Online Coronavirus Resources

Helpful Tips Regarding COVID-19

Over the past several days, my staff and I have received many questions, messages and inquiries from local residents, businesses and families regarding COVID-19.

We've put together this resource to help you find answers and information on assistance for residents, families, small business owners and employees that you may qualify for.

We will continue to update this page with new information on local, state and federal government action and programs to deal with this crisis as it becomes available.

These are unprecedented times and it is vital that we work together. As always, please feel free to call us at 315-568-9816 or email us at Helming@NYSenate.Gov.

General Information Read More

Novel Coronavirus Hotline: Call 1-888-364-3065 for information about Coronavirus

Information regarding Coronavirus, please visit:

Anyone who has experienced any hate crimes or biased-based incidents can call 1-800-771-7755 or email

General Assistance and Community Resources Read More

Volunteer Opportunities

Havent recieved your Stimulus Check? Visit

The State Comptroller’s Office has developed a COVID-19 Financial Survival Toolkit for New Yorkers with links and resources for residents, government entities, nonprofits and businesses. The site has health updates, information on unemployment, sick leave or family sick leave benefits. 

For help or guidance on a variety of assistance from access to food, shelter, or health care contact your local United Way by dialing 2-1-1.

On March 20, 2020, President Trump declared a major disaster declaration for the state of New York making federal funding available for crisis counseling services in addition to emergency protective measures.

County Offices for the Aging: CayugaOntarioMonroeSenecaTompkinsWayne

Call the USDA National Hunger Hotline, which operates from 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM Eastern Time.  If you need food assistance, call 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE to speak with a representative who will find food resources such as meal sites, food banks, and other social services available near your location.

What To Do if You Are Sick Read More

Call your doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

Contact your local Health department with any questions!

Cayuga County Health Department: 315-253-1560
Ontario County Health Department: 585-396-4451
Monroe County Health Department: 585-753-2991
Seneca County Health Department: 315-539-1920
Tompkins County Health Department: 607-274-6600
Wayne County Health Department: 315-945-5749

Small Businesses and Employees Read More

State Guidance:

Governor Cuomo has ordered all employers limit their staff capacity to 100%. For guidance on this, please visit: or

If businesses are unsure if they are included within the exempt categories, but still believe they are providing essential services or functions can request a waiver from these reductions by completing the form HERE.

For unemployment information, New York State is waiving the seven day waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines. ​You can apply for unemployment at Click HERE for step by step instructions on how to apply online.

The Department of Labor is also reminding businesses of its Shared Work Program that can provide an alternative to laying off employees during business downturns by allowing workers to work a reduced work schedule and collect partial unemployment insurance benefits for up to 26 weeks. Instead of cutting staff, a business is able to reduce the number of hours of all employees or just a certain group. Information about this program can be found here:

Resources for not-for-profits:

State Liquor Authority guidance on restrictions for businesses serving/selling alcohol

Federal Guidance: 

Businesses are now allowed to apply for disaster loans from the US Small Business Administration (SBA). Loans will be available to small businesses and nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit:

Disaster loans offer an affordable way for individuals and businesses to recover from declared disasters.  Here is the three step process for a disaster loan: 

With any questions regarding SBA disaster loans please call 1-800-659-2955

Local Guidance:

Cayuga County:

The Cayuga Economic Development Agency (CEDA) is offering an Emergency Microloan for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The Cayuga County COVID-19 Fund has been established by the Cayuga Community Fund in partnership with the United Way of Cayuga County to support nonprofit organizations working with communities disproportionately impacted by economic consequences of the pandemic. The fund is designed to rapidly deploy flexible resources in the form of one-time operating grants on a rolling basis to nonprofits whose operations support vulnerable populations stressed by the outbreak. To apply, click here

Monroe County:

Monroe County and Rochester Works have created a platform for companies still looking to hire during this crisis and workers looking for employment.

Ontario County:

The Canandaigua Local Development Corporation has launched a web portal to provide information and access to resources in support of Canandaigua area businesses grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the website, the LDC has also launched a survey to gather insight and seek input on what types of programming would best suit the needs of the Canandaigua business community. More information and the survey can be found here:

Wayne County:

Wayne County Economic Development Department is interested in understanding the impacts the coronavirus has had on Wayne County businesses in order to evaluate potential assistance programs. Please consider completing the survey found here.

Mortgage Relief Read More

The Governor announced the NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued a new directive to New York State mortgage servicers to provide 90-day mortgage relief to mortgage borrowers impacted by the novel coronavirus. The directive includes:

Waiving mortgage payments based on financial hardship;
No negative reporting to credit bureaus;
Grace period for loan modification;
No late payment fees or online payment fees; and
Postponing or suspending foreclosures.

Additionally, the Governor has asked DFS to instruct state chartered banks to waive ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees and fees for credits cards to help lessen the financial hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic on New Yorkers.

Tax Filing Read More

New York is waiving interest and penalties on businesses that don't file their sales tax payments by the March 20 deadline — a step praised by trade groups trying to help retail stores, restaurants and others financially suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Federal Taxes:

The filing deadline has been moved to July 15 for all taxpayers. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.

Taxpayers will get a three-month reprieve to pay any outstanding balance on federal income taxes they owe the IRS for 2019. If an individual files their taxes and discovers that they owe money, they can opt to not pay that balance until July 15.

However, if an individual submits their taxes and includes their bank account direct debit information, the IRS will collect the taxes as soon as they receive the tax return. The IRS will not automatically wait until July 15 to debit the taxpayer’s account.

State Taxes:

The filing deadline has been moved to July 15 for all taxpayers. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.

Please visit for updates.

Executive Orders: Read More

Here you can find all of Governor Cuomo's Executive orders:

Consumer Protection Read More

National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or email

Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19. For more information visit

Some fraud examples include:

• People and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online.

• Phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

• Malicious websites and apps that appear to share coronavirus-related information to gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received.

• Seeking donations fraudulently for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations.

• Medical providers obtaining patient information for COVID-19 testing and then using that information to fraudulently bill for other tests and procedures.

Mental Health Resources Read More

Nursing Home Abuse hotline information


(800) 456-1172

Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 or text 838255;

Community resources to help with housing, food and other assistance, dial 211; 

New York State Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-942-6906;

Finger Lakes Area Counseling & Recovery Agency: 315-462-9466 or visit their website;

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255);

Crisis Text Line: a free 24/7 confidential text service for those in crisis. Text "Got5" to 741-741; and online therapy;

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center has compiled a selection of information on mental health and coping with the effects of COVID-19. 

 The Wayne County Behavioral Health Network Open Access Center – 1-833-WAYNE-CO (1-833-929-6326 or 1-315-946-5750). Professional counselors & medical staff are available to assist with mental health and/or addiction issues. The Open Access Center is available to all residents of Wayne County and the surrounding counties of the Finger Lakes Region. 


Health Insurance Read More

New York has also announced a Special Enrollment Period due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Uninsured individuals can enroll in Qualified Health Plans between March 16 and May 15 to have coverage effective starting April 15,  2020.

If you have recently lost coverage from your employer due to the public health emergency, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has several free and low-cost health care options available. Loss of coverage due to job loss is considered a qualifying event allowing people to sign up for coverage without waiting for open enrollment.
For the latest information on the health plan’s response, members, providers and employers are encouraged to visit:

For the latest information on the health plan’s response, members, providers and employers are encouraged to visit:

COVID-19 Tracking Read More

Staying informed is always important, especially during a major public health crisis.

That’s why the State Department of Health has just created a new website which will provide the most up-to-date coronavirus testing data to the public. The website will be updated daily with the latest data and will also present visualizations of statewide and county-level testing and results. 

The public can also access the testing data through Open New York at, which offers machine readable datasets in downloadable standard formats that can be sorted, searched, analyzed and applied to new uses.

Learn more at:

Parents and Students Read More

The State Education Department has announced the cancellation of the June 2020 administration of Regents Exams and has released guidance on modifications to requirements for students to graduate and earn their high school diplomas, credentials and endorsements. More information can be found here:

Farmers/agricultural industry Read More

American Farmland Trust (AFT) has announced a Farmer Relief Fund.  AFT will award farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Eligible applicants include any small and mid-size direct-market producers. These are defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs.

The application period ends April 23, with grants beginning on May 1.

Farmers are eligible for the Federal PPP program
The Department of Treasury (Treasury) and Small Business Administration (SBA) released an interim final rule on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Agricultural producers are eligible to participate in the program and should reach out to their bankers and/or agricultural lenders to apply immediately. While SBA still needs to confirm some administrative details, loans will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis and producers can get started on the application now. 

For a top-line overview of the PPP program CLICK HERE
Information for prospective borrowers can be found HERE
The application for borrowers can be found HERE

Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants - Department of Agriculture, Utilities Programs


Assistance to High Energy Cost Communities - Department of Agriculture, Utilities Programs


Revolving Fund Program - Department of Agriculture, Utilities Programs


Rural Community Development Initiative - Department of Agriculture, Utilities Programs


Rural Housing Preservation Grant - Department of Agriculture, Utilities Programs


Regional Food System Partnerships - Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service


Great Lakes RFA 2020 - Department of Agriculture, Forest Service


Conservation Collaboration Grants - Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Cornell Cooperative Resources:

Need information? View the following Cornell CALS and CCE Resource Pages Updated Regularly

General Questions & Links:

Food Production, Processing & Safety Questions:

Employment & Agricultural Workforce Questions:

Cornell Small Farms Resiliency Resources:

Financial & Mental Health Resources for Farmers:

Information for Farm Employees Including Spanish & Mam Language videos on COVID-19: and

Dairy Specific Resources:


Cornell Pro Dairy:  Resources and technical guidance to farmers who need to dispose of milk and information about how (and how much) to feed to animals and safely start to dry off cows to eliminate excess milk production:


Labor and workforce questions:  A lot of labor issues have been popping up due to the pandemic.  Everything from changes in the H2a program housing requirements, etc., to communicating to employers their new obligations to provide both COVID-19 related and normal sick leave.  The Cornell Ag Workforce Program has a series of blog posts that serve as an FAQ resource. This program is also working with NYFB and county CCE’s to have housing identified if it is needed for isolation housing in case of an outbreak in a farm, to ensure that we can meet public health needs.


The Cornell farmworker program is actually partnering with Finger Lakes migrant health in the farm employee outreach to Hispanic and latino community members. The Cornell farmworker program is also working with County CCE’s 4-H programs to obtain cloth face coverings and distribute to farms.


The Institute for Food Safety: The CCE has had over 1,000plus participants in the food safety virtual office hours since these started a few weeks ago, and the goal is to keep NY food processors and farmers implementing appropriate public health and food safety protocols to keep our regional food system going. The Institute for Food Safety, runs from the Cornell AgriTech campus. 



First Responders Read More

Firemen's Association of the State of New York- COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR FIRST RESPONDERS

Improving Community Supervision Outcomes Through Swift, Certain, and Fair Responses - Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance


Justice Reinvestment Initiative: Reducing Violent Crime by Improving Justice System Performance - Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance


Innovations in Reentry Initiative: Building System Capacity & Testing Strategies to Reduce Recidivism - Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance


Second Chance Act Community-Based Reentry Program - Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance


Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) - Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance


Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program to Support Law Enforcement Agencies - Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance


Strategies for Policing Innovation - Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance


Innovations in Community-Based Crime Reduction (CBCR) Program - Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance


The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program - Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance


Innovative Prosecution Solutions for Combatting Violent Crime Training and Technical Assistance - Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance

National Volunteer Firefighter Council Support Fund

FEMA Grant Funding for PPE

Veterans Read More

Veterans who are interested in enrolling for VA Healthcare may do so by phone:

At Canandaigua VA Veterans Service Center 585-393-7348

At Rochester VA Veterans Service Center 585-463-2687

At Bath VA Veterans Service Center 607-664-4798

You may also enroll online at and under Health Care click Apply now for VA Healthcare.

Veterans Crisis Line anytime, day or night – 24/7
If you are a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, connect with our caring, qualified responders for confidential help. Many of them are Veterans themselves.

Call 800-273-8255 and press 1
Text 838255
Start a confidential chat
Call TTY if you have hearing loss 800-799-4889

Get more resources at

Some Non-VA Community Based Veteran and Families Resources and Service Providers:

Economic Impact Payments

Warrier Salute: 585-364-3171

Veterans Outreach Center: 585-546-1081

Cohen Veterans Network: 855-698-4677

Clear Path For Veterans at 315-687-3300 or email and request to speak with a member of the Buddy Check team

Re-Opening Guidance Read More

For specific questions on reopening we ask that you reach out to Empire State Development. They are administering the guidelines for the phase reopening. You can also visit Forward NY's website which has a breakdown of the phases.


If you are a restaurant owner or craft beverage producer looking for guidance or a municipal permit application to begin outdoor dining, please find related information from the New York State Liquor Authority here: