What You Need To Know About The COVID-19 Pandemic - Resources and Information

What You Need To Know About The COVID-19 Pandemic - Resources and Information

Dear Neighbor,

I hope you and your loved ones are well and exercising caution during these chaotic times. The fabric of our community is strong and together, we will help each other get through this unprecedented pandemic.

With news and updates changing constantly, I am committed to keeping my constituents informed and engaged. To learn more about COVID-19, download the PDF at the top of the page. Below are resources and information to keep you and your family informed. Please share this information with friends and neighbors who may be in need of help.

For COVID-19 updates:

  • Sign up for New York State Coronavirus Updates, visit: https://now.ny.gov/page/s/coronavirus-updates  
  • Sign up for NYC's COVID text notification system to get regular updates on the latest developments with coronavirus in New York City text COVID to 692-692.  New Yorkers can text COVIDESP to 692-692 for updates in Spanish.  

 

I hope you will join me in continuing  to check on and assist our elderly and vulnerable neighbors. Stay healthy and be safe!

Sincerely,

Senator Velmanette Montgomery

25th Senate District

 

Taxes Read More

Friday, March 20th

The IRS moved the national income tax filing day ahead to July 15, three months after the normal deadline for Americans to send in their returns, without incurring interest or penalties.

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New York State Taxes

3-20-20: New York State will forgive interest and penalties for late payment of sales tax due today.

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New York City Taxes

The New York City Department of Finance has also issued a waiver of penalties for those unable to meet certain filing and payment deadlines for DOF-administered business and excise taxes due between March 16, 2020 and April 25, 2020. Taxpayers may request to have penalties waived on a late-filed extension or return, or in a separate request.

NYS Unemployment Assistance Read More

** The following information is from the New York State Department of Labor"

New York State 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.

If you are filing a new unemployment insurance claim, the day you should file is based on the first letter of your last name. If your last name starts with A - F, file your claim on Monday. For last names starting with G - N, file your claim Tuesday. For last names starting with O - Z, file your claim on Wednesday. If you missed your filing day, file your claim on Thursday or Friday. Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim, since all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed.

For more information, visit https://www.labor.ny.gov/home/

NYC Public School Parents - Remote Learning Device Request Form Read More

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced the City will move towards a new Remote Learning Model for all school days until Spring Recess.
 

March 19th Update:

The New York City Department of Education wants every student who needs a device for remote learning to have one, even if the student does not have internet access at home. Simply call 718-935-5100 and choose Option 5 on the menu. Someone will help you get a device with internet connection.

 

Parents: Take the Remote Learning Device Request Form

To help students stay connected during emergencies, the DOE is lending internet-enabled iPads to support remote learning for students. If you would like to request a device for a NYC student in your family, please fill out the Request form. The DOE will use the contact information you provide to get in touch with you to discuss when and where you can pick up a device. Priority will be given to students most in need, and all devices are granted on a temporary basis and will later need to be returned. There is a limit of one device per student.

To apply, visit https://coronavirus.schools.nyc/RemoteLearningDevices

NYC Employee Retention Grant Program Read More

As New York City has taken precautionary measures to help reduce the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, the office of Mayor DeBlasio has also established an Employee Retention Grant program to assist small businesses in retaining their employees. 

Small businesses are to begin putting together the necessary paperwork to demonstrate a revenue decrease.  Documentation could include: point-of-sales reports, bank statements, quarterly sales tax filings, 2019 tax returns, or CPA-certified profit & loss statements. 

Eligibility Criteria for the NYC Employee Retention Grant Program
Businesses, including non-profits, must: 

  • Be located within the five boroughs of New York City 
  • Demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak caused at least a 25% decrease in revenue 
  • Employ 1-4 employees in total across all locations  
  • Have been in operation for at least 6 months 
  • Have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgements 

 

For best business practices and updates regarding financial assistance, https://www1.nyc.gov/site/sbs/businesses/covid19-business-outreach.page

NYC School Closure Information Read More

All public schools are closed beginning Monday, March 16th and are scheduled to reopen on Monday, April 20th.

To view Mayor Bill de Blasio's annoucement or for more information, visit:

https://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/151-20/new-york-city-close...

 

90-Day Mortgage Relief for New Yorkers and Waived Fees for Overdrafts, ATMs and Credit Cards Read More

MARCH 19, 2020  
Albany, NY
 

The Governor announced the Department of Financial Services 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.

Update on Senior Centers Read More

The Mayor is instructing all programs run by Department for the Aging to close and cancel all congregate meal, recreational, and educational services and activities, effective immediately. Senior centers will operate strictly to deliver food to seniors, either as take-home meals or meals delivered to homes. Centers are advised to create a phone bank to call the center’s participants to ensure they are well and to help avoid social isolation.

To view the Mayor de Blasio's annoucement or for more information, visit https://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/151-20/new-york-city-close...

NYS Attorney General Price Gouging Complaint Form Read More

Please use this form to submit complaints about sudden price increases of essential goods and services (like water, ice, food, generators, batteries, flashlights, lodging, home repair materials and services, and snow and tree removal services). If a merchant took advantage of you or others by charging unconscionably high prices for essential goods or services during a major weather event, natural disaster or other emergency situation.

To report price gouging in our community during this difficult time contact the State Attorney General at the link below.

https://ag.ny.gov/price-gouging-complaint-form

 

 

Brooklyn Public Library Closures and Information Read More

Updated March 18, 2020

Along with the City's increased efforts to slow the spread of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Brooklyn Public Library has decided to close our doors. Beginning Monday, March 16, all our locations will be closed through at least March 31.

While we are closed, we encourage patrons to use our digital resources, many of which are linked at the bottom of this page.

  • If you have received a message that your materials holds are "ready for pick up" during our closure, please expect to find them on the hold shelf 2-3 days following our re-opening.
  • For those materials currently on the hold shelf, they will remain on the shelf for one week following reopening to give you chance to come in to check them out.
  • Though all library locations are closed, you can still place materials on hold and we will begin fulfilling requests once we re-open to the public.

 

Avoid Late Fees and Expiring Accounts:

  • All library card accounts with an expiration date from February 1st, 2020 to April 30th, 2020 have automatically been renewed for an additional six months from the original expiration date. These cardholders can continue to access our eBook and eAudiobook collection without renewing their cards in person. Learn more about these collections and find download guides here.
  • As of March 13, all library materials that had been checked out or renewed with January 1st 2020 to March 31st 2020 due dates have been automatically extended to Monday, April 6th to prevent accrual of fines.  
  • Anyone with a blocked library card (due to accumulation of $15 or more in fines) will now be able to access eBooks and audiobooks without restriction.

 

For more information, visit https://www.bklynlibrary.org/

Guarantee Paid Leave for New Yorkers Under Mandatory or Precautionary Quarantine Due to COVID-19 Read More

UPDATE: Governor Cuomo signs bill into law.

(Albany, NY) On March 18th, the Senate  passed legislation to ensure employees in New York State will be able to access paid leave if they are subject to a mandatory or precautionary quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The Senate bill, advanced by the Senate Democratic Majority, also waives the 7-day waiting period before New Yorkers can apply for unemployment insurance. This action builds on legislation passed by the Senate to allocate $40 million to help address this crisis. 

“Workers should not be penalized if they receive a quarantine or isolation order,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “The legislation passed by the Senate Majority will ensure every New York employee will be able to continue to receive paychecks, without having to charge their available time if they need to undergo a quarantine or isolation. The Senate Majority will continue to work with our colleagues in government to flatten the curve of the disease and protect New Yorkers’ health.”

Chair of the Senate Labor Committee and Bill Sponsor, Senator Jessica Ramos, said, “Working families are the backbone of New York’s economy, and by providing each New Yorker with guaranteed paid sick leave, we’re no longer forcing people to choose between their health and paying for food, rent, or utilities. This is especially important in the wake of the COVID-19 public health emergency we’re facing, as employers require or advise their workers to self-quarantine. I am proud to carry this legislation, and thank our Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Carl Heastie, and Governor Andrew Cuomo for leading our communities toward a safer, more equitable New York.”

The legislation advanced by the Senate Majority, S.8091, will help every employee in the State by ensuring they receive paid leave and guaranteed job security if they have to undergo a mandatory or precautionary quarantine or isolation. This paid leave will last for the duration of their order, and is intended so that New Yorkers listen to these precautions and are not financially punished for helping contain the coronavirus pandemic. This legislation is another example of the Senate Majority’s work to support New York’s small businesses, as it will require state insurance programs to cover the full cost of workers’ salaries for New York’s smallest businesses, and everything following a week of leave for medium businesses.

  • Businesses who have 10 or fewer employees as of January 1, 2020, and a net income under $1 million last fiscal year, will have the full cost of employee’s leave provided by New York State insurance programs, capped at benefits coverage equal to annual salaries of $150,000.
  • Businesses who have 11-99 employees as of January 1, 2020 and businesses who have 10 or fewer employees with a net income greater than $1 million last fiscal year will be required to provide 5 days of paid leave to their employees as well as the rest of the required quarantine or isolation days provided by New York State insurance programs, capped at benefits coverage equal to annual salaries of $150,000.
  • Businesses who have 100 or more employees, and all government institutions, will be required to cover at least 14 days of paid leave.

 

NYC Dept of Health Scaling Back Services to Maximize COVID-19 Response Read More

In order to repurpose DOHMH’s capacity and make sure we are maximizing our COVID-19 response we are scaling back many services. Including:

VITAL RECORDS:

  • In-person ordering of NYC birth and death certificates will be suspended until further notice
  • If you have an emergency request due to healthcare coverage, government services, military, immigration, or employment, please call 311 or email nycdohvr@health.nyc.gov
  • During this time, you can order certificates online at: nyc.gov/vitalrecords or by mail  

 

DOHMH CLINICS:

  • All NYC Sexual Health Clinics are closed for non-emergency walk-in services until further notice
  • Clinics will only see patients who were contacted by clinic staff for urgent follow-up, or who need emergency contraception or HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
  • These patients can receive services on the following dates at the following clinics:
    • Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20: Morrisania, Central Harlem, Chelsea, Fort Greene, Crown Heights, Jamaica and Corona
    • Monday, March 23 until further notice: Chelsea only
  • All immunization testing services are suspended at all clinics
  • All tuberculosis clinics will be closed starting Sunday, March 22, except for the Fort Greene Chest Center, which will remain open

 

DOHMH ACTION CENTERS

  • All Department of Health services and scheduled activities at Health Action Center buildings have been suspended until further notice. Visit our coronavirus page for more information and current guidance.
  • For non-Health Department services in the Health Action Center buildings, such as medical clinics and IDNYC, please call the program directly for specific instructions.

 

NYC Alternate Side of the Street Parking Laws are Suspended Until March 24 Read More

Alternate Side of the Street Parking Laws are Suspended Until March 24

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #20-011
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Contact: Scott Gastel/Alana Morales (212) 839-4850

Suspension of Alternate Side Parking Regulations

The de Blasio Administration today announced that Alternate Side Parking Regulations will be suspended for one week starting on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 through Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

The City may extend the suspension 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. For any additional questions call 311.

Payment at parking meters will remain in effect throughout the City.

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For more information, visit https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/alternate-side-parking.shtml

 

NYC Department of Correction Update Read More

To reduce exposure for COVID-19, DOC will suspend in-person visitation beginning Wednesday, March 18. The City is also taking additional measures to help detainees stay in contact with their families and communities, including increased access to phones and postage stamps. For the first time, the City is also working to implement a televisit initiative that will allow people contacting detainees the convenience of using their own personal PC or mobile device to complete the teleconference.‎ 

For more information, please visit https://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor

Pre-K application deadline has been extended to March 29th Read More

The New York City Department of Education has announced that 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 ESEnrollment@schools.nyc.gov.

Pre-K offers will still be released in May.

https://www.schools.nyc.gov/enr…/enroll-grade-by-grade/pre-k 

Sttudent, Medical, and Other State-Referred Debt Relief Read More

MARCH 17, 2020  
Albany, NY 

Governor Cuomo and Attorney General James Temporarily Suspend State Debt Collection in Response to Coronavirus

New Yorkers with Student, Medical, and Other State-Referred Debt Will Have Payments Frozen for At Least 30 Days

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Attorney General Letitia James today announced that — effective immediately — the state will temporarily halt the collection of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection, for at least a 30-day period, in response to growing financial impairments resulting from the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Countless New Yorkers have been impacted — directly or indirectly — by the spread of COVID-19, forcing them to forgo income and business. In an effort to support these workers and families and ease their financial burdens, the OAG will halt the collection of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the OAG for collection 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. Additionally, the OAG will accept applications for suspension of all other types of debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the OAG for collection.

"As the financial impact of this emerging crisis grows, we are doing everything we can to support the thousands of New Yorkers that are suffering due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," Governor Cuomo said. "This new action to temporarily suspend the collection of debt owed to the state will help mitigate the adverse financial impact of the outbreak on individuals, families, communities and businesses in New York State, as we continue to do everything we can to slow the spread of the virus." 

"In this time of crisis, my office will not add undue stress or saddle New Yorkers with unnecessary financial burden," said Attorney General James. "New Yorkers need to focus on keeping themselves safe and healthy from the coronavirus, and therefore can rest assured that state medical and student debt referred to my office will not be collected against them for at least 30 days. This is the time when New Yorkers need to rally around each other and pick each other up, which is why I am committed to doing everything in my power to support our state's residents."

The OAG collects certain debts owed to the State of New York via settlements and lawsuits brought on behalf of the State of New York and state agencies. A total of more than 165,000 matters currently fit the criteria for a suspension of state debt collection, including, but not limited to:

Patients that owe medical debt due to the five state hospitals and the five state veterans' home;
Students that owe student debt due to State University of New York campuses; and
Individual debtors, sole-proprietors, small business owners, and certain homeowners that owe debt relating to oil spill cleanup and removal costs, property damage, and breach of contract, as well as other fees owed to state agencies.

The temporary policy will also automatically suspend the accrual of interest and collection of fees on all outstanding state medical and student debt referred to the OAG for collection, so New Yorkers are not penalized for taking advantage of this program.

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. 

NYC COVID-19 Testing and Updates Read More

March 20, 2020 Update on Testing Sites:

Update on Testing Sites

Following guidance from the City’s Health Department, NYC Health + Hospitals is reserving testing for patients needing hospitalization or as clinically appropriate. It will continue to have clinicians in its call center to talk to thousands of New Yorkers every day and advise them stay at home if they don’t need to come to the emergency department (ED). NYC Health + Hospitals is no longer doing testing by appointment and will instead use its testing centers (tents) to divert patients from the ED. In line with this new guidance, NYC Health + Hospitals drive up testing sites at H+H/ Jacobi and H+H/ Coney Island are no longer operating. For both locations, resources will be shifted to tents near their emergency departments. 
 

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Mayor de Blasio and NYC Health + Hospitals Expand Appointment-Only COVID-19 Testing Capacity 

March 19, 2020

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

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio and NYC Health + Hospitals today announced expanded, appointment-only COVID-19 testing capacity across 10 acute-care hospitals, seven Gotham Health community-based health centers, and 4 drive-thru test sites.  

Citywide, there are 3,615 positive cases of COVID-19 and 22 fatalities. Currently, there are 980 cases in Queens, 976 in Manhattan, 1030 in Brooklyn, 436 in the Bronx, and 165 in Staten Island. 

As of 5PM on March 18th, there were 554 people hospitalized with 169 of those people in the ICU.

“If we’re going to curb this epidemic, we need fast and expansive testing for those most at risk for serious illness,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Now we can get more New Yorkers the care they need at the right time—helping save lives, one test at a time.”

The expanded testing capacity—available by appointment only—will help keep people seeking testing out of emergency departments and ensure testing access for New Yorkers with moderate-to-severe symptoms. Those with mild illness, who are not above the age of 50 or have underlying health conditions, should continue to stay home, practice social distancing, and consult their health care provider if their symptoms do not subside in 3-4 days. 

Eight of the ten acute care "assessment and testing” centers at NYC Health + Hospitals are now open on an appointment-only basis, including H+H/Bellevue, H+H/Elmhurst, H+H/Harlem, H+H/Metropolitan, H+H/Kings County, H+H/Lincoln, H+H/Woodhull, and H+H/Queens. Assessment and testing centers at H+H/Coney Island and H+H/Jacobi will be live early next week. These tents are similar to those utilized during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009. One drive thru testing site, H+H/Jacobi, is currently operational; H+H/Coney Island becomes operational this Friday. Two remaining sites – H+H/Jacobi and H+H/Kings County – will be coming online next week. 

Patients with appointments will receive an expedited consultation with a primary care physician to capture their medical history before their sample is collected for testing. This will ensure that the appropriate medical treatment is provided should a test come back positive. Samples collected by NYC Health + Hospitals will be sent to BioReference Laboratory for testing.

With this expansion of assessment and testing centers, H+H anticipates serving 150 people per day at each of its 10 centers and between 50-75 people per day at each of their 7 Gotham clinics by appointment only. The four drive thru sites will be able to accommodate 100 people per day by appointment only at their respective locations in addition to the State-operated mobile drive-thru facility on Staten Island.

New Yorkers who have high priority because of age, pre-existing conditions and symptoms, call 1-844-NYC-4NYC for more information. New Yorkers can continue to call 311 to be assessed for risk for COVID.

On Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio announced a private-public partnership between the City’s public health system and BioReference that would increase testing capacity to 5,000 per day, with a one-to-two day turnaround for results. All COVID-19 testing is being provided at no cost. These efforts expand on earlier activation of the public health system’s surge management plan to build capacity. 

   

  

For Employers: How New York’s new paid sick leave law affects your employees under quarantine after exposure to COVID-19. Read More

ATTENTION NEW YORK STATE EMPLOYERS

How New York’s new paid sick leave law affects your employees under quarantine after exposure to COVID-19.

Effective immediately, every employee in the State will be eligible for paid leave in some form if they are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to exposure to COVID-19 issued by the state of New York, the DOH, a local board of health, or any authorized governmental entity due. The type of paid leave is based on the size of the employer as of January 1, 2020:

Employers with 10 or fewer employees: Employers provide unpaid sick leave until the termination of the order. During this time, the employee will be immediately eligible for payments to make them whole first under the paid family leave program (up to $840.70 per week) with any difference made up by the temporary disability insurance program (up to $2,043.92 per week).

Employers with between 11 and 99 employees, and employers with 10 or fewer employees with a net income of greater than one million dollars in the previous tax year: Employers provide at least five days of paid sick leave, and then after five days of paid sick leave the employee will be immediately eligible for pay- ments to make them whole first under the paid family leave program (up to $840.70 per week) with any differ- ence made up by the temporary disability insurance program (up to $2,043.92 per week).

Employers with 100 or more employees and all public employers: Employers provide at least fourteen days of paid sick leave during the order.

Non-Retaliation: All employees on leave due to an order of quarantine or isolation receive job protections and cannot be discriminated or retaliated against for taking that leave.

Exclusion for Travel: If an employee travels to a country for which the CDC has a designated Level 2 or 3 health notice for a non-work purpose even after the employee was provided notice of the travel health notice and how it would impact their eligibility for leave, such employee shall only be able to use their existing accrued leave or unpaid leave, without any additional paid benefits.

Working Remotely: An employee is not eligible for paid leave if an employee is deemed asymptomatic or has not been diagnosed with any medical condition and is able to work from home.

What if my employee’s child is under quarantine?

The parent is entitled to take leave under the paid family leave program.

 

For more information visit:

https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/paid-sick-leave-covid-19-impacted-new-yorkers or call: 1-888-364-3065.

Emergency Sick Leave for COVID-19: What it Means for Employees in New York Read More

Emergency Sick Leave for COVID-19: What it Means for Employees in New York

CORONAVIRUS QUARANTINE LEAVE

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR EMERGENCY PAID QUARANTINE LEAVE?

Any employee in the state who is subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the state of New York, the Department of Health, local board of health, or any other authorized governmental entity will be eligible for some form of paid sick leave.

Employees who traveled to CDC-designated Level 2 and 3 health notice countries even after receiving notice of the health notice and undiagnosed, asymptomatic employees who can work from home are not eligible.

HOW DO I FIND OUT IF I AM ELIGIBLE, AND HOW DO I APPLY FOR PAID QUARANTINE LEAVE IF I AM?
Call: 1-888-364-3065 or visit: https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/paid-sick-leave-covid-19-im- pacted-new-yorkers

WILL EMPLOYEES HAVE TO USE THEIR ACCRUED LEAVE BEFORE RECEIVING THESE BENEFITS?
No. Sick leave for COVID-19 will not be charged against existing accrued sick leave.

DOES THIS BILL PREVENT RETALIATION AGAINST EMPLOYEES OR FAILURE TO REINTE- GRATE THEM INTO THE OFFICE AT THEIR CURRENT POSITION AFTER THEIR LEAVE?
Yes. No employee may be discharged, threatened, penalized or discriminated against because of their leave of absence. Employees must be restored to their position.

 HAS YOUR EMPLOYER SHUT DOWN DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC?

If an employer closes due to a reason related to COVID-19 or receives a mandatory order from a government entity, there will be no waiting period for the employee to file a claim for unemployment insurance.

WHAT IF MY CHILD IS UNDER QUARANTINE? 

The parent is entitled to take leave under the paid family leave program.

 

For more information visit:

https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/paid-sick-leave-covid-19-impacted-n... or call: 1-888-364-3065.

NYC COVID-19 Services & Resources Read More

COVID-19 Services and Resources

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on New York City's workforce, the City of New York has developed a list of resources for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional assistance. The list below will be updated frequently.

For information and help with:

  • Employment Resources
  • Food Assistance
  • Health & Medical Assistance
  • Rent Arrears and Public Assistance
  • Emotional Support & Spiritual Care
  • Other Assistance

 

Visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/em/resources/covid-19-services-resources.page

NYC Enforcement in Parks Read More

New York City Parks Department Enforcement

The City has already banned team sports and revoked all permits for organized sports and large gatherings, and has increased the presence of NYPD and Parks Enforcement Patrol officers to enforce social distancing.  The City is closely coordinating with the State to evaluate these efforts and will consider expanded restrictions as necessary. 
Signage will be by NYC Parks at all fields and courts to indicate that all tournaments and sports practices have been cancelled. In addition, Parks has closed all nature centers and recreation centers, and many concessions including ice rinks, amusement parks, carousels, indoor tennis facilities.

Playgrounds run by the Parks Department remain open to provide children with solitary, active recreation. It is critical to practice social distancing among people who do not live in the same household while playing on the playground. Playgrounds will be monitored by the NYPD and Parks Enforcement officers, and new signage will warn parents and guardians to maintain social distancing among children. Over the next week, the Parks Department will evaluate compliance and adopt more stringent rules if needed.

All Shape Up NYC fitness classes, Urban Park Ranger tours, and outdoor events including the annual Street Games festival have been cancelled until further notice. 

For all updates on park service changes and closures go to https://www.nycgovparks.org/about/health-and-safety-guide/coronavirus.
 

New York City Ferry Service Read More

NYC Ferry
NYC Ferry will be operating on a modified weekday schedule starting Monday, March 23. Ferry services will run from 6:30 AM- 10 PM daily, with most routes operating with a frequency of at least 45 minutes:
·         East River - operates every 45 minutes.
·         South Brooklyn - operates every 45 minutes.
·         Rockaway - operates every 60 minutes
·         Soundview - operates every 50 minutes.
·         Astoria operates every 50 minutes.
·         Lower East Side operates every 45 minutes

NYC Parking Permits for Healthcare Workers Read More

Parking Permits for Healthcare Workers

To protect frontline workers who are at risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19, the City will issue citywide parking permits to healthcare personnel. The City can make up to 10,000 permits  available to hospitals across the City by tomorrow, Monday March 23rd. Each hospital will receive a set number of permits based on the number of employees who require a permit, and the City will work with hospitals to provide more on an as-needed basis. Hospitals will be responsible for distributing them to their respective workforces and will fill in the make, model, and license plate number. 
 

3-22-20 Update on the City’s Correctional Facilities Read More

Update on the City’s Jail Population

Today, 23 individuals will be released from City jail facilities, bringing the total released up to 27, a subset of the 40 detainees for which the City previously announced plans to release. They are at high-risk for COVID-19 related complications and low-risk of re-offending. Most of the remaining individuals are parole re-offenders and under the discretion of the State. The City is working with the State to pursue their release, as well. 
 
The City has compiled an additional list of 200 detainees for potential release, all of whom are serving City sentences of 90-days or less. Final decisions will be issued tomorrow.
 
Correctional Health Services is now screening detainees before entering and leaving city jail facilities. Those who manifest symptoms while attempting to enter will be isolated from the general population. All staff will be screened before entering, as well. To ensure the Correctional Health Services is able to adequately house detainees with COVID-19, the Department of Correction will utilizing its communicable disease unit and is opening additional housing units to expand spaces for isolation and increase social distancing. 

MTA, TWU and ATU Announce Rear-Door Boarding On All Local & SBS Buses Beginning Monday, March 23 Until Further Notice Read More

March 20, 2020

MTA, TWU and ATU Announce Rear-Door Boarding On All Local & SBS Buses Beginning Monday, March 23 Until Further Notice

 
Starting Monday, March 23 Rear-Door Boarding Will Go into Effect on Local & Select Bus Service
 
New York City Transit Moving Healthcare Workers, First Responders and Essential Personnel; Operators, Customers Instructed to Keep Six Feet Away from Others
 
MTA New York City Transit, Transport Workers Union and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) today announced a new rear-door boarding policy on all buses, beginning on Monday, March 23. The new policy is the latest action taken by NYC Transit, TWU and ATU to protect frontline employees from the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
Customers will board and exit all local and Select Bus Service (SBS) buses using the rear doors. Express bus customers will board as normal, but will not be permitted to sit in the first three rows of the bus to ensure customers are a safe social distance from bus operators. ADA customers will still be permitted to board at the front of all local and SBS buses, and board as usual on express buses. Regular fare policy remains in effect wherever on-board payment boxes or SBS off-board ticket machines continue to be accessible.
 
“While Governor Cuomo has ordered non-essential workers beginning Sunday night to remain in their homes and not take mass transit, we are taking aggressive action to protect our thousands of frontline employees who are delivering a critical service to New York, moving the healthcare workers, first responders, utility workers, and essential employees who are protecting us from this public health crisis,” said MTA Chairman and CEO, Pat Foye. “Transit workers are the lifeblood of this city and region and we are going to do everything we can to protect their health and safety.”
 
“I want to thank the 51,000 men and women of New York City Transit who are on the frontlines of this crisis and saving lives by keeping this city moving,” said Interim President of NYC Transit, Sarah Feinberg. “Rear-door boarding will help ensure a safe social distance.  The safety of our employees and customers is priority one.”
 
“We know we are essential workers providing an essential service during this national emergency – but we also need to be protected to the greatest extent possible,” said President of TWU Local 100, Tony Utano. “This is the right move. It will better protect our Bus Operators, give them some peace of mind, and demonstrate that their concerns have been heard.”
 
“We thank our members for continuing to work in these trying times and appreciate the MTA for listening to bus operators and taking effective action,” said President and Business Agent, ATU Local 726, Daniel Cassella. “We also recognize maintenance workers for their rigorous daily disinfecting of the buses. Hopefully the public will listen to the governor and travel only when essential.”

“I applaud our entire membership of ATU Local 1056 for the tireless work they do every day. This coalition of unions acknowledges the MTA for recognizing their concerns by acting on this initiative,” said President and Business Agent, ATU Local 1056, Mark Henry. “Rear doors access is necessary given the way our state, our city and our nation are dealing with coronavirus. We pray for all residents as the health risks are great and unknown; together we will overcome the challenges before us.”

Frequently Asked Questions for Families About Remote Learning​ Read More

Frequently Asked Questions for Families About Remote Learning

Frequently Asked Questions for Families About Remote Learning

Note from Chancellor Carranza:

Dear Families,

As we weather an unprecedented health crisis with COVID 19, our top priority is the health and safety of our students, families and staff. We are rapidly transitioning over 1 million students across over the City to remote learning to ensure students are still learning during this time. These are unparalleled scenarios for our students, families and staff. I’m incredibly grateful to our school communities for their flexibility as we launch remote learning and to our schools and staff for stepping up to this challenge with an unwavering commitment to our students.

With remote learning, teachers can deliver lessons online, and students can complete assignments, projects, and assessments just like they would in the classroom. Remote learning both creates an opportunity for students and teachers to interact online and allows students to continue learning subjects and material that are a key part of their curriculum. I’m hopeful that the connections with peers and teachers will help create familiarity and comfort for our students in this unfamiliar time.

Remote learning will start on Monday, March 23. As we transition together to a new normal, we know there will be questions and complications that will come up, and we’re committed to partnering with you to make this shift as smooth as possible. Below we’ve laid out answers to the Frequently Asked Questions for Families that we will continue to update as we learn more.

Key support for families:

  To request a device for their students to participate in remote learning, please complete this survey. Call 718- 935-5100 and choose option 5 if for any reason you cannot complete the survey online. We ask everyone to fill out the survey as soon as you can so we can connect you to a device if you need it.

  For information on creating an account, review the instructions on the NYCDOE website

  For curriculum, assignment or instruction questions, please contact your school’s parent coordinator.

In unity,
Chancellor Richard A. Carranza

ACCESSING REMOTE LEARNING AND SUPPORTING MY STUDENT

1. How will my student access remote learning materials?

Every New York City public school student will be given the necessary tools and materials for remote learning. Your school will communicate with you about their platform for remote learning. To keep students connected and meeting academic requirements when learning remotely, the NYCDOE has created student accounts for every student. The account gives you access to Google Classroom and Microsoft Office 365. Review the instructions on the NYCDOE website for more information. If you are unable to access your student’s student account, contact your school’s parent coordinator. See below re: devices

How can I contact my student’s teacher if I have questions?

Each school has established its own way to communicate with families, such as email, Microsoft Teams, or other tools. Your student’s school will let you know the best way to contact teachers. If you need help, contact the school’s parent coordinator. Visit schools.nyc.gov/find-a-school if you need contact information.

How do I get an internet-enabled device if I do not have one?

Many schools are distributing their existing inventory of laptops and tablets, and we are extending that window for pickup to make sure families have what they need. We are also asking families to complete a survey sharing their best contact information over the next few weeks as well as whether they have access to a smartphone, a laptop/tablet/computer, the internet, or none of the above. We will use the information to prioritize device distribution and inform families of pickup location.

ACADEMIC POLICY AND PLANNING

How will attendance affect my student’s grades?

Schools have a system for monitoring student attendance. Schools must base students’ grades primarily on theiracademic performance. Students cannot fail their courses because of absence. If your student’s school includesattendance in grade calculations, they will not include absences due to COVID-19 in their grade calculations. Moving forward, schools will not include attendance in any grade calculations for the rest of the year.

What if my student is not able to complete their work for remote learning?

Remote assignments carry the same weight as in-person assignments. Students are expected to participate in theirschool’s remote learning sessions just like they are expected to attend school. Grades will be assigned for remote work and academic progress will be monitored by teachers during remote learning with flexibility to adapt this policy to remote learning conditions where students may not all have the same degree of access to devices or other supporting materials. If your student is sick or unable to join remote learning for any reason, you should contact your student’s parent coordinator for guidance and support.

How will schools grade student work with the transition to remote learning?

with flexibility to adapt this policy to remote learning conditions where students may not all have the same degree of access to devices or other supporting materials

How will the transition to remote learning impact promotion decisions?

For grades Kindergarten through 8, schools review many pieces of student work to determine if students are ready for the next grade level. For grades 9 through 12, schools make promotion decisions based on credit and exam completion, with flexibility for remote learning conditions where students may not all have the same degree of access to devices or other supporting materials. Promotion decisions must be based on academic progress and not attendance. Families should expect schools to make promotion decisions in June as they normally would. Contact your student’s teacher if you are concerned about their progress and need additional support.

While schools participate in remote learning, teachers will grade student work as usual and in alignment with the school’s grading policy. Students are expected to complete the work and activities assigned by their teachers by their due dates. Each school has its own policies for how and when students complete late work. Contact your student’s teacher or parent coordinator if you need more information about your school’s grading policies during remote learning.

How will this affect students who are in the process of earning high school credits?

Remote learning will focus on preparing students to be successful in their courses and Regents exams. Students will receive credit at the end of their courses if they have earned a passing grade.

How does the transition to remote learning impact physical education instruction?

There are no exceptions to the physical education requirements. Students will participate in physical education instruction as part of remote learning so that they can continue to develop their knowledge and skills. Your student’sphysical education teacher will communicate the expectations for participating in physical education remotely.

How will the response to COVID-19 impact high school students who expect to graduate at the end of this school year?

Schools will make every effort to keep students on track toward graduation. This includes supporting students to master their courses and preparing them for exams in June. Remote learning plans will help students continue with their regular courses.

At this time, NYSED has not changed the graduation requirements in response to COVID-19. Your school will communicate with you about the graduation options available to your child. Students who do not meet requirements by the end of the school year will have the opportunity to attend summer school to continue working toward a diploma.

11. How can I support my high schooler with activities to prepare for college and career?

Students can use the DOE’s learn from home guidance for college and career planning to find resources about career exploration, understanding the financial aid process and student success programs at colleges. Students can also do virtual visits of college campuses.

Your school will also inform you how to connect with your school counselor for additional support with your student’s college and career plans.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

12. How will my child receive instruction?

If your student is recommended for integrated co-teaching, special class, or special education teacher support services, your school will make every effort to have them continue to receive instruction from the same special education teacher(s) and/or teacher team(s) and classroom paraprofessional(s) that usually teach them. Someone from your school will contact you to discuss how instruction will be delivered.

13. Will my child’s IEP meeting still take place?

Yes. IEP meetings will be conducted by phone.

Will I be able to make a referral for initial evaluation or reevaluation?

Parents can make a referral by emailing the principal or specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov, or by calling 311.

Assessments may be conducted remotely.

Will my child still receive their related services?

Related services will be provided via teletherapy, or video-conferencing where clinically appropriate. Providers and schools will contact families to discuss the service plan for each student. Providers will also give families information about activities that can be done at home to reinforce the related services work.

Will my child still have access to assistive technology?

Schools will work with families to ensure that devices are provided to families of students recommended for Assistive Technology, and will contact families to make those arrangements.

Preschool, Charter Schools, and Non-Public Schools?

Charter schools and non-public schools will contact families to discuss their plan for serving students while schools are closed. Students will receive SETSS, SEIT, and related services remotely, whenever appropriate, in the same manner such services are provided to students in district schools.

MULTILINGUAL / ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

How will my student receive services?

Every school will create a remote learning plan to ensure that English language learners and former English language learners receive targeted instruction in English with the appropriate amount of supports in their home language. Your school will continue to consider your student’s specific strengths and needs, such as their current level of proficiency in English and the academic areas where they need the most support. These services will be provided by and in collaboration with an appropriately certified teacher.

How can I change the language on my device to my preferred language?

You can change the default language and settings to a preferred language on most computers, phones, and tablets. This option is commonly found under the “Settings” section of your device.

  •   To change the language on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, follow these directions.
  •   To change the language on your Android device, follow these directions.
  •     How can I translate online content into another language?

 

Google Translate is a free, online application available on most devices. It can also be used without internet connection once downloaded onto your device. Google Translate can be used to translate text, handwriting, speech, and websites in over 100 different languages.

Follow these directions to download Google Translate:

  •  On your computer, install the Google Chrome web browser if you have not already. Google Chrome includes the Google Translate feature.
  • For iPhones and iPads, download the Google Translate app from the app store.
  • For Android devices, download the Google Translate app on Google Play.

 

 

ASSESSMENTS AND ACCOUNTABILITY

21. How will this impact New York State tests for grades 3-8?

The English Language Arts and math exams have been suspended by the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

22. How does the response to COVID-19 impact students taking Regents exams?

Students in Regents courses should plan to take Regents exams in June. Students are always permitted to take the Regents exams for their courses, regardless of their performance or attendance.

For science Regents exams, students must usually complete a 1,200-minute laboratory requirement. The New York State Education Department has waived this requirement this year. Students should complete the activities assigned by their science teachers, but they will not be required to complete 1,200 minutes of in-person laboratory experience.

23. How will the response to COVID-19 impact the NYC School Survey?

The NYC School Survey is in progress and is continuing. If you have your survey already, you can fill it out on paper or online at NYCSchoolSurvey.org. If you have not received a survey or code, you can get yours by calling 1-877-819- 2363. You can also use the code lookup tool by going to NYCSchoolSurvey.org on the survey login page and clicking on one of the surveys where you see “Take the survey NOW.” The deadline to complete the survey is April 8th. If schools re-open later in the spring, we may extend the survey.

REMOTE LEARNING READINESS CHECKLIST

Consider these tips to best prepare you and your child for remote learning:

  •   Get familiar with each of the digital tools your child will use while learning from home.
  •   Review your school’s expectations for completing assignments and appropriate behavior on internet enabled devices.
  •   Set up a space for your child to use that considers their unique learning styles.
  •   Create a routine and daily schedule that will support your child’s success while learning from home.
  •   Make a list of activities that you and your child can use in addition to their classwork.
  •   If you don’t have access to an internet-enabled device, fill out this survey to be connected to one!

 

Updated March 23, 2020

3-23-20 MTA, TWU Announce Cash Transactions to be Conducted Via MetroCard Vending Machines Beginning Tuesday, March 24 Until Further Notice Read More

March 23, 2020 
NYC Transit
IMMEDIATE

MTA, TWU Announce Cash Transactions to be Conducted Via MetroCard Vending Machines Beginning Tuesday, March 24 Until Further Notice

Cash Transactions at All Service Booths Limited to Reduced Fare Purchases; MetroCard Vending Machines Located at All 472 Subway Stations

New York City Transit Continues to Move Healthcare Workers, First Responders and Essential Personnel

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Transport Workers Union Local 100 (TWU) today announced all cash transactions, other than reduced-fare purchases will be conducted via MetroCard Vending Machines effective Tuesday, March 24, until further notice. The new measure will reduce person-to-person contact at subway station booths and provide access to full cash capabilities via MetroCard Vending Machines located at all 472 subway stations across the system.

This marks the latest precaution taken by the MTA and TWU to protect workers from the COVID-19 outbreak, as transit workers continue to report to work to move the healthcare workers, first responders and other essential employees on the frontlines of this public health crisis.

Under the new measure, reduced fare purchases, including those for senior citizens and ADA customers will be allowed to continue at station booths. In the event a customer needs change or the MetroCard Vending Machine is out of service, station agents will conduct and complete the transaction.

“New York City Transit’s top priority is the safety of our frontline employees and we are doing everything we can to protect their health as they continue to move this city forward during this crisis,” said Interim President of NYC Transit, Sarah Feinberg. “Reducing cash transactions will help our station agents feel safe on the job and ensure we are taking all precautions against COVID-19 to protect our workforce.”

“This was a big concern for our station agents,” said TWU Local 100 President, Tony Utano. “I raised it with NYC Transit officials at headquarters and I’m glad that they listened and agreed to this common-sense plan that will help protect our members.”

3-24-20 MTA Implements “NY Essential Service Plan” to Move Healthcare Workers, First Responders and Other Essential Personnel on Frontlines of the COVID-19 Crisis Read More

Press Release
March 24, 2020 

MTA Headquarters
IMMEDIATE

MTA Implements “NY Essential Service Plan” to Move Healthcare Workers, First Responders and Other Essential Personnel on Frontlines of the COVID-19 Crisis

Service Plan Will Ensure Healthcare Workers, First Responders and Essential Personnel Get to and From Work By Mass Transit 

New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad Move to Reduced Schedule As Ridership Drops As Much As 90% 

MTA Urges Congress to Take Action and Pass $25 Billion Federal Relief Package for Mass Transit with $4 Billion for MTA

MTA Continues Aggressive Efforts to Protect Customers & Employees – Around-the-Clock Disinfection of Workplaces and Rolling Stock, No Cash Transactions and Rear-Door Boarding to Ensure Social Distance

As the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and move the healthcare workers, first responders and essential personnel on the frontlines of this public health crisis, the Authority today announced the implementation of the “NY Essential Service Plan.” The reduced schedule will ensure service to and from work for the workers on the frontlines of this crisis, while adapting to never-before-seen ridership lows – dropping by as much as 90 percent across New York City Transit, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad. 

The schedule change follows “New York State on PAUSE” order, which directed New Yorkers use of public transportation for only essential travel and limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders. New York City Transit, MTA Bus Company, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North continue their aggressive disinfecting procedures at each of its stations twice daily, and continue daily sanitization of its fleet of rolling stock with the full fleet of train cars and buses disinfected every 72 hours or less. The Access-A-Ride dedicated fleet is disinfected daily.

In the midst of this crisis, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is now facing financial calamity. Farebox and toll revenue, which normally constitutes nearly half of the M.T.A.’s annual budget at approximately $8 billion, has dropped significantly as more and more riders stay home. That’s on top of more than $6 billion in state and local taxes dedicated to the M.T.A. that is likely to evaporate in the inevitable economic downturn. Additionally, the MTA’s enhanced and intensive disinfecting efforts are expected to total over $300 million on an annualized basis.

In response, the MTA is urgently calling on Congress to do the right thing and include at least $25 billion in dedicated funding for mass transit, to ensure that the M.T.A. and systems across the country not only continue to operate through the crisis, but also serve as the catalyst for economic growth in local economies across the nation once the pandemic subsides.

“The MTA is committed to getting the heroes who keep this city moving where they need to go,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye. “The dramatic decrease in ridership shows our customers are continuing to follow the advice of health professionals to keep themselves and others safe. But we’re here for the critical workers and first responders, and I also want to thank our transit workers who continue to show up and keep New York moving every single day."

“The service changes announced today will help reduce workplace density and ensure social distancing, including in crew rooms and other facilities,” said MTA Chief Safety Officer Pat Warren. “The MTA has previously taken every precaution to protect our customers and employees, including stepped up disinfecting schedules for stations and rolling stock, the implementation of rear-door boarding on buses, and the elimination of most cash transactions. We will continue to do everything we can to make sure the system remains safe for customers and employees and operating during this challenging time.”

“Like after 9-11 and Superstorm Sandy, our workers have been nothing short of amazing as they continue to show up to work at such a difficult time,” said MTA Chief Operating Officer Mario Peloquin. “The decision to reduce service is not one we take lightly, but feel at this time is in the best interest of our workers, customers and the system as a whole. Our goal has been and continues to be to move New Yorkers where they need to go. That’s never been as important as right now.”

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, we’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.

“The 50,000 brave men and women of New York City Transit will continue moving essential employees and keep them safe during this public health crisis," said NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg. "The MTA Essential Service Plan is in the best interest of these workers and will keep the first responders, healthcare workers, child care workers and many more on the front lines of this crisis moving forward."

"LIRR's dedicated workforce will continue to move essential workers and those who need to care for loved ones as we fight to flatten the curve," said Long Island Rail Road President Phillip Eng. “This new service pattern will continue to get customers where they need to be, and at the same time help us better ensure that our workforce is safe and healthy and able to continue this vital service."

"Our crews and front line employees at  Metro-North will continue to provide the service our customers deserve during these trying times," said Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi. "Our ridership has seen a steep decline over the past several weeks, but health care workers and other first responders continue to ride our trains every day.  While some reduction in service makes sense right now, we will continue to run a safe and reliable service to get these critical employees to their places of employment every day.”

NYS Workers’ Compensation Board Response to COVID-19 Read More

As an overarching precaution, in line with recommendations by the Governor and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on social distancing as a preventative tool, the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board (Board) encourages those who need to contact the Board to do so via phone, email and/or your attorney if applicable, limiting any in-person visits to Board offices. Please see the Board’s Contact Us webpage for location and service-specific contact information.

As a result of the issuance of this Executive Order, and the impact that this health crisis is expected to have on the adjudication of ongoing workers' compensation claims, the Board is issuing the following guidance to assist its stakeholders.

All Hearings will be by Remote Attendance 

To preserve public and workforce safety, effective immediately, and until further notice, the Board will conduct all hearings remotely, through the Board's Virtual Hearings. Virtual Hearings allow injured workers, attorneys/licensed representatives, witnesses and other participants to attend hearings online. For the very small number of hearings that are not able to be held virtually, namely Discrimination cases under WCL § 120, the Board will contact the participants regarding further proceedings.

Please visit the Virtual Hearings webpage at wcb.ny.gov/virtual-hearings for further guidance and instructions regarding virtual appearances.

Claimants appearing from home (or wherever safe and convenient) can appear either by video through Virtual Hearings, or may appear at hearings by telephone. To appear by telephone, a claimant should call the Board's Customer Service at (844) 337-6301 on the day of their hearing. If an unrepresented injured worker is unable to participate in their hearing, it will be rescheduled.

DVD and other evidence that the parties wish to introduce should be mailed to the Board and the opposing parties within two days of introducing it at the hearing.

Our goal is to keep the hearing process going without having to cancel hearings, because we don't want to see delays in the system that affect benefit delivery to injured workers. We appreciate everyone's cooperation in this effort. Any questions can be directed to the Board's Customer Service at (877) 632-4996. 

90-day Requirement for Medical Evidence

When a claimant's disability has not been classified as permanent, the claimant's attending physician has the burden of submitting up-to-date medical evidence that the disability is continuing.

Board Rule 325-1.3(b)(3) requires a claimant's attending medical provider to submit progress reports of ongoing medically necessary treatment and "the intervals between [those] follow-up visits shall be no more than 90 days."

The Board understands that a claimant may be unable to see his/her attending physician due to the coronavirus outbreak. This may (for example) be due to the physician's unavailability or the claimant being quarantined. This could result in delays beyond the 90-day period set forth in Board Rule 325-1.3(b)(3) that could affect continuity of lost time benefits. 

To avoid that situation, if a carrier seeks to suspend the claimant's benefits as a result of a failure to comply with Board Rule 325-1.3(b)(3), the Board will take into consideration a claimant's or his or her attorney's assertion that the claimant was unable to secure a required medical report due to the coronavirus outbreak.  

Please be advised that the Board is set to issue an emergency regulation on Telemedicine, which will be effective for 90 days upon adoption. Information will be provided on the Board's website, wcb.ny.gov, and provided to all subscribing stakeholders via WCB Notifications.

Failure to Attend an Independent Medical Examination (IME)

The Workers' Compensation Law provides that a refusal by a claimant to submit to an IME may bar the claimant from recovering compensation for any period during which he or she has refused to submit to such examination (WCL § 13-a[4][b]; see also 12 NYCRR 300.2[d][11]). While the number of non-appearances is not specified by rule, usually any request to suspend would only occur after a second refusal to appear.

There have been circumstances where the Board has held that when a claimant frustrates the employer's right to engage an IME, a suspension of payments is warranted (see Matter of Jasmine v Rainbow Grill, 115 AD2d 862 [1985]). 

However, there is no basis to bar payments where the claimant's failure to attend an IME is not due to a refusal to submit to such examination, or where the claimant's refusal is reasonable (see Matter of Ferguson v Fruehauf Corp., 156 AD2d 880 [1989]).

If a claimant cannot appear at a scheduled IME due to the coronavirus outbreak, he/she should let his or her attorney know, and notify the IME doctor and the Board by email at wcbclaimsfiling@wcb.ny.gov, or by letter to the Board's centralized mailing address at PO Box 5205, Binghamton, NY 13902-5205.  

Benefits will not be suspended if the claimant offers a reasonable excuse for the failure to attend the IME. 

For more information, please visit http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/TheBoard/WCB-Response-COVID-19.jsp

To contact the Workers' Compensation Board, visit http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/Contact.jsp#bureauOfficeContactInfo
 

3-25-20 NYC Health + Hospitals Covid Update Read More

Understanding New Rules for COVID-19 Testing

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has directed health care facilities to immediately stop testing non-hospitalized patients for COVID-19 unless test results will impact the clinical management of the patient. In addition, the department also advised providers and hospitals to not test asymptomatic people. This will help direct medical attention to New Yorkers who need it most and will also help preserve PPE for healthcare workers providing medically necessary care for hospitalized patients. Effective immediately, NYC Health + Hospitals will adopt this new guidance. We will:

  • Continue to have clinicians in our call center talk to thousands of New Yorkers every day to have them stay at home if they don’t need to come to the ED;
  • No longer do testing by appointment and instead use testing centers/tents as a place for patients to go as ED diversion;
  • Reserve testing for patients needing hospitalization, or as part of an ED decompression strategy as clinically appropriate.

Here's the message you can pass on to patients, family and neighbors:

  • In line with New York City Department of Health recommendations, NYC Health + Hospitals is no longer testing patients for COVID-19 who do not require hospitalization.
  • If you are sick with fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat, you must stay inside and isolate yourself from others.
  • Isolate yourself for at least 7 days from when your symptoms started. You must also be without fever during the last 3 days of your isolation.
  • Please only go to the emergency room if you are severely ill.
  • We are asking every New Yorker, regardless of symptoms, to stay inside your home.
  • Staying home can save the life of another New Yorker.

 

Together we can slow the spread and protect those at higher risk of severe illness.

 

New Visitor Policy

The New York State Department of Health issued new visitation policies for hospital visitors and caregivers. Effective today, all patient visitation at NYC Health + Hospitals IS SUSPENDED except:

  • When medically necessary and visitor is essential to the patient’s care;
  • The visitor is a family member or legal representative of a patient in an imminent end-of-life situation; or
  • For a visitor of a woman in labor, an infant in the neonatal ICU, or a pediatric patient.

 

Any visitor meeting any of the above exceptions, must be screened for symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or fever, or potential exposure to someone with COVID-19 prior to entering the hospital. Visitors who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, or who have potentially had exposure to someone with COVID-19 will not be permitted to visit patients. The length of the visits and number of visitors will be limited.

 

Using Telephonic Visits to Reduce Spread of Virus

NYC Health + Hospitals is stepping up the use of technology to take care of patients remotely to reduce stress on our facilities and the spread of the virus. Nearly all Ambulatory Care visits have now been converted to telephonic visits with providers, with the exception of specific patient situations that require in person visit. Our Community Care team is also using telephonic technology to keep connected to patients who typically receive care at their home. The health system is also exploring the broader use of video visits.

 

Staying Informed

Nearly 700,000 New Yorkers have signed up for the City’s COVID text notification system. To get regular updates on the latest developments with coronavirus in New York City text COVID to 692-692. New Yorkers can text COVIDESP to 692-692 for updates in Spanish. You will receive regular SMS texts with the latest news and developments. If New Yorkers have any questions on finding medical care, they can call 311.

3/26/20 - NYC Parks COVID-19 Update Read More

NYC Parks COVID-19 Update – 3/26/20

In response to the spread of COVID-19 and to eliminate crowding in public spaces, NYC Parks is moving quickly to keep parks open, while encouraging social distancing - and slowing the spread of the virus.  This is a citywide effort, involving all City agencies, including DOHMH, NYCEM, NYPD, OSE, the Sheriff’s Office, DEP, DSNY, DOB, and FDNY.

 

In partnership with these agencies, NYC Parks has:

 

Installed Thousands of Additional Signs

 

·        Field & court signs banning group play

·        Playground caution signs 

 

Enhanced Personnel

 

·        Ambassadors

o   Parks ambassadors have been deployed across the park system to remind patrons that they should only be in parks for as long as necessary.

 

·        Maintenance and Operations Staff

o   Maintenance staff have been trained to reinforce social distancing messages and report persistent disregard of these rules to the Parks Enforcement Patrol.

 

·        Parks Enforcement Patrol

o   PEP officers and Parks Security Service staff are focused on the most high-traffic areas.

 

·        Urban Park Rangers 

o   Rangers are patrolling and assisting with social distancing education

 

·        Partnership w/NYPD

o   We will report overcrowding to NYPD and maintain a list of areas that require more substantial resources and intervention to maintain social distancing of users.

o   Mobile loudspeaker announcements to disperse crowds

o   NYPD is performing aviation runs above large parks to identify large gatherings.

o   Additionally, as the Mayor announced on Wednesday, we are removing basketball rims at 80 park courts, in order to discourage group play that has been persistent.

Several City agencies are also assisting with education and enforcement efforts, including OSE, the Sheriff’s Office, DEP, DSNY, DOB, and FDNY.

During this unprecedented challenge to our city, parks will continue to serve as vital outlets for health and well-being.  The City will continue to monitor conditions and determine if more severe restrictions are necessary.  We are confident that these efforts -- signage blitz, additional personnel, enhanced training, and inter-agency partnerships -- will keep parks open and, most importantly, safe.

For all updates on park service changes and closures, go to: https://www.nycgovparks.org/about/health-and-safety-guide/coronavirus.

For further DOHMH guidance about COVID-19, please refer to the DOHMH website: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/coronavirus.page

3-26-20 COVID-19 Update - Access to HRA Job, SNAP, and Medicaid Benefits Read More

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, NYC has consolidated their HRA Job, SNAP, and Medicaid Center locations, effective 12:00pm yesterday, Tuesday, March 24. 

As a result of these consolidations, we are advising New Yorkers to apply for public benefits online at ACCESS HRA in order to prevent unnecessary visits to an HRA center. For clients who cannot or do not want to apply online, a list of Job, SNAP, and Medicaid center locations that will remain open (see below for more information)

Clients are being informed of this change via ACCESS HRA, email, robocalls, text messages, flyers, and signage in offices as well as social media. For the most recent information about this and other changes, please visit: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/index.page

 

Brooklyn_SNAP Benefits

Coney Island: You can use ACCESS HRA to apply for benefits, manage your case, and more. This location will remain open to serve clients whose needs cannot be met through ACCESS HRA or over the phone.
Address: 2857-2865 West 8th Street, 1st Fl., Brooklyn, NY 11224
Phone: 929-221-3537 | Fax: 917-639-1108
Monday – Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm
This center includes a children's area that does not provide supervision. 

 

Brooklyn_Medicaid Services

Coney Island*: You can use ACCESS HRA to apply for SNAP and Cash Assistance Benefits. This location will remain open to serve clients whose needs cannot be met through ACCESS HRA or over the phone.
Address: 3050 W 21st St., 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11224
Phone: 929-221-3790
Monday – Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm 

Brooklyn_Jobs Services

Clinton Hill: You can use ACCESS HRA to apply for benefits, manage your case, and more. This location will remain open to serve clients whose needs cannot be met through ACCESS HRA or over the phone.
Address: 495 Clermont Ave, Brooklyn NY 11238
Phone: 929-221-2809 | 929-221-1568
Fax: 917-639-2511 | HDU Fax: 718-639-7705
Monday – Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm
This center includes a Children's Corner, which provides supervision during limited hours.

Coney Island: You can use ACCESS HRA to apply for benefits, manage your case, and more. This location will remain open to serve clients whose needs cannot be met through ACCESS HRA or over the phone.
Address: 3050 West 21st Street, Brooklyn, NY 11224
Phone: 929-221-3856 | 929-221-3867
Fax: 917-639-2515 | HDU Fax: 917-639-2516
Monday – Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm
This center includes a children's area that does not provide supervision.

NYCHA's Rent Hardship Program Read More

NYCHA's Rent Hardship 

NYCHA's rent hardship program provides assistance to residents who require rent reductions due to income losses.

A household may qualify for a rent reduction based on rent hardship if all the following conditions are met:

  • There is at least a 5% reduction to gross income
  • Current rent is more than 30% of the net household income
  • Reduction in income has lasted at least two months

 

For more information and bilingual flyers, click here.

 

The Department of Financial Services Issues New Emergency Regulations To provide Financial Relief To New Yorkers Demonstrating Financial Hardship From the COVID-19 Pandemic Read More

DFS ISSUES NEW EMERGENCY REGULATION REQUIRING NEW YORK REGULATED FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL RELIEF TO NEW YORKERS DEMONSTRATING FINANCIAL HARDSHIP FROM COVID-19 PANDEMIC 

 

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. This emergency regulation is adopted pursuant to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 202.9. 

“Thanks to Governor Cuomo, DFS is further empowered to step up for New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell. “This emergency regulation provides a measure of much needed financial relief to New York residents with New York State mortgages on homes in New York State." 

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. to read a copy of the emergency regulation, click here.

For additional DFS regulatory actions on the COVID-19 pandemic, click here. 

 

ASPCA Commits $5 Million in COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Initiative to Help Shelters and Pet Owners Read More

ASPCA Commits $5 Million in COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Initiative to Help Shelters and Pet Owners 

ASPCA to distribute lifesaving grants to shelters and establish regional pet food distribution centers to provide emergency relief to at-risk pet owners. Effort made possible in-part by the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo

 

March 23, 2020

NEW YORK–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.

“In addition to the unprecedented challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has created for people, it is also putting animals at-risk by straining essential owner and shelter resources. Considering the vital role pets play in our lives – especially in times of crisis and stress – it’s extremely important to safeguard their health and welfare as much as we possibly can,” said ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker. 

Added Bershadker, “We are grateful to work with generous donors and the larger animal welfare community who are stepping up, thinking creatively and courageously, and forging new paths to meet this need. Across the world, people are turning to their pets for comfort, and with the ASPCA Relief & Recovery Initiative, we are committed to helping animals return that love and comfort back to their families by working to ensure their health and safety as we weather this crisis together.”

Emergency Relief for Shelters
The ASPCA is launching a minimum $2 million emergency relief fund for shelters that have been hit hard by this crisis. Grants will help shelters fund essential lifesaving services such as basic operations, safety net, adoptions and foster programs, and veterinary services, which are proving to be crucial animal welfare services during this crisis. 
 

Pet Food Distribution
The ASPCA’s response also includes the creation of regional pet food distribution centers, starting first in New York City, one of the U.S. cities most severely affected by the pandemic. The centers, provided in partnership with the Petco Foundation, will give dog and cat owners free access to critical food supplies as the outbreak continues to spread. 

ASPCA will also operate regional food distribution centers in Miami, Los Angeles, and North Carolina, where the ASPCA has operations. More information about specific locations and dates will be available in the coming weeks. 

Petco Foundation President Susanne Kogut said, “At the Petco Foundation, we have been working diligently to mobilize the community to foster or adopt to prevent COVID-19 from becoming a crisis for our pets. We must all come together to support our animal shelters and our community, which is why we’re proud to also support this initiative,” said Kogut. “The health and safety of pets needs to remain a top concern because they provide vital comfort and companionship to people during this very stressful time.”

The COVID-19 relief response speaks to the ASPCA’s longstanding commitment to the animal welfare community and people and their pets. In an effort to create better access to crucial services for underserved pet owners and improve the health and welfare of dogs and cats nationwide, the ASPCA has launched programs and partnerships in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami that make veterinary care more accessible and affordable, and continues to develop initiatives to serve the more than 21 million pets living in poverty with their owners nationwide. In North Carolina, the ASPCA operates the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center (BRC), a facility dedicated to rehabilitating fearful, under socialized dogs, and ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance, the nationally recognized leader in high-quality, high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter training and services.

For more information on the ASPCA’s efforts to help at-risk animals, click here.