stuck behind it, get ready for the apex (or the peak in the number of cases), prepare stockpiles now because when the storm hits it will be too late, and finally, follow the science and data.

To view the entire press conference, click below

NYC DOE Childcare services now available to grocery, pharmacy and food workers!

For our community members who are serving in these vital roles and have no other means of childcare, the DOE is setting up Regional Enrichment Centers (RECs). RECs are open and operate from 7:30am to 6:00pm (Monday-Friday), and will ensure that students have access to remote learning as well as various art, music, and other activities.

If your child is a New York City resident and you would like to enroll in one of these centers, please complete the REC Enrollment Form. Please complete this form for each child you are seeking to enroll. You will then receive an email confirming your child’s center assignment.

Thank you for your service in keeping our city safe. We look forward to supporting you and ensuring your children are in a safe, enriching space.

DOH-DOL Paid Sick Leave Guidance

Please see linked below updated guidance about orders of quarantine and isolation. This guidance allows medical providers to provide documentation indicating that workers qualify for orders where local health departments are not issuing orders.

DOH-DOL_COVID19 Paid Sick Leave Guidance

DOH_COVID19_Paid Sick Leave Advisory

Housing Resources

 As of Monday March 16, eviction proceedings and pending orders will be suspended statewide until further notice. Housing court functions such as landlord lockouts, repair orders, and serious code violations will continue.

As of Thursday March 19, New York has implemented a 90-day foreclosure moratorium and mortgage relief period for owners who can demonstrate they are not able to make timely payments due to the impact of the virus.

Tenants Rights Hotline by Met Council - 212-979-0611 (ingles y espanol) or more info

Report attempted evictions - Anyone with knowledge of City marshals attempting to execute on warrants of eviction can report this activity by calling DOI’s Bureau of City Marshals at (212) 825-5953.

Support for eviction prevention: Bronx Works, Catholic Charities (helps regardless of denomination), Coalition for the Homeless

Mental Health Support

Mental Health Hotline/Chat

Mental Health Chat For Undocumented People- Instagram Live Chat

Trans Lifeline- Info

Free, remote peer counseling - Open to anyone in emotional or psychiatric distress. Text (929) 277-8291 to schedule a phone or zoom session.

Mental Health for Front Line Workers/COVID Workers

Happy National Doctors Day 
Thank you doctors for all you do every day, but especially now, during these difficult times. Your dedication puts the patient first and we are grateful for all you do for us and our loved ones.

March is Red Cross Month

March is #RedCrossMonth! Thank you to all #RedCross volunteers in the 10th District and across NY for all they do to help people in need!

Amid ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, during this month of March; the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 608 adults and 186 children following 179 local disasters.

Virtual Workforce1 Career Center System

 Workforce1 has officially started their Remote Job Access Services.

Workforce1 helps New Yorkers prepare for, and connect to, jobs across New York City’s five boroughs and in every sector of the economy.

Through the Virtual Workforce1 Career Center system, you can be connected via web or phone to one-on-one help from professionals who can help you:

Identify jobs that are a fit for your experience and skills
Prepare for interviews
Access free training

 Senior Center "Grab-and-Go" Meals Replaced with Direct Delivery Service 

Update on "grab-and-go" meals from senior centers. They have been phased out and replaced with direct delivery of meals to homes.

The Department for the Aging (DFTA) congregate meals clients will receive direct delivery, which includes a five-meal package delivered to each older adult every week.

The best way to access direct delivery meals is by connecting your local senior center. You can also call 311 or DFTA's Aging Connect at 212-AGING-NYC (212-244-6469).

Homebound older adults already receiving home-delivered meals through DFTA’s case management agencies will continue as usual.

In addition to helping ensure DFTA clients receive a daily meal, senior center providers are also making thousands of social engagement calls daily to reduce their members social isolation during this crisis. Moreover, DFTA’s in-home services (including friendly visiting, case management, geriatric mental health, and others) have transitioned to a telephonic or virtual approach in an effort to combat social isolation.

 conEdison Scam Alert:
Beware of Anyone Demanding Payments Right Now

 5 Things to Know Today and Tomorrow

1. Beware of anyone visiting, emailing, or calling about outstanding bills or disconnecting service. You are not going to lose your power even if you can’t pay your bill now.

2. If anyone asks you for money for "new meters because of coronavirus," that’s bogus. We don’t charge for meters. And, we’ve put smart meter installation on hold.

3. If someone comes to your door, verify they are who they say they are. We’ll only enter your home or business for emergencies, safety reasons and upon your request for critical issues, including turning on service. If someone claims to be from Con Edison, call 1‑800‑75‑CONED (1‑800‑752‑6633) and check the employee’s name and ID#.

4. If you are making a payment, do it safely. We never accept payment by cash apps such as Venmo, or bitcoin. We only accept online payments through and

5. Suspicious about an email from Con Edison? Don’t click on any links you’re unsure about.

Free WiFi at Home and Some Free Expanded Services Via Smartphone

 WiFi at home 
 Comcast - offering Essentials internet service designed for low-income families free for 60 days for new qualifying customers. Visit for more information. Call 1-855-8-INTERNET for set up.

Spectrum - households with K-12 students can get free Spectrum Wifi for 60 days (including free installation for new customers). Call 1-844-488-8395 for set up.

Wifi via smartphone

Metro PCS, T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and Comcast are all lifting their unlimited data caps for cell phone subscribers for at least 60 days. Contact your cellphone provider for more information.

MetroPCS will allow you to add a free 10GB of mobile hotspot per month by adding an add on service available in the MyMetro app, MyAccount or by calling Care at 611.

T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile are providing customers an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot/tethering service for the next 60 days coming soon.

UPDATE: March 26, 2020

Job Opportunities in the Medical / Healthcare Field

St. John's Episcopal Hospital Is currently hiring for the following roles below, to assist on a temporary assignment during COVID-19. If you are interested, please send your resumes to

Patient Care Tech’s
Medical Office Assistants
Environmental Service Workers

How New Yorkers Can Get Relief from the Coronavirus Stimulus Package

Single adults earning up to $75,000, heads of households earning up to $112,500, and married couples filing jointly earning up to $150,000 per year in gross adjusted income will receive a one-time payout of $1,200, plus $500 for each child.

That amount decreases by $5 for every $100 in yearly income above that amount.

Single adults earning $99,000 per year or more, and couples earning $198,000, would get nothing. Your income will be based on your 2018 tax returns.

For more information, click below

Sanitation Suspensions and Garbage Removal  

The New York City Department of Sanitation today announced that core Sanitation services will continue on the normal collection schedule during the City’s COVID-19 response. Residents should follow their normal schedule and place their material at the curb after 4 p.m. but before midnight, the evening before their collection day. Anyone with questions about collection schedules should contact 311.

DSNY has suspended some services in order to limit person-to-person contact and to enable our workforce to refocus on core operations. Suspended services include Food Scrap Drop-off sites and curbside and apartment building electronics collection programs. A full list of service suspensions is included below.

Service Suspensions (as of March 20, 2020):

· Food Scrap Drop-off Sites:

o Food Scrap Drop-off sites will be closed until further notice.

o Residents should not leave food scraps at these locations.

o Visit for updates.

· Household Hazardous Waste:

o The spring SAFE events scheduled have been canceled. We look forward to hosting the next series of events in the fall.

o Special Waste Drop-off sites will be closed until further notice.

o Residents should not illegally dump waste at these locations.

o Visit for updates.

· Compost Giveback:

o Compost giveback events scheduled in April have been canceled.

o Check for updates on future events.

· Electronics Recycling:

o Curbside electronics recycling appointments are not being accepted at this time.

o Pickup requests for ecycleNYC are not being accepted at this time.

o Visit for recycling options and updates.

· Textile Donation and Recycling:

· Pickup requests for refashionNYC are not being accepted at this time.

· Greenmarket clothing collections are suspended until further notice.

· Visit for donation options and updates.

· In addition, alternate side parking regulations remain suspended through Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

For further updates, New Yorkers should call 311, visit or follow @nycsanitation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Basketball Hoops Removed from Some Parks

The mayor has ordered the removal of 80 (out of 1700) basketball hoops from public courts which were flagged by the Parks Department and NYPD as problem spots where repeated attempts to implement social distancing failed.

For more information, click below

UPDATE: March 25, 2020

News From Governor Cuomo

During his daily press conference today 3.25.20, Governor Cuomo had some positive news.
He said according to projections, the reducing of density appears to be slowing the spread of the virus. He explained that on Sunday it was expected that hospitalizations would double every 2 days, on Monday it was every 3.4 days and by yesterday it had dropped to every 4.7 days.
However, he expects the apex (highest point) of cases to occur in 21 days.
New York is the most impacted state in the United States, with 10x more cases than the second most affected state – New Jersey, with 3,675 cases.
As of yesterday, about 28% of all testing nationwide has been performed in New York State.
As far as testing is concerned, the Governor said any hospital statewide can test a person for coronavirus, however the state is strategically testing in the most dense areas.
In New York State, there are now 30,811 positive cases, with 5,146 new cases.
Regarding current hospitalizations, of the 30,811 people that have tested positive, 3,805 (12%) are currently hospitalized, and 888 (3%) are in the ICU.
In addition to the toll on physical health, Governor Cuomo also spoke about the toll that the virus and isolation is having on mental health He said that 6,175 mental health professionals have volunteered to provide free help via phone. Those in need can call 1-844-863-9314.
In speaking with President Trump and asking for assistance from the federal government, Governor Cuomo advised that all supplies and resources be directed to New York first since we have the most cases and then as we flatten the curve here, he will make sure those resources and help are passed on to the next hot spot.
When opining about why New York is the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in United States, the Governor said that it was for the following reasons:
We welcome people from across the globe
We are close, meaning we live in a densely populated area and our closeness makes us vulnerable.
The Governor added that our greatest weakness is also our greatest strength. Our closeness is what makes us special, connected to one another, makes us the human beings that we are, and creates our sense of community, he said.

1199 & Uber to Provide Aid to Healthcare Workers

1199SEIU and Uber Partner to Provide 25,000 Free Meals and Discounted Rides for Healthcare Workers

As Part of the Partnership, Uber Eats will Provide 25,000 Free Meals for 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers

1199SEIU Healthcare Workers Will Receive 20% off Rides to and from Facilities

Partnership WIll Benefit Healthcare Workers in Five States: New York, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maryland

1199SEIU and Uber today announced a partnership to provide free meals for 25,000 healthcare workers and discounted rides to and from medical facilities like New York University Hospital in New York City and Boston Medical Center Boston MA. The partnership is designed to help frontline healthcare workers with the closest proximity to areas currently most affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. The 25,000 free meals is part of Uber’s larger commitment to donate 300,000 meals to first responders responding to the coronavirus.

ASPCA to Provide Relief to Pet Owners

To assist pet owners and shelters affected by the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is launching the ASPCA Relief & Recovery Initiative, a $5 million multipronged strategic relief response to the crisis. The response includes $2 million in grants to animal shelters in critical need of funds and pet food to pet owners who face challenges providing food for their animals.

For more information, click below

MTA Transit Plan for Healthcare Workers, First Responders, Essential Workers

The “MTA Essential Service Plan” will be phased in beginning Wednesday, March 25 over the course of several days, and includes the following measures:

SUBWAYS AND BUSES: On the subways – starting March 25th, lines will operate our “MTA Essential Service Plan.” Most customers will not notice a difference. This preserves our AM and PM peak to get first responders and essential personnel where they need to go. Some lines will not run Monday through Friday – including the B, W and Z lines, which will be covered by other local service. Also, some express services and branches on some lines will operate only local service. To date, there has been an 87% decline in subway ridership vs. the comparable dates last year.

Even with these changes, the New York City Transit team continues to undertake a line-by-line, hour-by-hour analysis of ridership. So, they're retaining flexibility to increase service as necessary.

“The MTA Essential Service Plan” for buses will start on March 26th. This plan retains 75 percent of normal bus service, allows the MTA to serve essential workers and lessen crowding on transit and in crew facilities. This means that customers who still need to use buses for essential activities will continue to be accommodated. At the same time, the maximum number of buses needed is substantially reduced, requiring fewer operators and lessening crowding of depot facilities. Buses have experienced a more than 60% drop in ridership vs. the comparable dates last year.

LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD AND METRO-NORTH: Long Island Rail Road has seen a decline of 76 percent in ridership since the pandemic began. Under the new “MTA Essential Service Plan,” Long Island Rail Road will have over 500 weekday trains running, compared to a typical weekday of over 740 trains, beginning March 27. The LIRR will also have crews and equipment on standby to supplement service if necessary.

Metro-North Railroad has seen a 94 percent decline in ridership as a result of the pandemic. Beginning on March 27, Metro-North will provide hourly service on the Harlem, Hudson and New Haven lines, with extra trains added during peak times. Normal weekday capacity will be reduced by approximately 50 percent when compared to a normal weekday. The reduced schedule will run 424 trains, down from 713 during a normal schedule. Beginning the weekend of April 4/April 5, Metro North will provide hourly service while also suspending shuttle service between Wassaic and Southeast on the Upper Harlem line.

These service changes will be reflected on our website, the MYmta app and on countdown clocks in stations and on platforms.

PARATRANSIT: The paratransit program has eliminated shared rides in accordance with the recommended public health guidance, and extended eligibility for existing Access-A-Ride customers. The paratransit system continues to have capacity to serve demand, which has declined by 71% from earlier this month.

The MTA joins a growing list of public transit agencies that have scaled back service due to a drop in ridership resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.

Property Tax Help for Homeowners

For homeowners who are having challenges paying their property taxes, the Department of Finance offers several programs to assist with hardship including exemption programs as well as a new Property Tax and Interest Deferral (PT AID) program, for those who qualify.

For more information, click below

DFS to Provide Financial Relief for COVID-19 Hardship  

The Department of Financial Services (DFS) today issued an emergency regulation requiring that, during a specified time, New York State regulated financial institutions provide residential mortgage forbearance on property located in New York for a period of 90 days to any individual residing in New York who demonstrates financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, subject to the safety and soundness requirements of the regulated institutions.

The emergency regulation also requires that, during a specified time, New York regulated banking organizations eliminate fees charged for the use of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) that are owned or operated by the regulated banking organization, overdraft fees, and credit card late payment fees for any individual who demonstrates financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, subject to the safety and soundness requirements of the regulated banking organization.

The DFS emergency regulation provides that for the duration specified in the Governor’s Executive Order, which may be extended, New York regulated institutions are required to:

Make applications for forbearance of any payment due on a residential mortgage of a property located in New York widely available to any individual residing in New York who demonstrates financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and grant such forbearance for a period of ninety (90) days, subject to the safety and soundness requirements of the regulated institution, and the federal exceptions listed;

Provide the following financial relief to any individual who can demonstrate financial hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic, subject to the safety and soundness requirements of the regulated banking organizations: (i) eliminating fees charged for the use of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) that are owned or operated by the regulated banking organizations; (ii) eliminating any overdraft fees; and (iii) eliminating any credit card late payment fees.

Regulated institutions are not limited to offering the types of relief listed above. Regulated institutions are encouraged, consistent with safe and sound banking practices, to assist individuals with a demonstrated financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in any additional manner they deem appropriate.

This emergency regulation is not applicable to, and does not affect any mortgage loans made, insured, or securitized by any agency or instrumentality of the United States, any Government Sponsored Enterprise, or a Federal Home Loan Bank, or the rights and obligations of any lender, issuer, servicer or trustee of such obligations, including servicers for the Government National Mortgage Association. The emergency regulation also does not apply to any commercial mortgage or any other loan not described in the regulation.

The emergency regulation can be found at Part 119 of Title 3 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York. Read a copy of the emergency regulation.

For additional DFS regulatory actions on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit

Con Edison Halts Meter Reading, Installation of Smart Meters

Con Edison has halted all meter readings and installation of smart meters in an effort to protect customers and employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

Customers can pay their bill online at or by phone at 888-925-5016.

Anyone who has an appointment for Con Edison service but is in quarantine, or has someone else in quarantine, should notify the company in advance by calling 800-75-CONED.

For more information, click below

Mayor Warns Parks May Close If People Don't Practice Social Distancing

The goal of the city is to keep public spaces, like parks, open to give people a space to get fresh air and exercise, but officials continue to stress people shouldn’t be hanging out in groups, but that's something they are seeing.
For more information, click below

Trump, Congress Agree on $2 Trillion Virus Rescue Bill

The White House and Senate leaders of both parties announced agreement early Wednesday on unprecedented emergency legislation to rush sweeping aid to businesses, workers and a health care system slammed by the coronavirus pandemic.

For more information, click below


Restaurants in Jamaica Open for Take Out and Delivery

A new website by the Queens Chamber of Commerce is keeping track of restaurants across the borough that are offering delivery and takeout, with the goal of supporting local restaurateurs who are trying to keep the lights on during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more info, click below

UPDATE: March 24, 2020

Senator Sanders Distributes Food at Local Pantry

On March 23, 2020, Senator Sanders helped at the pantry at Beach 54th Street - Oceanside Apartments in Far Rockaway. City Harvest delivered food for the residents - fresh fruits and vegetables for the community. The pantry is organized by the Tenant Association President, Ms. Doris Mclaughlin.

 Mclaughlin called asking for men to volunteer to unload the truck and Senator Sanders along with some other men provided assistance. They distributed cantaloupes, broccoli and oranges.

 Updates From New York State

  • The FDA approved the use of a new experimental drug in New York on a compassionate care basis to help treat patients with COVID-19.
  • Department of Motor Vehicles offices are temporarily closed for in-office visits. Online transactions, including for license renewals, are still be available. License and permit expirations will be extended.
  • An initial delivery of supplies has been made to the Jacob K. Javits Center where FEMA has started to build a 1,000-bed temporary hospital.

 College Board SAT and AP Exam Updates

 The May 2, 2020 SAT exams have been cancelled and all March re-testings have been cancelled.

This link can provide updated information about rescheduling and refunds:

 The ACT has rescheduled the April 4th examination for June 13th and all students registered have received information on how to reschedule for free.

More information is provided here:

COVID-19 Testing Sites

The city has begun expanded, appointment-only COVID-19 testing at two Queens hospitals, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst (formerly Elmhurst Hospital Center) and NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens (formerly Queens General Hospital) in Jamaica.

For more info, click below

People who need more information about the coronavirus or would like to set up an appointment to get tested in New York should call 888-364-3065.

Staten Island: Located on Seaview Avenue in South Beach and will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 888-364-3065

The Bronx: Lehman College's parking lot. Hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 888-364-3065.

Can Your Business Provide Supplies?

EDC launched a new website this weekend for local businesses that want to support the COVID-19 emergency response effort.

 These stores have set special hours to help protect at-risk and senior shoppers from COVID-19

BJs Wholesale Clubs
Dollar General
Stew Leonard's
Stop & Shop
Uncle Guiseppe's Marketplace
Whole Foods

For More Information, click below

 Price Gouging

On March 16, the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) announced an emergency rule that makes price gouging illegal for any personal or household good.or any service that is needed to prevent or limit the spread of or treat the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

Examples include:

Cleaning products
Diagnostic products and services
Disinfectants (wipes, liquids, sprays)

Face masks
Hand sanitizer
Paper towels
Rubbing alcohol

It is illegal to increase prices of these types of goods and services by 10% or more.

Were you overcharged?

 If you think a store excessively increased the price of these items beginning in March, file a complaint at or call 311 and say “Overcharge.”

 COVID-19 Services & Resources

 ●       General FAQ:

●       Information about school meals and remote learning:

●       Stop the Spread:

●       Services for folks in need:

●       How to Help:

●       For Tenants/Landlords - Disinfection Guidance for Buildings:

●       Non-Profit Providers: Guidance for Non-profit providers:

●       Space Survey:


UPDATE: March 23, 2020

NYPD Will Enforce Lockdown Restrictions

Effective yesterday, March 22nd, at 8:00 PM, all non-essential businesses in New York City will be closed. Only businesses with essential functions will be permitted to operate. Examples include grocery stores, pharmacies, internet providers, food delivery, banks, financial institutions and mass transit. Businesses that provide essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing.

The NYPD will be out in neighborhoods across the City to ensure compliance with these policies.

The City will also enforce the following rules for non-vulnerable individuals with fines and mandatory closures:

No non-essential gatherings; any concentration of people outside their home must be limited to workers providing essential services

Practice social distancing in public (6 feet or more)

Limit use of public transportation to only when absolutely necessary.

Sick individuals should not leave home except to receive medical care.

What Is Considered an Essential Business?


Below are the rules on what are considered "essential businesses" which can continue to operate during the state shutdown.

COVID-19 Testing Sites in Queens

The city has begun expanded, appointment-only COVID-19 testing at two Queens hospitals, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst (formerly Elmhurst Hospital Center) and NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens (formerly Queens General Hospital) in Jamaica.

For more info, click the link below

Calling All Healthcare Workers

Doctors, nurses, physician assistants: WE WANT YOU!

Whether you are active or retired, your city needs you on the front lines of the fight against Coronavirus.

Join us at

New MTA Bus Riding Protocol

The MTA says bus riders will board and exit buses using the rear door. Express buses will board as normal, but riders will not be permitted to sit in the first three rows in an effort to practice social distancing from bus operators.

For more info, click the link below:

Please Note: Essentially, for local buses riders will not need to pay the fare. Now for Express and SBS Buses, folks are still expected to swipe when they get on since there is no backdoor on Express buses and to pay for their fare at the sidewalk machine for SBS rides.

Regional Enrichment Centers

In order to successfully fight COVID-19, our first responders, health care providers, transit workers, and other key personnel must be able to come to work. That is why NYC has created Regional Enrichment Centers—places where the children of these front-line workers can be safely cared for while their parents continue to serve the city in this time of need.

For more information, click the link below

For those who need it, the City has compiled list of services you may need:

●      Employment Resources

●      Food Assistance

●      Health & Medical Assistance

●      Rent Arrears and Public Assistance

●      Emotional Support & Spiritual Care

●      Other Assistance

For more information, click the link below

UPDATE: March 20, 2020

Governor Orders Strict New Rules

State will Effectively Shut Down Starting Sunday at 8 p.m.

Governor Cuomo has announced that the state is being put “on PAUSE”  effective Sunday March 22nd at 8 p.m. and said people should remain indoors to the greatest extent they can in order to protect physical and mental health.

PAUSE stands for Policies Assure Uniform Safety Everyone

The Governor is also implementing what he has called - Matilda's Law:

  • Remain indoors
  • Can go outside for solitary exercise
  • Pre-screen all visitors and aides by taking their temperature
  • Do not visit households with multiple people
  • All vulnerable persons should wear a mask when in the company of others
  • To the greatest extent possible, everyone in the presence of vulnerable people should wear a mask
  • Always stay at least six feet away from individuals
  • Do not take public transportation unless urgent and absolutely necessary

    What Is Considered an Essential Business?

    Below are the rules on what are considered "essential businesses" which can continue to operate during the state shutdown.

Managing Student Loans Amid COVID-19

Community Service Society of New York CSS /EDCAP is still assisting student loan borrowers with their debt issues, questions and needs during the coronavirus threat.  

Instead of face-to-face meetings or holding off-site workshops for groups, they are engaging loan holders through the phone and web-counseling.

Emergency Food

Get Emergency Food Now

If you or someone you know is in need of food, please visit the NYC Emergency Food Assistance Program or call the Emergency Food line at 1-866-888-8777.

Free Meals For Students

Free meals are available daily for all NYC children. Through Friday, March 20, meals are available at the entrance to every school from 7:30am-1:30pm. Beginning March 23, meals will be distributed at more than 400 sites across the city. A site lookup tool will be available soon. For more information, go to

Free Meals for Seniors

If seniors need home delivered meals or have any questions about services for the elderly, they can contact the Department for the Aging's Direct Access Number at 212-244-6469

Remote Learning for Students

If your NYC public school student needs a device for remote learning, please visit:

Job Opportunity 

Domino's is hiring 10,000 new employees in response to an increase in demand during the coronavirus pandemic. The company is looking for delivery drivers, pizza makers, customer service representatives, managers and licensed truck drivers for its supply chain centers. More info here:

Mortgage Relief 

Some good news coming from the Governor - financial relief for those suffering through this pandemic.

90-Day mortgage relief

• waiving mortgage payments based on financial hardship
• no negative reporting to credit bureaus
• grace period for loan modification
• no late fees or online payment fees
• postponing or suspending foreclosures

Waive fees for overdrafts, ATMs, credit cards

News From the Governor 

Density Reduction, Future Steps 

No more than 25% of the workforce can be in the office except essential services (food, pharmacies, healthcare, shipping, supplies etc.)
Plan of Action

  • Continue reducing density 
  • Increase current hospital capacity
  • Identify new hospital beds

Total positive cases 4,152
New positive 1,769
77 out of 4,152 cases (19 % of cases) hospitalized

Pre-K Appilication Extended 

The Pre-K application deadline has been extended to Sunday, March 29th.

As a reminder, families can apply online through MySchools or over the phone by calling 718-935-2009 (Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm).

School staff will now have until Friday, April 3 to verify applicants’ sibling status on the MySchools School Portal. Questions can be directed to

Pre-K offers will still be released in May.

Get a FREE Coloring Book from DSNY 

Download a Free Coloring Book from DSNY

Families that may have children at home because of COVID-19 that are participating in homeschooling can take a break and download a free coloring book from the NYC Department of Sanitation below here.

Update From Department of Sanitation 

NYC Department of Sanitation Special Waste Update

Due to concerns over public gatherings, ALL Special Waste Drop-Off Sites are closed until further notice. Additionally, DSNY SAFE Disposal Events scheduled to take place in April have been cancelled and the DSNY Curbside E-Waste program has been suspended until further notice.

Help for Small Businesses 

Help is available for small businesses impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.


As you know, all of Queens Public Library’s 66 locations are closed until further notice in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of its staff and the public, however they are still able to serve the community

COVID-19 Testing Sites 

NYC Health + Hospitals has set up mobile COVID-19 assessment and testing centers at 10 of its hospitals and seven neighborhood health centers to test more New Yorkers for the coronavirus These centers will be available by appointment only. More information on the specific locations is coming soon.

New York City's first coronavirus testing facility is being constructed in Staten Island's South Beach section. For more information, go to

UPDATE: March 19, 2020

USNS Comfort Deployed to New York Harbor
The USNS Comfort will be deployed to New York harbor and is expected to arrive in April. The 1,000-bed hospital ship has 12 fully-equipped operating rooms and will significantly increase New York's hospital surge capacity. The Governor is meeting with leadership of the Army Corp of Engineers today to discuss ways to increase hospital capacity in New York.

For more info, click here

More News From Governor Cuomo

During a press conference yesterday, March 18, 2020, Governor Cuomo gave updates on the coronavirus. They includes the following.

The number of coronavirus cases in New York continues to grow.

Over 14,000 people across New York State have been tested for coronavirus.

New York has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country by a significant margin.

Current hospitalizations 549 out of 2,382 (23 percent of cases)

We need more ventilators (nationwide need). It's  # 1 device that we need

All workforce is to be at 50% except for essential services, however if that doesn’t reduce the spread, that number could be reduced even further

NYS is requesting from the federal government - FEMA / DOD / Army corps of engineers
• Additional hospital beds
• Mobile hospitals
• Helping retrofit existing buildings

Governor Cuomo said he does not believe a shelter in place - quarantine-type plan will be necessary for NYC.

To see the entire press conference, click here


Governor Cuomo confirmed 1,008 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 2,382 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 2,382 total individuals who tested positive for the virus.

Changes to Access-A-Ride

Statement from NYC Transit Interim President Sarah E. Feinberg

“The MTA is no longer scheduling shared rides for Access-A-Ride services effective tomorrow, March 19. As is our policy, customers will still be permitted to travel with a personal care attendant and approved guest.  Our paratransit customers are particularly vulnerable during this public health crisis and we are doing everything we can to protect their health and safety. We will continue to aggressively disinfect our full fleet of Access-A-Ride vehicles around the clock and work closely with, and follow the guidance of, all our partners and public health officials at the state, city and federal levels.”

Early Shopping Hours for the Elderly

Beginning 3/19, all Stop & Shop stores will open earlier from 6 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. daily to serve customers who are age 60 and over only.
For more info click here

More Store Closures

New York & Company and Bath & Body Works have voluntarily and temporarily closed their stores as a precaution to curb the spread of coronavirus. Customers can still shop online.

UPDATE: March 18, 2020

Alternate Side Parking (ASP) citywide will be suspended for one week, which may be extended based on street cleanliness and workforce availability.

Any New Yorker under isolation who has received a ticket can appeal to the Department of Finance and should provide medical documentation or testimony, which will be taken into consideration when their case is reviewed. To learn how to dispute a parking ticket, visit the Parking Ticket or Camera Violation Dispute page

Ban on Pool Rides in For-Hire Vehicles

To protect the safety of drivers and passengers, the Mayor signed an Executive Order temporarily banning pooled rides in TLC-licensed high volume (Uber, Lyft, and Via) for-hire vehicles. This ban will not apply to paratransit vehicles.

Emergency Services

Under the current State of Emergency, Agency Commissioners can ask nonprofit vendors with health and human service contracts to perform services in response to COVID-19. The City will also designate its health and service nonprofit workforce – an estimated 40,000 employees – as essential workers.

Healthcare & Hospitals

Medical Reserve Corps

The City will mobilize the NYC Medical Reserve Corps, a group of over 9,000 healthcare workers who volunteer to support NYC in emergency response. This includes physicians, nurses, mental health professionals, social workers, and many others, both retired and currently working in the health care system.

Emergency Executive Order

All elective surgeries at all hospitals and ambulatory service centers across the city will be suspended. Hospitals will retain the discretion to determine what is elective/ non-elective based on patient risk.

Hospital Capacity

The City will create approximately 1,300 hospital beds through the conversion of four buildings into temporary hospital space

Price Gouging

The City has banned any price increase of 10 percent or more on personal and household goods and services that aid in diagnosing or monitoring disease symptoms, preventing the spread of disease, or treating disease. These goods include:

  • Thermometers
  • Sanitizing or baby wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Latex gloves
  • Face masks
  • Fever reducers
  • Cough suppressants
  • Aloe Vera
  • Zinc oxide supplements
  • Facial tissue
  • Toilet Paper
  • Rubbing Alcohol

To file a price-gouging complaint with the Attorney General’s office, see the online form at or call 1-800-697-1220 or 311

Tip: Save the receipt from your purchase.

Tax Updates For Business Owners

Businesses should pay their taxes on time.

For any businesses, experiencing hardships directly related to COVID-19, the Mayor has directed the Commissioner of Finance to waive penalties.

The government will postpone the April 15 income tax deadline giving millions of individuals an additional 90 days to pay their 2019 bills in light of the impact of the coronavirus.

Income Tax Filing Extension

Restaurants, Bars and Movie Theaters CLOSED

Beginning Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, NYC will limit restaurants, bars and cafes to food take-out and delivery. Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues must all close. The order will go into effect Tuesday, March 17 at 9:00 AM. Read the press statement from the Mayor here.

Gyms have closed as well.

The fees for local, county, and state parks will be waived, so that people can go there as an alternative to being cooped up at home for long periods of time.

Summary of Coronavirus Updates From New York State

The Governor and Legislature have an agreement on a bill guaranteeing job protection and pay for New Yorkers who have been quarantined as a result of novel coronavirus. The bill also includes the permanent comprehensive paid sick leave policy.

Governor Cuomo signed an executive order directing all schools in New York to close by Wednesday, March 18 for two weeks ending April 1.

Casinos, gyms, theaters are closed until further notice.

Bars and restaurants are closed, but takeout can be ordered during the period of closure.

The state strongly advises that only services and businesses that are essential stay open after 8 p.m. These include:

Groceries, Gas stations, Pharmacies, Medical facilities

All local governments must reduce their workforce by at least 50%. Non-essential state workers are working from home.

New York State is waiving all park fees in state, local and county parks.

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.

First Trial of COVID-19 Vaccine Administered

Doctors at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle gave the first shots in the trial aimed at combating the spread of COVID-19.

For more information, click here

Coronavirus Cases and Deaths in New York

Mayor Says the City may implement "Shelter in Place" order

From NBC News

U.S. novel coronavirus cases have surpassed 6,200; more than 100 people have died, including 18 in New York and New Jersey

Tri-state COVID-19 cases have surpassed 1,900; Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it may take 45 days to reach the peak of infection and 110,000 hospital beds could be needed

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have announced unprecedented joint measures to curb spread: crowds of 50+ banned, schools closed

For more information, click here

Yesterday, Mayor de Blasio said New Yorkers should prepare for a decision on shelter in place within 48 hours.

More on that here

NYC Public School System Closes, Grab and Go School Meals Available, Virtual Learning to Begin Soon

Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered the closing of all NYC Public Schools beginning March 16, 2020. They may re-open on April 20, 2020. During the break, virtual / remote learning will take place. Grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches will be available, meaning students can go to their school where they would have normally sat down to have those meals, and instead pick them up and take them home.

Monday, March 16: Citywide closure. Students, teachers, and principals do not report.  

  • Tuesday, March 17-Thursday, March 19: All staff reports. Teachers and principals participate in professional development on remote learning. 
  • Thursday, March 19-Friday, March 20: Students who need it will be able to begin process of picking up the technology necessary for remote learning. More guidance to families will be sent this week. 
  • Monday, March 23: Remote learning launches, with additional guidance provided throughout the week of the 23rd.  Regional Enrichment Centers will be available for the children of first responders, healthcare workers, and our most vulnerable populations, with more details to follow.

Evictions Suspended
Eviction proceedings and pending eviction orders will be suspended statewide, until further notice. This includes commercial evictions. For more information go to

Restaurants, Bars, Movie Theaters, Gyms, Casinos CLOSED
By order of the Governor, restaurants, bars, and cafes are limited to food take-out and delivery only. Movie theaters, gyms, and casinos have been ordered to close. These closures begin March 17, 2020 and continue until further notice.

The fees for local, county, and state parks will be waived, so that people can go there as an alternative to being cooped up at home for long periods of time.

As a precaution to help limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), all New York Public Library locations are temporarily closing on March 14 through March 31.
All Queens Public Library locations are closed starting March 16, 2020 until further notice.

All Senior Centers will be closed, but will continue food delivery and grab and go meals.

The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL), including both the Jamaica Arts Center and the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, will suspend JCAL's public programming effective Friday, March 13 through Thursday, April 2.

All elective surgeries at New York State hospitals have been cancelled to make room for potential coronavirus patients, and to potentially conserve medical supplies, space and staff.

St. John's Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, which has treated a coronavirus patient, has updated their visitor policy. Their website states: "We ask that any individuals experiencing symptoms including, but not limited to: fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath please refrain from visiting. We may request that individuals refrain from gathering in common areas such as the main lobby and the family waiting rooms."

The Governor has signed an executive order that will suspend candidate petitioning beginning March 17. This is for the June primaries for Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly and Judicial races.

The Queens special election for Queens Borough President on March 24, 2020 has been suspended. New date TBD.

New Guidelines on Crowd Gathering
New York State has limited gatherings to 50 people or less and cut legal maximum capacity in most gathering places by 50 percent. Meanwhile new guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends against holding any events or group gatherings of 50 or more people across the United States for at least the next eight weeks.

Help for Small Businesses
New York City will be providing relief to small businesses that see a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19.

Businesses with fewer than 100 employees whose sales have decreased more than 25% will be eligible for zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate the losses.
Small businesses with fewer than five employees will also be offered a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees.
Anyone interested in learning more about these programs should call 311 for more information.

The NYC Department of Small Business Services announced that starting on March 17, 2020 small businesses would be able to apply online for an employee retention grant and that the agency has also been working rapidly to setup a zero-interest loan program. For the more details and updates, visit  

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on March 8 that the City will provide relief for small businesses across the City seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. The City is also offering small businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees.

Go online for more information

Price Gouging
During the coronavirus pandemic there have been reports of price gouging, selling products or services at a price that is higher than what is considered fair, on items such as face masks, disinfecting wipes, and hand sanitizer. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is actively monitoring retailers for potential incidents of price gouging of necessary goods and entities selling bogus medical treatments that purport to effectively treat or cure COVID-19.

New York State’s Price Gouging Law prohibits merchants from taking unfair advantage of consumers by selling goods or services that are “vital to the health, safety or welfare of consumers”  for an "unconscionably excessive price" during an abnormal disruption of the market place or state of emergency. 

To file a price-gouging complaint with the Attorney General’s office, see the online form at or call 1-800-697-1220 or 311
Tip: Save the receipt from your purchase.

Unemployment Benefits
NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines.
Unemployment Insurance is temporary income for eligible workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. To collect benefits, you must be ready, willing, and able to work, and actively looking for work during each week in which you are claiming benefits.

For more information, go to

Coronavirus FAQ
Know the Facts, Protect Yourself

*How COVID-19 Spreads

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.

Take steps to protect yourself

Clean your hands often

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick

Stay home if you’re sick

Cover coughs and sneezes

Wear a facemask if you are sick

Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

*Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Services / Activities

Zoom, a popular videoconferencing tool, has been giving K-12 schools unlimited temporary meeting minutes for teachers and students with its basic free account. They just have to visit the company’s website and fill out an online form using their school email addresses, which are then verified by Zoom. More info here:

The Metropolitan Opera will stream operas from its award winning Live in HD series for free while the cultural institution is closed due to coronavirus precautions. The shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will remain available via the homepage of for 20 hours.

Spectrum will offer students free internet amid COVID-19 school closures. To enroll in the program, call 1-844-488-8395.

For those who have Netflix, the provider has over 150 educational shows available. For a list, go to

Five national parks are offering virtual tours so you can enjoy their beauty and splendor right from home.

Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

For more information, go to

12 museums are also offering virtual tours.

British Museum, London
Guggenheim Museum, New York
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
Pergamon Museum, Berlin
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
MASP, São Paulo
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City

For more information go to

Paris Musées, a collection of 14 museums in Paris have recently made 100,000 artworks available for public use on its website, which include pieces from Rembrandt, Monet, Picasso, Cézanne, and others. For more information go to


The U.S. Government’s Official Web Portal

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

New York State Department of Health

New York City Department of Health

NYC Small Business Services

NYC Department of Education

If you have questions, you can reach out to the New York State’s novel coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

New Yorkers can text COVID to 692-692 to get regular updates on the latest developments regarding COVID-19 from NYC; Text COVIDESP to 692-692 for updates in Spanish.