The public health and economic crisis and response surrounding COVID-19 continues to be frequently updated — one way we can all stay together is by staying informed.
Throughout this crisis, my offices are available to constituents. Like everyone, we have to adjust and accommodate the ongoing public health and safety requirements and recommendations, and we will continue doing our part. Nevertheless, we are available and we are monitoring the situation on the ground locally across the communities we represent. Please continue to contact us, preferably by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) since it allows you to provide more detail, more efficiently. Otherwise, if you contact us by phone, please leave a message and we will respond in short order. Find our contact information HERE.
While no single small list can ever begin to cover everyone engaged in this battle, let's never forget that there are doctors, nurses and other health care professionals and staff, public health departments, emergency services personnel and first responders, correction officers, business leaders, bank and credit union employees, postal workers and bus drivers, transportation and sanitation crews, delivery drivers and truckers, direct care workers, service organizations and sewers of masks, educators, librarians, farmers, government officials at every level, the men and women of our military, an army of other essential employees and, of course, incredibly selfless volunteers -- throughout the public and private sectors -- working around the clock to combat and control this threat, and provide diligent public outreach.
I commend their commitment and dedication. On behalf of all of us I say, above all else, "Thank You."
In other ways and at every level of government, discussions are constant over a comprehensive and coordinated public health strategy to address concerns surrounding hospitals, schools, workplaces, public gathering spaces, and so forth.
To do our own part, then, let's continue to practice the seriousness and personal responsibility that this emergency demands.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Response updates are being shared across the spectrum of local, state, and federal agencies and organizations. Pay attention to them. To help facilitate access to this information, my office has established this "One-Stop" webpage to help gather, in one place, a range of COVID-19 information and updates. This page doesn't include everything under the sun, because the speed and volume of information at this time can be overwhelming -- however, most of all, we try to point to those sources of straightforward and commonly held information, recommendations, resources, and updates, including from the:
> New York State Department of Health has established a toll-free Novel Coronavirus Hotline (1-888-364-3065) and maintains an informational webpage, "Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)", providing daily updates on New York State's response including a portal to submit questions, as well as access to information and resources from across all state agencies. A "Get Involved: How You Can Help" section invites support from qualified health professionals, product providers, manufacturers, technology professionals, and others. Thank you to the thousands upon thousands of men and women, from throughout this state and across our United States, answering the call. It is truly inspiring, powerful, and hopeful.
> federal government's www.coronavirus.gov and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) information webpage for comprehensive updates and information. [NOTE: With New York State now requiring a face covering to be worn in public spaces where social distancing cannot be followed, the CDC offers guidance on homemade cloth face coverings including how to wear them, how to clean them, and how to make them out of t-shirts and bandanas. Find the CDC guidance HERE.]
> ArnotHealth, "Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources"; Schuyler Hospital, "Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information -- What you need to know"; UR Medicine/St. James Hospital, "Coronavirus (COVID-19): Visitor Restrictions, Resources, and Updates"; Finger Lakes Health, "Coronavirus (COVID-19) -- Our Communities Safety is our First Priority"; Cayuga Medical Center, "Coronavirus (COVID-19) -- What you need to know." NOTE: All of the above provide Hotline telephone numbers, and important Telemedicine updates and assistance.
> New York State Department of Labor for up to date information for employers and employees, including How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits and a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, as well as programs covering sick leave, paid family leave, disability benefits, workplace requirements, and other newly enacted federal stimulus actions. The Labor Department also provides a "Warning & Advisories" page alerting you to e-mail, text message, telemarketing and other possible fraud and scams involving UI benefits, and how to protect your identity and report cases.
> To check the status of your federal Economic Impact Payment (also referred to as the federal stimulus payment), go to the Internal Revenue System (IRS) webpage, "Economic Impact Payments"
> NYS Office of Mental Health, "OMH Guidance on COVID-19" including a COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline (1-844-863-9314). Thank you to the thousands of mental health professionals volunteering their care, compassion, expertise, and support during this crisis.
> NYS COVID-19 Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline has been established at 1-800-942-6906.
> U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "Coronavirus FAQs: What Veterans Need to Know"
> American Red Cross (Finger Lakes Chapter) at a time when this COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in severe blood shortages. Donors are needed and enormously appreciated. Local regional donation locations and opportunities HERE.
> U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), "COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions" covering a range of information covering financial assitance, food safety, critical infrastructure, and more. Additionally, the New York Farm Bureau is providing frequent COVID-19 updates, including this one covering "Financial Assistance Reminder for Farmers" and, most recently, "Updated Farm/Farmworker COVID-19 Guidance Released by New York State." Same goes for the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, "Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) -- What you need to know" with updates specifically for the agricultural industry.
> Cornell Small Farms Program, "Building Farm Resilience During COVID-19" providing information and resources to "offer support on the various aspects of farming during a crisis, with a focus on the current COVID-19 pandemic."
> The Institute for Food Safety at Cornell University, "Food Industry Resources"
> U.S. Department of Justice is providing alerts, updates, and tips/suggestions for combatting fraud, scams, price gouging, and other wrongdoing related to the COVID-19 crisis, including how to report incidents, what to do if you think you are a victim of a scam or attempted fraud, and other frequently asked questions. From the NYS Office of the Attorney General, "Guidance on Coronavirus Resources and Warnings about Consumer Scams." Also see the Empire Justice Center, "COVID-19 FAQ -- New York Coronavirus Scams", the Chemung Canal Trust Company, "How to Avoid COVID-19 Fraud", and the national AARP, "Keep Your Stimulus Payment in Your Wallet and Out of Scammers’ Hands"
> New York State Association of Counties, "Coronavirus-COVID 19 Resources for County Leaders." Following are links to the county health departments covering our 58th Senate District: Chemung County; Schuyler County; Steuben County; Tompkins County; and Yates County.
> New York Conference of Mayors, "Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Resources for Local Government Officials"
> New York State Association of Towns, "Association of Towns serves members through the COVID-19 Pandemic"
> National Conference of State Legislatures has posted an overview of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) and highlights what it contains for states, individual citizens and taxpayers, small businesses, and others. You can find the overview here: "COVID-19 Stimulus Bill: What It Means for States"
> United Way of the Southern Tier, "Volunteer Needs in Our Community During COVID-19 Pandemic"
> New York State Commission for the Blind provides vocational rehabilitation, mobility instruction and other direct services to legally blind or deaf-blind New York State residents including children, adults, and older adults. The commission works closely with not-for-profit agencies for the blind throughout New York State to provide technical, educational and resource assistance to participants. Services are offered through seven district offices. During this time, NYSCB would like the public to know that services are continuing to be provided.
> COVID-19 Unity Response Fund is a funders collaborative that includes the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, Corning Incorporated Foundation, Triangle Fund in honor of Amo Houghton, United Way of the Southern Tier, and generous local donors inviting proposals from nonprofits that focus on basic needs, support for vulnerable populations, and easing the burden on essential workers.
> Empire State Development (ESD), "ESD COVID-19-RELATED RESOURCES" including a "Resource Guide to COVID-19 Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans", answers to frequently asked questions, and an online intake portal for individuals and businesses to relay business-related COVID-19 questions and concerns. Submissions through this portal will be routed to the relevant ESD department, enabling the agency to respond to questions.
> Chemung County Chamber of Commerce, "COVID-19 Resources for Business Community" that includes a "Support for Employees" section; Corning Area Chamber of Commerce, "COVID-19" ; Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce, "COVID-19 Updates"; Yates County Chamber of Commerce, "Coronavirus Community News"; and Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, "Updates from the Chamber on COVID-19"
> Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, "Coronavirus Disaster Relief Information" and the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development, "COVID-19: Coronavirus Information for Businesses" --including links to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Empire State Development, Internal Revenue Service, and others.
> Business Council of New York State, "Managing the Coronavirus" includes a valuable range of information from across the health care spectrum, but also specific to employers and their workers.
> Fund for Women of the Southern Tier, "COVID-19 Support Links" to highlight local support initiatives, including "Community Project -- Sewing Masks for Healthcare." It's a fantastic call to arms. ArnotHealth has also issued a call for volunteers and offers instructions on how to make masks HERE.
> Firemen's Association of the State of New York, "COVID-19 Resources for First Responders"
> Southern Tier Libary System, "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-2019)" including information from the system's member libraries.
> Finger Lakes Library System, "COVID-19 Updates"
> NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, "Tax Department response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19)" with a question-and-answer section for taxpayers on filing deadlines, refunds, and the availability of other resources.
> NYS Education Department, "Coronavirus: Information for Schools"
> NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, "NY's Outdoors Are Open"