Senator Biaggi’s 1/29/21 COVID-19 Update!

February 05, 2021

Dear Community,

This week Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the lowest daily positivity rate since November 28th, 2020. The statewide COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped to 4.38%, and the net number of hospitalizations has dropped by 553 cases in the last week. 

The Governor also announced that he is granting localities the flexibility to add restaurant workers, taxi drivers, and people living within facilities for the developmentally disabled to the Phase 1B vaccine prioritization group. Following this announcement, New York City and Westchester County have updated their vaccine eligibility based on the new State guidelines, to add restaurant and delivery workers, TLC-licensed taxi drivers, and facilities for the developmentally disabled.

Following a federal court order, New York corrections officials announced that people in prisons age 65 and older will soon be inoculated against the coronavirus. Further information regarding the timeline of when incarcerated New Yorkers will begin receiving doses is not yet available.

Additionally, the Governor and Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced that the mass vaccination site at Yankee Stadium will begin administering COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible Bronx residents on Friday, February 5th. The site is established through a partnership between New York State, New York City, the New York Yankees, SOMOS Community Care and the New York National Guard. The Yankee Stadium site will operate from 8AM to 8PM, seven days a week. Vaccinations are by appointment only and are reserved for Bronx residents who meet New York's 1a and 1b vaccine eligibility requirements only. Eligible Bronx residents can make their appointment by visiting Somosvaccinations.com or by calling 1-833-SomosNY.

Individuals who schedule appointments for Yankee Stadium are also required to bring proof of residency in the Bronx with them to the appointment. To prove Bronx residency, an individual must show:

One of the following

  • State or government-issued ID; 
  • Statement from landlord; 
  • Current rent receipt or lease; 
  • Mortgage records.

OR

Two of the following

  • Statement from another person; 
  • Current mail; 
  • School records.

In addition to the site at Yankee Stadium, Governor Cuomo announced 35 community-based pop-up vaccination sites which will come online this week to provide first doses to more than 25,000 New Yorkers. Many of these pop-up sites will be located at NYCHA Senior Housing Developments, public housing complexes, and cultural centers. In the Bronx, pop-up sites will be located at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, Greater Eternal Baptist Church, Bronxworks, Boston Road Houses, NYCHA Castle Hill Senior Center, and the Marble Hill Community Center.

Additionally, the Governor announced that the federal vaccine supply to the states will increase to 20% for the next three weeks, up from the initial 16% bump. Private pharmacies in the state who are charged with prioritizing the 65-plus population will now receive an additional 10%, or about 30,000 doses, directly from the federal government to supplement the doses allocated to them by the State.

As a reminder, you still need a scheduled appointment to receive a vaccination. To determine your eligibility, access a list of nearby providers, and schedule your vaccination appointment, use New York State's new 'Am I Eligible' app. New Yorkers can also call the New York State Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829). Prior to receiving your scheduled vaccination, you must complete the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine FormVaccines that have been recently postponed due to the snow storm are currently being rescheduled, and new appointments will be accessible soon.

This week Governor Cuomo also announced that, assuming New York State's COVID-19 infection rate stays on its current trajectory, indoor dining in New York City can reopen at 25% capacity on Valentine's Day (February 14th). The reopening will be subject to strict state guidance, which can be found here.

The Governor also announced that marriage receptions will be able to resume in accordance with state guidance on March 15th, 2021. Events must be approved by the local health department, there will be a 50% capacity limit, and no more than 150 people can attend the event. All guests must also be tested prior to the event. 

New York State maintains and regularly updates a COVID-19 vaccination dashboard tracker. On January 31st, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity announced the next phase of its Vaccine for All effort and released demographic information of vaccine recipients. With an expanded list of 33 neighborhoods identified by the Taskforce, the City will use this data to broaden its outreach and education to address vaccine hesitancy, prioritize appointments, add new vaccine sites, and improve the scheduling website to ensure the pace of vaccination is consistent throughout the city.

As a reminder, following a decline in new cases and hospitalization rates over the past weeks, all orange zone restrictions, and some yellow zone restrictions have been lifted statewide. New York City and Newburgh continue to qualify as yellow zones under the state's metrics. The Bronx, Queens and Washington Heights also remain in yellow zones. Statewide restrictions remain in place for areas which are no longer orange or yellow zones, including capacity limits for certain businesses and restrictions on mass gatherings. 

As a reminder, the Governor announced updated quarantine guidelines for New York which are consistent with the latest Centers for Disease Control guidance. Under the new guidelines, individuals exposed to COVID-19 can end their quarantine after 10 days without obtaining a COVID-19 test as long as no symptoms are displayed during the quarantine period. After day 10 of the quarantine is reached, individuals should continue monitoring for symptoms for four more days. If any symptoms develop during this period, they should immediately self-isolate and contact their local health department or a healthcare provider to report this change and determine if they should seek testing. Individuals should continue strict adherence to all recommended safe behaviors including wearing masks, socially distancing and avoiding gatherings.

Out-of-state travelers to New York can "test out" of the mandatory 10-day quarantine. Travelers from states that neighbor New York are exempt from the travel advisory; however, all travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form when entering New York. Essential workers will continue to be exempt from travel advisories as well. Learn more about the guidelines for out-of-state travel here.

COVID-19 Data Breakdowns and Resource Pages

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for NYC)

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for Westchester County)

Statewide Guidelines for All New Yorkers

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) Guidance

Housing Reminders and Resources

  • The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act: Under the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act, tenants, homeowners, and small landlords can seek protection against eviction or foreclosure. All eviction or foreclosure proceedings currently in progress or filed within 30 days of December 28th, 2020 will be delayed for 60 days.

    • Eviction Protection: Tenants are now able to fill out the Hardship Declaration form (EnglishEspañol) which tenants may sign, under penalty of perjury, if they have a financial hardship that prevents them from being able to pay their rent in full or obtain alternative suitable permanent housing. Once they have signed this form, they may return it to their landlord or to a court. This action prevents landlords from filing for eviction, and suspends eviction proceedings which are already underway until May 1st, 2021. Tenants will still be subject to fees, penalties, interest, and money judgments after the delay on these proceedings is lifted
    • Foreclosure Protection & Tax Lien Sale Protection: Homeowners, property owners with ten or fewer units (including their primary residence), and co-op shareholders may provide a standardized Hardship Declaration form (EnglishEspañolto their mortgage lender, local assessor, or court to receive protection from pending or future foreclosure proceedings until May 1st, 2021. The owner will have to declare, under penalty of perjury, that they have suffered a financial hardship that prevents them from paying their mortgage or property taxes. Owners will also be protected from any action to foreclose on delinquent taxes, or tax lien sales in relation to residential real property. 
  • Governor’s Executive Order on Property Tax Exemption: On December 19th, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order providing additional support for two of the groups hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic - vulnerable homeowners and the restaurant industry. Under Executive Order 202.83, local governments can continue to provide property tax exemptions for low-income senior citizens and persons with disabilities who own property through 2021 by lifting an in-person renewal requirement which would put vulnerable New Yorkers at risk of infection from COVID. Additionally, the sales tax deadline for restaurants in orange zones which have been required to suspend indoor dining will be extended until March 2021.
  • Apply for HEAP Benefits: The 2020-2021 Regular HEAP benefit season will be open from November 2nd, 2020 through March 15th, 2021. Recipients of HEAP benefits may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year to help pay for heating costs. To apply, please contact (212)-331-3126. Applications will soon be available on ACCESS HRA to download and mail back to HRA. There is no need to go into an HRA Center. The completed application can be mailed back to HRA at: NYC DSS/HRA/HEAP, PO Box 1401, Church Street Station, New York, NY 10008.
  • Federal Action Halting Residential Evictions: On January 20th, President Biden directed the Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control to extend the temporary halt in residential evictions, through March 2021. Read more here and here. This federal moratorium offers no monetary relief to landlords, may be superseded by local or state law that provides more protections, and comes with strict eligibility requirements. Consult a housing advocate (see below) to determine if this new rule will help you.
  • NYC Tenant Resource Portal: The NYC Tenant Resource Portal is the City’s first-ever online resource to help residential renters access free resources from the City to help prevent evictions and keep tenants stably housed. Tenants who do not have access to the internet can call 3-1-1 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline,” which was launched in partnership with 3-1-1 and HRA’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) where they will be connected to a PEU Tenant Support Specialist to receive free, individualized assistance.
  • Senior Rental Assistance Increase Exemption (SCRIE): While the SCRIE Unit office at HPD remains closed to the public, seniors can submit applications and ask questions by email at SCRIE@hpd.nyc.gov or by mail, at SCRIE Unit 100 Gold Street, Room 7M-3 New York, NY 10038.
  • Section 8 Vouchers: While the HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office is closed to the public, the HPD Section 8 team is still available for remote service. Voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax (212)-863-5299. During this time, any HPD Section 8 voucher set to expire will be automatically renewed. Clients do not need to reach out to HPD for an extension. All subsidy terminations in process are suspended until further notice. All tenant conferences and briefings are postponed and will be rescheduled. All hearings for appeal are cancelled until further notice. HPD will continue to pay the subsidy until final determinations are made.
  • NYCHA Update: Tenants can find the latest COVID resources for NYCHA residents here
  • NYC Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project: The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project provides housing security to tenants across the City who may be facing hardship due to the pandemic. Through this project, non-profit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) will assist tenants and small landlords in finding solutions to rental issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.

Education Updates, Reminders, and Resources

  • Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program: This summer, girls and non-binary students in grades 9-11 will have the experience of a lifetime as they learn to code alongside peers from across the country in virtual classrooms hosted by leading companies like Twitter, Disney, Bank of America, and others. Not only is the program free, but we also offer stipends of $300 to students who demonstrate financial need. Find more information with the SIP flyerapplication link, through a live webinarFAQ page, or reach out to summerimmersion@girlswhocode.com.
  • Applying to NYC Specialized High Schools: Registration for Specialized High Schools admissions is now open. Learn more on our Specialized High Schools page. The deadline to apply is February 23rd by using or creating a MySchools account. If you are new to New York City public schools or need help with enrollment, learn what to do at the DOE’s New Students page.  
  • Changes to NYC Gifted and Talented Programs: The April 2021 entrance exam administered to pre-kindergarteners for admission to elementary school Gifted and Talented Programs will be the last such exam. The City announced that students who are currently enrolled in Gifted and Talented Programs would be able to complete their elementary school programming. The NYC DOE said it would undertake community engagement efforts throughout the course of this year to determine how to better serve academically-advanced students in an inclusive manner. 
  • NYC DOE Testing Data Website: Families can now track the testing rate within their student’s public school using this online tool.
  • Request a DOE Remote Learning Device: Fill out the request form available at the DOE Device Request page.
  • DOE Remote Learning Technical Support: The DOE IT Help Desk is available to assist with device or Internet support. Call (718)-935-5100 and press "5" to reach a technology specialist, or visit the links below for assistance. Visit Tech Support to submit a request for help. See iPad Fixes for solutions to common problems or to submit a ticket to the Help Desk.
  • Access Internet Service: Find suggestions at Free and Low-Cost Internet Solutions
  • Learning Bridges Childcare: Learning Bridges, the City’s free childcare program for children in 3-K through 8th grade, will continue to serve families enrolled in blended learning. They will continue to give priority to children of essential workers. Learn more and apply here.
  • SAT Update for NYC Schools and Students: New York City’s state-approved education plan applies to all DOE buildings, and limits in-person after-school activities to students in attendance on that school day, and does not apply to weekend test administrations. The DOE is supporting any sites that are interested in administering the SAT on weekends and that are able to adhere to the safety guidelines. Weekend permits require payment for all entities, including district schools, and the DOE is working with specific schools on payment details. Any student can take the SAT at an SAT Test Center, whether remote, blended, public, private, or charter. Families may register for testing directly with the College Board. The College Board has a list of SAT testing sites on its website.
  • Department of Education IT Helpline: Families with children in DHS and HRA shelters now have a dedicated DOE IT helpline to troubleshoot connectivity issues and other DOE iPad-related challenges. Families living in shelters have been notified of this new service which is available Monday – Friday at (718)-935-5100, option 5. This serves as an interim solution while installation of internet services is being rolled out to the family shelters. Students using DOE-issued iPads can report problems with connectivity and devices may be swapped out for service with an alternate cellular carrier.
  • NYC DOE COVID Response Situation Room Map: The DOE has launched an online map updating families and the public on which school buildings have active cases of COVID-19 and which require either temporary classroom or full-building closures. This map will be updated daily with the latest information from the School Reopening Situation Room. 
  • Advocates for Children of New York has multiple back-to-school resources for NYC constituents.
    • Helpline & Case Assistance: You can call Advocates for Children’s (AFC) Jill Chaifetz Education Helpline with questions about the NYC education system. The number is (866)-427-6033, and is open from Monday-Thursday, 10:00AM to 4:00PM.
    • Guides & Resources: AFC offers guides and resources to help you navigate NYC’s complex education system. Materials are available here. An updated Start of School Year Q&A for Families of Students with Disabilities is available in English & Spanish. Find the Education During COVID-19 webinar series online.
  • NYC School Reopening Updates: Families can access the most recent school reopening updates here.
  • NYC Student Loan Debt: For Student Loan Debt Tips during COVID-19, click here
  • JCY-Westchester Volunteers are needed for an e-tutoring program to help children during the pandemic. These programs match volunteer mentors with children to help them with remote learning. For more info, contact Madeline Finesmith at mfinesmith@jcy-wcp.com.

Healthcare Reminders and Resources

  • Open Enrollment for Uninsured New Yorkers Extended Through March 31st: The open enrollment period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended through March 31st, 2021. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York's Official Health Plan Marketplace, or directly through insurers.
  • New Paid Sick Leave: Under new rules that took effect January 1st, 2021, employers with 100 or more employees must provide up to 56 hours of paid leave to each employee. This builds on new rules that went into effect in September, ensuring that newly-hired employees can begin to take paid leave immediately with no waiting period, among other changes. Paid sick leave can be used for a broad range of services, including flu shots, recovery, quarantine, preventative care relating to COVID-19, caring for a child whose school has been closed as a result of the pandemic, or if their workplace has been closed by an executive order relating to the pandemic. For more information for both employers and employees, click here.
  • New York Health Insurers Directed to cover COVID-19 Vaccine at No Cost: The New York State Department of Financial Services has issued a circular letter to New York-regulated health insurers directing them to immediately cover, without cost-sharing, approved COVID-19 immunizations.
  • Tai Chi is now offered by Veterans Affairs through the VA Community Care Network. Interested veterans can talk to their doctors either at the VA hospital, or online at https://www.myhealth.va.gov/, and request a “Community Care Consult” for “tai chi.”  Learn more here.
  • The Hispanic Federation Healthcare Enrollment Assistance: The Hispanic Federation is actively enrolling individuals in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan, and NY State of Health Qualified Health Plans. All of their health navigators are bilingual and ready to assist the community over the phone. In addition to individuals, they can assist small businesses with their New York State of Health insurance application process. You can make an appointment by calling their Health Insurance program hotline number at 1-(833)-656-2626.
  • Flu Shot: New Yorkers older than 6 months should get a seasonal flu vaccine. It is especially important for adults ages 50 and older, pregnant people, children ages 6 months to 5 years, and people with chronic diseases to get the vaccine. New Yorkers can use the NYC Health Map, call 3-1-1, or text "FLU" to 877-877 to find a flu vaccination provider. Flu vaccines are covered by most health insurance plans without a co-pay.
  • NYC Care: NYC Care is now available in all five boroughs, regardless of immigration status. You can enroll by calling 1-(646)-NYC-CARE or by visiting nyccare.nyc.
  • Take Care Hotel: If you test positive for COVID-19 and cannot safely separate from family members in your home, you may be eligible for a free hotel room from Health and Hospitals. Learn more about the Take Care Hotel program here.

Small Business and Worker Resources:

  • New “Hours-Based” Benefits: To better serve New Yorkers who can work part-time while unemployed or underemployed, the New York State Department of Labor is implementing a new “hours-based” rule for calculating benefits. Under the new rule, unemployment benefit recipients may work part-time. Their benefits will be reduced in increments based on the number of hours worked per week. This change applies both to traditional unemployment insurance and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that was created under the CARES Act for certain workers not covered under traditional unemployment insurance, such as many freelance employeesThe new rule is in effect. More detailed information on this change and a printable fact sheet are available from the Department of Labor can be found here and here.
  • Reopening of the Paycheck Protection Program: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has reopened for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility were released on January 6th in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act. For more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses, visit sba.gov/ppp or treasury.gov/cares.
  • New York Forward Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership: The New York Forward Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership will provide small businesses and their landlords with informational resources and pro bono assistance to help both parties reach mutually-beneficial lease workout agreements. This service is available to all New York State small businesses and landlords, and participation is voluntary. Those interested in pro bono assistance to initiate a lease renegotiation are encouraged to review and complete the partnership's intake form.
  • NYC LMI Storefront Loan Program: The NYC LMI Storefront Loan Program is a first-come- first-served 0% interest loan for businesses in low-to-moderate (LMI) income areas of the City. 
  • The Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant: The Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant is funding that is available to community-based development organizations (CBDOs) to implement local COVID-19 recovery support to small businesses. 
  • Employee Ownership NYC: Employee Ownership NYC is the nation’s largest municipal initiative for education and technical assistance around employee ownership and conversion. Business owners taking full advantage of the program can access services worth $10,000 or more in the private sector, all while building sustainable business models that offer true wealth-building opportunities for their workers. The rapid response hotline, "Owner to Owners,” will ensure that more businesses access these services. The service is available at www.Owner2Owners.NYC or at 646-363-6592 and offered in ten languages.
  • Westchester Impact 100's 2021 Grant Cycle: Impact 100's 2021 Grant Cycle and application portal are now open. Nonprofits interested in applying for an Impact 100 Westchester Transformational Project Grant should visit Impact100Westchester for more information.
  • The Design Corps: Small Business Reopening Network was created in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis to connect restaurant owners with design professionals — free of charge — to assist in adapting their outdoor dining spaces in accordance with health and safety guidelines. Pro bono services can assist restaurants with the City’s Open Restaurant program, improve efficiency of space, and ensure a safe and welcoming dining environment. Sign up at www.nycxdesign.com/design-corps to meet with a professional architect or designer to help improve your outdoor dining space.
  • NYC Small Business Resource Network: The Bronx Chamber of Commerce is part of the NYC Small Business Resource Network — a city-wide initiative to bring technical assistance and business recovery support to NYC small businesses. At no cost, the NYC Small Business Resource Network can assist with technology, real estate, legal and accounting services, procurement opportunities, marketing, loans and grants, and more. Their on-the-ground Small Business Support Specialists will help guide you to the resources you need. Sign up here.
  • Chamber On-the-Go: NYC resources are available for small business owners in the Bronx throughout the Chamber On-the-Go business support program. They will connect you with resources to help your business thrive from the NYC Department of Small Business Services and the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. Fill out their assistance survey here.
  • “Find Services” Web Application: "Find Services" web application provides an easy-to-use starting point for first-time users of social programs to help struggling New Yorkers locate benefits to assist them. The web application prompts users with a series of questions aimed at narrowing the field of services to those that would best serve the user's needs. After answering these questions, users are provided with a ranked list of services and descriptions as well as information about how to apply to receive these services.
  • Coursera Online Training Platform: This new online training program will provide access to nearly 4,000 online programs taught by leading professors and industry professionals on Coursera, with a focus on high-growth and in-demand sectors like advanced manufacturing, technology, and health care, among others. Unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers can learn new skills, earn certificates, and advance their careers during the COVID-19 pandemic at no cost. New course offerings are provided through a partnership between the New York State Department of Labor and Coursera. New Yorkers can request a free account on the New York State Department of Labor website
  • Shef: This Airbnb-like platform for home-cooked meals provides opportunities for home chefs to earn money by sharing the home cooking of their cultures and for tasters to try others’ home cooked meals. Learn more here.
  • TLC Driver Resource Center: TLC launched a resource center to provide legal, financial and other services to drivers who have experienced financial hardship. Click here for more information. 
  • NYC Open Restaurants Program: The Open Restaurants program has been extended year-round and made permanent. The extension also applies to Open Streets: Restaurants, which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days. Learn more about how to apply and see operating hours here.
  • NYC Food Delivery Driver Portal: The City of New York is hiring licensed TLC drivers to deliver food to New Yorkers in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more or sign up by clicking here
  • Fund for Public Health NYC Job Opportunities: There are several grant-funded positions and COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative job opportunities at Fund for Public Health NYC. For more information, click here.  
  • Reporting Labor Law Violations: If you believe an employer is violating either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders, contact 3-1-1 or the New York State Attorney General at (212) 416-8700 or Labor.Bureau@ag.ny.gov to report them. Learn more here.
  • FAQ for Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: To access frequently asked questions and answers about pandemic unemployment benefits, click here. To find out what benefits you may qualify for and more, click here. For additional resources, click here
  • Reopening NYC Businesses: NYC.gov/nycbusiness provides information and guidelines for businesses reopening in NYC. 
  • Restaurant Worker Revitalization Program: New York City’s Restaurant Revitalization Program is supporting unemployed and underemployed restaurant workers using $3 million from NYC Opportunity, Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, and One Fair Wage.
  • Freelancers in NYC: If you're a freelancer facing nonpayment issues, file a complaint here.
  • NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program: The Small Business Emergency Grant Program provides support to small businesses who experienced material damage to their storefronts as a result of looting. More information available here: NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program.
  • NYC Worker Hotline: Workers who call 3-1-1 will be connected to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for immediate assistance. Worker rights and guidance is also available: nyc.gov/coronavirus.
  • NYC PPE for Small Businesses: NYC Small Business Services is coordinating with 70+ Business Improvement Districts and Chambers of Commerce to provide 2 million pieces of PPE to small businesses citywide. Find a distribution partner near you at: Free Face Coverings for Small Businesses & Their Employees
  • NYC Business Reopening Support: Go to nyc.gov/business or nyc.gov/coronavirus to find resources and guides or use the dedicated Restart Hotline for business owners, (888)-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
  • Change in Financial Situation: If you have experienced a change in your financial situation since the start of COVID-19, NYC Financial Empowerment Center counselors are available to support you over the phone with free financial counseling that is secure and confidential. Book an appointment here
  • NYC Assistance for Organizations: For help regarding healthcare facilities, small businesses, non-profit organizations and more, click here
  • Work From Home Toolkit: City Hall has released a Work from Home Toolkit to help New Yorkers make the most of working from home. Check it out here.
  • Low-Risk Indoor Cultural Activities Reopenings: New York City museums and cultural institutions have been able to open at 25% capacity. Bowling alleys have been able to operate at 50% occupancy. Read more here.
  • Black Entrepreneurship (BE) NYC is a new initiative, which aims to increase the number of Black-owned businesses in New York City with a focus on growing businesses in high-growth industries. Learn more here

Food Updates and Resources

  • Feeding Westchester: Feeding Westchester’s mission is to end hunger in Westchester County. As the heart of a network of nearly 300 partners, they source and distribute food and other resources to towns across Westchester, helping to ensure that none of our neighbors are hungry. To learn more about their services or volunteer opportunities, visit their website here.
  • SNAP and Cash Assistance Recertification: The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has expanded the recertification extension period through March 31st, 2021 for expiring SNAP and Cash Assistance cases. This means that any cases due for recertification through March 31st, 2021 are eligible for up to a six-month extension. Cases that have previously received the six-month recertification extension are not eligible for another extension. Cases will be extended in accordance with a schedule designed to balance out the recertification workload over time.
  • Get Food NYC: Meal Hub service is operating at approximately 400 sites across the city and continues regular service from 9AM-12PM on weekdays, Monday through Friday. Find a site near you by texting "NYC FOOD" or "NYC COMIDA" to 877-877, or by clicking here. In addition to school Grab-n-Go sites and food pantries, this map includes grocery stores and greenmarkets to help New Yorkers in every neighborhood see the range of options available to them. Comments on meals and deliveries can be submitted by calling 3-1-1 and saying “Get Food” when prompted, or by going to www.nyc.gov/getfoodhelp.
  • New York City Department of Probation: One week of free groceries are available to all New Yorkers in the five boroughs at the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Nutrition Kitchens, in partnership with the Food Bank of NYC and the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). Click here for more information. 
  • P-EBT: Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) is a Federal program to provide food benefits to children who miss the opportunity to receive school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. For further questions, you may contact New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at 1-(833)-452-0096 or otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov.
  • Food Supply Match: To re-align the mismatches in supply and demand, NYC has launched Food Supply Match, a web platform to connect sellers with excess product to buyers facing increased demand. Businesses can register here: nyc.gov/FoodSupplyMatch 
  • Plentiful is a free, easy-to-use reservation system for food pantries and the people they serve. New Yorkers can use Plentiful to find pantries and get the food you need, without waiting in line: www.plentifulapp.com 
  • Expansion of Food Access in Underserved Communities: NYC has announced new food access programs in neighborhoods that have suffered disproportionately during COVID-19. New Yorkers in communities of color will have easier access to nutritious, high-quality foods with meal deliveries, online grocery shopping and more. Learn more here.
  • Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program: This provides low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Those who are eligible are provided coupons to redeem fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets and farm stands. Find out more here.

Diagnostic and Antibody Testing Resources 

  • COVID-19 Testing: New York State testing criteria has expanded to all New Yorkers. New York has significantly expanded its COVID diagnostic and antibody testing across the state. Find a testing site near you by plugging in your address here or by texting "COVID TEST" to 855-48. Free, walk-in antibody testing is available at H+H Gotham Community Health Centers, more information here. There are also mobile COVID-19 testing sites stationed throughout New York City, each providing 80 free tests a day. Find a site near you here.  
  • For New Yorkers with Symptoms or Questions About COVID-19: For real-time COVID updates from NotifyNYC, text "COVID" to 692-692 (NYC-NYC) and text "COVIDESP" for updates in Spanish. To confidentiality self-report your COVID-19 status and symptoms, click hereCall 212-COVID19 if you have questions, want resources or need some help.
  • COVID Alert NY: A voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. By downloading the app, you will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested and reduce the potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others. Learn more and download the app here.
  • Post-COVID Care Clinics: NYC Health provides Post-COVID Care Clinics that bring together multidisciplinary teams (including pulmonology, cardiology, rehabilitation, neurology and mental health) to provide a comprehensive treatment approach. Click here to find out more information.

Additional Community Resources and Updates 

  • Vaccine Fraud Hotline: New Yorkers who suspect fraud in the vaccine distribution process can now call 833-VAX-SCAM (833-829-7226) toll-free or email the state Department of Health at STOPVAXFRAUD@health.ny.gov. Hotline staff will route complaints to the appropriate investigative agencies to ensure New Yorkers are not being taken advantage of as the state works to vaccinate the entire eligible population.
  • We Speak NYC Program: The We Speak NYC program, created in partnership with the City University of New York, empowers immigrant New Yorkers by helping them practice English and learn about City services through volunteer-led conversation groups. Visit on.nyc.gov/WeSpeakVolunteer to learn more about volunteering for a course. If you are interested in taking a We Speak NYC online class or using our free English language learning resources online, please visit NYC.gov/WeSpeakNYC
  • Emergency Utility Intervention Program: HRA has completed its low-income rate match for the Con Edison utility rate reduction programs for customers receiving social services benefits. HRA clients with utility accounts were automatically enrolled and provided an opportunity to opt-out of the program if they wished. Enrollment is ongoing and HRA clients who were not automatically enrolled can participate by contacting their utility company to enroll. Clients can contact Con Edison at 1-(800)-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) or lowincomerate@coned.com. For questions, clients should contact the program at (212)-331-4120 or by email at EUIP@hra.nyc.gov.
  • “Take Care” Package: The Test & Trace Corps is providing “Take Care” packages to New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 and to their contacts. A “Take Care” package includes enough personal protective equipment for a household of three to quarantine for 10-14 days. This includes a medical-grade mask, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, thermometer and a pulse oximeter to help those who test positive for COVID-19 monitor their oxygen levels. Learn more here
  • New York Foundation for Senior Citizens: Learn more about the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ free Home Sharing Program and Respite Care Program.
  • DCWP COVID-19 HubNYC.gov/DCWPAlerts provides information and translated resources on scams, funeral planning tips, debt collection cease communications, student loans, free tax preparation, license expiration and renewal dates, price gouging, and more.
  • NYC Free Tax Prep: New Yorkers who earned $68,000 or less in 2020 may qualify for free tax preparation services in several ways – including from home – this tax season. NYC Free Tax Prep providers can help eligible New Yorkers file their taxes now and transmit the returns to the IRS when they open the tax season on February 12th, 2021. Learn more here.
  • COVID-19 Benefits: Many people who have been impacted by COVID-19 qualify for benefits to help them buy groceries, get health care, or get financial support to make up for lost income. See what support you might be eligible for at access.nyc.gov/pandemic-benefits-guidance.  
  • COVID-19 and Poison Prevention: It is important to stay safe while staying home. You can find guidance with translations about poison control here
  • NYC Mental Health: There are many resources related to mental health that New Yorkers can access while staying home. Resources and a 24/7 hotline are available here and a free resource guide for all New Yorkers as well as services tailored to the needs of aging New Yorkers, veterans, students and young people, and people harmed by violence, crime or abuse is available here.  
  • NYC LGBTQ+ Support: New York City has created a website containing nearly 100 listings of LGBTQ+ affirming services available citywide, including food programs, legal services, health resources & more, which is available here
  • NYC Domestic Violence Support: Services for Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Survivors can be found here, or by calling NYC’s 24-hour hotline at 1-(800)-621-HOPE. 
  • NYC Disability Services: A new webpage of resources for New Yorkers with disabilities during COVID-19, created by City Hall, can be found here
  • NYC Assistance for DACA Recipients: For help renewing your DACA application call ActionNYC at 1-(800)-354-0365. For questions about immigration or how to access City services during the COVID19 crisis, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at (212)-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov
  • Assistance for Homeless New Yorkers in Assessing CARES Act Economic Impact Payments: Mobilization for Justice is offering FREE help for New Yorkers experiencing homlesses in accessing their Economic Impact Payments. To receive assistance, call (212)-417-3791.
  • COVID-19 Misinformation: If you have been harassed or discriminated against due to race, national origin, age, or disability, contact NYC Commission on Human Rights by calling 3-1-1. Call 9-1-1 if you are a victim of or witness a hate crime, or click here.
  • NYC Service Opportunities: NYC Service builds partnerships to deepen and expand civic engagement through volunteer and service programs, creating sustainable change for our city's greatest needs: nyc.gov/service. More opportunities are available at nyc.gov/helpnow.
  • Pet Owner Hotline: If you are a pet owner impacted by COVID-19, call the Pet Hotline at 1-(877)-204-8821 from 8AM to 8PM, seven days a week. 
  • DonateNYC enables businesses and organizations to donate extra food supply to local organizations who can then redistribute it – reducing waste and helping bring food where it needs to go. Details about eligible donors and recipients can be found online. For food donations visit nyc.gov/donatefood. For non-food donations, visit nyc.gov/donate.
  • Mediating Establishment and Neighbor Disputes (MEND) NYC is a new citywide initiative to provide free mediation and conflict resolution services to address quality-of-life issues that impact both NYC residents and businesses in the nightlife industry. Click here or email MendNYC@oath.nyc.gov to learn more. 
  • Reentry Legal Hotline is a new hotline linking New Yorkers providing legal assistance, advice and counsel to individuals whose conviction histories are causing barriers to moving ahead. You may call (646)-759-8088.
  • Alternate Side Parking (ASP): Alternate Side Parking rules are suspended through February 6th due to inclement weather. 

_________________________________________________

PREVIOUS COVID EMAIL UPDATE FROM 1/29/21

 

Dear Community,

As a reminder, last week President Joe Biden signed several executive orders pertaining to the federal government’s response to the pandemic, among other important issues. President Biden is requiring social distancing and the wearing of masks on all federal property and by all federal employees.

This week Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced additional cases of the COVID-19 UK variant have been found in Long Island, New York City, Westchester, Saratoga, Tompkins, Niagara, Onondaga, Essex and Warren Counties, bringing the statewide total to 42 cases.

As a reminder, New Yorkers within Phase 1B can now begin scheduling appointments with individual providers, including pharmacies, local health departments, and hospitals, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. New Yorkers who fall into Phase 1A of the distribution plan will continue to be eligible for the vaccination.

President Biden announced that beginning next week, states will receive a 16% increase in vaccine doses from the federal government. The Biden administration also announced that they are close to securing 200 million additional doses to be delivered this summer. With those additional doses, the United States will have enough supply to inoculate 300 million Americans. While this is welcome news, the number of New Yorkers currently eligible still far exceeds the available supply of vaccines. New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment.

Scheduled appointments are required to receive a vaccination. To determine your eligibility, access a list of nearby providers, and schedule your vaccination appointment, use New York State's new 'Am I Eligible' app. New Yorkers can also call the New York State Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829). Prior to receiving your scheduled vaccination, you must complete the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form.

On January 25th, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the launch of a new hotline focused on vaccine-related fraud. New Yorkers who suspect fraud in the vaccine distribution process can now call 833-VAX-SCAM (833-829-7226) toll-free or email the state Department of Health at STOPVAXFRAUD@health.ny.govHotline staff will route complaints to the appropriate investigative agencies to ensure New Yorkers are not being taken advantage of as the state works to vaccinate the entire eligible population.

On January 25th the Governor announced that New York State's rate of transmission, or "Rt", has dropped below 1. An Rt of 1 or more means COVID-19 will spread quickly. The Governor also announced that elective surgeries can resume in Erie County following a sustained decline in Western New York's positivity rate. 

On January 27th, the Governor announced that, following a decline in new cases and hospitalization rates over the past weeks, all orange zone restrictions, and some yellow zone restrictions have been lifted statewide. The Bronx, including parts of District 34, Queens and Washington Heights all remain in yellow zonesClick here and here for maps of the designated zones in the Bronx. To learn if your home, business, or place of work is within the designated yellow zone, look up your address using the cluster zone map. District 34’s neighboring communities of Yonkers and New Rochelle also have designated yellow zones. You can review the restrictions under the yellow zone designation here. Statewide restrictions remain in place for areas which are no longer orange or yellow zones, including capacity limits for certain businesses and restrictions on mass gatherings. 

Last week, New York State launched a COVID-19 vaccination dashboard tracker, reporting the number of 1st and 2nd-dose vaccinations administered across the state. The dashboard is updated daily at approximately 11AM each day. Vaccination program numbers are for doses delivered to New York for the state’s vaccination program, and do not include those reserved for the federal government’s Long Term Care Facility program. To view the dashboard, click here

The Hudson Valley region, which includes Westchester, has reviewed New York State’s updated “Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency,”, and following discussion with the New York State Association of County Health Officials, regional County Executives, and area public health officials, the Hudson Valley region will authorize “Higher-Risk” sports — both scholastic and non-scholastic — to proceed, effective February 1st, 2021, at the sole discretion of the governing school district or non-scholastic athletic organization. These activities include, but are not limited to, football, wrestling, ice hockey, rugby, basketball, contact lacrosse, volleyball, martial arts, and competitive cheer/dance. In accordance with the state guidance, county health departments in the region will also monitor whether there has been a more-transmissible variant of COVID-19 identified in the area, as well as the percent of local residents that test positive. 

As a reminder, the Governor announced updated quarantine guidelines for New York which are consistent with the latest Centers for Disease Control guidance. Under the new guidelines, individuals exposed to COVID-19 can end their quarantine after 10 days without obtaining a COVID-19 test as long as no symptoms are displayed during the quarantine period. After day 10 of the quarantine is reached, individuals should continue monitoring for symptoms for four more days. If any symptoms develop during this period, they should immediately self-isolate and contact their local health department or a healthcare provider to report this change and determine if they should seek testing. Individuals should continue strict adherence to all recommended safe behaviors including wearing masks, socially distancing and avoiding gatherings.

Out-of-state travelers to New York can "test out" of the mandatory 10-day quarantine. Travelers from states that neighbor New York are exempt from the travel advisory; however, all travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form when entering New York. Essential workers will continue to be exempt from travel advisories as well. Learn more about the guidelines for out-of-state travel here.

NYC Health provides Post-COVID Care Clinics that bring together multidisciplinary teams (including pulmonology, cardiology, rehabilitation, neurology and mental health) to provide a comprehensive treatment approach. Click here to find out more information.

COVID-19 Data Breakdowns and Resource Pages

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for NYC)

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for Westchester County)

Statewide Guidelines for All New Yorkers

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) Guidance

Housing Reminders and Resources

  • The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act: Under the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act, tenants, homeowners, and small landlords can seek protection against eviction or foreclosure. All eviction or foreclosure proceedings currently in progress or filed within 30 days of December 28th, 2020 will be delayed for 60 days.

    • Eviction Protection: Tenants are now able to fill out the Hardship Declaration form (EnglishEspañol) which tenants may sign, under penalty of perjury, if they have a financial hardship that prevents them from being able to pay their rent in full or obtain alternative suitable permanent housing. Once they have signed this form, they may return it to their landlord or to a court. This action prevents landlords from filing for eviction, and suspends eviction proceedings which are already underway until May 1, 2021. Tenants will still be subject to fees, penalties, interest, and money judgments after the delay on these proceedings is lifted
    • Foreclosure Protection & Tax Lien Sale Protection: Homeowners, property owners with ten or fewer units (including their primary residence), and co-op shareholders may provide a standardized Hardship Declaration form (EnglishEspañolto their mortgage lender, local assessor, or court to receive protection from pending or future foreclosure proceedings until May 1st, 2021. The owner will have to declare, under penalty of perjury, that they have suffered a financial hardship that prevents them from paying their mortgage or property taxes. Owners will also be protected from any action to foreclose on delinquent taxes, or tax lien sales in relation to residential real property. 
  • Governor’s Executive Order on Property Tax Exemption: On December 19th, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order providing additional support for two of the groups hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic - vulnerable homeowners and the restaurant industry. Under Executive Order 202.83, local governments can continue to provide property tax exemptions for low-income senior citizens and persons with disabilities who own property through 2021 by lifting an in-person renewal requirement which would put vulnerable New Yorkers at risk of infection from COVID. Additionally, the sales tax deadline for restaurants in orange zones which have been required to suspend indoor dining will be extended until March 2021.
  • Apply for HEAP Benefits: The 2020-2021 Regular HEAP benefit season will be open from November 2nd, 2020 through March 15th, 2021. Recipients of HEAP benefits may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year to help pay for heating costs. To apply, please contact (212)-331-3126. Applications will soon be available on ACCESS HRA to download and mail back to HRA. There is no need to go into an HRA Center. The completed application can be mailed back to HRA at: NYC DSS/HRA/HEAP, PO Box 1401, Church Street Station, New York, NY 10008.
  • Federal Action Halting Residential Evictions: On January 20th, President Biden directed the Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control to extend the temporary halt in residential evictions, through March 2021. Read more here and here. This federal moratorium offers no monetary relief to landlords, may be superseded by local or state law that provides more protections, and comes with strict eligibility requirements. Consult a housing advocate (see below) to determine if this new rule will help you.
  • NYC Tenant Resource Portal: The NYC Tenant Resource Portal is the City’s first-ever online resource to help residential renters access free resources from the City to help prevent evictions and keep tenants stably housed. Tenants who do not have access to the internet can call 3-1-1 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline,” which was launched in partnership with 3-1-1 and HRA’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) where they will be connected to a PEU Tenant Support Specialist to receive free, individualized assistance.
  • Senior Rental Assistance Increase Exemption (SCRIE): While the SCRIE Unit office at HPD remains closed to the public, seniors can submit applications and ask questions by email at SCRIE@hpd.nyc.gov or by mail, at SCRIE Unit 100 Gold Street, Room 7M-3 New York, NY 10038.
  • Section 8 Vouchers: While the HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office is closed to the public, the HPD Section 8 team is still available for remote service. Voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax (212)-863-5299. During this time, any HPD Section 8 voucher set to expire will be automatically renewed. Clients do not need to reach out to HPD for an extension. All subsidy terminations in process are suspended until further notice. All tenant conferences and briefings are postponed and will be rescheduled. All hearings for appeal are cancelled until further notice. HPD will continue to pay the subsidy until final determinations are made.
  • NYCHA Update: Tenants can find the latest COVID resources for NYCHA residents here
  • NYC Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project: The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project provides housing security to tenants across the City who may be facing hardship due to the pandemic. Through this project, non-profit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) will assist tenants and small landlords in finding solutions to rental issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.

Education Updates, Reminders, and Resources

  • Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program: This summer, girls and non-binary students in grades 9-11 will have the experience of a lifetime as they learn to code alongside peers from across the country in virtual classrooms hosted by leading companies like Twitter, Disney, Bank of America, and others. Not only is the program free, but we also offer stipends of $300 to students who demonstrate financial need. Find more information with the SIP flyerapplication link, through a live webinarFAQ page, or reach out to summerimmersion@girlswhocode.com.
  • Fall 2020 Remote Learning Survey: The NYC Department of Education is looking for anonymous feedback from families, students and teachers about their experiences with remote and in-person learning during the 2020-21 school year. All students in grades 6–12, along with parents/guardians and teachers of students in grades kindergarten through 12, will be able to participate in this anonymous online survey. The survey will be open until February 5th and can be accessed here in nine languages. 
  • Applying to NYC Specialized High Schools: Registration for Specialized High Schools admissions is now open. Learn more on our Specialized High Schools page. The deadline to apply is February 23rd by using or creating a MySchools account. If you are new to New York City public schools or need help with enrollment, learn what to do at the DOE’s New Students page.  
  • Changes to NYC Gifted and Talented Programs: The April 2021 entrance exam administered to pre-kindergarteners for admission to elementary school Gifted and Talented Programs will be the last such exam. The City announced that students who are currently enrolled in Gifted and Talented Programs would be able to complete their elementary school programming. The NYC DOE said it would undertake community engagement efforts throughout the course of this year to determine how to better serve academically-advanced students in an inclusive manner. 
  • NYC DOE Testing Data Website: Families can now track the testing rate within their student’s public school using this online tool.
  • Request a DOE Remote Learning Device: Fill out the request form available at the DOE Device Request page.
  • DOE Remote Learning Technical Support: The DOE IT Help Desk is available to assist with device or Internet support. Call (718)-935-5100 and press "5" to reach a technology specialist, or visit the links below for assistance. Visit Tech Support to submit a request for help. See iPad Fixes for solutions to common problems or to submit a ticket to the Help Desk.
  • Access Internet Service: Find suggestions at Free and Low-Cost Internet Solutions
  • Learning Bridges Childcare: Learning Bridges, the City’s free childcare program for children in 3-K through 8th grade, will continue to serve families enrolled in blended learning. They will continue to give priority to children of essential workers. Learn more and apply here.
  • SAT Update for NYC Schools and Students: New York City’s state-approved education plan applies to all DOE buildings, and limits in-person after-school activities to students in attendance on that school day, and does not apply to weekend test administrations. The DOE is supporting any sites that are interested in administering the SAT on weekends and that are able to adhere to the safety guidelines. Weekend permits require payment for all entities, including district schools, and the DOE is working with specific schools on payment details. Any student can take the SAT at an SAT Test Center, whether remote, blended, public, private, or charter. Families may register for testing directly with the College Board. The College Board has a list of SAT testing sites on its website.
  • Department of Education IT Helpline: Families with children in DHS and HRA shelters now have a dedicated DOE IT helpline to troubleshoot connectivity issues and other DOE iPad-related challenges. Families living in shelters have been notified of this new service which is available Monday – Friday at (718)-935-5100, option 5. This serves as an interim solution while installation of internet services is being rolled out to the family shelters. Students using DOE-issued iPads can report problems with connectivity and devices may be swapped out for service with an alternate cellular carrier.
  • NYC DOE COVID Response Situation Room Map: The DOE has launched an online map updating families and the public on which school buildings have active cases of COVID-19 and which require either temporary classroom or full-building closures. This map will be updated daily with the latest information from the School Reopening Situation Room. 
  • Advocates for Children of New York has multiple back-to-school resources for NYC constituents.
    • Helpline & Case Assistance: You can call Advocates for Children’s (AFC) Jill Chaifetz Education Helpline with questions about the NYC education system. The number is (866)-427-6033, and is open from Monday-Thursday, 10:00AM to 4:00PM.
    • Guides & Resources: AFC offers guides and resources to help you navigate NYC’s complex education system. Materials are available here. An updated Start of School Year Q&A for Families of Students with Disabilities is available in English & Spanish. Find the Education During COVID-19 webinar series online.
  • NYC School Reopening Updates: Families can access the most recent school reopening updates here.
  • NYC Student Loan Debt: For Student Loan Debt Tips during COVID-19, click here
  • JCY-Westchester Volunteers are needed for an e-tutoring program to help children during the pandemic. These programs match volunteer mentors with children to help them with remote learning. For more info, contact Madeline Finesmith at mfinesmith@jcy-wcp.com.

Healthcare Reminders and Resources

  • Open Enrollment for Uninsured New Yorkers Extended Through March 31st: The open enrollment period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended through March 31st, 2021. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York's Official Health Plan Marketplace, or directly through insurers.
  • New Paid Sick Leave: Under new rules that took effect January 1st, 2021, employers with 100 or more employees must provide up to 56 hours of paid leave to each employee. This builds on new rules that went into effect in September, ensuring that newly-hired employees can begin to take paid leave immediately with no waiting period, among other changes. Paid sick leave can be used for a broad range of services, including flu shots, recovery, quarantine, preventative care relating to COVID-19, caring for a child whose school has been closed as a result of the pandemic, or if their workplace has been closed by an executive order relating to the pandemic. For more information for both employers and employees, click here.
  • New York Health Insurers Directed to cover COVID-19 Vaccine at No Cost: The New York State Department of Financial Services has issued a circular letter to New York-regulated health insurers directing them to immediately cover, without cost-sharing, approved COVID-19 immunizations.
  • Tai Chi is now offered by Veterans Affairs through the VA Community Care Network. Interested veterans can talk to their doctors either at the VA hospital, or online at https://www.myhealth.va.gov/, and request a “Community Care Consult” for “tai chi.”  Learn more here.
  • The Hispanic Federation Healthcare Enrollment Assistance: The Hispanic Federation is actively enrolling individuals in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan, and NY State of Health Qualified Health Plans. All of their health navigators are bilingual and ready to assist the community over the phone. In addition to individuals, they can assist small businesses with their New York State of Health insurance application process. You can make an appointment by calling their Health Insurance program hotline number at 1-(833)-656-2626.
  • Flu Shot: New Yorkers older than 6 months should get a seasonal flu vaccine. It is especially important for adults ages 50 and older, pregnant people, children ages 6 months to 5 years, and people with chronic diseases to get the vaccine. New Yorkers can use the NYC Health Map, call 3-1-1, or text "FLU" to 877-877 to find a flu vaccination provider. Flu vaccines are covered by most health insurance plans without a co-pay.
  • NYC Care: NYC Care is now available in all five boroughs, regardless of immigration status. You can enroll by calling 1-(646)-NYC-CARE or by visiting nyccare.nyc.
  • Take Care Hotel: If you test positive for COVID-19 and cannot safely separate from family members in your home, you may be eligible for a free hotel room from Health and Hospitals. Learn more about the Take Care Hotel program here.

Small Business and Worker Resources:

  • New “Hours-Based” Benefits: To better serve New Yorkers who can work part-time while unemployed or underemployed, the New York State Department of Labor is implementing a new “hours-based” rule for calculating benefits. Under the new rule, unemployment benefit recipients may work part-time. Their benefits will be reduced in increments based on the number of hours worked per week. This change applies both to traditional unemployment insurance and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that was created under the CARES Act for certain workers not covered under traditional unemployment insurance, such as many freelance employeesThe new rule is in effect. More detailed information on this change and a printable fact sheet are available from the Department of Labor can be found here and here.
  • Commercial Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium Extended: New York State has extended the moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosures through January 31st, 2021. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.81 extends the previous deadline of January 1st, 2021.
  • Reopening of the Paycheck Protection Program: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has reopened for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility were released on January 6th in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act. For more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses, visit sba.gov/ppp or treasury.gov/cares.
  • Death Benefits for Families of Frontline Government Workers: On December 30th, Governor Cuomo announced the signing of an executive order to extend the requirement that death benefits be paid out to families of frontline government workers for an additional 30 days. The legislation providing these benefits, signed by the Governor in May (Chapter 89 of the Laws of 2020), would otherwise expire on December 31st. 
  • New York Forward Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership: The New York Forward Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership will provide small businesses and their landlords with informational resources and pro bono assistance to help both parties reach mutually-beneficial lease workout agreements. This service is available to all New York State small businesses and landlords, and participation is voluntary. Those interested in pro bono assistance to initiate a lease renegotiation are encouraged to review and complete the partnership's intake form.
  • NYC LMI Storefront Loan Program: The NYC LMI Storefront Loan Program is a first-come- first-served 0% interest loan for businesses in low-to-moderate (LMI) income areas of the City. 
  • The Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant: The Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant is funding that is available to community-based development organizations (CBDOs) to implement local COVID-19 recovery support to small businesses. 
  • Employee Ownership NYC: Employee Ownership NYC is the nation’s largest municipal initiative for education and technical assistance around employee ownership and conversion. Business owners taking full advantage of the program can access services worth $10,000 or more in the private sector, all while building sustainable business models that offer true wealth-building opportunities for their workers. The rapid response hotline, "Owner to Owners,” will ensure that more businesses access these services. The service is available at www.Owner2Owners.NYC or at 646-363-6592 and offered in ten languages.
  • Westchester Impact 100's 2021 Grant Cycle: Impact 100's 2021 Grant Cycle and application portal are now open. Nonprofits interested in applying for an Impact 100 Westchester Transformational Project Grant should visit Impact100Westchester for more information.
  • The Design Corps: Small Business Reopening Network was created in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis to connect restaurant owners with design professionals — free of charge — to assist in adapting their outdoor dining spaces in accordance with health and safety guidelines. Pro bono services can assist restaurants with the City’s Open Restaurant program, improve efficiency of space, and ensure a safe and welcoming dining environment. Sign up at www.nycxdesign.com/design-corps to meet with a professional architect or designer to help improve your outdoor dining space.
  • NYC Small Business Resource Network: The Bronx Chamber of Commerce is part of the NYC Small Business Resource Network — a city-wide initiative to bring technical assistance and business recovery support to NYC small businesses. At no cost, the NYC Small Business Resource Network can assist with technology, real estate, legal and accounting services, procurement opportunities, marketing, loans and grants, and more. Their on-the-ground Small Business Support Specialists will help guide you to the resources you need. Sign up here.
  • Chamber On-the-Go: NYC resources are available for small business owners in the Bronx throughout the Chamber On-the-Go business support program. They will connect you with resources to help your business thrive from the NYC Department of Small Business Services and the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. Fill out their assistance survey here.
  • “Find Services” Web Application: "Find Services" web application provides an easy-to-use starting point for first-time users of social programs to help struggling New Yorkers locate benefits to assist them. The web application prompts users with a series of questions aimed at narrowing the field of services to those that would best serve the user's needs. After answering these questions, users are provided with a ranked list of services and descriptions as well as information about how to apply to receive these services.
  • Coursera Online Training Platform: This new online training program will provide access to nearly 4,000 online programs taught by leading professors and industry professionals on Coursera, with a focus on high-growth and in-demand sectors like advanced manufacturing, technology, and health care, among others. Unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers can learn new skills, earn certificates, and advance their careers during the COVID-19 pandemic at no cost. New course offerings are provided through a partnership between the New York State Department of Labor and Coursera. New Yorkers can request a free account on the New York State Department of Labor website
  • Shef: This Airbnb-like platform for home-cooked meals provides opportunities for home chefs to earn money by sharing the home cooking of their cultures and for tasters to try others’ home cooked meals. Learn more here.
  • TLC Driver Resource Center: TLC launched a resource center to provide legal, financial and other services to drivers who have experienced financial hardship. Click here for more information. 
  • NYC Open Restaurants Program: The Open Restaurants program has been extended year-round and made permanent. The extension also applies to Open Streets: Restaurants, which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days. Learn more about how to apply and see operating hours here.
  • NYC Food Delivery Driver Portal: The City of New York is hiring licensed TLC drivers to deliver food to New Yorkers in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more or sign up by clicking here
  • Fund for Public Health NYC Job Opportunities: There are several grant-funded positions and COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative job opportunities at Fund for Public Health NYC. For more information, click here.  
  • Reporting Labor Law Violations: If you believe an employer is violating either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders, contact 3-1-1 or the New York State Attorney General at (212) 416-8700 or Labor.Bureau@ag.ny.gov to report them. Learn more here.
  • FAQ for Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: To access frequently asked questions and answers about pandemic unemployment benefits, click here. To find out what benefits you may qualify for and more, click here. For additional resources, click here
  • Reopening NYC Businesses: NYC.gov/nycbusiness provides information and guidelines for businesses reopening in NYC. 
  • Restaurant Worker Revitalization Program: New York City’s Restaurant Revitalization Program is supporting unemployed and underemployed restaurant workers using $3 million from NYC Opportunity, Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, and One Fair Wage.
  • Freelancers in NYC: If you're a freelancer facing nonpayment issues, file a complaint here.
  • NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program: The Small Business Emergency Grant Program provides support to small businesses who experienced material damage to their storefronts as a result of looting. More information available here: NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program.
  • NYC Worker Hotline: Workers who call 3-1-1 will be connected to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for immediate assistance. Worker rights and guidance is also available: nyc.gov/coronavirus.
  • NYC PPE for Small Businesses: NYC Small Business Services is coordinating with 70+ Business Improvement Districts and Chambers of Commerce to provide 2 million pieces of PPE to small businesses citywide. Find a distribution partner near you at: Free Face Coverings for Small Businesses & Their Employees
  • NYC Business Reopening Support: Go to nyc.gov/business or nyc.gov/coronavirus to find resources and guides or use the dedicated Restart Hotline for business owners, (888)-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
  • Change in Financial Situation: If you have experienced a change in your financial situation since the start of COVID-19, NYC Financial Empowerment Center counselors are available to support you over the phone with free financial counseling that is secure and confidential. Book an appointment here
  • NYC Assistance for Organizations: For help regarding healthcare facilities, small businesses, non-profit organizations and more, click here
  • Work From Home Toolkit: City Hall has released a Work from Home Toolkit to help New Yorkers make the most of working from home. Check it out here.
  • Low-Risk Indoor Cultural Activities Reopenings: New York City museums and cultural institutions have been able to open at 25% capacity. Bowling alleys have been able to operate at 50% occupancy. Read more here.
  • Black Entrepreneurship (BE) NYC is a new initiative, which aims to increase the number of Black-owned businesses in New York City with a focus on growing businesses in high-growth industries. Learn more here

Food Updates and Resources

  • Feeding Westchester: Feeding Westchester’s mission is to end hunger in Westchester County. As the heart of a network of nearly 300 partners, they source and distribute food and other resources to towns across Westchester, helping to ensure that none of our neighbors are hungry. To learn more about their services or volunteer opportunities, visit their website here.
  • SNAP and Cash Assistance Recertification: The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has expanded the recertification extension period through March 31st, 2021 for expiring SNAP and Cash Assistance cases. This means that any cases due for recertification through March 31st, 2021 are eligible for up to a six-month extension. Cases that have previously received the six-month recertification extension are not eligible for another extension. Cases will be extended in accordance with a schedule designed to balance out the recertification workload over time.
  • Get Food NYC: Meal Hub service is operating at approximately 400 sites across the city and continues regular service from 9AM-12PM on weekdays, Monday through Friday. Find a site near you by texting "NYC FOOD" or "NYC COMIDA" to 877-877, or by clicking here. In addition to school Grab-n-Go sites and food pantries, this map includes grocery stores and greenmarkets to help New Yorkers in every neighborhood see the range of options available to them. Comments on meals and deliveries can be submitted by calling 3-1-1 and saying “Get Food” when prompted, or by going to www.nyc.gov/getfoodhelp.
  • New York City Department of Probation: One week of free groceries are available to all New Yorkers in the five boroughs at the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Nutrition Kitchens, in partnership with the Food Bank of NYC and the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). Click here for more information. 
  • P-EBT: Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) is a Federal program to provide food benefits to children who miss the opportunity to receive school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. For further questions, you may contact New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at 1-(833)-452-0096 or otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov.
  • Food Supply Match: To re-align the mismatches in supply and demand, NYC has launched Food Supply Match, a web platform to connect sellers with excess product to buyers facing increased demand. Businesses can register here: nyc.gov/FoodSupplyMatch 
  • Plentiful is a free, easy-to-use reservation system for food pantries and the people they serve. New Yorkers can use Plentiful to find pantries and get the food you need, without waiting in line: www.plentifulapp.com 
  • Expansion of Food Access in Underserved Communities: NYC has announced new food access programs in neighborhoods that have suffered disproportionately during COVID-19. New Yorkers in communities of color will have easier access to nutritious, high-quality foods with meal deliveries, online grocery shopping and more. Learn more here.
  • Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program: This provides low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Those who are eligible are provided coupons to redeem fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets and farm stands. Find out more here.

Diagnostic and Antibody Testing Resources 

  • COVID-19 Testing: New York State testing criteria has expanded to all New Yorkers. New York has significantly expanded its COVID diagnostic and antibody testing across the state. Find a testing site near you by plugging in your address here or by texting "COVID TEST" to 855-48. Free, walk-in antibody testing is available at H+H Gotham Community Health Centers, more information here. There are also mobile COVID-19 testing sites stationed throughout New York City, each providing 80 free tests a day. Find a site near you here.  
  • For New Yorkers with Symptoms or Questions About COVID-19: For real-time COVID updates from NotifyNYC, text "COVID" to 692-692 (NYC-NYC) and text "COVIDESP" for updates in Spanish. To confidentiality self-report your COVID-19 status and symptoms, click hereCall 212-COVID19 if you have questions, want resources or need some help.
  • COVID Alert NY: A voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. By downloading the app, you will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested and reduce the potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others. Learn more and download the app here.

Additional Community Resources and Updates 

  • We Speak NYC Program: The We Speak NYC program, created in partnership with the City University of New York, empowers immigrant New Yorkers by helping them practice English and learn about City services through volunteer-led conversation groups. Visit on.nyc.gov/WeSpeakVolunteer to learn more about volunteering for a course. If you are interested in taking a We Speak NYC online class or using our free English language learning resources online, please visit NYC.gov/WeSpeakNYC
  • Emergency Utility Intervention Program: HRA has completed its low-income rate match for the Con Edison utility rate reduction programs for customers receiving social services benefits. HRA clients with utility accounts were automatically enrolled and provided an opportunity to opt-out of the program if they wished. Enrollment is ongoing and HRA clients who were not automatically enrolled can participate by contacting their utility company to enroll. Clients can contact Con Edison at 1-(800)-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) or lowincomerate@coned.com. For questions, clients should contact the program at (212)-331-4120 or by email at EUIP@hra.nyc.gov.
  • “Take Care” Package: The Test & Trace Corps is providing “Take Care” packages to New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 and to their contacts. A “Take Care” package includes enough personal protective equipment for a household of three to quarantine for 10-14 days. This includes a medical-grade mask, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, thermometer and a pulse oximeter to help those who test positive for COVID-19 monitor their oxygen levels. Learn more here
  • New York Foundation for Senior Citizens: Learn more about the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ free Home Sharing Program and Respite Care Program.
  • DCWP COVID-19 HubNYC.gov/DCWPAlerts provides information and translated resources on scams, funeral planning tips, debt collection cease communications, student loans, free tax preparation, license expiration and renewal dates, price gouging, and more.
  • NYC Free Tax Prep: New Yorkers who earned $68,000 or less in 2020 may qualify for free tax preparation services in several ways – including from home – this tax season. NYC Free Tax Prep providers can help eligible New Yorkers file their taxes now and transmit the returns to the IRS when they open the tax season on February 12th, 2021. Learn more here.
  • COVID-19 Benefits: Many people who have been impacted by COVID-19 qualify for benefits to help them buy groceries, get health care, or get financial support to make up for lost income. See what support you might be eligible for at access.nyc.gov/pandemic-benefits-guidance.  
  • COVID-19 and Poison Prevention: It is important to stay safe while staying home. You can find guidance with translations about poison control here
  • NYC Mental Health: There are many resources related to mental health that New Yorkers can access while staying home. Resources and a 24/7 hotline are available here and a free resource guide for all New Yorkers as well as services tailored to the needs of aging New Yorkers, veterans, students and young people, and people harmed by violence, crime or abuse is available here.  
  • NYC LGBTQ+ Support: New York City has created a website containing nearly 100 listings of LGBTQ+ affirming services available citywide, including food programs, legal services, health resources & more, which is available here
  • NYC Domestic Violence Support: Services for Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Survivors can be found here, or by calling NYC’s 24-hour hotline at 1-(800)-621-HOPE. 
  • NYC Disability Services: A new webpage of resources for New Yorkers with disabilities during COVID-19, created by City Hall, can be found here
  • NYC Assistance for DACA Recipients: For help renewing your DACA application call ActionNYC at 1-(800)-354-0365. For questions about immigration or how to access City services during the COVID19 crisis, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at (212)-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov
  • Assistance for Homeless New Yorkers in Assessing CARES Act Economic Impact Payments: Mobilization for Justice is offering FREE help for New Yorkers experiencing homlesses in accessing their Economic Impact Payments. To receive assistance, call (212)-417-3791.
  • COVID-19 Misinformation: If you have been harassed or discriminated against due to race, national origin, age, or disability, contact NYC Commission on Human Rights by calling 3-1-1. Call 9-1-1 if you are a victim of or witness a hate crime, or click here.
  • NYC Service Opportunities: NYC Service builds partnerships to deepen and expand civic engagement through volunteer and service programs, creating sustainable change for our city's greatest needs: nyc.gov/service. More opportunities are available at nyc.gov/helpnow.
  • Pet Owner Hotline: If you are a pet owner impacted by COVID-19, call the Pet Hotline at 1-(877)-204-8821 from 8AM to 8PM, seven days a week. 
  • DonateNYC enables businesses and organizations to donate extra food supply to local organizations who can then redistribute it – reducing waste and helping bring food where it needs to go. Details about eligible donors and recipients can be found online. For food donations visit nyc.gov/donatefood. For non-food donations, visit nyc.gov/donate.
  • Mediating Establishment and Neighbor Disputes (MEND) NYC is a new citywide initiative to provide free mediation and conflict resolution services to address quality-of-life issues that impact both NYC residents and businesses in the nightlife industry. Click here or email MendNYC@oath.nyc.gov to learn more. 
  • Reentry Legal Hotline is a new hotline linking New Yorkers providing legal assistance, advice and counsel to individuals whose conviction histories are causing barriers to moving ahead. You may call (646)-759-8088.
  • Alternate Side Parking (ASP): Alternate Side Parking rules are in effect.

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PREVIOUS COVID EMAIL UPDATE FROM 1/22/21

Dear Community,

President Joe Biden signed several executive orders this week pertaining to the federal government’s response to the pandemic, among other important issues. President Biden is requiring social distancing and the wearing of masks on all federal property and by all federal employees. He is also launching a “100 days masking challenge” to urge all individuals to wear masks, and for state and local officials to implement public measures to stem the spread of COVID-19.

The President is also reinstating ties with the World Health Organization after the Trump administration chose to withdraw the nation’s membership and funding last year. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci will be the head of the U.S. delegation to the organization’s executive board.

This week Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that four additional cases of the UK COVID-19 variant have been identified, one in Saratoga County, one in Warren County and two in Suffolk County. The new Saratoga and Warren County cases are tied to the first case discovered in Saratoga County. To date, there are 22 known cases of the variant in New York State.

As a reminder, New Yorkers within Phase 1B can now begin scheduling appointments with individual providers, including pharmacies, local health departments, and hospitals, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. New Yorkers who fall into Phase 1A of the distribution plan will continue to be eligible for the vaccination. 

Scheduled appointments are required to receive a vaccination. To determine your eligibility, access a list of nearby providers, and schedule your vaccination appointment, use New York State's new 'Am I Eligible " app. New Yorkers can also call the New York State Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829). Prior to receiving your scheduled vaccination, you must complete the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form.

This week, New York State launched a COVID-19 vaccination dashboard tracker, reporting the number of 1st and 2nd dose vaccinations distributed and administered across the state. The dashboard is updated daily with data as of approximately 11AM the same day. Vaccination program numbers are for doses distributed and delivered to New York for the state’s vaccination program, and do not include those reserved for the federal government’s Long Term Care Facility program. To view the dashboard, click here

This week the Governor announced that eight community vaccination kits have been deployed to churches and cultural institutions in New York City, Long Island and Westchester. These sites bolster New York State's efforts to equitably distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to communities of color and low-income communities that are underserved by traditional healthcare institutions. The sites are open to all eligible New Yorkers. The Bronx site is located at Community Protestant Church 1659 E Gun Hill Rd, The Bronx, NY 10469, and the Westchester site is located at Calvary Baptist Church, 188 Orawaupum St., White Plains, NY 10606.

Additionally, the state-run, vaccination sites at SUNY Stony Brook, Aqueduct Racetrack, SUNY Potsdam and Plattsburgh International Airport are now open and vaccinating eligible New Yorkers. These sites build on the progress made by New York last week when state-run mass vaccination sites opened at Jacob J. Javits Center, Westchester Convention Center, the New York State Fairgrounds, Jones Beach, and SUNY Albany. 

To better serve New Yorkers who can work part-time while unemployed or underemployed, the New York State Department of Labor is implementing a new “hours-based” rule for calculating benefits. Under the previous system, people working part-time could lose a quarter of their weekly unemployment benefit for each day during which they worked, no matter how few hours they worked.

Under the new rule, unemployment benefit recipients may work part-time. Their benefits will be reduced in increments based on the number of hours worked per week. Recipients may work for up to four hours per week without any unemployment benefit rate reduction at all. Recipients with 5-10 hours of work may receive 75% of their full weekly unemployment benefit, while those with 11-20 hours of work may receive 50% and those with 21-30 hours of work may receive 25%. Workers can also be credited with no more than 10 hours of work in a day for the purpose of the new rule. For example, if a worker works 12 hours per day for two days in a week, the worker has only worked 20 hours under the new rule rather than 24 hours, and qualifies for 50% of their weekly unemployment benefit rather than only 25%. Workers at 31 or more hours per week or more than $504 in gross earnings per week will not qualify for unemployment insurance payments.

This change applies both to traditional unemployment insurance and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that was created under the CARES Act for certain workers not covered under traditional unemployment insurance, such as many freelance employees. The new rule is effective for the current benefit week, which ends Sunday, January 24th, and indefinitely thereafter. More detailed information on this change and a printable fact sheet are available from the Department of Labor and can be found here and here.

As a reminder, the Governor announced updated quarantine guidelines for New York which are consistent with the latest Centers for Disease Control guidance. Under the new guidelines, individuals exposed to COVID-19 can end their quarantine after 10 days without a testing requirement as long as no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period. After day 10 is reached, individuals must continue monitoring for symptoms through day 14 and if any develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare provider to report this change and determine if they should seek testing. Individuals should continue strict adherence to all recommended safe behaviors to stop the spread – wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding gatherings.

Out-of-state travelers to New York can "test out" of the mandatory 10-day quarantine. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York will continue to be exempt from the travel advisory; however, covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Essential workers will continue to be exempt as well. Learn more about the guidelines for out-of-state travel here.

Parts of the Bronx – including portions of District 34 in the West, East and South Bronx – remain designated as a “precautionary yellow zone” under New York State’s COVID-19 Micro-Cluster StrategyClick here and here for maps of the designated zone. To learn if your home, business, or place of work resides within the designated yellow zone, look up your address using the cluster zone map. District 34’s neighboring communities of Yonkers and New Rochelle also have designated yellow zones. You can review the restrictions under the yellow zone designation here.

COVID-19 Data Breakdowns and Resource Pages

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for NYC)

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for Westchester County)

Statewide Guidelines for All New Yorkers

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) Guidance

Housing Reminders and Resources

  • COVID Rent Relief Program: The New York State COVID Rent Relief Program application is now open and the deadline to apply is February 1st, 2021. The New York State Legislature established the COVID Rent Relief Program to help households experiencing an increase in their rent burden due to a loss of income during the COVID-19 crisis. This program provides eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord, and applicants will not need to repay this assistance. Households can apply for up to four months of rental assistance. To be eligible for the program, you no longer need to show that you were “rent burdened,” paying more than 30% of income for rent, before March 7th. However, you do still need to show that you were rent burdened during the pandemic, between April 1st to July 31st. For more information about eligibility and application requirements, visit the NY State COVID Rent Relief Program website, or contact the City’s Tenant Helpline by calling 311 and saying “tenant helpline.” 
  • The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act: Under the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act, tenants, homeowners, and small landlords can seek protection against eviction or foreclosure. All eviction or foreclosure proceedings currently in progress or filed within 30 days of when the bill was signed (December 28th, 2020), will be stayed for 60 days.
    • Eviction Protection: Tenants are now able to fill out the Hardship Declaration form (EnglishEspañol) which tenants may sign, under penalty of perjury, if they have a financial hardship that prevents them from being able to pay their rent in full or obtain alternative suitable permanent housing. Once they have signed the form, they may return it to their landlord or to a court. Doing so prevents a landlord from filing an eviction or suspends an eviction proceeding already underway until May 1st, 2021. Tenants will still be subject to fees, penalties, interest, and money judgments.
    • Foreclosure Protection & Tax Lien Sale Protection: Homeowners, property owners with 10 or fewer units (including their primary residence), and co-op shareholders are now able to provide a standardized Hardship Declaration form (EnglishEspañolto their mortgage lender, local assessor, or court to receive protection from pending or future foreclosure proceedings until May 1st, 2021. The owner will have to declare, under penalty of perjury, that they have suffered a financial hardship that prevents them from paying their mortgage or property taxes. Owners will also be protected from any action to foreclose on delinquent taxes or tax lien sales in relation to residential real property. 
  • Governor’s Executive Order on Property Tax Exemption: On December 19th, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an executive Order providing additional support for two of the groups hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic - vulnerable homeowners and the restaurant industry. Under Executive Order 202.83, local governments can continue to provide property tax exemptions for low-income senior citizens and persons with disabilities who own property through 2021 by lifting an in-person renewal requirement which would put vulnerable New Yorkers at risk of infection from COVID. Additionally, the sales tax deadline for restaurants in orange zones which have been required to suspend indoor dining will be extended until March.
  • Apply for HEAP Benefits: The 2020-2021 Regular HEAP benefit season will be open from November 2nd, 2020 through March 15th, 2021. Recipients of HEAP benefits may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year to help pay for heating costs. To apply, please contact 212-331-3126. Applications will soon be available on ACCESS HRA to download and mail back to HRA. There is no need to go into an HRA Center. The completed application can be mailed back to HRA at: NYC DSS/HRA/HEAP, PO Box 1401, Church Street Station, New York, NY 10008.
  • Federal Action Halting Residential Evictions: On September 1st, the federal Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control invoked its powers under public health law to announce a “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19,” effective through December 31st, 2020. The rule took effect on September 4th, when it was published in the Federal Register. Read more here and here. This federal moratorium offers no monetary relief to landlords, may be superseded by local or state law that provides more protections, and comes with strict eligibility requirements. Consult a housing advocate (see below) to determine if this new rule will help you.
  • NYC Tenant Resource Portal: The NYC Tenant Resource Portal is the City’s first-ever online resource to help residential renters access free resources from the City to help prevent evictions and keep tenants stably housed. Tenants who do not have access to the internet can call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline,” which was launched in partnership with 311 and HRA’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) where they will be connected to a PEU Tenant Support Specialist to receive free, individualized assistance.
  • Senior Rental Assistance Increase Exemption (SCRIE): While the SCRIE Unit office at HPD remains closed to the public, seniors can submit applications and ask questions by email at SCRIE@hpd.nyc.gov or by mail, at SCRIE Unit 100 Gold Street, Room 7M-3 New York, NY 10038.
  • Section 8 Vouchers: While the HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office is closed to the public, the HPD Section 8 team is still available for remote service. Voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax at 212-863-5299. During this time, any HPD Section 8 voucher set to expire will be automatically renewed. Clients do not need to reach out to HPD for an extension. All subsidy terminations in process are suspended until further notice. All tenant conferences and briefings are postponed and will be rescheduled. All hearings for appeal are cancelled until further notice. HPD will continue to pay the subsidy until final determinations are made.
  • NYCHA Update: Tenants can find the latest COVID resources for NYCHA residents here
  • NYC Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project: The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project provides housing security to tenants across the City who may be facing hardship due to the pandemic. Through this project, non-profit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) will assist tenants and small landlords in finding solutions to rental issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.

Education Updates, Reminders, and Resources

  • Fall 2020 Remote Learning Survey: NYC DOE is looking for anonymous feedback from families, students and teachers about their experiences with remote and in-person learning during the 2020-21 school year to-date. All students in grades 6–12, along with parents/guardians and teachers of students in grades 3–K through 12, will be able to participate in this anonymous online survey. The survey will be open until February 5th and can be accessed here in nine languages. 
  • Applying to NYC Specialized High Schools: Registration for Specialized High Schools admissions is now open. Learn more on DOE's Specialized High Schools page. The deadline to apply is February 23rd by using or creating your MySchools account. If you are new to New York City DOE public schools or need help with enrollment, learn what to do at the DOE’s New Students page.  
  • Changes to NYC Gifted and Talented Programs: The April 2021 entrance exam administered to pre-kindergarteners for admission to elementary school Gifted and Talented Programs will be the last such exam. The City announced that students who are currently enrolled in Gifted and Talented Programs would be able to complete their elementary school programming. NYC DOE said it would undertake community engagement efforts throughout the course of this year to determine how to better serve academically advanced students in an inclusive manner. The City published the proposed contract with Pearson, the testing company that will produce the 2021 Gifted and Talented exam. This contract must be approved at the Panel for Education Policy (PEP) meeting on January 27th.
  • NYC DOE Testing Data Website: Families can now track the testing rate within their student’s public school using this online tool.
  • Request a DOE Remote Learning Device: Fill out the request form available at the DOE Device Request page.
  • DOE Remote Learning Technical Support: The DOE IT Help Desk is available to assist with device or Internet support. Call 718-935-5100 and press 5 to reach a technology specialist, or visit the links below for assistance. Visit Tech Support to submit a request for help. See iPad Fixes for solutions to common problems or to submit a ticket to the Help Desk.
  • Access Internet Service: Find suggestions at Free and Low-Cost Internet Solutions
  • Learning Bridges Childcare: Learning Bridges, the City’s free childcare program for children in 3-K through 8th grade, will continue to serve families enrolled in blended learning. They will continue to give priority to children of essential workers. Learn more and apply here.
  • SAT Update for NYC Schools and Students: New York City’s state-approved education plan applies to all DOE buildings, and limits in-person after-school activity to students in attendance in a building on that school day, and does not apply to a weekend test administration. DOE is supporting any sites that are interested in administering the SAT on the weekend and that are able to adhere to the safety guidelines. Weekend permits require payment for all entities, including district schools, and DOE is working with specific schools on payment details. Any student can take the SAT at an SAT Test Center, whether remote, blended, public, private, or charter. Families register directly with the College Board. The College Board has a list of sites on their website.
  • Department of Education IT Helpline: Families with children in DHS and HRA shelters now have a dedicated Department of Education (DOE) IT helpline to troubleshoot connectivity issues and other DOE iPad-related challenges. Families living in shelters have been notified of this new service which is available Monday – Friday at 718-935-5100, option 5. This is serving as an interim solution while installation of internet services is being rolled out to the family shelters. Students using DOE-issued iPads can report problems with connectivity and devices may be swapped out for service with an alternate cellular carrier.
  • January 2021 Regents Exams are Canceled: Due to COVID-19 concerns, the New York State Education Department decided to cancel the examinations across the state to ensure the safety of both students and educators. The Education Department will also ask the Board of Regents to adopt emergency regulations and apply specific exemptions so not to negatively impact students. A decision on the June and August exams have not been decided yet.
  • NYC DOE COVID Response Situation Room Map: The DOE has launched an online map updating families and the public on which school buildings have active confirmed cases of COVID-19 and which require either temporary classroom or full-building closures. This map will be updated once daily with the latest information from the School Reopening Situation Room. 
  • Advocates for Children of New York has multiple back-to-school resources for NYC constituents.
    • Helpline & Case Assistance: You can call AFC’s Jill Chaifetz Education Helpline with questions about the NYC education system. The number is 866-427-6033 (toll free), and is open from Mon-Thurs, 10:00AM to 4:00PM.
    • Guides & Resources: AFC offers guides and resources to help you navigate NYC’s complex education system. Materials are available here. An updated Start of School Year Q&A for Families of Students with Disabilities is available in English & Spanish. Find the Education During COVID-19 webinar series online.
  • NYC School Reopening Updates: Families can access the most recent school reopening updates here.
  • NYC Student Loan Debt: For Student Loan Debt Tips during COVID-19, click here
  • JCY-Westchester Volunteers are needed for an eTutoring program to help children during the pandemic. These programs match volunteer mentors with children to help them with remote learning. For more info, contact Madeline Finesmith at mfinesmith@jcy-wcp.com.

Healthcare Reminders and Resources

  • Open Enrollment for Uninsured New Yorkers Extended Through March 31st: Open Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended through March 31st, 2021. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York's Official Health Plan Marketplace, or directly through insurers.
  • New Paid Sick Leave: Under new rules that went into effect on January 1st, 2021, employers with 100 or more employees must provide up to 56 hours of paid leave. This builds on new rules that went into effect in September, ensuring that newly-hired employees can begin to take paid leave immediately with no waiting period, among other changes. Paid sick leave can be used for a broad range of services, including to get a flu shot; recovery, quarantine, or preventative care relating to COVID-19; to care for a child whose school has been closed as a result of the pandemic; or if their workplace has been closed by an Executive Order relating to the pandemic. For more information, for both employers and employees, click here.
  • New York Health Insurers Directed to cover COVID-19 Vaccine at No Cost: The New York State Department of Financial Services has issued a circular letter to New York-regulated health insurers directing them to immediately cover, without cost-sharing, approved COVID-19 immunizations and their administration.
  • Tai Chi is now offered by Veterans Affairs through the VA Community Care Network. Interested veterans can talk to their doctor either at the VA hospital, or online https://www.myhealth.va.gov/, and request a “Community Care Consult” for “tai chi.”  Learn more here.
  • The Hispanic Federation Healthcare Enrollment Assistance: The Hispanic Federation is actively enrolling individuals in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan, and NY State of Health Qualified Health Plans. All of their health navigators are bilingual and ready to assist the community over the phone. In addition to individuals, they can assist small businesses with their New York State of Health insurance application process. You can make an appointment by calling their Health Insurance program hotline number at 1-833-656-2626.
  • Flu Shot: New Yorkers older than ages 6 months should get a seasonal flu vaccine and it is especially important for adults ages 50 and older, pregnant people, children ages 6 months to 5 years, and people with chronic diseases. New Yorkers can use the NYC Health Map, call 311, or text FLU to 877-877 to find a flu vaccination. Flu vaccine is covered by most health insurance plans without a co-pay.
  • NYC Care: NYC Care is now available in all five boroughs, regardless of immigration status! You can enroll by calling 1-646-NYC-CARE or visiting nyccare.nyc.
  • Take Care Hotel: If you test positive for COVID-19 and cannot safely separate from family members in your home, you may be eligible for a free hotel room from Health and Hospitals. Learn more about the Take Care Hotel program here.

Small Business and Worker Resources:

  • Commercial Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium Extended: New York State has extended the moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosures through January 31st, 2021. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.81 extends the previous deadline of January 1st, 2021.
  • Reopening of the Paycheck Protection Program: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has reopened for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility were released on January 6th in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act. For more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses, visit sba.gov/ppp or treasury.gov/cares.
  • Death Benefits for Families of Frontline Government Workers: On December 30th, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced he is signing an Executive Order to extend the requirement that death benefits be paid out to families of frontline government workers for an additional 30 days. The legislation providing these benefits, signed by the Governor in May (Chapter 89 of the Laws of 2020), would have otherwise expired on December 31st. 
  • New York Forward Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership: The New York Forward Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership will provide small businesses and their landlords with informational resources and pro bono assistance to help both parties reach mutually-beneficial lease workout agreements. This service is available to all New York State small businesses and landlords, and participation is voluntary. Those interested in pro bono assistance to initiate a lease renegotiation are encouraged to review and complete the partnership's intake form.
  • NYC LMI Storefront Loan Program: The NYC LMI Storefront Loan Program is a first-come, first-served 0% interest loan for businesses in low-to-moderate (LMI) income areas of the City. 
  • The Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant: The Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant is funding that is available to community-based development organizations (CBDOs) to implement local COVID-19 recovery support to small businesses. 
  • Employee Ownership NYC: Employee Ownership NYC is the nation’s largest municipal initiative for education and technical assistance around employee ownership and conversion. Business owners taking full advantage of the program can access services worth $10,000 or more in the private sector, all while building sustainable business models that offer true wealth-building opportunities for their workers. The rapid response hotline, Owner to Owners, will ensure that more businesses access these services. The service is available at www.Owner2Owners.NYC or at 646-363-6592 and offered in ten languages.
  • Westchester Impact 100's 2021 Grant Cycle: Impact100's 2021 Grant Cycle and application portal are now open. Nonprofits interested in applying for an Impact100 Westchester Transformational Project Grant should visit Impact100Westchester for more information.
  • The Design Corps: Small Business Reopening Network was created in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis to connect restaurant owners with design professionals — free of charge — to assist in adapting their outdoor dining spaces in accordance with health and safety guidelines. Pro bono services can assist restaurants with the City’s Open Restaurant program, improve efficiency of space, and ensure a safe and welcoming dining environment. Sign up at www.nycxdesign.com/design-corps to meet with a professional architect or designer to help improve your outdoor dining space.
  • NYC Small Business Resource Network: The Bronx Chamber of Commerce is a part of the NYC Small Business Resource Network — a city-wide initiative to bring technical assistance and business recovery support to NYC small businesses. At no cost to you, the NYC Small Business Resource Network can assist in technology, real estate, legal and accounting services, procurement opportunities, marketing, loans and grants, and more. Their on-the-ground Small Business Support Specialists will help guide you to the resources you need. Sign up here.
  • Chamber On-the-Go: NYC resources are available for small business owners in the Bronx throughout the Chamber On-the-Go business support program. They will connect you with resources to help your business thrive from the NYC Department of Small Business Services and the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. Fill out their assistance survey here.
  • “Find Services” Web Application: "Find Services" web application provides an easy-to-use starting point for first-time users of social programs to help struggling New Yorkers locate benefits to assist them. The web application prompts each user with a series of simple questions aimed at narrowing the field of possible services to those that are best designed to serve their needs. After answering the questions, the user is provided with a ranked list of potential services along with a description to help residents judge if the service is right for them and provide them with more information about how to apply.
  • Coursera Online Training Platform: The new online training program will provide access to nearly 4,000 online programs taught by leading professors and industry professionals on Coursera, with a focus on high-growth and in-demand sectors like advanced manufacturing, technology, and health care, among others. Unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers can learn new skills, earn certificates, and advance their careers during the COVID-19 pandemic at no cost. The new course offerings are provided through a partnership between the New York State Department of Labor and Coursera. New Yorkers can request a free account on the New York State Department of Labor website
  • Shef: This Airbnb-like platform for home cooked meals provides opportunities for home chefs to earn money by sharing the home cooking of their cultures and for tasters to try others’ home cooked meals. Learn more here.
  • TLC Driver Resource Center: TLC launched a resource center to provide legal, financial and other services to hard hit drivers. Click here for more information. 
  • NYC Open Restaurants Program: The Open Restaurants program has been extended year-round and made permanent. The extension also applies to Open Streets: Restaurants, which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days. Learn more about how to apply and see operating hours here.
  • NYC Food Delivery Driver Portal: The City of New York is hiring licensed TLC drivers to deliver food to New Yorkers in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more or sign up by clicking here
  • Fund for Public Health NYC Job Opportunities: There are several grant-funded positions and COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative job opportunities at Fund for Public Health NYC. For more information, click here.  
  • Reporting Labor Law Violations: If you believe an employer is violating either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders, contact 311 or the New York State Attorney General at (212) 416-8700 or Labor.Bureau@ag.ny.gov to report them. Learn more here.
  • FAQ for Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: To access frequently asked questions and answers about pandemic unemployment benefits, click here. To find out what benefits you may qualify for and more, click here. For additional resources, click here
  • Reopening NYC Businesses: NYC.gov/nycbusiness provides information and guidelines for businesses reopening in NYC. 
  • Restaurant Worker Revitalization Program: New York City’s Restaurant Revitalization Program is supporting unemployed and underemployed restaurant workers using $3 million from NYC Opportunity, Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, and One Fair Wage.
  • Freelancers in NYC: If you're a freelancer facing nonpayment issues, file a complaint here.
  • NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program: The Small Business Emergency Grant Program provides support to small businesses who experienced material damage to their storefronts as a result of looting. More information available here: NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program.
  • NYC Worker Hotline: Workers who call 311 will be connected to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for immediate assistance. Worker rights and guidance is also available: nyc.gov/coronavirus.
  • NYC PPE for Small Businesses: NYC SBS is coordinating with 70+ BIDs and Chambers of Commerce to provide 2 million pieces of PPE to small businesses citywide. Find a distribution partner near you at: Free Face Coverings for Small Businesses & Their Employees
  • NYC Business Reopening Support: Go to nyc.gov/business or nyc.gov/coronavirus to find resources and guides or use the dedicated Restart Hotline for business owners, 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
  • Change in Financial Situation: If you have experienced a change in your financial situation since the start of COVID-19, NYC Financial Empowerment Center counselors are available to support you over the phone with free financial counseling that is secure and confidential. Book an appointment here
  • NYC Assistance for Organizations: For help regarding healthcare facilities, small businesses, non-profit organizations and more, click here
  • Work From Home Toolkit: City Hall has released a Work from Home Toolkit to help New Yorkers make the most of working from home. Check it out here.
  • Low-Risk Indoor Cultural Activities Reopenings: New York City museums and cultural institutions have been able to open at 25% capacity. Bowling alleys have been able to operate at 50% occupancy. Read more here.
  • Black Entrepreneurship (BE) NYC is a new initiative, which aims to increase the number of Black-owned businesses in New York City with a focus on growing businesses in high-growth industries. Learn more here

Food Updates and Resources

  • Feeding Westchester: Feeding Westchester’s mission is to end hunger in Westchester County. As the heart of a network of nearly 300 partners, they source and distribute food and other resources to towns across Westchester, helping to ensure that none of our neighbors are hungry. To learn more about their services or volunteer opportunities, visit their website here.
  • SNAP and Cash Assistance Recertification: The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has expanded the recertification extension period through March 31st, 2021 for expiring SNAP and Cash Assistance cases. This means that any cases due for recertification through March 31st, 2021 are eligible for up to a six-month extension. Cases that have previously received the six-month recertification extension are not eligible for another extension. Cases will be extended in accordance with a schedule designed to balance out the recertification workload over time.
  • Get Food NYC: Meal Hub service is operating at approximately 400 sites across the city and continues regular service from 9AM-12PM on weekdays, Monday through Friday. Find a site near you by texting ‘NYC FOOD’ or ‘NYC COMIDA’ to 877-877, or by clicking here. In addition to school Grab-n-Go sites and food pantries, this map includes grocery stores and greenmarkets to help New Yorkers in every neighborhood see the range of options available to them. Comments on meals and deliveries can be submitted by calling 311 and saying “Get Food” or by going to www.nyc.gov/getfoodhelp.
  • New York City Department of Probation: One week of free groceries are available to all New Yorkers in five boroughs at the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Nutrition Kitchens, in partnership with the Food Bank of NYC and the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). Click here for more information. 
  • P-EBT: Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) is a Federal program to provide food benefits to children who miss the opportunity to receive school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. For further questions, you may contact New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at 1-833-452-0096 or otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov.
  • Food Supply Match: To re-align the mismatches in supply and demand, NYC has launched Food Supply Match, a web platform to connect sellers with excess product to buyers facing increased demand. Businesses can register here: nyc.gov/FoodSupplyMatch 
  • Plentiful is a free, easy-to-use reservation system for food pantries and the people they serve. New Yorkers can use Plentiful to find pantries and get the food you need, without waiting in line: www.plentifulapp.com 
  • Expansion of Food Access in Underserved Communities: NYC has announced new food access programs in neighborhoods that have suffered disproportionately during COVID-19. New Yorkers in communities of color will have easier access to nutritious, high-quality foods with meal deliveries, online grocery shopping and more. Learn more here.
  • Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program: This provides low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Those who are eligible are provided coupons to redeem fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets and farm stands. Find out more here.

Diagnostic and Antibody Testing Resources 

  • COVID-19 Testing: New York State testing criteria has expanded to all New Yorkers. New York has significantly expanded its COVID diagnostic and antibody testing across the state. Find a testing site near you by plugging in your address here or by texting ‘COVID TEST’ to 855-48. Free, walk-in antibody testing is available at H+H Gotham Community Health Centers, more information here. There are also mobile COVID-19 testing sites stationed throughout New York City, each providing 80 free tests a day. Find a site near you here.  
  • For New Yorkers with Symptoms or Questions About COVID-19: For real-time COVID updates from NotifyNYC, text ‘COVID’ to 692-692 (NYC-NYC) and text ‘COVIDESP’ for updates in Spanish. To confidentiality self-report your COVID-19 status and symptoms, click hereCall 212-COVID19 if you have questions, want resources or need some help.
  • COVID Alert NY: A voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. By downloading the app, you will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested and reduce the potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others. Learn more and download the app here.

Additional Community Resources and Updates 

  • Access-A-Ride: As of Tuesday, January 19th, 2021, The MTA will resume fare collection on all Access-A-Ride services. The Access-A-Ride fare is $2.75 per trip (the same as the full fare on public transit) and is collected in cash. Customers must have exact change ready at boarding as Paratransit operators do not provide change or accept round-trip payment. MetroCards cannot be used as payment but customers may pay their fares using Access-A-Ride TransitCheck Coupons. Each coupon is good for full payment on one trip. As always, for those eligible, Personal Care Attendants may accompany Access-A-Ride Passengers free of charge. Customers may continue to safely choose how to book their trips via online trip management, MYmtaApp or by calling the Access-A-Ride call center at 1-877-337-2017.  For the safety of our customers and employees, face coverings are required for all customers using MTA services. For more information about Access-A-Ride Paratransit Service, click here.
  • We Speak NYC Program: The We Speak NYC program, created in partnership with the City University of New York, empowers immigrant New Yorkers by helping them practice English and learn about City services through volunteer-led conversation groups. Visit on.nyc.gov/WeSpeakVolunteer to learn more about volunteering for a course. If you are interested in taking a We Speak NYC online class or using our free English language learning resources online, please visit NYC.gov/WeSpeakNYC
  • Public Charge Rule: On November 3rd, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily stayed the Illinois court's decision to vacate the US Department of Homeland Security”s public charge rule, meaning that effective November 3rd, the public charge rule IS in effect while the case is being litigated. The Seventh Circuit will be deciding whether or not to keep the stay in place while the Trump Administration's appeal of the district court's decision is litigated.For questions about how this ruling could affect your immigration or benefits status, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov.
  • Emergency Utility Intervention Program: HRA has completed its low-income rate match for the Con Edison utility rate reduction programs for customers receiving social services benefits. HRA clients with utility accounts were automatically enrolled and provided an opportunity to opt-out of the program if they wished. Enrollment is ongoing and HRA clients who were not automatically enrolled can participate by contacting their utility company to enroll. Clients can contact Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) or lowincomerate@coned.com. For questions, clients should contact the program at 212-331-4120 or by email at EUIP@hra.nyc.gov.
  • NYC 2nd Hour Parking Meter: Beginning this fall, the Department of Transportation will be converting all 1-hour meter parking zones to 2-hour meter parking across NYC boroughs, as well as instituting a graduated 2nd hour rate at all locations. There will be no change for drivers who wish to park for an hour or less.
  • Vision Zero: Mayor de Blasio announced that speed limits will be reduced by 5 MPH on 25 miles of major streets with some of the highest rates of crashes across the boroughs. The City also announced that the Department of Transportation has reached its goal of activating cameras in all 750 school zones. In the Bronx, the new speed limits apply to: Bruckner Blvd from East 135th Street to Pelham Bay Park, 6.5 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH) and Webster Ave from East 233 Street to East Gun Hill Road, 1.2 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH). Read more here.
  • “Take Care” Package: The Test & Trace Corps is providing “Take Care” packages to New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 and to their contacts. A “Take Care” package includes enough personal protective equipment for a household of three to quarantine for 10-14 days. This includes a medical grade mask, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, thermometer and a pulse oximeter to help those who test positive for COVID-19 monitor their oxygen levels. Learn more here
  • New York Foundation for Senior Citizens: Learn more about the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ free Home Sharing Program and Respite Care Program.
  • DCWP COVID-19 HubNYC.gov/DCWPAlerts provides information and translated resources on scams, funeral planning tips, debt collection cease communications, student loans, free tax prep, license expiration and renewal dates, price gouging, and more.
  • COVID-19 Benefits: Many people who have been impacted by COVID-19 qualify for benefits to help them buy groceries, get health care, or get financial support to make up for lost income. See what support you might be eligible for at access.nyc.gov/pandemic-benefits-guidance.  
  • COVID-19 and Poison Prevention: It is important to stay safe while staying home. You can find guidance with translations about poison control here
  • NYC Mental Health: There are many resources related to mental health that New Yorkers can access while staying home. Resources and a 24/7 hotline are available here and a free resource guide for all New Yorkers as well as services tailored to the needs of aging New Yorkers, veterans, students and young people, and people harmed by violence, crime or abuse is available here.  
  • NYC LGBTQ+ Support: New York City has created a mobile-accessible website containing nearly 100 listings of LGBTQ+ affirming services still available citywide, including food programs, legal services, health resources & more, which is available here
  • NYC Domestic Violence Support: Services for Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Survivors can be found here, or by calling NYC’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE. 
  • NYC Disability Services: A new webpage of resources for New Yorkers with disabilities during COVID-19, created by City Hall, can be found here
  • NYC Assistance for DACA Recipients: For help renewing your DACA application call ActionNYC at 1-800-354-0365. For questions about immigration or how to access City services during the COVID19 crisis, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov
  • Assistance for Homeless New Yorkers in Assessing CARES Act Economic Impact Payments: Mobilization for Justice is offering FREE help for New Yorkers experiencing homlesses in accessing their Economic Impact Payments. To receive assistance, call 212-417-3791.
  • COVID-19 Misinformation: If you have been harassed or discriminated against due to race, national origin, age, or disability, contact NYC Commission on Human Rights by calling 311. Call 911 if you are a victim of or witness a hate crime or click here.
  • NYC Service Opportunities: NYC Service builds partnerships to deepen and expand civic engagement through volunteer and service programs, creating sustainable change for our city's greatest needs: nyc.gov/service. More opportunities are available at nyc.gov/helpnow.
  • Pet Owner Hotline: If you are a pet owner impacted by COVID-19, call the Pet Hotline at 1-877-204-8821 from 8AM to 8PM, 7 days a week. 
  • DonateNYC enables businesses and organizations to donate extra food supply to local organizations who can then redistribute it – reducing waste and helping bring food where it needs to go. Details about eligible donors and recipients can be found online. For food donations visit nyc.gov/donatefood. For non-food donations, visit nyc.gov/donate.
  • Mediating Establishment and Neighbor Disputes (MEND) NYC is a new citywide initiative to provide free mediation and conflict resolution services to address quality-of-life issues that impact both NYC residents and businesses in the nightlife industry. Click here or email MendNYC@oath.nyc.gov to learn more. 
  • Reentry Legal Hotline is a new hotline linking New Yorkers providing legal assistance, advice and counsel to individuals whose conviction histories are causing barriers to moving ahead. You may call 646-759-8088.
  • Alternate Side Parking (ASP): Alternate Side Parking rules are in effect.

______________________________________________

PREVIOUS COVID EMAIL UPDATE FROM 1/15/21

 

Dear Community,

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced updated quarantine guidelines for New York which are consistent with the latest Centers for Disease Control guidance. Under the new guidelines, individuals exposed to COVID-19 can end their quarantine after 10 days without a testing requirement as long as no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period. After day 10 is reached, individuals must continue monitoring for symptoms through day 14 and if any develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare provider to report this change and determine if they should seek testing. Individuals should continue strict adherence to all recommended safe behaviors to stop the spread – wearing masks, socially distancing and avoiding gatherings.

As a reminder, out-of-state travelers to New York can "test out" of the mandatory 10-day quarantine. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York will continue to be exempt from the travel advisory; however, covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Essential workers will continue to be exempt as well. Learn more about the guidelines for out-of-state travel here.

Parts of the Bronx – including portions of District 34 in the West, East and South Bronx – remain designated as a “precautionary yellow zone” under New York State’s COVID-19 Micro-Cluster StrategyClick here and here for maps of the designated zone. To learn if your home, business, or place of work resides within the designated yellow zone, look up your address using the cluster zone map. District 34’s neighboring communities of Yonkers and New Rochelle also have designated yellow zones. You can review the restrictions under the yellow zone designation here.

This week Governor Cuomo announced that New York has now detected 12 total cases of the U.K. variant of the COVID virus. The cases were sequenced through the Department of Health's Wadsworth laboratory which has analyzed more than 2,200 viral sequences as part of the state's U.K. strain testing program.

This week it was announced that New Yorkers within Phase 1B can now begin scheduling appointments with individual providers – including pharmacies, local health departments, and hospitals – to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. New Yorkers who fall into Phase 1A of the distribution plan will continue to be eligible for the vaccination.

Those now eligible under Phase 1B to receive the vaccine include:

  • Individuals 65 and older
  • First responders
  • Public safety and corrections officers
  • Teachers and other school staff; in-person college instructors 
  • Childcare workers
  • Public-facing grocery store workers 
  • Transit workers
  • Individuals living and working in homeless shelters

Scheduled appointments are required to receive a vaccination. To determine your eligibility, access a list of nearby providers, and schedule your vaccination appointment, use New York State's new 'Am I Eligible " app. New Yorkers can also begin calling the New York State Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829). Prior to receiving your scheduled vaccination, you must complete the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form.

Five state-run mass-vaccination sites have begun accepting appointments, including the Jacob K. Javits Center and Westchester County Center. Additionally, the state has opened a vaccination site at Fort Washington Armory in Washington Heights, and is offering COVID-19 vaccinations to individuals over the age of 65 with scheduled appointments only. The City of New York has also opened their own city-run sites located across the five boroughs, which are listed here.

Since federal supply severely limits the ability to distribute vaccines, New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment. New York's distribution network and large population of eligible individuals far exceed the vaccine supply coming from the federal government, which is arriving at a rate of approximately 300,000 doses per week. As such, eligible New Yorkers should be prepared to receive an appointment date as far as 14 weeks or further in the future.

New York State has extended the moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosures through January 31st, 2021. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.81 extends the previous deadline of January 1st, 2021.

This week New York City announced that the April 2021 entrance exam administered to pre-kindergarteners for admission to elementary school Gifted and Talented Programs would be the last such exam. In addition, the City announced that students who are currently enrolled in Gifted and Talented Programs would be able to complete their elementary school programming. The City, however, did not provide further details on any new framework to reform entry to Gifted and Talented Programs or their programming. Instead, NYC DOE said it would undertake community engagement efforts throughout the course of this year to determine how to better serve academically advanced students in an inclusive manner. 

As part of this announcement, the City published the proposed contract with Pearson, the testing company that will produce the 2021 Gifted and Talented exam. This contract must be approved at the Panel for Education Policy (PEP) meeting on January 27th.

Additionally, the President of District 34’s Manhattan College released a statement in response to last week’s attack on the Capitol in Washington D.C., condemning the insurrection and the role that Manhattan College graduate Rudy Giuliani played in the siege. You can read the statement here.

COVID-19 Data Breakdowns and Resource Pages

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for NYC)

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for Westchester County)

Statewide Guidelines for All New Yorkers

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) Guidance

Housing Reminders and Resources

  • COVID Rent Relief Program: The New York State COVID Rent Relief Program application is now open and the deadline to apply is February 1st, 2021. The New York State Legislature established the COVID Rent Relief Program to help households experiencing an increase in their rent burden due to a loss of income during the COVID-19 crisis. This program provides eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord, and applicants will not need to repay this assistance. Households can apply for up to four months of rental assistance. To be eligible for the program, you no longer need to show that you were “rent burdened,” paying more than 30% of income for rent, before March 7th. However, you do still need to show that you were rent burdened during the pandemic, between April 1st to July 31st. For more information about eligibility and application requirements, visit the NY State COVID Rent Relief Program website, or contact the City’s Tenant Helpline by calling 311 and saying “tenant helpline.” 
  • The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act: Under the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act, tenants, homeowners, and small landlords can seek protection against eviction or foreclosure. All eviction or foreclosure proceedings currently in progress or filed within 30 days of when the bill was signed (December 28th, 2020), will be stayed for 60 days.
    • Eviction Protection: Tenants are now able to fill out the Hardship Declaration form (EnglishEspañol) which tenants may sign, under penalty of perjury, if they have a financial hardship that prevents them from being able to pay their rent in full or obtain alternative suitable permanent housing. Once they have signed the form, they may return it to their landlord or to a court. Doing so prevents a landlord from filing an eviction or suspends an eviction proceeding already underway until May 1st, 2021. Tenants will still be subject to fees, penalties, interest, and money judgments.
    • Foreclosure Protection & Tax Lien Sale Protection: Homeowners, property owners with 10 or fewer units (including their primary residence), and co-op shareholders are now able to provide a standardized Hardship Declaration form (EnglishEspañolto their mortgage lender, local assessor, or court to receive protection from pending or future foreclosure proceedings until May 1st, 2021. The owner will have to declare, under penalty of perjury, that they have suffered a financial hardship that prevents them from paying their mortgage or property taxes. Owners will also be protected from any action to foreclose on delinquent taxes or tax lien sales in relation to residential real property. 
  • Governor’s Executive Order on Property Tax Exemption: On December 19th, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an executive Order providing additional support for two of the groups hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic - vulnerable homeowners and the restaurant industry. Under Executive Order 202.83, local governments can continue to provide property tax exemptions for low-income senior citizens and persons with disabilities who own property through 2021 by lifting an in-person renewal requirement which would put vulnerable New Yorkers at risk of infection from COVID. Additionally, the sales tax deadline for restaurants in orange zones which have been required to suspend indoor dining will be extended until March.
  • Apply for HEAP Benefits: The 2020-2021 Regular HEAP benefit season will be open from November 2nd, 2020 through March 15th, 2021. Recipients of HEAP benefits may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year to help pay for heating costs. To apply, please contact 212-331-3126. Applications will soon be available on ACCESS HRA to download and mail back to HRA. There is no need to go into an HRA Center. The completed application can be mailed back to HRA at: NYC DSS/HRA/HEAP, PO Box 1401, Church Street Station, New York, NY 10008.
  • Federal Action Halting Residential Evictions: On September 1st, the federal Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control invoked its powers under public health law to announce a “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19,” effective through December 31st, 2020. The rule took effect on September 4th, when it was published in the Federal Register. Read more here and here. This federal moratorium offers no monetary relief to landlords, may be superseded by local or state law that provides more protections, and comes with strict eligibility requirements. Consult a housing advocate (see below) to determine if this new rule will help you.
  • NYC Tenant Resource Portal: The NYC Tenant Resource Portal is the City’s first-ever online resource to help residential renters access free resources from the City to help prevent evictions and keep tenants stably housed. Tenants who do not have access to the internet can call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline,” which was launched in partnership with 311 and HRA’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) where they will be connected to a PEU Tenant Support Specialist to receive free, individualized assistance.
  • Senior Rental Assistance Increase Exemption (SCRIE): While the SCRIE Unit office at HPD remains closed to the public, seniors can submit applications and ask questions by email at SCRIE@hpd.nyc.gov or by mail, at SCRIE Unit 100 Gold Street, Room 7M-3 New York, NY 10038.
  • Section 8 Vouchers: While the HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office is closed to the public, the HPD Section 8 team is still available for remote service. Voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax at 212-863-5299. During this time, any HPD Section 8 voucher set to expire will be automatically renewed. Clients do not need to reach out to HPD for an extension. All subsidy terminations in process are suspended until further notice. All tenant conferences and briefings are postponed and will be rescheduled. All hearings for appeal are cancelled until further notice. HPD will continue to pay the subsidy until final determinations are made.
  • NYCHA Update: Tenants can find the latest COVID resources for NYCHA residents here
  • NYC Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project: The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project provides housing security to tenants across the City who may be facing hardship due to the pandemic. Through this project, non-profit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) will assist tenants and small landlords in finding solutions to rental issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.

Education Updates, Reminders, and Resources

  • New York City SHSAT and Arts Auditions: Students can register to test for admission to the Specialized High Schools. The logistics involved in proctoring the exam are being altered to ensure the health and safety of staff and students. The SHSAT registration will close on January 15th, 2021. The exam will now be administered in students’ own middle schools to reduce travel and mixing of different cohorts of children. The SHSAT will be administered beginning in late January. Families can complete their application via the MySchools portal, by calling P311, or through a virtual Family Welcome Center. Arts high schools will move to a virtual audition system that will allow students to submit their audition online. Students will only need to create one audition that can be submitted for all schools that require it.
  • NYC DOE Testing Data Website: Families can now track the testing rate within their student’s public school using this online tool.
  • Request a DOE Remote Learning Device: Fill out the request form available at the DOE Device Request page.
  • DOE Remote Learning Technical Support: The DOE IT Help Desk is available to assist with device or Internet support. Call 718-935-5100 and press 5 to reach a technology specialist, or visit the links below for assistance. Visit Tech Support to submit a request for help. See iPad Fixes for solutions to common problems or to submit a ticket to the Help Desk.
  • Access Internet Service: Find suggestions at Free and Low-Cost Internet Solutions
  • Learning Bridges Childcare: Learning Bridges, the City’s free childcare program for children in 3-K through 8th grade, will continue to serve families enrolled in blended learning. They will continue to give priority to children of essential workers. Learn more and apply here.
  • SAT Update for NYC Schools and Students: New York City’s state-approved education plan applies to all DOE buildings, and limits in-person after-school activity to students in attendance in a building on that school day, and does not apply to a weekend test administration. DOE is supporting any sites that are interested in administering the SAT on the weekend and that are able to adhere to the safety guidelines. Weekend permits require payment for all entities, including district schools, and DOE is working with specific schools on payment details. Any student can take the SAT at an SAT Test Center, whether remote, blended, public, private, or charter. Families register directly with the College Board. The College Board has a list of sites on their website.
  • Department of Education IT Helpline: Families with children in DHS and HRA shelters now have a dedicated Department of Education (DOE) IT helpline to troubleshoot connectivity issues and other DOE iPad-related challenges. Families living in shelters have been notified of this new service which is available Monday – Friday at 718-935-5100, option 5. This is serving as an interim solution while installation of internet services is being rolled out to the family shelters. Students using DOE-issued iPads can report problems with connectivity and devices may be swapped out for service with an alternate cellular carrier.
  • January 2021 Regents Exams are Canceled: Due to COVID-19 concerns, the New York State Education Department decided to cancel the examinations across the state to ensure the safety of both students and educators. The Education Department will also ask the Board of Regents to adopt emergency regulations and apply specific exemptions so not to negatively impact students. A decision on the June and August exams have not been decided yet.
  • NYC DOE COVID Response Situation Room Map: The DOE has launched an online map updating families and the public on which school buildings have active confirmed cases of COVID-19 and which require either temporary classroom or full-building closures. This map will be updated once daily with the latest information from the School Reopening Situation Room. 
  • Advocates for Children of New York has multiple back-to-school resources for NYC constituents.
    • Helpline & Case Assistance: You can call AFC’s Jill Chaifetz Education Helpline with questions about the NYC education system. The number is 866-427-6033 (toll free), and is open from Mon-Thurs, 10:00AM to 4:00PM.
    • Guides & Resources: AFC offers guides and resources to help you navigate NYC’s complex education system. Materials are available here. An updated Start of School Year Q&A for Families of Students with Disabilities is available in English & Spanish. Find the Education During COVID-19 webinar series online.
  • NYC School Reopening Updates: Families can access the most recent school reopening updates here.
  • NYC Student Loan Debt: For Student Loan Debt Tips during COVID-19, click here
  • JCY-Westchester Volunteers are needed for an eTutoring program to help children during the pandemic. These programs match volunteer mentors with children to help them with remote learning. For more info, contact Madeline Finesmith at mfinesmith@jcy-wcp.com.

Healthcare Reminders and Resources

  • New Paid Sick Leave: Under new rules that went into effect on January 1st, 2021, employers with 100 or more employees must provide up to 56 hours of paid leave. This builds on new rules that went into effect in September, ensuring that newly-hired employees can begin to take paid leave immediately with no waiting period, among other changes. Paid sick leave can be used for a broad range of services, including to get a flu shot; recovery, quarantine, or preventative care relating to COVID-19; to care for a child whose school has been closed as a result of the pandemic; or if their workplace has been closed by an Executive Order relating to the pandemic. For more information, for both employers and employees, click here.
  • New York Health Insurers Directed to cover COVID-19 Vaccine at No Cost: The New York State Department of Financial Services has issued a circular letter to New York-regulated health insurers directing them to immediately cover, without cost-sharing, approved COVID-19 immunizations and their administration.
  • Tai Chi is now offered by Veterans Affairs through the VA Community Care Network. Interested veterans can talk to their doctor either at the VA hospital, or online https://www.myhealth.va.gov/, and request a “Community Care Consult” for “tai chi.”  Learn more here.
  • The Hispanic Federation Healthcare Enrollment Assistance: The Hispanic Federation is actively enrolling individuals in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan, and NY State of Health Qualified Health Plans. All of their health navigators are bilingual and ready to assist the community over the phone. In addition to individuals, they can assist small businesses with their New York State of Health insurance application process. You can make an appointment by calling their Health Insurance program hotline number at 1-833-656-2626.
  • Flu Shot: New Yorkers older than ages 6 months should get a seasonal flu vaccine and it is especially important for adults ages 50 and older, pregnant people, children ages 6 months to 5 years, and people with chronic diseases. New Yorkers can use the NYC Health Map, call 311, or text FLU to 877-877 to find a flu vaccination. Flu vaccine is covered by most health insurance plans without a co-pay.
  • NYC Care: NYC Care is now available in all five boroughs, regardless of immigration status! You can enroll by calling 1-646-NYC-CARE or visiting nyccare.nyc.
  • Take Care Hotel: If you test positive for COVID-19 and cannot safely separate from family members in your home, you may be eligible for a free hotel room from Health and Hospitals. Learn more about the Take Care Hotel program here.

Small Business and Worker Resources:

  • Reopening of the Paycheck Protection Program: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has reopened for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility were released on January 6th in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act. For more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses, visit sba.gov/ppp or treasury.gov/cares.

  • Death Benefits for Families of Frontline Government Workers: On December 30th, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced he is signing an Executive Order to extend the requirement that death benefits be paid out to families of frontline government workers for an additional 30 days. The legislation providing these benefits, signed by the Governor in May (Chapter 89 of the Laws of 2020), would otherwise have expired on December 31st. 
  • New York Forward Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership: The New York Forward Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership will provide small businesses and their landlords with informational resources and pro bono assistance to help both parties reach mutually-beneficial lease workout agreements. This service is available to all New York State small businesses and landlords, and participation is voluntary. Those interested in pro bono assistance to initiate a lease renegotiation are encouraged to review and complete the partnership's intake form.
  • NYC LMI Storefront Loan Program: The NYC LMI Storefront Loan Program is a first-come, first-served 0% interest loan for businesses in low-to-moderate (LMI) income areas of the City. 
  • The Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant: The Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant is funding that is available to community-based development organizations (CBDOs) to implement local COVID-19 recovery support to small businesses. 
  • Employee Ownership NYC: Employee Ownership NYC is the nation’s largest municipal initiative for education and technical assistance around employee ownership and conversion. Business owners taking full advantage of the program can access services worth $10,000 or more in the private sector, all while building sustainable business models that offer true wealth-building opportunities for their workers. The rapid response hotline, Owner to Owners, will ensure that more businesses access these services. The service is available at www.Owner2Owners.NYC or at 646-363-6592 and offered in ten languages.
  • Westchester Impact 100's 2021 Grant Cycle: Impact100's 2021 Grant Cycle and application portal are now open. Nonprofits interested in applying for an Impact100 Westchester Transformational Project Grant should visit Impact100Westchester for more information.
  • The Design Corps: Small Business Reopening Network was created in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis to connect restaurant owners with design professionals — free of charge — to assist in adapting their outdoor dining spaces in accordance with health and safety guidelines. Pro bono services can assist restaurants with the City’s Open Restaurant program, improve efficiency of space, and ensure a safe and welcoming dining environment. Sign up at www.nycxdesign.com/design-corps to meet with a professional architect or designer to help improve your outdoor dining space.
  • NYC Small Business Resource Network: The Bronx Chamber of Commerce is a part of the NYC Small Business Resource Network — a city-wide initiative to bring technical assistance and business recovery support to NYC small businesses. At no cost to you, the NYC Small Business Resource Network can assist in technology, real estate, legal and accounting services, procurement opportunities, marketing, loans and grants, and more. Their on-the-ground Small Business Support Specialists will help guide you to the resources you need. Sign up here.
  • Chamber On-the-Go: NYC resources are available for small business owners in the Bronx throughout the Chamber On-the-Go business support program. They will connect you with resources to help your business thrive from the NYC Department of Small Business Services and the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. Fill out their assistance survey here.
  • “Find Services” Web Application: "Find Services" web application provides an easy-to-use starting point for first-time users of social programs to help struggling New Yorkers locate benefits to assist them. The web application prompts each user with a series of simple questions aimed at narrowing the field of possible services to those that are best designed to serve their needs. After answering the questions, the user is provided with a ranked list of potential services along with a description to help residents judge if the service is right for them and provide them with more information about how to apply.
  • Coursera Online Training Platform: The new online training program will provide access to nearly 4,000 online programs taught by leading professors and industry professionals on Coursera, with a focus on high-growth and in-demand sectors like advanced manufacturing, technology, and health care, among others. Unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers can learn new skills, earn certificates, and advance their careers during the COVID-19 pandemic at no cost. The new course offerings are provided through a partnership between the New York State Department of Labor and Coursera. New Yorkers can request a free account on the New York State Department of Labor website
  • Shef: This Airbnb-like platform for home cooked meals provides opportunities for home chefs to earn money by sharing the home cooking of their cultures and for tasters to try others’ home cooked meals. Learn more here.
  • TLC Driver Resource Center: TLC launched a resource center to provide legal, financial and other services to hard hit drivers. Click here for more information. 
  • NYC Open Restaurants Program: The Open Restaurants program has been extended year-round and made permanent. The extension also applies to Open Streets: Restaurants, which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days. Learn more about how to apply and see operating hours here.
  • NYC Food Delivery Driver Portal: The City of New York is hiring licensed TLC drivers to deliver food to New Yorkers in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more or sign up by clicking here
  • Fund for Public Health NYC Job Opportunities: There are several grant-funded positions and COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative job opportunities at Fund for Public Health NYC. For more information, click here.  
  • Reporting Labor Law Violations: If you believe an employer is violating either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders, contact 311 or the New York State Attorney General at (212) 416-8700 or Labor.Bureau@ag.ny.gov to report them. Learn more here.
  • FAQ for Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: To access frequently asked questions and answers about pandemic unemployment benefits, click here. To find out what benefits you may qualify for and more, click here. For additional resources, click here
  • Reopening NYC Businesses: NYC.gov/nycbusiness provides information and guidelines for businesses reopening in NYC. 
  • Restaurant Worker Revitalization Program: New York City’s Restaurant Revitalization Program is supporting unemployed and underemployed restaurant workers using $3 million from NYC Opportunity, Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, and One Fair Wage.
  • Freelancers in NYC: If you're a freelancer facing nonpayment issues, file a complaint here.
  • NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program: The Small Business Emergency Grant Program provides support to small businesses who experienced material damage to their storefronts as a result of looting. More information available here: NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program.
  • NYC Worker Hotline: Workers who call 311 will be connected to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for immediate assistance. Worker rights and guidance is also available: nyc.gov/coronavirus.
  • NYC PPE for Small Businesses: NYC SBS is coordinating with 70+ BIDs and Chambers of Commerce to provide 2 million pieces of PPE to small businesses citywide. Find a distribution partner near you at: Free Face Coverings for Small Businesses & Their Employees
  • NYC Business Reopening Support: Go to nyc.gov/business or nyc.gov/coronavirus to find resources and guides or use the dedicated Restart Hotline for business owners, 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
  • Change in Financial Situation: If you have experienced a change in your financial situation since the start of COVID-19, NYC Financial Empowerment Center counselors are available to support you over the phone with free financial counseling that is secure and confidential. Book an appointment here
  • NYC Assistance for Organizations: For help regarding healthcare facilities, small businesses, non-profit organizations and more, click here
  • Work From Home Toolkit: City Hall has released a Work from Home Toolkit to help New Yorkers make the most of working from home. Check it out here.
  • Low-Risk Indoor Cultural Activities Reopenings: New York City museums and cultural institutions have been able to open at 25% capacity. Bowling alleys have been able to operate at 50% occupancy. Read more here.
  • Black Entrepreneurship (BE) NYC is a new initiative, which aims to increase the number of Black-owned businesses in New York City with a focus on growing businesses in high-growth industries. Learn more here

Food Updates and Resources

  • Feeding Westchester: Feeding Westchester’s mission is to end hunger in Westchester County. As the heart of a network of nearly 300 partners, they source and distribute food and other resources to towns across Westchester, helping to ensure that none of our neighbors are hungry. To learn more about their services or volunteer opportunities, visit their website here.
  • SNAP and Cash Assistance Recertification: The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has expanded the recertification extension period through March 31st, 2021 for expiring SNAP and Cash Assistance cases. This means that any cases due for recertification through March 31st, 2021 are eligible for up to a six-month extension. Cases that have previously received the six-month recertification extension are not eligible for another extension. Cases will be extended in accordance with a schedule designed to balance out the recertification workload over time.
  • Get Food NYC: Meal Hub service is operating at approximately 400 sites across the city and continues regular service from 9AM-12PM on weekdays, Monday through Friday. Find a site near you by texting ‘NYC FOOD’ or ‘NYC COMIDA’ to 877-877, or by clicking here. In addition to school Grab-n-Go sites and food pantries, this map includes grocery stores and greenmarkets to help New Yorkers in every neighborhood see the range of options available to them. Comments on meals and deliveries can be submitted by calling 311 and saying “Get Food” or by going to www.nyc.gov/getfoodhelp.
  • New York City Department of Probation: One week of free groceries are available to all New Yorkers in five boroughs at the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Nutrition Kitchens, in partnership with the Food Bank of NYC and the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). Click here for more information. 
  • P-EBT: Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) is a Federal program to provide food benefits to children who miss the opportunity to receive school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. For further questions, you may contact New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at 1-833-452-0096 or otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov.
  • Food Supply Match: To re-align the mismatches in supply and demand, NYC has launched Food Supply Match, a web platform to connect sellers with excess product to buyers facing increased demand. Businesses can register here: nyc.gov/FoodSupplyMatch 
  • Plentiful is a free, easy-to-use reservation system for food pantries and the people they serve. New Yorkers can use Plentiful to find pantries and get the food you need, without waiting in line: www.plentifulapp.com 
  • Expansion of Food Access in Underserved Communities: NYC has announced new food access programs in neighborhoods that have suffered disproportionately during COVID-19. New Yorkers in communities of color will have easier access to nutritious, high-quality foods with meal deliveries, online grocery shopping and more. Learn more here.
  • Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program: This provides low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Those who are eligible are provided coupons to redeem fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets and farm stands. Find out more here.

Diagnostic and Antibody Testing Resources 

  • COVID-19 Testing: New York State testing criteria has expanded to all New Yorkers. New York has significantly expanded its COVID diagnostic and antibody testing across the state. Find a testing site near you by plugging in your address here or by texting ‘COVID TEST’ to 855-48. Free, walk-in antibody testing is available at H+H Gotham Community Health Centers, more information here. There are also mobile COVID-19 testing sites stationed throughout New York City, each providing 80 free tests a day. Find a site near you here.  
  • For New Yorkers with Symptoms or Questions About COVID-19: For real-time COVID updates from NotifyNYC, text ‘COVID’ to 692-692 (NYC-NYC) and text ‘COVIDESP’ for updates in Spanish. To confidentiality self-report your COVID-19 status and symptoms, click hereCall 212-COVID19 if you have questions, want resources or need some help.
  • COVID Alert NY: A voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. By downloading the app, you will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested and reduce the potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others. Learn more and download the app here.

Additional Community Resources and Updates 

  • Access-A-Ride: Beginning Tuesday, January 19th, 2021, The MTA will resume fare collection on all Access-A-Ride services. The Access-A-Ride fare is $2.75 per trip (the same as the full fare on public transit) and is collected in cash. Customers must have exact change ready at boarding as Paratransit operators do not provide change or accept round-trip payment. MetroCards cannot be used as payment but customers may pay their fares using Access-A-Ride TransitCheck Coupons. Each coupon is good for full payment on one trip. As always, for those eligible, Personal Care Attendants may accompany Access-A-Ride Passengers free of charge. Customers may continue to safely choose how to book their trips via online trip management, MYmtaApp or by calling the Access-A-Ride call center at 1-877-337-2017.  For the safety of our customers and employees, face coverings are required for all customers using MTA services. For more information about Access-A-Ride Paratransit Service, click here.
  • We Speak NYC Program: The We Speak NYC program, created in partnership with the City University of New York, empowers immigrant New Yorkers by helping them practice English and learn about City services through volunteer-led conversation groups. Visit on.nyc.gov/WeSpeakVolunteer to learn more about volunteering for a course. If you are interested in taking a We Speak NYC online class or using our free English language learning resources online, please visit NYC.gov/WeSpeakNYC
  • Public Charge Rule: On November 3rd, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily stayed the Illinois court's decision to vacate the US Department of Homeland Security”s public charge rule, meaning that effective November 3rd, the public charge rule IS in effect while the case is being litigated. The Seventh Circuit will be deciding whether or not to keep the stay in place while the Trump Administration's appeal of the district court's decision is litigated.For questions about how this ruling could affect your immigration or benefits status, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov.
  • Emergency Utility Intervention Program: HRA has completed its low-income rate match for the Con Edison utility rate reduction programs for customers receiving social services benefits. HRA clients with utility accounts were automatically enrolled and provided an opportunity to opt-out of the program if they wished. Enrollment is ongoing and HRA clients who were not automatically enrolled can participate by contacting their utility company to enroll. Clients can contact Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) or lowincomerate@coned.com. For questions, clients should contact the program at 212-331-4120 or by email at EUIP@hra.nyc.gov.
  • NYC 2nd Hour Parking Meter: Beginning this fall, the Department of Transportation will be converting all 1-hour meter parking zones to 2-hour meter parking across NYC boroughs, as well as instituting a graduated 2nd hour rate at all locations. There will be no change for drivers who wish to park for an hour or less.
  • Vision Zero: Mayor de Blasio announced that speed limits will be reduced by 5 MPH on 25 miles of major streets with some of the highest rates of crashes across the boroughs. The City also announced that the Department of Transportation has reached its goal of activating cameras in all 750 school zones. In the Bronx, the new speed limits apply to: Bruckner Blvd from East 135th Street to Pelham Bay Park, 6.5 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH) and Webster Ave from East 233 Street to East Gun Hill Road, 1.2 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH). Read more here.
  • “Take Care” Package: The Test & Trace Corps is providing “Take Care” packages to New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 and to their contacts. A “Take Care” package includes enough personal protective equipment for a household of three to quarantine for 10-14 days. This includes a medical grade mask, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, thermometer and a pulse oximeter to help those who test positive for COVID-19 monitor their oxygen levels. Learn more here
  • New York Foundation for Senior Citizens: Learn more about the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ free Home Sharing Program and Respite Care Program.
  • DCWP COVID-19 HubNYC.gov/DCWPAlerts provides information and translated resources on scams, funeral planning tips, debt collection cease communications, student loans, free tax prep, license expiration and renewal dates, price gouging, and more.
  • COVID-19 Benefits: Many people who have been impacted by COVID-19 qualify for benefits to help them buy groceries, get health care, or get financial support to make up for lost income. See what support you might be eligible for at access.nyc.gov/pandemic-benefits-guidance.  
  • COVID-19 and Poison Prevention: It is important to stay safe while staying home. You can find guidance with translations about poison control here
  • NYC Mental Health: There are many resources related to mental health that New Yorkers can access while staying home. Resources and a 24/7 hotline are available here and a free resource guide for all New Yorkers as well as services tailored to the needs of aging New Yorkers, veterans, students and young people, and people harmed by violence, crime or abuse is available here.  
  • NYC LGBTQ+ Support: New York City has created a mobile-accessible website containing nearly 100 listings of LGBTQ+ affirming services still available citywide, including food programs, legal services, health resources & more, which is available here
  • NYC Domestic Violence Support: Services for Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Survivors can be found here, or by calling NYC’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE. 
  • NYC Disability Services: A new webpage of resources for New Yorkers with disabilities during COVID-19, created by City Hall, can be found here
  • NYC Assistance for DACA Recipients: For help renewing your DACA application call ActionNYC at 1-800-354-0365. For questions about immigration or how to access City services during the COVID19 crisis, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov
  • Assistance for Homeless New Yorkers in Assessing CARES Act Economic Impact Payments: Mobilization for Justice is offering FREE help for New Yorkers experiencing homlesses in accessing their Economic Impact Payments. To receive assistance, call 212-417-3791.
  • COVID-19 Misinformation: If you have been harassed or discriminated against due to race, national origin, age, or disability, contact NYC Commission on Human Rights by calling 311. Call 911 if you are a victim of or witness a hate crime or click here.
  • NYC Service Opportunities: NYC Service builds partnerships to deepen and expand civic engagement through volunteer and service programs, creating sustainable change for our city's greatest needs: nyc.gov/service. More opportunities are available at nyc.gov/helpnow.
  • Pet Owner Hotline: If you are a pet owner impacted by COVID-19, call the Pet Hotline at 1-877-204-8821 from 8AM to 8PM, 7 days a week. 
  • DonateNYC enables businesses and organizations to donate extra food supply to local organizations who can then redistribute it – reducing waste and helping bring food where it needs to go. Details about eligible donors and recipients can be found online. For food donations visit nyc.gov/donatefood. For non-food donations, visit nyc.gov/donate.
  • Mediating Establishment and Neighbor Disputes (MEND) NYC is a new citywide initiative to provide free mediation and conflict resolution services to address quality-of-life issues that impact both NYC residents and businesses in the nightlife industry. Click here or email MendNYC@oath.nyc.gov to learn more. 
  • Reentry Legal Hotline is a new hotline linking New Yorkers providing legal assistance, advice and counsel to individuals whose conviction histories are causing barriers to moving ahead. You may call 646-759-8088.
  • Alternate Side Parking (ASP): Alternate Side Parking will be suspended on January 18th, 2021 in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

_______________________________________________

PREVIOUS COVID EMAIL UPDATE FROM 1/2/21

 

Dear Community,

On December 29th, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced updated quarantine guidelines for New York which are consistent with the latest Centers for Disease Control guidance. Under the new guidelines, individuals exposed to COVID-19 can end their quarantine after 10 days without a testing requirement as long as no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period. After day 10 is reached, individuals must continue monitoring for symptoms through day 14 and if any develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare provider to report this change and determine if they should seek testing. Individuals should continue strict adherence to all recommended safe behaviors to stop the spread – wearing masks, socially distancing and avoiding gatherings.

As a reminder, out-of-state travelers to New York can "test out" of the mandatory 10-day quarantine. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York will continue to be exempt from the travel advisory; however, covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Essential workers will continue to be exempt as well. Learn more about the guidelines for out-of-state travel here.

Parts of the Bronx – including portions of District 34 in the West, East and South Bronx – remain designated as a “precautionary yellow zone” under New York State’s COVID-19 Micro-Cluster StrategyClick here and here for maps of the designated zone. To learn if your home, business, or place of work resides within the designated yellow zone, look up your address using the cluster zone map. District 34’s neighboring communities of Yonkers and New Rochelle also have designated yellow zones. You can review the restrictions under the yellow zone designation here.

On January 4th, Governor Cuomo confirmed that New York State has detected its first known case of the new, highly contagious variant of the COVID-19 virus initially found in the United Kingdom. The Governor had previously announced that in the wake of this new variant, British Airways and Delta Airlines have voluntarily agreed to require a COVID-19 test before allowing passengers to board planes traveling from the United Kingdom to New York. At least 120 countries have adopted a similar requirement on flights from the U.K. The Governor has asked Virgin Atlantic, the other airline that runs flights from the U.K. to New York, to do the same. The Governor is also continuing to call on the federal government to impose enhanced travel restrictions, as 120 other countries have done.

Wadsworth Laboratory has begun aggressive research of the new U.K. COVID-19 strain. Wadsworth and the Department of Health have forged agreements with six hospitals from across the State to obtain additional samples and are continuing to make arrangements with other hospitals to do the same. Those hospitals with agreements already in place include: Montefiore, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Northwell Long Island, University of Rochester, Albany Medical Center, and Saratoga Hospital.

New York State is continuing its COVID-19 vaccination distribution efforts. By the end of this week, the state will have distributed approximately 911,000 first doses of the vaccine to providers for administration to eligible New Yorkers. Approximately 353,788 shots have been given statewide. Additionally, the Governor announced that to date, 3,762 providers have applied and been approved by the state to serve as vaccination sites. Currently, 636 locations are now activated and are able to begin vaccinating eligible New Yorkers.

New York State is currently in the first phase of vaccination distribution, known as Phase 1A, which focuses on the healthcare sector. You can see the full list of New Yorkers eligible for the COVID vaccination during Phase 1A here.

Following vaccinations for the health care sector, New York will move to Phase 1B of the distribution, which will include: teachers and education workers, first responders, public safety workers, public transit workers, and people 75 and older. To prepare for the next phase of eligibility, the Governor is encouraging essential worker groups such as police departments, fire departments, educators, and public transit organizations to begin developing plans to vaccinate their workforce. Plans will ease the burden on hospitals and other vaccination locations when the general public becomes eligible to receive a vaccine.

New York State has launched a new "Am I Eligible" app to help New Yorkers determine their eligibility for the vaccine, connect them with administration centers, and schedule appointments. To access the app, as well as find the latest information concerning the vaccine and its administration, visit: covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/.

As the number of eligible New Yorkers continues to expand, New York City will open 12 additional vaccine hubs across the five boroughs. The first two 24/7 mass vaccination sites will open this Sunday, January 10th, at Bathgate in the Bronx and Brooklyn Army Terminal in Brooklyn. Individuals can find out if they are eligible and sign up for a time slot here.

At the end of 2020, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the launch of the NYC Vaccine for All Campaign. The Campaign – translated into 16 languages for radio, television, newspapers, and digital media – serves to spread the word about the safe, effective, and free vaccine across New York City. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will also host virtual conversations with community leaders and residents in the 27 neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID to share information on vaccine planning and provide opportunities for community members to raise questions and concerns.

At the end of 2020, Governor Cuomo announced the issuance by the Department of Financial Services of a circular letter, developed in collaboration with the insurance industry and hospitals, directing insurers to suspend certain preauthorization and administrative requirements to help hospitals implement New York State's "surge and flex" protocol. The protocol, which mandates all hospitals to begin expanding their bed capacity to prepare for a COVID-19 surge, is part of the Winter COVID-19 Plan. With this action, hospitals will be ready to quickly transfer patients between hospitals and, when appropriate, discharge patients to skilled nursing facilities or their homes to increase bed capacity and balance patient load. Similar regulatory relief was granted in March during the first COVID-19 surge in the state.

COVID-19 Data Breakdowns and Resource Pages

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for NYC)

Phase Four Guidelines (Approved for Westchester County)

Statewide Guidelines for All New Yorkers

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) Guidance

Housing Reminders and Resources

  • COVID Rent Relief Program: The New York State COVID Rent Relief Program application is now open and the deadline to apply is February 1st, 2021. The New York State Legislature established the COVID Rent Relief Program to help households experiencing an increase in their rent burden due to a loss of income during the COVID-19 crisis. This program provides eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord, and applicants will not need to repay this assistance. Households can apply for up to four months of rental assistance. To be eligible for the program, you no longer need to show that you were “rent burdened,” paying more than 30% of income for rent, before March 7th. However, you do still need to show that you were rent burdened during the pandemic, between April 1st to July 31st. For more information about eligibility and application requirements, visit the NY State COVID Rent Relief Program website, or contact the City’s Tenant Helpline by calling 311 and saying “tenant helpline.” 
  • The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act: Under the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act, tenants, homeowners, and small landlords can seek protection against eviction or foreclosure. All eviction or foreclosure proceedings currently in progress or filed within 30 days of when the bill was signed (December 28th, 2020), will be stayed for 60 days.
    • Eviction Protection: Tenants are now able to fill out the Hardship Declaration form (EnglishEspañol) which tenants may sign, under penalty of perjury, if they have a financial hardship that prevents them from being able to pay their rent in full or obtain alternative suitable permanent housing. Once they have signed the form, they may return it to their landlord or to a court. Doing so prevents a landlord from filing an eviction or suspends an eviction proceeding already underway until May 1st, 2021. Tenants will still be subject to fees, penalties, interest, and money judgments.
    • Foreclosure Protection & Tax Lien Sale Protection: Homeowners, property owners with 10 or fewer units (including their primary residence), and co-op shareholders are now able to provide a standardized Hardship Declaration form (EnglishEspañol) to their mortgage lender, local assessor, or court to receive protection from pending or future foreclosure proceedings until May 1st, 2021. The owner will have to declare, under penalty of perjury, that they have suffered a financial hardship that prevents them from paying their mortgage or property taxes. Owners will also be protected from any action to foreclose on delinquent taxes or tax lien sales in relation to residential real property. 
  • Governor’s Executive Order on Property Tax Exemption: On December 19th, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an executive Order providing additional support for two of the groups hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic – vulnerable homeowners and the restaurant industry. Under Executive Order 202.83, local governments can continue to provide property tax exemptions for low-income senior citizens and persons with disabilities who own property through 2021 by lifting an in-person renewal requirement which would put vulnerable New Yorkers at risk of infection from COVID. Additionally, the sales tax deadline for restaurants in orange zones which have been required to suspend indoor dining will be extended until March.
  • Apply for HEAP Benefits: The 2020-2021 Regular HEAP benefit season will be open from November 2nd, 2020 through March 15th, 2021. Recipients of HEAP benefits may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year to help pay for heating costs. To apply, please contact 212-331-3126. Applications will soon be available on ACCESS HRA to download and mail back to HRA. There is no need to go into an HRA Center. The completed application can be mailed back to HRA at: NYC DSS/HRA/HEAP, PO Box 1401, Church Street Station, New York, NY 10008.
  • NYC Tenant Resource Portal: The NYC Tenant Resource Portal is the City’s first-ever online resource to help residential renters access free resources from the City to help prevent evictions and keep tenants stably housed. Tenants who do not have access to the internet can call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline,” which was launched in partnership with 311 and HRA’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) where they will be connected to a PEU Tenant Support Specialist to receive free, individualized assistance.
  • Senior Rental Assistance Increase Exemption (SCRIE): While the SCRIE Unit office at HPD remains closed to the public, seniors can submit applications and ask questions by email at SCRIE@hpd.nyc.gov or by mail, at SCRIE Unit 100 Gold Street, Room 7M-3 New York, NY 10038.
  • Section 8 Vouchers: While the HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office is closed to the public, the HPD Section 8 team is still available for remote service. Voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax at 212-863-5299. During this time, any HPD Section 8 voucher set to expire will be automatically renewed. Clients do not need to reach out to HPD for an extension. All subsidy terminations in process are suspended until further notice. All tenant conferences and briefings are postponed and will be rescheduled. All hearings for appeal are cancelled until further notice. HPD will continue to pay the subsidy until final determinations are made.
  • NYCHA Update: Tenants can find the latest COVID resources for NYCHA residents here
  • NYC Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project: The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project provides housing security to tenants across the City who may be facing hardship due to the pandemic. Through this project, non-profit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) will assist tenants and small landlords in finding solutions to rental issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.

Education Updates, Reminders, and Resources

  • New York City SHSAT and Arts Auditions: Beginning Monday, December 21st, 2020, students can register to test for admission to the NYC Specialized High Schools. The logistics involved in proctoring the exam are being altered to ensure the health and safety of staff and students. The SHSAT registration will close on January 15th, 2021. The exam will now be administered in students’ own middle schools to reduce travel and mixing of different cohorts of children. The SHSAT will be administered beginning in late January. Families can complete their application via the MySchools portal, by calling 311, or through a virtual Family Welcome Center. Arts high schools will move to a virtual audition system that will allow students to submit their audition online. Students will only need to create one audition that can be submitted for all schools that require it.
  • NYC DOE Testing Data Website: Families can now track the testing rate within their student’s public school using this online tool.
  • Request a DOE Remote Learning Device: Fill out the request form available at the DOE Device Request page.
  • DOE Remote Learning Technical Support: The DOE IT Help Desk is available to assist with device or Internet support. Call 718-935-5100 and press 5 to reach a technology specialist, or visit the links below for assistance. Visit Tech Support to submit a request for help. See iPad Fixes for solutions to common problems or to submit a ticket to the Help Desk.
  • Access Internet Service: Find suggestions at Free and Low-Cost Internet Solutions
  • Learning Bridges Childcare: Learning Bridges, the City’s free childcare program for children in 3-K through 8th grade, will continue to serve families enrolled in blended learning. They will continue to give priority to children of essential workers. Learn more and apply here.
  • SAT Update for NYC Schools and Students: New York City’s state-approved education plan applies to all DOE buildings, and limits in-person after-school activity to students in attendance in a building on that school day, and does not apply to a weekend test administration. DOE is supporting any sites that are interested in administering the SAT on the weekend and that are able to adhere to the safety guidelines. Weekend permits require payment for all entities, including district schools, and DOE is working with specific schools on payment details. Any student can take the SAT at an SAT Test Center, whether remote, blended, public, private, or charter. Families register directly with the College Board. The College Board has a list of sites on their website.
  • Department of Education IT Helpline: Families with children in DHS and HRA shelters now have a dedicated Department of Education (DOE) IT helpline to troubleshoot connectivity issues and other DOE iPad-related challenges. Families living in shelters have been notified of this new service which is available Monday – Friday at 718-935-5100, option 5. This is serving as an interim solution while installation of internet services is being rolled out to the family shelters. Students using DOE-issued iPads can report problems with connectivity and devices may be swapped out for service with an alternate cellular carrier.
  • January 2021 Regents Exams are Canceled: Due to COVID-19 concerns, the New York State Education Department decided to cancel the examinations across the state to ensure the safety of both students and educators. The Education Department will also ask the Board of Regents to adopt emergency regulations and apply specific exemptions so not to negatively impact students. A decision on the June and August exams have not been decided yet.
  • NYC DOE COVID Response Situation Room Map: The DOE has launched an online map updating families and the public on which school buildings have active confirmed cases of COVID-19 and which require either temporary classroom or full-building closures. This map will be updated once daily with the latest information from the School Reopening Situation Room. 
  • Advocates for Children of New York has multiple back-to-school resources for NYC constituents.
    • Helpline & Case Assistance: You can call AFC’s Jill Chaifetz Education Helpline with questions about the NYC education system. The number is 866-427-6033 (toll free), and is open from Mon-Thurs, 10:00AM to 4:00PM.
    • Guides & Resources: AFC offers guides and resources to help you navigate NYC’s complex education system. Materials are available here. An updated Start of School Year Q&A for Families of Students with Disabilities is available in English & Spanish. Find the Education During COVID-19 webinar series online.
  • NYC School Reopening Updates: Families can access the most recent school reopening updates here.
  • NYC Student Loan Debt: For Student Loan Debt Tips during COVID-19, click here
  • JCY-Westchester Volunteers are needed for an eTutoring program to help children during the pandemic. These programs match volunteer mentors with children to help them with remote learning. For more info, contact Madeline Finesmith at mfinesmith@jcy-wcp.com.

Healthcare Reminders and Resources

  • New Paid Sick Leave: Under new rules that went into effect on January 1st, 2021, employers with 100 or more employees must provide up to 56 hours of paid leave. This builds on new rules that went into effect in September, ensuring that newly-hired employees can begin to take paid leave immediately with no waiting period, among other changes. Paid sick leave can be used for a broad range of services, including to get a flu shot; recovery, quarantine, or preventative care relating to COVID-19; to care for a child whose school has been closed as a result of the pandemic; or if their workplace has been closed by an Executive Order relating to the pandemic. For more information, for both employers and employees, click here.
  • New York Health Insurers Directed to Cover COVID-19 Vaccine at No Cost: The New York State Department of Financial Services has issued a circular letter to New York-regulated health insurers directing them to immediately cover, without cost-sharing, approved COVID-19 immunizations and their administration.
  • Tai Chi is now offered by Veterans Affairs through the VA Community Care Network. Interested veterans can talk to their doctor either at the VA hospital, or online https://www.myhealth.va.gov/, and request a “Community Care Consult” for “tai chi.”  Learn more here.
  • The Hispanic Federation Healthcare Enrollment Assistance: The Hispanic Federation is actively enrolling individuals in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan, and NY State of Health Qualified Health Plans. All of their health navigators are bilingual and ready to assist the community over the phone. In addition to individuals, they can assist small businesses with their New York State of Health insurance application process. You can make an appointment by calling their Health Insurance program hotline number at 1-833-656-2626.
  • Flu Shot: New Yorkers older than ages 6 months should get a seasonal flu vaccine and it is especially important for adults ages 50 and older, pregnant people, children ages 6 months to 5 years, and people with chronic diseases. New Yorkers can use the NYC Health Map, call 311, or text FLU to 877-877 to find a flu vaccination. Flu vaccine is covered by most health insurance plans without a co-pay.
  • NYC Care: NYC Care is now available in all five boroughs, regardless of immigration status! You can enroll by calling 1-646-NYC-CARE or visiting nyccare.nyc.
  • Take Care Hotel: If you test positive for COVID-19 and cannot safely separate from family members in your home, you may be eligible for a free hotel room from Health and Hospitals. Learn more about the Take Care Hotel program here.

Small Business and Worker Resources:

  • Death Benefits for Families of Frontline Government Workers: On December 30th, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced he is signing an Executive Order to extend the requirement that death benefits be paid out to families of frontline government workers for an additional 30 days. The legislation providing these benefits, signed by the Governor in May (Chapter 89 of the Laws of 2020), would have otherwise expired on December 31st. 
  • New York Forward Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership: The New York Forward Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership will provide small businesses and their landlords with informational resources and pro bono assistance to help both parties reach mutually-beneficial lease workout agreements. This service is available to all New York State small businesses and landlords, and participation is voluntary. Those interested in pro bono assistance to initiate a lease renegotiation are encouraged to review and complete the partnership's intake form.
  • NYC LMI Storefront Loan Program: The NYC LMI Storefront Loan Program is a first-come, first-served 0% interest loan for businesses in low-to-moderate (LMI) income areas of the City. 
  • The Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant: The Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant is funding that is available to community-based development organizations (CBDOs) to implement local COVID-19 recovery support to small businesses. 
  • Employee Ownership NYC: Employee Ownership NYC is the nation’s largest municipal initiative for education and technical assistance around employee ownership and conversion. Business owners taking full advantage of the program can access services worth $10,000 or more in the private sector, all while building sustainable business models that offer true wealth-building opportunities for their workers. The rapid response hotline, Owner to Owners, will ensure that more businesses access these services. The service is available at www.Owner2Owners.NYC or at 646-363-6592 and offered in ten languages.
  • Westchester Impact 100's 2021 Grant Cycle: Impact100's 2021 Grant Cycle and application portal are now open. Nonprofits interested in applying for an Impact100 Westchester Transformational Project Grant should visit Impact100Westchester for more information.
  • The Design Corps: Small Business Reopening Network was created in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis to connect restaurant owners with design professionals — free of charge — to assist in adapting their outdoor dining spaces in accordance with health and safety guidelines. Pro bono services can assist restaurants with the City’s Open Restaurant program, improve efficiency of space, and ensure a safe and welcoming dining environment. Sign up at www.nycxdesign.com/design-corps to meet with a professional architect or designer to help improve your outdoor dining space.
  • NYC Small Business Resource Network: The Bronx Chamber of Commerce is a part of the NYC Small Business Resource Network — a city-wide initiative to bring technical assistance and business recovery support to NYC small businesses. At no cost to you, the NYC Small Business Resource Network can assist in technology, real estate, legal and accounting services, procurement opportunities, marketing, loans and grants, and more. Their on-the-ground Small Business Support Specialists will help guide you to the resources you need. Sign up here.
  • Chamber On-the-Go: NYC resources are available for small business owners in the Bronx throughout the Chamber On-the-Go business support program. They will connect you with resources to help your business thrive from the NYC Department of Small Business Services and the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. Fill out their assistance survey here.
  • “Find Services” Web Application: "Find Services" web application provides an easy-to-use starting point for first-time users of social programs to help struggling New Yorkers locate benefits to assist them. The web application prompts each user with a series of simple questions aimed at narrowing the field of possible services to those that are best designed to serve their needs. After answering the questions, the user is provided with a ranked list of potential services along with a description to help residents judge if the service is right for them and provide them with more information about how to apply.
  • Coursera Online Training Platform: The new online training program will provide access to nearly 4,000 online programs taught by leading professors and industry professionals on Coursera, with a focus on high-growth and in-demand sectors like advanced manufacturing, technology, and health care, among others. Unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers can learn new skills, earn certificates, and advance their careers during the COVID-19 pandemic at no cost. The new course offerings are provided through a partnership between the New York State Department of Labor and Coursera. New Yorkers can request a free account on the New York State Department of Labor website
  • Shef: This Airbnb-like platform for home cooked meals provides opportunities for home chefs to earn money by sharing the home cooking of their cultures and for tasters to try others’ home cooked meals. Learn more here.
  • TLC Driver Resource Center: TLC launched a resource center to provide legal, financial and other services to hard hit drivers. Click here for more information. 
  • NYC Open Restaurants Program: The Open Restaurants program has been extended year-round and made permanent. The extension also applies to Open Streets: Restaurants, which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days. Learn more about how to apply and see operating hours here.
  • NYC Food Delivery Driver Portal: The City of New York is hiring licensed TLC drivers to deliver food to New Yorkers in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more or sign up by clicking here
  • Fund for Public Health NYC Job Opportunities: There are several grant-funded positions and COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative job opportunities at Fund for Public Health NYC. For more information, click here.  
  • Reporting Labor Law Violations: If you believe an employer is violating either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders, contact 311 or the New York State Attorney General at (212) 416-8700 or Labor.Bureau@ag.ny.gov to report them. Learn more here.
  • FAQ for Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: To access frequently asked questions and answers about pandemic unemployment benefits, click here. To find out what benefits you may qualify for and more, click here. For additional resources, click here
  • Reopening NYC Businesses: NYC.gov/nycbusiness provides information and guidelines for businesses reopening in NYC. 
  • Restaurant Worker Revitalization Program: New York City’s Restaurant Revitalization Program is supporting unemployed and underemployed restaurant workers using $3 million from NYC Opportunity, Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, and One Fair Wage.
  • Freelancers in NYC: If you're a freelancer facing nonpayment issues, file a complaint here.
  • NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program: The Small Business Emergency Grant Program provides support to small businesses who experienced material damage to their storefronts as a result of looting. More information available here: NYC Small Business Emergency Grant Program.
  • NYC Worker Hotline: Workers who call 311 will be connected to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for immediate assistance. Worker rights and guidance is also available: nyc.gov/coronavirus.
  • NYC PPE for Small Businesses: NYC SBS is coordinating with 70+ BIDs and Chambers of Commerce to provide 2 million pieces of PPE to small businesses citywide. Find a distribution partner near you at: Free Face Coverings for Small Businesses & Their Employees
  • NYC Business Reopening Support: Go to nyc.gov/business or nyc.gov/coronavirus to find resources and guides or use the dedicated Restart Hotline for business owners, 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
  • Change in Financial Situation: If you have experienced a change in your financial situation since the start of COVID-19, NYC Financial Empowerment Center counselors are available to support you over the phone with free financial counseling that is secure and confidential. Book an appointment here
  • NYC Assistance for Organizations: For help regarding healthcare facilities, small businesses, non-profit organizations and more, click here
  • Work From Home Toolkit: City Hall has released a Work from Home Toolkit to help New Yorkers make the most of working from home. Check it out here.
  • Low-Risk Indoor Cultural Activities Reopenings: New York City museums and cultural institutions have been able to open at 25% capacity. Bowling alleys have been able to operate at 50% occupancy. Read more here.
  • Black Entrepreneurship (BE) NYC is a new initiative, which aims to increase the number of Black-owned businesses in New York City with a focus on growing businesses in high-growth industries. Learn more here

Food Updates and Resources

  • SNAP and Cash Assistance Recertification: The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has expanded the recertification extension period through March 31st, 2021 for expiring SNAP and Cash Assistance cases. This means that any cases due for recertification through March 31st, 2021 are eligible for up to a six-month extension. Cases that have previously received the six-month recertification extension are not eligible for another extension. Cases will be extended in accordance with a schedule designed to balance out the recertification workload over time.
  • Get Food NYC: Meal Hub service is operating at approximately 400 sites across the city and continues regular service from 9AM-12PM on weekdays, Monday through Friday. Find a site near you by texting ‘NYC FOOD’ or ‘NYC COMIDA’ to 877-877, or by clicking here. In addition to school Grab-n-Go sites and food pantries, this map includes grocery stores and greenmarkets to help New Yorkers in every neighborhood see the range of options available to them. Comments on meals and deliveries can be submitted by calling 311 and saying “Get Food” or by going to www.nyc.gov/getfoodhelp.
  • New York City Department of Probation: One week of free groceries are available to all New Yorkers in five boroughs at the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Nutrition Kitchens, in partnership with the Food Bank of NYC and the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). Click here for more information. 
  • P-EBT: Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) is a Federal program to provide food benefits to children who miss the opportunity to receive school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. For further questions, you may contact New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at 1-833-452-0096 or otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov.
  • Food Supply Match: To re-align the mismatches in supply and demand, NYC has launched Food Supply Match, a web platform to connect sellers with excess product to buyers facing increased demand. Businesses can register here: nyc.gov/FoodSupplyMatch 
  • Plentiful is a free, easy-to-use reservation system for food pantries and the people they serve. New Yorkers can use Plentiful to find pantries and get the food you need, without waiting in line: www.plentifulapp.com 
  • Expansion of Food Access in Underserved Communities: NYC has announced new food access programs in neighborhoods that have suffered disproportionately during COVID-19. New Yorkers in communities of color will have easier access to nutritious, high-quality foods with meal deliveries, online grocery shopping and more. Learn more here.
  • Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program: This provides low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Those who are eligible are provided coupons to redeem fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets and farm stands. Find out more here.

Diagnostic and Antibody Testing Resources 

  • COVID-19 Testing: New York State testing criteria has expanded to all New Yorkers. New York has significantly expanded its COVID diagnostic and antibody testing across the state. Find a testing site near you by plugging in your address here or by texting ‘COVID TEST’ to 855-48. Free, walk-in antibody testing is available at H+H Gotham Community Health Centers, more information here. There are also mobile COVID-19 testing sites stationed throughout New York City, each providing 80 free tests a day. Find a site near you here.  
  • For New Yorkers with Symptoms or Questions About COVID-19: For real-time COVID updates from NotifyNYC, text ‘COVID’ to 692-692 (NYC-NYC) and text ‘COVIDESP’ for updates in Spanish. To confidentiality self-report your COVID-19 status and symptoms, click hereCall 212-COVID19 if you have questions, want resources or need some help.
  • COVID Alert NY: A voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. By downloading the app, you will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested and reduce the potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others. Learn more and download the app here.

Additional Community Resources and Updates 

  • Access-A-Ride: Beginning Tuesday, January 19th, 2021, The MTA will resume fare collection on all Access-A-Ride services. The Access-A-Ride fare is $2.75 per trip (the same as the full fare on public transit) and is collected in cash. Customers must have exact change ready at boarding as Paratransit operators do not provide change or accept round-trip payment. MetroCards cannot be used as payment but customers may pay their fares using Access-A-Ride TransitCheck Coupons. Each coupon is good for full payment on one trip. As always, for those eligible, Personal Care Attendants may accompany Access-A-Ride Passengers free of charge. Customers may continue to safely choose how to book their trips via online trip management, MYmtaApp or by calling the Access-A-Ride call center at 1-877-337-2017.  For the safety of our customers and employees, face coverings are required for all customers using MTA services. For more information about Access-A-Ride Paratransit Service, click here.
  • We Speak NYC Program: The We Speak NYC program, created in partnership with the City University of New York, empowers immigrant New Yorkers by helping them practice English and learn about City services through volunteer-led conversation groups. Visit on.nyc.gov/WeSpeakVolunteer to learn more about volunteering for a course. If you are interested in taking a We Speak NYC online class or using our free English language learning resources online, please visit NYC.gov/WeSpeakNYC
  • Public Charge Rule: On November 3rd, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily stayed the Illinois court's decision to vacate the US Department of Homeland Security”s public charge rule, meaning that effective November 3rd, the public charge rule IS in effect while the case is being litigated. The Seventh Circuit will be deciding whether or not to keep the stay in place while the Trump Administration's appeal of the district court's decision is litigated.For questions about how this ruling could affect your immigration or benefits status, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov.
  • Emergency Utility Intervention Program: HRA has completed its low-income rate match for the Con Edison utility rate reduction programs for customers receiving social services benefits. HRA clients with utility accounts were automatically enrolled and provided an opportunity to opt-out of the program if they wished. Enrollment is ongoing and HRA clients who were not automatically enrolled can participate by contacting their utility company to enroll. Clients can contact Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) or lowincomerate@coned.com. For questions, clients should contact the program at 212-331-4120 or by email at EUIP@hra.nyc.gov.
  • Vision Zero: Mayor de Blasio announced that speed limits will be reduced by 5 MPH on 25 miles of major streets with some of the highest rates of crashes across the boroughs. The City also announced that the Department of Transportation has reached its goal of activating cameras in all 750 school zones. In the Bronx, the new speed limits apply to: Bruckner Blvd from East 135th Street to Pelham Bay Park, 6.5 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH) and Webster Ave from East 233 Street to East Gun Hill Road, 1.2 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH). Read more here.
  • “Take Care” Package: The Test & Trace Corps is providing “Take Care” packages to New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 and to their contacts. A “Take Care” package includes enough personal protective equipment for a household of three to quarantine for 10-14 days. This includes a medical grade mask, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, thermometer and a pulse oximeter to help those who test positive for COVID-19 monitor their oxygen levels. Learn more here
  • New York Foundation for Senior Citizens: Learn more about the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ free Home Sharing Program and Respite Care Program.
  • DCWP COVID-19 HubNYC.gov/DCWPAlerts provides information and translated resources on scams, funeral planning tips, debt collection cease communications, student loans, free tax prep, license expiration and renewal dates, price gouging, and more.
  • COVID-19 Benefits: Many people who have been impacted by COVID-19 qualify for benefits to help them buy groceries, get health care, or get financial support to make up for lost income. See what support you might be eligible for at access.nyc.gov/pandemic-benefits-guidance.  
  • COVID-19 and Poison Prevention: It is important to stay safe while staying home. You can find guidance with translations about poison control here
  • NYC Mental Health: There are many resources related to mental health that New Yorkers can access while staying home. Resources and a 24/7 hotline are available here and a free resource guide for all New Yorkers as well as services tailored to the needs of aging New Yorkers, veterans, students and young people, and people harmed by violence, crime or abuse is available here.  
  • NYC LGBTQ+ Support: New York City has created a mobile-accessible website containing nearly 100 listings of LGBTQ+ affirming services still available citywide, including food programs, legal services, health resources & more, which is available here
  • NYC Domestic Violence Support: Services for Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Survivors can be found here, or by calling NYC’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE. 
  • NYC Disability Services: A new webpage of resources for New Yorkers with disabilities during COVID-19, created by City Hall, can be found here
  • NYC Assistance for DACA Recipients: For help renewing your DACA application call ActionNYC at 1-800-354-0365. For questions about immigration or how to access City services during the COVID19 crisis, call the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9AM to 5PM, Monday to Friday, or email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov
  • Assistance for Homeless New Yorkers in Assessing CARES Act Economic Impact Payments: Mobilization for Justice is offering FREE help for New Yorkers experiencing homlesses in accessing their Economic Impact Payments. To receive assistance, call 212-417-3791.
  • COVID-19 Misinformation: If you have been harassed or discriminated against due to race, national origin, age, or disability, contact NYC Commission on Human Rights by calling 311. Call 911 if you are a victim of or witness a hate crime or click here.
  • NYC Service Opportunities: NYC Service builds partnerships to deepen and expand civic engagement through volunteer and service programs, creating sustainable change for our city's greatest needs: nyc.gov/service. More opportunities are available at nyc.gov/helpnow.
  • Pet Owner Hotline: If you are a pet owner impacted by COVID-19, call the Pet Hotline at 1-877-204-8821 from 8AM to 8PM, 7 days a week. 
  • DonateNYC enables businesses and organizations to donate extra food supply to local organizations who can then redistribute it – reducing waste and helping bring food where it needs to go. Details about eligible donors and recipients can be found online. For food donations visit nyc.gov/donatefood. For non-food donations, visit nyc.gov/donate.
  • Mediating Establishment and Neighbor Disputes (MEND) NYC is a new citywide initiative to provide free mediation and conflict resolution services to address quality-of-life issues that impact both NYC residents and businesses in the nightlife industry. Click here or email MendNYC@oath.nyc.gov to learn more. 
  • Reentry Legal Hotline is a new hotline linking New Yorkers providing legal assistance, advice and counsel to individuals whose conviction histories are causing barriers to moving ahead. You may call 646-759-8088.
  • Alternate Side Parking (ASP): Alternate Side Parking regulations are in effect.

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PREVIOUS COVID EMAIL UPDATE FROM 12/11/20

 

Dear Community,

As a reminder, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced guidelines allowing out-of-state travelers to New York to "test out" of the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York will continue to be exempt from the travel advisory; however, covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Essential workers will continue to be exempt as well. Learn more about the guidelines for out of state travel here.

The Governor this week announced new metrics by which micro-cluster focus zones will be determined to help control COVID-19 spread and protect hospital capacity. Read more