IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM SENATOR BIAGGI: 3/26/2020 UPDATE REGARDING CONFIRMED CORONAVIRUS CASES IN NYS
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Senator Alessandra Biaggi <biaggi@nysenate.gov>
Thu 3/26/2020 11:47 PM
  • Byrne Florence
Senator Alessandra Biaggi

Dear Community,

The safety measures New York State has put in place in the wake of COVID-19 – such as social distancing and restrictions on social gatherings – are already showing early signs of slowing down the spread of the virus. According to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, estimates from Sunday showed coronavirus hospitalizations were doubling every 2 days, however Tuesday's estimates showed hospitalizations were doubling every 4.7 days. This means that your commitment to social distancing is working to save lives. I know that staying home as much as possible can be challenging, but know that doing so is making progress in our collective effort to mitigate the spread of this pandemic, and helping to alleviate pressure on our healthcare system – so keep up the good work!

In the early hours of the morning, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2.2 trillion stimulus package in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill tomorrow. Below is a summary of the provisions and how they will affect New York State:

  • State Aid: The final legislation includes $150 billion for state, local, and tribal government costs associated with combating the COVID-19 pandemic. $11 billion of this is reserved for the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Tribal governments. The remaining $139 billion will be allocated by population proportions according to the U.S. Census Bureau data. According to U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, New York State would get at least $7.5 billion and that at least $168 million will go to Westchester County, over $159 million would go to Erie County, and more than $128 million would go to Monroe County. New York City would receive $1.3 billion.

  • Other Possible Sources of State Aid: In addition to the $150 billion outlined above, the legislation also includes an additional pool of funding for the following specific purposes:

    • $45 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund (including reimbursement for medical responses, personal protective equipment, and National Guard deployment).

    • $30.75 billion for grants to provide emergency support to local school systems and higher education institutions to support the continuation of educational functions.

    • $25 billion in aid to transit systems throughout the United States.

    • $16 billion to replenish the Strategic National Stockpile medical supplies.

    • $10 billion in grants for airports.

    • $7 billion for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs.

    • $6.5 billion in funding for local economic development programs.

    • $3.5 billion in additional funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant.

    • $2 billion through CDC-Wide Activities and Program Support.

    • $1 billion for the Defense Production Act (PPE, ventilators, medical supplies).

    • $1 billion to recapitalize Amtrak and support their employees.

    • $850 million for State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance.

    • $400 million in election assistance to help states prepare for the 2020 election cycle.

    • $300 million through Violence Against Women and Prosecution Program.

    • $200 million per year in SFYs 2021-2026 for the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Development Program.

  • $500 billion loan program for large businesses, states, and cities: Within this amount, $454 billion is made available to make loans and loan guarantees to, and other investments in, programs or facilities established by the Federal Reserve for the purpose of providing liquidity to the financial system that supports lending to eligible businesses, states, and municipalities. Depending on the authorized uses of these funds, New York State may be able to get additional resources to help with its Financial Plan.

  • Unemployment insurance: The final legislation increases unemployment insurance by $600 per week for a four-month period. In New York, the maximum unemployment insurance benefit is $435 per week, meaning that New Yorkers claiming unemployment would be eligible for $1,035 weekly. Workers who are already receiving unemployment benefits are also eligible for an additional thirteen weeks of benefits. Notably, this benefit includes part-time workers, gig economy workers, freelancers, and workers on furlough who are still receiving health insurance from their employers. These provisions will cost the federal government approximately $260 billion, of which $15 billion will be provided to New Yorkers.

  • Direct Cash Payments: The bill includes one-time direct payments (through refundable tax credits) to individuals and families, including those with little to no tax liabilities, totaling $1,200 per person, with an additional $500 per child. All taxpayers with Social Security numbers who are U.S. residents are eligible for these tax refund checks, though these payments phase out for taxpayers who had an adjusted gross income above $75,000 on their 2019 tax return (or 2018 if the taxpayer has not yet filed their 2019 taxes), phasing out entirely at $99,000. These amounts are doubled for married taxpayers filing jointly. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that taxpayers should expect their checks in about three weeks. Notably, this excludes all people who pay taxes with an Individual Tax Identification Number.

  • Protection Against Foreclosures and Evictions: The bill grants 60-day forbearances on federally backed mortgage loans, which can be extended by up to four 30-day periods. Servicers of federally backed loans may not begin the foreclosure process until mid-May, at the earliest. The legislation also prohibits servicers to charge fees, penalties, or additional interest because of delayed payments.

    • Multifamily federal mortgage loans receive smaller protections, with just a 30-day forbearance and two 30-day extensions.

    • Those with federally backed mortgages with tenants are not permitted to evict tenants solely for failure to pay rent for a 120-day period. They may not charge fees or penalties for the delay. This legislation does not forgive the rent.

  • Hospital Funds: The final legislation includes a $100 billion appropriation for hospitals and other healthcare providers, which includes funding for equipment and infrastructure and enhanced health initiatives. The funding can be used for personal protective equipment, testing supplies, increased workforce training. An additional $17 billion in funding has been allocated for increased Medicare payments for all hospitals and providers. Additional funding has also been made available to bolster the Strategic National Stockpile, surge capacity, and to fund medical research of COVID-19.

  • Small Business Interruption Loans: The legislation includes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans and grants to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The maximum loan amount will be determined by the average of monthly payments for payroll, mortgage, rent, and other debt obligations incurred during the one-year period before the date of the loan. Exceptions will be made for seasonal employers. Self-employed people, independent contractors, and sole proprietors are eligible for these loans. This legislation also provides grants for small businesses with education, training and advising needs. 

    • An additional $17 billion is directed to the Small Business Administration (SBA) to cover loan payments including principal, interest, and fees for small businesses.

    • Includes $10 billion for the SBA to offer emergency grants through the Emergency Injury Disaster Loans of up to $10,000 to assist small businesses with their operating costs.

  • Student Loans and Grants: The bill includes tax relief to encourage employers to implement student loan repayment programs. The provision will exclude up to $5,250 in qualifying student loan repayments paid by the employer on behalf of the employee from income for income tax purposes. The requirement for students who withdraw from an institution of higher education to return amounts of loan or grant funds are waived for students who experience a qualifying emergency during the period of repayment or enrollment period. Students who received Federal Pell Grants or other grant assistance and withdrew for a qualifying emergency are also waived from returning grant funds. The bill also cancels the entire portion of a student loan obligation associated with a payment period during which the borrower withdrew from an institution of higher education during the payment period for a qualifying emergency. Student loan payments are suspended through September 30, 2020 without penalty and without accrual of interest. No later than 15 days after enactment of the law, borrowers will be notified of the suspension of payment and the accrual of interest.

  • Aviation Industry Job Protection: The bill appropriates up to $32 billion to protect two million jobs in the aviation industry via the suspension of certain aviation excise taxes, financial assistance, airport grants, and aid necessary to carry out essential transportation services. $25 billion of these funds are earmarked for passenger air carriers, $4 earmarked for cargo air carriers, and $3 million for contract workers such as catering services. Previous versions of the legislation expanded health benefits for airline contract workers, but these provisions were omitted from the final bill.

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): This legislation provides an additional $15.81 billion for the SNAP program. Most of this money is allocated in a contingency reserve fund in the event that SNAP disbursements exceed projections.

    • This Act suspended the work and work training requirements for SNAP during the crises.

    • This Act enabled the Department of Agriculture to approve emergency SNAP assistance to families with children who would have received free or reduced-price school meals if their schools were not closed due to COVID-19.

  • The Emergency Food Assistance Program: The legislation provides $450 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program, which supplies food banks, of which $350 million will be directed to purchasing food and $100 million directed to distribution.

  • REAL ID: The deadline for compliance with REAL ID requirements for, among other things, boarding aircraft, will be extended until September 30, 2021.

  • Miscellaneous Health Provisions: The legislation includes a number of miscellaneous health-related provisions, largely to increase availability of telehealth services, to improve care planning for home health services, to prohibit cost sharing for coronavirus treatment under Medicare. The legislation includes provisions to combat drug and medical device shortages. Lastly, the legislation includes provisions to streamline drug trials for the coronavirus.

In an effort to continue expanding hospital bed capacity, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that the state is scouting additional new sites for temporary hospitals, with a goal of having a 1,000-plus patient overflow facility in each New York City borough as well as Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk counties. One of the locations currently being considered is the New York Expo Center in the Bronx. These are in addition to the temporary hospitals that are being built at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and locations at SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Old Westbury and the Westchester Convention Center. The state is also preparing vacant college dormitories and hotels for emergency beds.

Governor Cuomo announced the state has received significant donations from a number of major corporations, philanthropic organizations and celebrities to help increase the state's supply capacity amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The donations include personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer, equipment for field hospitals, free flights for incoming medical volunteers and other medical supplies and support items. You can access the full list of donations on the Governor’s website.

The Governor also announced that an additional 12,000 healthcare workers, including retirees and students, have signed up to volunteer to work as part of the state's surge healthcare force during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the total number of volunteers to more than 52,000. 

Additionally, more than 8,600 mental health professionals, including individuals from other states, have now signed up to provide free online mental health services. New Yorkers can call the state's hotline at 1-844-863-9314 to schedule a free appointment.

Today the Governor announced approved technology for one ventilator to serve two patients at once, to help alleviate any future shortage of equipment. The state is also looking at technology to convert anesthesia machines into ventilators. COVID-19 patients are typically on a ventilator for 11-21 days (compared to 3-4 days normally).

New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced that the City is working with the federal government to bring an additional 2,000 ventilators to our hospitals. The estimated need Citywide is for 15,000 ventilators. Additionally, the City is producing face shields and other personal protective equipment now at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. There will be 50,000 face shields shipped by Friday to the Department of Health and 120,000 made by next Tuesday.

Mayor De Blasio also announced that as of tonight, 375 incarcerated individuals who were serving time for minor, non-violent offenses in New York City jails will be released, to reduce jail population density and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our correctional facilities. This brings the City’s jail population to below 5,000 – the lowest New York City has seen since 1949. 

Senior Update: The Department for the Aging (DFTA) is ceasing all congregant services and will now only offer grab-and-go meals. DFTA has created a centralized meal delivery program that will deliver meals to 25,000 seniors to provide seniors with a 5-meal package per week. DFTA is working with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to ensure that senior residents in NYCHA developments have access to food.

In addition, DFTA is offering case management services both on the phone or online. To be connected with these services, please call 311. 

Housing Resources: For tenant related questions, Housing Justice for All has made a FAQ webpage to address any concerns. You can access more information here. The NYCHA Journal has also provided updated information for tenants about how they are responding to COVID-19.

Fraud and Scam Protections: The Department of Justice has created a Coronavirus Fraud Prevention website with resources on how to protect yourself from fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Trade Commission has created a website to help consumers avoid coronavirus-related scams

Supermarket Update: NYC Supermarkets are required to maintain social distancing in check out lines. If a store is not enforcing this requirement, please call 311. Mayor De Blasio is recommending all supermarkets to institute morning senior citizens hours to ensure safe shopping for our vulnerable populations.

NYC Parks Update: Practicing social distancing in our public parks is essential to reducing the spread of coronavirus. The Park Enforcement Patrol, The FDNY, Department of Parks and Recreation and the Sheriff’s office will be enforcing social distancing requirements for park-goers. 

Human Resources Administration (HRA) Update: HRA has consolidated Job Centers, SNAP offices and Medicaid Centers. People can apply for benefits online at ACCESS HRA or by calling 311. People can now apply for cash assistance online, in order to prevent in person visits to an HRA Center. 

Freelancer Resources: The Freelancers Relief Fund is offering financial assistance to up to $1,000 per freelance household to help cover lost income including: Food, utility payments, and cash assistance. Applications will open on April 2nd. Learn more about the Freelancers Relief Fund.

Employment Update: If your employer is not complying with New York State’s COVID-19 Employment Regulations, you can file a complaint online. You can learn more about and apply for New York State emergency paid sick leave due to the coronavirus online.

NYC Residents: The city's Workforce1 Career Center launched a Virtual Center (or call 718-960-2458) to help New Yorkers prepare for, and connect to, jobs across New York City's five boroughs and in every sector of the economy. Candidates can be connected via web or phone to one-on-one help from professionals for help with job opportunities, individual career advisement, resume and interview preparation, and workforce training.

FEMA Update: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released a fact sheet with public assistance guidance. You can find more FEMA information on their website.

Citi Bike is offering free 30-day memberships for critical workforce in response to COVID-19. More information available on Citi Bike deals.

New Community Resources: 

  • Pelham Residents: The Junior League of Pelham, Pelham Together, Pelham Civic Association and the Pelham Chamber of Commerce have created a relief effort for residents called Pelham Cares: Neighbor to Neighbor. Pelham Cares is an initiative that will purchase meals from local businesses to be delivered to those working on the frontlines. This is a great way to help essential workers while supporting small businesses. You can access more information here.

  • City Island Residents: City Island Strong is offering food, grocery or prescription delivery, dog walking and other help to residents. For more information, email cityislandstrong@gmail.com

Ways to Lend a Helping Hand: 

  • Donate or Sell Supplies: EDC launched a new website this weekend for local businesses that want to support the COVID-19 emergency response effort by providing or manufacturing supplies. Learn more at the new website: COVID-19 Emergency Supply Sourcing & Manufacturing.

  • Donate Space: New York City is still identifying new hospital capacity. They are particularly interested in private spaces that may not be yet on their radar. If you have space to offer, please fill out this space survey here: NYC Share Your Space Survey.

  • Medical Professionals: New York State is looking for qualified health, mental health, and related professionals to supplement our health care capacity. Take the Health and Professionals survey

  • Recruiting Drivers: New York City is looking for TLC-licensed drivers to help with important work related to COVID-19, such as delivering food to older adults who can’t leave their homes. This work will be paid $15/hour plus reimbursement for gas and tolls. Drivers will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. The initial need for drivers will be small, but we expect it to increase as we expand our programs. Sign-up here, at DeliveryTLC.

  • Volunteer with City Harvest: To help City Harvest meet the increased need for food, they have created several volunteer opportunities at our Food Rescue Facility, and we need your help. Please check our Volunteer Portal for upcoming opportunities. If you haven’t volunteered with City Harvest before, you will need to create an account before signing up.

  • Donate Blood: The New York Blood Center is currently having trouble meeting patient needs. You can learn more and sign up to donate here

  • To see how you can get involved for New York State, click here.

  • For how to help in New York City, click here.

As of this today, March 25th, 2020, there are 37,258 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in New York State. Of the confirmed cases: 

  • 21,939 are located in New York City 

  • 5,944 are located in Westchester County 

  • 3,914 are located in Nassau County 

  • 2,735 are located in Suffolk County 

  • 1,197 are located in Rockland County 

You can find the geographic breakdown of coronavirus cases by county here.

The New York City borough breakdown is as follows: 

  • 4,243 in the Bronx 

  • 4.046 in Manhattan

  • 6,095 in Brooklyn

  • 7,362 in Queens 

  • 1,330 in Staten Island 

Note, the New York City numbers do not align with state-wide numbers due to different release times. You can find the summary of the data here

It is important to remember that although the number of positive cases are increasing, this number is reflective of the State's increased testing capacity.  

This is an evolving situation. For updated information on the Coronavirus (in multiple languages) from trusted sources for your designated area, please visit:

You can also always call the New York State Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or the New York City Hotline at 1-844-NYC-4NYC with any questions.

While you are at home, don’t forget to fill out the Census! The Bronx is self-reporting at only a 16% rate. Let’s make the Bronx count! For more information, and to complete the census, you can click here.

I encourage you all to continue to make time to take care of yourself – stay hydrated, get some fresh air (while maintaining social distancing), and stay virtually connected with friends and family. 

Stay strong. 

With Gratitude,

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi

____________________________________________________________

PREVIOUS EMAIL UPDATE FROM MARCH 25th

Dear Community, 

I know that this is a challenging time for all of us. As we care for our loved ones and neighbors, it is critical that we also also make time to care for ourselves, including our mental health. Today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York State is launching a new mental health hotline for New Yorkers. New Yorkers will be able to make a free appointment with one of the more than 6,000 mental health professionals who signed up to volunteer their time. You can call 1-844-863-9314 to schedule a free appointment. You can also connect with NYC resources for mental health here. And you can find additional resources for mental health, including additional hotlines, teletherapy resources, and support groups here

My office has received a lot of questions from constituents about COVID-19 testing. While I understand the desire to be tested, in the vast majority of cases the results of a test will not change your treatment plan. By staying home when sick (and even if you are not sick), you will help protect other New Yorkers. You do not need to be tested if you have mild symptoms. Leaving your home to get a test increases the likelihood that you will either expose others to the virus or become exposed yourself. 

Based on guidance from the New York City Department of Health, New York City Health + Hospitals is only testing patients for COVID-19 who need to be hospitalized. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath, stay inside and isolate yourself for at least seven days from when your symptoms began. Only go to the emergency room if you are very ill. 

Bronxites may request an appointment to be tested at the Lehman College drive-through testing center by calling 888-364-3065. But please do not go to a hospital unless you are very sick. 

Governor Cuomo is continuing his work to expand hospital capacity in New York State, including acquiring additional equipment and identifying additional staff capacity. As of this morning, more than 40,000 medical have signed up to provide surge medical capacity for New York Hospitals. 

Update on NYC Department of Education Enrichment Centers: The NYC Department of Education has opened Enrichment Centers in every borough to serve the children of essential workers. Beginning this Friday, people who work in grocery stores, pharmacies, on the New York City Ferry system, or in the Department of Probation, Department of Environmental Protection or Department of Health (who did not previously qualify) will be able to apply for their children. You can learn more and enroll here

Update on NYC Health + Hospitals Visitor Policy: Effective today, all patient visitation is suspended at all New York City public hospitals except in the following circumstances: when medically necessary and the visitor is essential to the patient’s care; the visitor is a family member or legal representative of a patient in an imminent end-of-life situation; or the visitor is for a woman in labor, an infant in the neonatal ICU, or a pediatric patient. All visitors may be screened for symptoms prior to entering the hospital. 

Update on Utilities: At the direction of Governor Cuomo, the New York State Department of Public Service is ordering all utilities to suspend rate increases until further notice. All increases scheduled to go into effect April 1st will be postponed. 

Updates for NYCHA Residents: NYCHA Residents can find the most recent information here

Update on Congestion in NYC: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Cuomo are working together to reduce congestion in New York City. Beginning Friday, they are starting a pilot program of street closures designed to provide open space for solitary activity. In the Bronx, Grand Concourse will be closed to cars between E. Burnside and 184th street. If this program is successful, it will be expanded to additional streets in every borough. 

While New York City Parks and Playgrounds remain open, it is important that all New Yorkers continue to practice social distancing. To decrease density, the Governor is enacting a voluntary playground social distancing protocol that prohibits close contact sports like basketball. To aid this effort, New York City is removing basketball hoops from 80 locations. As things are rapidly changing due to COVID-19, you can find more information on the Department of Parks Rules and Regulations here

Update on Meals: New York City is delivering meals for New Yorkers who cannot access food themselves. This program is for New Yorkers who do not have another member of their household, neighbor, or family member, who can go out and get food, do not receive meal assistance from another provider (e.g. Meals on Wheels), and are unable to afford meal delivery or a grocery delivery service. You can learn more and apply here or by calling 311. 

The following senior centers are offering meals to seniors in District 34: 

  • Van Cortlandt Neighborhood Senior Center (3880 Sedgwick Avenue): Grab and go meals available Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 12:00pm-2:00pm. Call ahead at 718 549-4700. 

  • Northeast Bronx Neighborhood Senior Center (2968 Bruckner Blvd): Grab and go meals available from 10:30am-12:00pm. Call ahead at 718-892-6090. 

  • PSS City Island Neighborhood Senior Center (116 City Island Avenue): Grab and go meals available from 11:00am-1:00pm everyday. Call ahead at 718 885-0727. 

  • JASA (1220 East 229th Street): Call ahead at 718-882-3815. 

  • Mosholu Montefiore Community Center (3450 DeKalb Avenue): Call ahead at 718-822-4000. 

  • Riverdale Y Senior Center (5625 Arlington Avenue): Call ahead at 718-548-8200

  • Riverdale Neighborhood Senior Center (2600 Netherland Avenue): Call ahead at 718-884-5900

  • RAIN Middletown Neighborhood Senior Center (3035 Middletown Road): Call ahead at 718-822-0486

  • Throgs Neck Neighborhood Senior Center (2705 Schley Avenue): Call ahead at 718-823-1771

  • Bronx YMCA Glebe Center (2125 Glebe Avenue): Call ahead at 718-829-1564

  • Bronx House Weinberg Neighborhood Senior Center (990 Pelham Parkway South): Grab and go meals are available the next two days. 

New York City Property Tax Update: For homeowners who are having trouble paying their property taxes, the New York City Department of Finance offers several programs to assist with hardship including exemption programs as well as a new Property Tax and Interest Deferral (PT AID) program, for those who qualify. You can find more information here.

Ways to Lend a Helping Hand: 

  • Donate or Sell Supplies: EDC launched a new website this weekend for local businesses that want to support the COVID-19 emergency response effort by providing or manufacturing supplies. Learn more at the new website: COVID-19 Emergency Supply Sourcing & Manufacturing.

  • Donate Space: New York City is still identifying new hospital capacity. They are particularly interested in private spaces that may not be yet on their radar. If you have space to offer, please fill out this space survey here: NYC Share Your Space Survey.

  • Medical Professionals: New York State is looking for qualified health, mental health, and related professionals to supplement our health care capacity. Take the Health and Professionals survey here

  • Recruiting Drivers: New York City is looking for TLC-licensed drivers to help with important work related to COVID-19, such as delivering food to older adults who can’t leave their homes. This work will be paid $15/hour plus reimbursement for gas and tolls. Drivers will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. The initial need for drivers will be small, but we expect it to increase as we expand our programs. Sign-up here, at DeliveryTLC.

  • Volunteer with City Harvest: To help City Harvest meet the increased need for food, they have created several volunteer opportunities at our Food Rescue Facility, and we need your help. Please check our Volunteer Portal for upcoming opportunities. If you haven’t volunteered with City Harvest before, you will need to create an account before signing up

  • Donate Blood: The New York Blood Center is currently having trouble meeting patient needs. You can learn more and sign up to donate here

  • To see how you can get involved for New York State, click here.

  • For how to help in New York City, click here.

As of this today, March 25th, 2020, there are 30,811 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in New York State. Of the confirmed cases: 

  • 17,856 are located in New York City 

  • 4,691 are located in Westchester County 

  • 3,285 are located in Nassau County 

  • 2,260 are located in Suffolk County 

  • 968 are located in Rockland County 

You can find the geographic breakdown of Coronavirus cases by County here.

The New York City borough breakdown is as follows: 

  • 2,789 in the Bronx 

  • 3,187 in Manhattan

  • 4,656 in Brooklyn

  • 5,066 in Queens 

  • 1,084 in Staten Island 

Note, the New York City numbers do not align with state-wide numbers due to different release times. You can find the summary of the data here

It is important to remember that although the number of positive cases are increasing, this number is reflective of the State's increased testing capacity. 

This is an evolving situation. For updated information on the Coronavirus (in multiple languages) from trusted sources for your designated area, please visit:

You can also always call the New York State Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or the New York City Hotline at 1-844-NYC-4NYC with any questions.

While you are at home, don’t forget to fill out the Census! For more information, and to complete the census, you can click here.

I encourage you all to continue to make time to take care of yourself –– stay hydrated, get some fresh air (while maintaining social distancing), and stay virtually connected with friends and family. 

Stay strong. 

 

With Gratitude,

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi


 

___________________________________________________________

PREVIOUS EMAIL UPDATE FROM MARCH 24th

Dear Community, 

As we adjust to this new reality, I want to honor the work each of you are doing to create a safer and healthier New York. As the number of cases continues to rise across New York State, we must all recommit ourselves to social distancing –– for the healthcare workers on the front lines, the essential workers in our transit system and grocery stores who show up each day despite the risks, and all those who are most vulnerable.

New York State is working quickly to expand hospital capacity and to distribute equipment to medical professionals across the State. The State is working closely with the Greater New York Hospital Association and the Healthcare Association of New York State to distribute supplies to hospitals with the greatest need. As I shared yesterday, the State is giving 169,000 N-95 masks, 430,850 surgical masks, 176,750 gloves, 72,561 gowns and 39,364 face shields to New York City Hospitals. They are also distributing 16,988 N-95 masks, 301,595 surgical masks, 17,675 gloves, 72,561 gowns and 3,926 face shields to Westchester Hospitals. Note, this is in addition to the 1 million N-95 masks New York State purchased and distributed to New York City last week. 

Today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York has procured 7,000 new ventilators, including 4,000 from the federal government. However, that still falls far short of the total number of ventilators New York State is likely to need in the coming weeks. Governor Cuomo is urging the federal government to send an additional 20,000 ventilators they currently have stockpiled to New York State. 

Update on Federal Action: Last week, the House of Representatives and Senate passed legislation that President Trump signed into law, creating a limited paid leave program and expanding unemployment insurance and food assistance programs. 

The House and Senate are currently negotiating a stimulus bill. The Republicans in the Senate proposed a bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes:

  • Direct cash payments to taxpayers totaling $1,200, with an additional $500 per child. These payments would phase out for taxpayers who had an adjusted gross income of $75,000 on their 2018 tax return, phasing out entirely at $99,000. 

  • $350 billion in loans to small businesses that would be forgivable if spent on payroll, paid leave, rent, or debt payments.

  • $500 billion in assistance from the U.S. Treasury for large businesses in severely distressed sectors of the economy. Democratic Senators raised concerns that this was essentially a blank check for the administration, with limited reporting.

  • $75 billion in funding for healthcare providers.

Democrats in the House have proposed an alternative approach, the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act. According to reports, this proposal includes: 

  • Direct cash payments to Americans.

  • $150 billion in loans for corporations.

  • A prohibition on companies using taxpayer money for stock buybacks.

  • Boosts to unemployment insurance and earned income tax credits.

  • A requirement that the airline industry offset its carbon emissions.

  • Reports relating to pay equity and diversity on corporate boards receiving funds.

  • Elimination of the U.S. Postal Service’s debt.

  • Funding for election reforms and a national mandate for same-day registration, no-excuse absentee balloting, and at least 15 days of early voting.

Finance Update: Today, The Department of Financial Services issued an emergency regulation as required by Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order that grants 90 day mortgage forbearance to all residents who have experienced financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. In addition, all banks must eliminate all Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) fees, overdraft fees, and credit card late payment fees for New Yorkers who are impacted by COVID-19. You can access more information here.

Update on New York City Jails: Today, Mayor de Blasio announced that New York City will release 300 currently incarcerated individuals from Rikers Island. All of these individuals were convicted of a non-violent felony or misdemeanor and have less than a year left in their sentences. None of them were convicted of domestic violence or sex crimes. The Mayor also announced that he is working with the Governor to release additional individuals at Rikers who are over the age of 70 or have underlying health conditions. As the State Senator who represents Rikers Island, I urge the Mayor and the Governor to work quickly to release with supervision those who are most vulnerable in our jails, including by suspending incarceration for technical parole violations, and releasing elderly people and those with underlying conditions wherever possible. 

Update on Unemployment Insurance: As a reminder, the New York State Department of Labor has extended their telephone service through Saturdays. You may now call their line from 7:30am-8:00pm on Saturdays for assistance. Applicants should receive their first check within a week of completing their claim. Individuals who select direct deposit will receive their payment faster than those who select the check or debit card option. You can access more information here.

Transportation Update: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced the “NY Essential Service Plan” which ensures that essential staff are able to get to work via public transit while transitioning to a reduced schedule. This plan retains 75% of normal buses and subway services. You can access more information here

Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road are asking all customers to use contactless methods to purchase tickets. Customers can purchase tickets through the MTA eTix app or at a Ticket Vending Machine. In person ticket offices have all closed until further notice. Citibike announced that they will be offering a free 30 day membership for all essential staff. 

Parking Update: Alternate side parking will be suspended until March 31st. This will be reevaluated on a weekly basis.

Update for Pregnant New Yorkers: Health & Hospitals, New York City’s public hospital system, will allow anyone giving birth to have a partner with them in the delivery room. However, their partner will be required to wear a surgical mask and go through a clearance procedure to ensure they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.  

NYC Parks Update: New York City Parks remain open, but it is important that all New Yorkers practice social distancing when using public parks, and remain 6 feet away from anyone they do not live with. 

Adult Care Facility Update: The New York State Department of Health released new guidance for Adult Healthcare Facilities (ACF) for staffing practices. For more information for those who work at ACFs, you can email covidadultcareinfo@health.ny.gov.  

Tax Update: The New York City Department of Finance is offering several programs to support homeowners with their property taxes. You can find more information here.

Hospice Guidance Update: The New York State Department of Health released new guidance for screening patients and staff at Home Healthcare Agencies and Hospice Providers which can be found here.

Resources for Small Businesses:

  • U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Relief:  Nonprofits and businesses in New York State are eligible for low interest SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, or other bills that a business or nonprofit cannot pay due to a disaster. Learn more and apply here

  • Westchester Nonprofits: United Way is providing coronavirus relief grants up to $50,000 to Westchester Nonprofits. Learn more and apply here

  • New York City Employee Retention Grant Program: Businesses with fewer than 5 employees can apply for a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees. Nonprofits are also eligible. Learn more and apply here

  • NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Fund: Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen a sale decrease by 25% or more are eligible for zero interest loans up to $75,000 to help retain employees and keep their business running. Applications are not open yet, but you can learn more and fill out the pre-application here

  • New York City Office of Nightlife is gathering information about how COVID-19 closures and event cancellations are impacting your businesses and livelihood. The data will guide New York City policy-makers and help the Office best address your challenges in the weeks and months to come. You can fill out the survey and find more information here.

  • FAQ for Business Owners from New York City Small Business Services 

Ways to Lend a Helping Hand: 

  • Donate or Sell Supplies: EDC launched a new website this weekend for local businesses that want to support the COVID-19 emergency response effort by providing or manufacturing supplies. Learn more at the new website: COVID-19 Emergency Supply Sourcing & Manufacturing.

  • Donate Space: New York City is still identifying new hospital capacity. They are particularly interested in private spaces that may not be yet on their radar. If you have space to offer, please fill out this space survey here: NYC Share Your Space Survey.

  • Medical Professionals: New York State is looking for qualified health, mental health, and related professionals to supplement our health care capacity. Take the Health and Professionals survey here

  • Recruiting Drivers: New York City is looking for TLC-licensed drivers to help with important work related to COVID-19, such as delivering food to older adults who can’t leave their homes. This work will be paid $15/hour plus reimbursement for gas and tolls. Drivers will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. The initial need for drivers will be small, but we expect it to increase as we expand our programs. Sign-up here, at DeliveryTLC.

  • Donate Blood: The New York Blood Center is currently having trouble meeting patient needs. You can learn more and sign up to donate here

  • To see how you can get involved for New York State, click here.

  • For how to help in New York City, click here.

As of this today, March 24rd, 2020, there are twenty five thousand six hundred and sixty-five (25,665) confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus in New York State. Of the confirmed cases: 

  • 14,904 are located in New York City 

  • 3,891 are located in Westchester County 

  • 2,869 are located in Nassau County 

  • 1,880 are located in Suffolk County 

  • 671 are located in Rockland County 

You can find the geographic breakdown of Coronavirus cases by County here.

The New York City borough breakdown is as follows: 

  • 2,505 in the Bronx 

  • 3,013 in Manhattan

  • 4,407 in Brooklyn

  • 4,667 in Queens 

  • 999 in Staten Island 

Note, the New York City numbers do not align with state-wide numbers due to different release times. 

It is important to remember that although the number of positive cases are increasing, this number is reflective of the State's increased testing capacity. 

This is an evolving situation. For updated information on the Coronavirus (in multiple languages) from trusted sources for your designated area, please visit:

You can also always call the New York State Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or the New York City Hotline at 1-844-NYC-4NYC with any questions.

While you are at home, don’t forget to fill out the Census! For more information, and to complete the census, you can click here.

As you continue to take care of your loved ones and neighbors, I urge you to make time to focus on yourself too – remember to take breaks and to breathe.

Stay strong. 

With Gratitude,

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi


 

___________________________________________________________

PREVIOUS EMAIL UPDATE FROM MARCH 23rd

Dear Neighbor,

As we begin the new week, I want to remind you to take things one day at a time as we adjust to this new normal, and to continue to remain calm. While the Governor enacted an executive order to close down all non-essential businesses, it is important to remember that all essential businesses remain open. That means that grocery stores and pharmacies, among other essential businesses, will continue to be available to the public. There is no need to hoard or panic-buy food or supplies. Essential businesses are excluded from the executive order on closures, specifically to ensure that New Yorkers can continue to access the necessities without worry. When you hoard food and supplies you make it harder for your neighbors, especially those who are healthcare workers or other essential personnel, to access the groceries and supplies they need. I encourage you to think of your neighbors as you shop and only purchase what you need.  

The building of a temporary hospital at The Jacob K. Javits Center is underway, and will have a 1,000 bed capacity. With the help of the Army Corps of Engineers, New York State will be retrofitting additional sites into temporary hospitals, including SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Old Westbury and the Westchester Convention Center.

The federal administration has deployed 339,760 N-95 masks, 861,700 surgical masks, 353,300 gloves, 145,122 gowns and 197,085 face shields to New York State, with many state supplies already located at the Javits Center.

As we know, the Governor has called on medical professionals across the state to serve their community during the coronavirus pandemic. 30,000 healthcare workers have already volunteered. The Governor signed an Executive Order requiring all registered nurses in New York State to “enlist” at this time to support hospital surge capacity. The New York State Department of Financial Services is requesting that health insurers disclose the number of nurses, doctors and other health professionals they employ in an effort to identify those who can temporarily serve in the medical field during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Reminders for NYC Students and Families: Remote learning began today for New York City Public School students – families with questions can learn more here. The NYC Department of Education has already distributed 175,000 laptops and tablets to students. If you filled out the form requesting a remote learning device for your child, you should hear back about next steps in the next few days. You can still request a device for your child here. Additionally, the Department of Education is now offering three “grab and go” meals a day. Families can pick them up at one of 435 school locations across the five borughs – there is no need to register or present an ID. Find the closest location to you here, or by texting “food” or “comida” to 877-877.

The New York City Department of Education is also opening 93 enrichment education centers for the children of essential workers. 4,500 students have already enrolled in these centers; you can learn more about your eligibility and enroll your child here

Reminder for Small Businesses & Nonprofits: All businesses and nonprofits in New York State are now eligible to apply for federal low-interest disaster relief loans if they have suffered significant economic injury due to COVID-19. You can find more information and apply online here. Additionally, Empire State Development has also created an FAQ page to offer information to businesses regarding State regulations and general guidance related to the coronavirus.

Westchester Transportation Update: Westchester County Bee-Line bus service will begin to board all buses through the rear to protect the health and safety of drivers.  

Hate Crime Support: The Attorney General of New York, Letitia James, has created a hotline specifically for those who have experienced hate crimes or bias-based incidents as a result of COVID-19. You can report an incident at 1-800-771-7755 or by email at civic.rights@ag.ny.gov 

Clinical Trial Update: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of a new experimental drug in New York on a compassionate care basis to help treat patients with COVID-19. The trial will use antibody injections to help stimulate and promote individuals' immune systems against the virus. 

Resources for New Yorkers with Disabilities: New Yorkers with disabilities can reach out to the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities for more information about COVID-19 and how to stay safe. Hearing impaired New Yorkers can call the office's video phone at 646-396-5830.  

Update for NYCHA Tenants: NYCHA tenants can access the most recent update here.  

Update on NYC Parks: NYC parks and playgrounds remain open to provide space for solitary activity. Individuals must practice social distancing when using parks. As a reminder, team sports are banned and all permits for organized sports and large gatherings have been suspended. The NYPD, FDNY, and other agencies will begin enforcing social distancing in city parks.

Update on NYC Services: Many city agencies are closed to the public or offering reduced services. You can find updates on available services for all city agencies here. Essential resources can be found here.

As of this evening, March 23rd, 2020, there are twenty thousand, nine hundred and nine (20,909) confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in New York State. Of the confirmed cases, twelve thousand three hundred and thirty-nine (12,339) are located in New York City, two thousand eight hundred and ninety-four (2,894) are located in Westchester County, two thousand four hundred and forty-two (2,442) are located in Nassau County, one thousand four hundred and fifty-eight (1,458) are located in Suffolk County, five hundred and ninety-two (592) are located in Rockland County, one hundred and twenty-seven (127) are located in Albany, three hundred and eighty-nine (389) are located in Orange County, one hundred (100) are located in Dutchess County, eighty-three (87) are located in Erie County, seventy-six (76) are located in Monroe County, fifty-three (53) are located in Saratoga County, fifty-two (52) are located in Onondaga County, forty-five (45) are located in Putnam County, forty-four (44) is located in Schenectady County, thirty-five (35) are located in Ulster County, twenty-nine (29) is located in Rensselaer County, twenty-three (23) is located in Sullivan County, fifteen (15) are located in Tompkins County, ten (10) are located in Columbia County, ten (10) are located in Niagara County, seven (7) is located in Broome County, seven (7) are located in Oneida County, six (6) are located in Wayne County, six (6) is located in Clinton County, six (6) is in Ontario County, four (4) are located in Greene County, four (4) is located in Herkimer County, four (4) in Madison County, four (4) are located in Wyoming County, four (4) are located in Steuben County, three (3) in Essex County, three (3) located in Washington County, three (3) in Chenango County, three (3) are located in Montgomery County, three (3) is located in Delaware County, three (3) are located Washington County, three (3) are located in Livingston County, two (2) in Warren County, two (2) are located in Cortland County, two (2) are located in Allegany County, two (2) are in Hamilton County, two (2) are located in Jefferson County, two (2) are located in Cayuga County, two (2) are located in Hamilton County, one (1) in Fulton County, one (1) in Genesee County, one (1) is located in Oswego County, one (1) is located in Otsego County, one (1) is located in Schoharie County, one (1) is located in St. Lawrence County, and one (1) is located in Tioga County.

The New York City borough breakdown is as follows: one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine (1,829) in the Bronx, two thousand five hundred and seventy-two (2,572) in Manhattan, three thousand four hundred and ninety-four (3,494) in Brooklyn, three thousand six hundred and twenty-one (3,621) in Queens, eight hundred and seventeen (817) in Staten Island. 

It is important to remember that although the number of positive cases are increasing, this number is reflective of the State's increased testing capacity. 

This is an evolving situation. For updated information on the Coronavirus (in multiple languages) from trusted sources for your designated area, please visit:

You can also always call the New York State Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 with any questions. 

Ways to Lend a Helping Hand: 

  • Donate Supplies: NYC Economic Development Corporation launched a new website this weekend for local businesses that want to support the COVID-19 emergency response effort by providing or manufacturing supplies. Learn more at the new website: COVID-19 Emergency Supply Sourcing & Manufacturing.

  • Donate Space: New York City is still identifying new hospital capacity. They are particularly interested in private spaces that may not be yet on their radar. If you have space to offer, please fill out this space survey here: NYC Share Your Space Survey.

  • Medical Professionals: New York State is looking for qualified health, mental health, and related professionals to supplement our health care capacity. Take the Health and Professionals survey here

  • Recruiting Drivers: New York City is looking for TLC-licensed drivers to help with important work related to COVID-19, such as delivering food to older adults who can’t leave their homes. This work will be paid $15/hour plus reimbursement for gas and tolls. Drivers will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. The initial need for drivers will be small, but is expected to increase as the City expands its programs. Sign-up here, at DeliveryTLC.

  • Donate Blood: The New York Blood Center is currently having trouble meeting patient needs. You can learn more and sign up to donate here

  • To see how you can get involved for New York State, click here.

  • For how to help in New York City, click here.

While you are at home, don’t forget to fill out the Census! For more information, and to complete the census, you can click here.

As you continue to take care of your loved ones and neighbors, I urge you to make time to focus on yourself too – remember to take breaks and to breathe.

Stay strong. 

With Gratitude,

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi

___________________________________________________________

PREVIOUS EMAIL UPDATE FROM MARCH 22ND

Dear Community, 

As we begin another week, I want to share my immense gratitude for each member of District 34 –– the neighbors, friends, and family, who have stepped up to help others in need. From the doctors and nurses on the front lines of our hospitals, to the teachers adapting to new ways of connecting with students, to the parents and guardians who are committed to their children’s well-being, and to all of the New Yorkers heeding the advice to stay home and practice social distancing, I continue to be inspired by your care and compassion for others. 

The following words, so accurately reflect the gravity of the moment we are experiencing, and it is an honor to share them with you. 

“This is the most grace-filled global experience and opportunity I’ve ever seen. A forced stillness, those who think their identity is their work –– must stay home. The very rich who are often disproportionately insulated from suffering and calamity, have witnessed how, in just a few days of market panic, a vast portion of their wealth can disappear. The U.S emphasis on spending billions on a physical wall as a key to defense is rendered worthless next to the power of an invader so small we can’t even see it with our naked eyes, one that can proliferate on its own power, cross borders with ease, and traverse vast oceans, threatening fellow human beings of every stripe and on every continent –– all in less than a couple [of] months. [R]ight now is the greatest globally shared awake experience since millions watched the first person walk on the moon. That famed event underscored our potential and illusion of conquering nature, this COVID-19 [pandemic] stresses our inherent and interconnected fragility and dependence on nature as well as serves as [a] powerful reset to contemplate what is truly most precious in our lives. This is a new time of realizing [that] we [can] globally cooperate and shift values, and positive wise actions can be won for all. This time of stillness allows us to rewrite our collective reality –– to rediscover family, friendship, neighbors, ourselves. May gentle care and sharing, light ALL in our way.” -Rebecca Hoffberger 

Today at 8:00pm, New York State on PAUSE went into effect. All non-essential businesses statewide must now be closed, and all residents are required to stay in their homes whenever possible. You can access the full details here. As a reminder, all New Yorkers over the age of 70 and those with compromised immune systems, are encouraged to follow “Matilda’s Law,” which includes staying indoors, avoiding public transportation unless absolutely necessary, prescreening visitors by taking their temperature, and wearing a mask around others. You can access full guidance here

As a reminder, New York City public school students will begin remote learning tomorrow, Monday, March 23. Families with questions can learn more here. Beginning tomorrow, the Department of Education is extending their “Grab and Go” program to three meals a day, Monday through Friday 7:30am to 1:30pm at different locations across the city. There is no registration or ID necessary to pick up meals. Additionally, beginning tomorrow, New York City Department of Education is opening 93 enrichment education centers around the city to serve the children of healthcare workers, first responders, transit workers and other essential personnel. You can learn more about your eligibility and enroll here.

Governor Cuomo announced today that hospitals are mandated to increase their capacity by at least 50%. Along with the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, Governor Cuomo has approved the following sites for temporary hospital facilities: SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Old Westbury, Javits Center, and Westchester County.  

The Mayor of New York City and Governor Cuomo are in the process of addressing density in public spaces across New York City. The Governor is asking New York City to develop an immediate plan to reduce density for review within the next 24 hours. 

Healthcare Worker Update: Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that 10,000 parking permits will be available to hospitals and healthcare workers tomorrow.

Housing Update: NYCHA residents can access the latest coronavirus update from the New York City Housing Authority here.

Clinical Trial Update: The State has secured 70 thousand doses of Hydroxychloroquine, 10 thousand Zithromax, and 750 thousand Chloroquine doses for clinical trials which will begin on Tuesday March 24th. 

NEW Testing Site Update: There is an appointment only drive-through testing center opening at Lehman College. Call 888-364-3065 to make an appointment. The center opens tomorrow at 11:00am, its normal hours of operation will be from 7:00am - 7:00pm. 

Transportation Updates: The MTA announced that customers on buses will begin to enter and exit through the rear doors in order to protect the health and safety of bus drivers. Customers who need a ramp to access the bus will still be able to board from the front.

The New York State Thruway Authority will be ending the use of cash tolls and all motor vehicles will be tolled via mail. You can access more information here.

Essential Workforce Update: Essential businesses may stay open, however, they are required to implement social distancing procedures for their employees. For constituents that reached out, landscapers are considered essential personnel for pest control purposes, but not for planting or gardening. You can access the full order rules and policies regarding essential workforces here

Tax Update: The New York City’s Department of Finance announced today it will waive penalties for DOF-administered business and excise taxes for those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. You can access more information here. 

As a reminder, New York State is also waiving all late fees and interest for business sales taxes. 

DMV Update: The DMV is now closed to all in-person visits. Online transactions, including for license renewals, are still available. License and permit expirations will be extended.

Ways to Lend a Helping Hand: 

  • Medical Professionals: New York State is looking for qualified health, mental health, and related professionals to supplement our health care capacity. Take the Health and Professionals survey here

  • Donate Blood: The New York Blood Center is currently having trouble meeting patient needs. You can learn more and sign up to donate here

  • To see how you can get involved for New York State, click here 

  • For how to help in New York City, click here.

The New York State Department of Health has created an “Ask Us A Question” form for any resident seeking answers regarding COVID-19. You can find the form here. As a reminder, you can also call the New York State Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 with any questions you may have. 

As of today, March 22nd, 2020, there are fifteen thousand one hundred and sixty-eight (15,168) confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York State. Of the confirmed cases, one hundred and twenty-three (123) are in Albany County, two (2) in Allegany County, three (3) in Broome County, three (3) in Chenango County, four (4) in Clinton County, five (5) in Columbia County, one (1) in Cortland County, three (3) in Delaware County, eighty-two (82) in Dutchess County, fifty-four (54) in Erie County, three (3) in Essex County, one (1) in Fulton County, one (1) in Genesee County, two (2) in Greene County, two (2) in Hamilton County, four (4) in Herkimer County, one (1) in Jefferson County, two (2) in Livingston County, one (1) in Madison County, fifty-seven (57) in Monroe County, three (3) in Montgomery County, one thousand nine hundred (1,900) in Nassau County, nine thousand and forty-five (9,045) in New York City, six (6) in Niagara County, five (5) in Oneida County, twenty-nine (29) in Onondaga County, six (6) Ontario County, two hundred and forty-seven (247) in Orange County, thirty-seven (37) in Putnam County, twenty-six (26) in Rensselaer County, four hundred and fifty-five (455) in Rockland County, forty-one (41) in Saratoga County, thirty-nine (39) in Schenectady County, one (1) in Schoharie County, one (1) in St. Lawrence County, three (3) in Steuben County, one thousand and thirty-four (1,034) in Suffolk County, sixteen (16) in Sullivan County, one (1) in Tioga County, thirteen (13) in Tompkins County, twenty-six (26) in Ulster County, one (1) in Warren County, one (1) in Washington County, three (3) in Wayne County, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-three (1,873) in Westchester County, and two (2) in Wyoming County. 

The borough breakdown is as follows: two thousand seventy-two (2,072) in Manhattan, two thousand eight hundred and fifty-seven (2,857) in Brooklyn, two thousand seven hundred and fifteen (2,715) in Queens, one thousand four hundred and eleven (1,411) in the Bronx, five hundred ninety-three (593) in Staten Island. Note, the New York City numbers do not align with state-wide numbers due to different release times. 

Additional Resources:

●   The COVID Tracking Project: up-to-date data broken down by state, access here

●    Politico has also created a useful tool to track state-to-state spread, found here.

●    General FAQ

●    Stop the Spread

●    Services for those in need, listed below, found here 

  • Employment Resources

  • Food Assistance

  • Health & Medical Assistance

  • Rent Arrears & Public Assistance

  • Emotional Assistance & Spiritual Care

  • Other Assistance 

●    Small Business grant & loan information, found here

  • Non-Profit Providers, guidance here

In this challenging time, it is important to remember that we will undoubtedly get through this together. I urge everyone to take time to focus on your well-being –– to make sure to check in with loved ones, to take a brief walk outside, to eat healthy food, and to allow yourself to adjust to this new normal. 

Stay strong.

With Gratitude,

 

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi

_______________________________________________________________

PREVIOUS EMAIL UPDATE FROM MARCH 21TH

Dear Neighbor,

New York State is working at every level to address the impact of COVID-19 on our communities – I appreciate everyone’s commitment to this effort and urge you all to continue doing your part. To echo Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s sentiments: how we all respond to this virus matters. What you do matters

There is a growing disregard to the State’s directive to stay home among younger populations, especially in New York City. 54% of confirmed coronavirus cases in New York are made up of 18-49 year olds – none of us are immune to this. Please stay home, whether you feel symptomatic or not. If you are experiencing symptoms that align with COVID-19, you must call your health care provider before going to the doctor or emergency room, or try to schedule telehealth appointments as much as possible. 

We are expecting and preparing for a months-long effort, but know that we are all in this together.

Statewide Updates:

Reminder that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced an executive order to ensure uniform safety policies for everyone in New York State – also known as “New York State on PAUSE.” Beginning tomorrow evening at 8PM, all non-essential businesses statewide will be closed, excluding essential services (guidance for determining what is considered an essential service can be accessed here). For constituents who have reached out, bodegas that sell groceries are considered essential in operation and will remain open. Access the full order rules and policies here

Non-compliance with new guidelines regarding non-essential businesses working from home, or resources provided to grocers to maintain a sanitary market space should be reported to localities and/or the Attorney General’s Labor Enforcement Bureau by calling (212)416-8700 or emailing labor.bureau@ag.ny.gov.

The Governor announced today that the federal government has approved New York's request for a major disaster declaration, which allows FEMA to step in financially and assist the state. Under the current declaration, FEMA will pay 75% of the funding and New York is responsible for the other 25%. The Governor is urging the President and his administration to grant a 100% federal cost share under this declaration.

Hospital and Medical Capacity: Governor Cuomo announced four (4) field hospitals that will house 1,000 beds collectively. Locations to be retrofitted by the Army Corps of Engineers include: the Javits Center, SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Westbury, and the Westchester Convention Center. The State is actively working towards increasing hospital capacity up to 75,000 beds.

Governor Cuomo also announced today that he has identified 2 million N95 masks for purchase. The State will send one million to New York City, and 500,000 to Long Island. Governor Cuomo has also identified six thousand ventilators for purchase worldwide, and is looking into technology that allows one ventilator to assist multiple patients at once. He expects the State will need about twenty-four thousand more ventilators to support the influx of positive cases. Additionally, there is a statewide shortage of hospital gowns the government is actively working to mitigate. 

Governor Cuomo and Health Commissioner Zucker are considering trials for new drug therapy. Commissioner Zucker is recommending a 10,000 dose trial of Hydroxychloroquine and Zithromax, as preliminary data suggests these drugs could be helpful to combat COVID-19. The State is also working with Regeneron, who has been exempted from the no-work order, because expediting drug trials is essential work for the State. Click here to learn more. 

CORRECTED Information for Donating Personal Protective Equipment: Companies who want to donate or sell unused personal protective equipment such as gloves or medical gowns to New York State should email covid19supplies@exec.ny.gov. (Note the email listed yesterday was incorrect). Companies who want funding to begin manufacturing supplies should call 212-803-3100 or email COVID19supplies@esd.ny.gov

Mental Health Services: Governor Cuomo is asking all psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists with the capacity to volunteer their expertise in an effort to address the social consequences of isolation during this difficult time – to sign up, please contact the state at www.health.ny.gov/assistance. If enough resource levels are met, the state intends to develop a Mental Health Electronic Help Center. 

Clarification for Commercial/Residential Mortgage Moratorium: The 90-day freeze on commercial and residential mortgages will be tacked onto when the borrower’s mortgage was originally scheduled to be paid off. The payments are not forgiven. The Executive Order simply gives individuals three (3) extra months to make up missed payments due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The DMV is now closing all in-office transactions and all reservations have been canceled. Their online services will remain fully functional. All licenses, non-drivers licenses, and registrations with an expiration date of March 1, 2020 will be extended. Vehicle inspections are still subject to their expiration dates. Auto repair shops remain open as essential businesses.  

Any notarial act that is required by New York State can be performed using audio-video technology. Learn more here.

New York City Updates:

Seniors: The Mayor is expanding senior leadership in the face of COVID-19. New roles include oversight and coordination on the structure of which the City will respond to this epidemic and aid in relief efforts. 

Parents and Students: New York City will be opening 93 enrichment/education centers across the City starting on Monday, March 23rd to serve the kids of first responders, transit workers, healthcare workers and other frontline staff. They will be expanding to more New Yorkers soon. 435 schools across the City will continue to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner for kids across the five boroughs.

Parks and Recreation: New measures will be taken in parks, including canceling all team sport permits and turning our fields into passive recreation space.

Transportation: NYC will reduce ferry service starting next week though we will be mindful of rush hours. Bike lanes are going to be installed on 2nd ave in Manhattan and Smith Street in Brooklyn to better protect cyclists.

Hospital Capacity: The Mayor announced over 2,000 retired or non-practicing healthcare professionals have signed up to the City’s medical reserve. Anyone interested can sign up at nyc.gov/helpnownyc

Housing: NYCHA residents can access the latest coronavirus update from the New York City Housing Authority here

 As a reminder, vulnerable New Yorkers who have symptoms can call 1-844-NYC-4NYC to connect with services and schedule testing.

NYC Resources: