NY12 Coronavirus Update 3/19
How can I help you? I know that this a difficult time for everyone and in addition to helping you navigate federal resources and agencies as we all contend with the impacts of COVID-19, I think one of the most important things I can do as a public official is to share important, verified information with you frequently and reliably.
So today, I'm writing with updates on our city's, state's, and nation's response to the spread of the coronavirus. This is an extremely fast-moving situation and I will be sharing regular updates with you as information becomes available.
The NYC Medical Reserve Corp is looking for about 9,000 licensed/retired medical professionals who can respond if increased capacity is needed in our health care system. If you’re a licensed/retired medical professional, you can sign up here: http://nyc.gov/helpnownyc. New York State has also issued a similar call. A survey for qualified medical professionals can be found here and for retired health professionals here.
COVID-19 is spreading rapidly and can have major negative health implications, even on young, healthy people. We can all stay inside for a little bit to keep each other healthy and not overburden our healthcare systems. So please, remember, if you are not sick: stay home. If you are sick: stay home. If you are EXTREMELY sick: seek medical attention.
Here is the latest infromation as of today, Thursday March 19.
Facts and Figures
New York State:
- There are 2,959 confirmed positive cases in the state, which is an increase of 1,585 from March 17.
- The State has now seen 21 deaths.
- New York has tested approximately 8,000 people in the last 24 hours
**** IMPORTANT NOTE: 38% of hospitalized coronvirus patients were aged 20 to 54. Again, PLEASE stay home.
New York City:
- There are 1,871 confirmed cases in the city, which is an increase of 1,227 from March 17.
- According to the Mayor's office, our city has 1,500 available ICU beds and 900 staffed ventilators.
- The House Democrats' Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which I voted to pass last Friday, is now law. This bill provides paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave, and free coronavirus testing to everyone who needs it, enhances unemployment insurance, strengthens food security initiatives, and increases funding for the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). As our nation grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to make sure that families across this country have the resources they need to take care of themselves and their loved ones. This bill is important first step in making sure Congress is looking after America’s financial wellbeing, in addition to our health.
- Yesterday, after 106 Members of Congress joined me in calling on federal agencies to stop foreclosure and eviction proceedings for federally-backed mortgages, both the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced they are doing just that. You can read the letter here and more about the freeze on foreclosure and eviction actions here, in Forbes.
- Yesterday, President Trump signaled that he will be invoking the Defense Production Act to increase supplies of vital equipment. This comes after I joined more than 50 of my colleagues in calling on the President to take this action. You can read this letter, led by Congressman Andy Levin, here.
- ICE announced that it will make only "mission critical" arrests until the crisis passes. You can read more about this annoucement in Politico.
New York State:
- President Trump and Governor Cuomo announced that the federal government is sending the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship, to New York. The ship has approximately 1,000 rooms and 12 fully-equipped operating rooms. This will significantly increase New York's hospital surge capacity. The ship will be moored in New York Harbor and is expected to arrive in 3 weeks.
- The Governor announced he will issue an executive order directing non-essential businesses to implement work-from-home policies effective tomorrow, Friday, March 20. Businesses that rely on in-office personnel must decrease their in-office workforce by 75%. The executive order exempts essential service industries including shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions, and other industries critical to the supply chain.
- Governor Cuomo, together with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, anounced that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is joining their coalition to implement a regional approach to combatting COVID-19. The four governors are directing indoor portions of retail shopping malls, amusement parks, and bowling alleys in all four states to close by 8pm this evening (Thursday, March 19). This is an expansion of the guidance that the three governors from the tri-state area issued on Monday.
- Yesterday, following passage by the New York State Senate and Assembly, Governor Cuomo signed State Senator Jessica Ramos's COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Bill to guarantee paid leave for New Yorkers who are under mandatory or precautionary quarantine due to COVID-19. Importantly, this bill went into effect immediately yesterday and mandates that there is no waiting period for unemployment assistance for any employee whose place of work close due to COVID-19. Sick leave benefits under this bill vary by employer size. For those with 10 or fewer workers, unpaid sick leave is available until the emergency order is lifted and workers are elibible for the paid family leave program ($840.70/week) with the difference made up via the disability insurance program (up to $2,043/week). For employers with 11 to 99 employees and all high-earning small employers, employees are guaranteed 5 days of paid sick leave. For all public employers and those with more than 100 employees, 14 days of paid sick leave are mandated. Also, sick leave taken due to COVID-19 will not be counted against already accrued sick leave.
New York City:
- Access-A-Ride services has cancelled all shared rides. Per New York City Transit, "Customers will still be permitted to travel with a personal care attendant and approved guest. Our paratransit customers are particularly vulnerable during this public health crisis and we are doing everything we can to protect their health and safety. We will continue to aggressively disinfect our full fleet of Access-A-Ride vehicles around the clock and work closely with, and follow the guidance of, all our partners and public health officials at the state, city and federal levels.”
- The Mayor has issued a temporary ban on rideshare carpooling.
- Alternate side parking is suspended through Tuesday, March 24.
- The largest taxi-medallion loan creditor, Marblegate Asset Management, has paused on collections due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the taxi industry. Read more at Crain's New York.
- The NYC Department of Education has launched a program for those parents whose children need tablets. You can apply for those here.
Important Phone Numbers and Links:
Price Gouging hotline: 800-697-1220
24-Hour Coronavirus hotline: 1-888-364-3065
Novel Coronavirus Information for Providers:
Domestic Violence Resources
- A shelters are operating and hotlines are available 24/7
NYS DOH website regarding Coronavirus:
From New York's Department of Health: 5 Steps to Prepare for Coronavirus:
COVID-19 Application For Suspension Of Debt Collection Activity:
E-mail address for NYC OEM that health care providers (PCP's, FQHC's, others) can use for supplies: Supplyrequest@oem.nyc.gov
Assistance & Guidance for NYC Businesses Impacted Due to Novel Coronavirus:
For children who will be learning at home, here is a helpful portal:
New Yorkers can text COVID to 692692 for updates
You can sign up for updates from the Governor's office at: https://now.ny.gov/page/s/coronavirus-updates
- All restaurants and bars are now take out only. **IF YOU ORDER TAKE OUT: tip delivery workers and tip them well, our neighbors who rely on hourly wages are suffering. Please request that the delivery be left at your door to protect both yourself and the worker.
- If you’re feeling sick, use telehealth services before going to the doctor’s office, Urgent Care, or the ER. It keeps you safer, and it keeps those around you safer. *NYS has ordered co-pays to be eliminated for telehealth consultations.*
- At home with nothing to do? Fill out your Census at www.2020Census.gov.
- All NYC public schools are closed through at least April 20th. Students will begin digital learning this Monday, March 23. Meals are available at every school from 7:30am-1pm. They are available at any school, so go to the one you live closest to!
- First responders, transit workers, and health care workers’ children will receive childcare from the City starting Monday, March 23.
- Senior centers are closed and converting into feeding centers where seniors can pick up meals.
As always, if you need assistance with any federal matters, please call my office at212-860-0606. Please forward this information to any of your friends, families, or coworkers and let them know that they can sign up for regular updates from me here.
Please, wash your hands, stay home, and thank the medical workers, first responders, grocery store employees, delivery workers, teachers and sanitation workers in your lives.
Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress