NY12 Coronavirus Update 3/20
Today, I again ask; how can I help you? As we all contend with the effects of the coronavirus, I remain committed to our country's financial well-being as well as our health. If you are a college student whose education has been interrupted by COVID-19, please share your story with me here. If your employment has been impacted by COVID-19, please share your story here.
I will continue to share verified and pertinent information with you as it becomes available so that we call stay informed as to what is happening here in New York and across the country.
Facts and Figures
- The country now has a confirmed total of 15,401 cases and unfortunately they have led to 201 deaths. New York remains the most impacted state in the nation.
New York State:
- Our state has confirmed 7,102 positive cases. Of these, 18% are hospitalized.
** NOTE: The significant increase in confirmed cases is not because more people are being infected but because more tests are being performed. 10,000 tests were completed just last night.
New York City:
- The City has confirmed 4,408 cases.
- Yesterday, as Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, I sent a letter, jointly signed by all subcommittee chairs, to the Trump Administration requesting documents related to its coronavirus testing plan by early next week. This week, the New York Times published a leaked copy of the Trump Administration’s “Response Plan” for coronavirus dated last Friday, March 13, 2020. The document assumes the crisis “will last 18 months or longer” and could include “multiple waves of illness” that would significantly degrade our nation’s health care system. Yet, this document fails to include a plan to address the shortfalls in our testing capabilities. This is information that the public, and this committee, need. You can read the full letter here.
- The State Department has issued a Level 4 travel advisory directing Americans to return home if they are already overseas and stating that if they cannot, they should prepare to shelter in place. It advises that no American should be traveling abroad at this time.
- The Governor of California announced a statewide shelter in place, meaning that the state's 40 million residents are to remain indoors and limit outdoor movement.
New York State - New York State on PAUSE:
The Governor annouced he will issue an executive order directing all non-essential business to implement work-from-home policies. Business must decrease their in-office workforce by 100%. The 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 related to the supply chain.
Matilda's Law: Strictest rules for most vulnerable groups; seniors over 70, immune-compromised people, and those with underlying illness:
- Remain indoors
- Can go outside for solitary exercise
- Pre-screen all visitors and aides by taking their temperatures
- Do not visit households with multiple people
- Vulnerable people should wear a mask when in the company of others and to the greatest extent possible, everyone in the presence of vulnerable people should wear masks
- Always stay at least 6 feet away from individuals
- Do not take public transportation unless urgent and absolutely necessary
Provisions for non-vulnerable populations:
- Non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for an reason (eg. parties, celebrations, or other social events) are cancelled or postponed
- Any concentration of individuals outside their home must be limited to workers providiing essential services and social distancing should be practiced
- When in public, individuals must practice social distancing of at least six feet from others
- Businesses and entities that provide essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet
- individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activies during which you come into contact with people
- Individuals should limit use of public transportation to when absolutely necessary, and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders
- Sick individuals should NOT leave their homes unless to receive medical care, and only after a telehealth visit to determine if leaving the home is in the best interest of their health
- Young people should also practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations
- These rules will be enforced with civil fines.
- These restrictions go into effect Sunday evening.
- Governor Cuomo has asked the governors CT, PA, DE, and NJ to join in a regional approach to these restrictions.
New York State
- New York State will direct mortgage payments be waived for 90 days based on financial hardship with no late fees and no negative impact on credit. This is, in effect, a 90 day grace period. Meaning, those who participate in the program will still owe their payments but be allowed to pay them at a later date.
- Governor Cuomo has asked the Department of Financial Services to instruct state chartered banks to waive ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees and credit card fees to lessen the financial hardship caused by COVID-19.
- Small Business Administration Disaster Declaration Approval: The SBA approved New York State’s disaster declaration on Thursday, March 19. Small businesses in all counties statewide are now able to begin applying for Economic Injury Disaster Loans with the SBA. Visit SBA.gov/Disaster for more information.
- The Governor announced an executive order allowing the State Department of Health to identify space within existing hospitals to increase bed capacity. This builds on efforts to increase the state's hospital surge capacity and help ensure the healthcare system can handle a surge of patients due to COVID-19.
- The Governor announced new measures to free up staff and speed up the admission and discharge process at hospitals for 90 days. The Department of Financial Services will issue a directive to health insurers allowing scheduled surgeries and admissions without insurer preapproval and allowing inpatient hospital services without insurer approval. Under this measure, insurers will pay inpatient hospital services and emergency services without waiting to review for medical necessity. This will also allow the discharge of patients to a rehabilitation center or nursing facility after an inpatient hospital stay without insurer preapproval, and encourage self-funded plans to adopt these same provisions.
- New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania announced that all barber shops, nail and hair salons, tattoo shops, and similar services across the four states will temporarily close effective 8PM on Saturday, March 21.
- New York State is waiving all park fees in state, local and county parks.
New York City:
- The Pre-K application deadline has been extended to Sunday, March 29th. As a reminder, families can apply online through MySchools or over the phone by calling 718-935-2009 (Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm). School staff will now have until Friday, April 3 to verify applicants’ sibling status on the MySchools School Portal. Questions can be directed to ESEnrollment@schools.nyc.gov. Pre-K offers will still be released in May.
- NYC Health + Hospitals announced expanded, appointment-only COVID-19 testing capacity across 10 acute-care hospitals, seven Gotham Health community-based health centers, and four drive-thru test sites for New Yorkers with moderate-to-severe symptoms. New Yorkers who have high priority because of age, pre-existing conditions and symptoms should call 1-844-NYC-4NYC for more information. All COVID-19 testing is being provided at no cost to patients.
- To ensure New Yorkers who use Section 8 rental assistance vouchers have undisrupted access to housing, the City will automatically extend any Section 8 voucher set to expire. Voucher holders do not need to reach out to the City for an extension and all subsidy terminations that are in process are suspended until further notice. Any HPD Section 8 voucher holders facing rent hardships due to decreases in income should contact HPD. NYCHA is encouraging households experiencing a loss of income to visit the NYCHA Self-Service Portal. The HPD Section 8 team is still available to the public by email at DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov
- The City will open 340 new beds at Coler Hospital on Roosevelt Island and should be operational by next week. These new beds are not currently planned to serve COVID-19 patients. Instead, they are surge for low acute patients from elsewhere, so that we can increase capacity throughout the public health system.
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
- All 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:
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:
Stop the Spread:
For Tenants/Landlords - Disinfection Guidance for Buildings:
Grant and Loan Information for Businesses:
Guidance for Non-profit providers:
The NYC Department of Small Business Services has developed a survey in order to collect data on business-related impacts due to the virus- the information collected will help the City better respond to business challenges during this time: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/N336ZYB
The New York Blood Center is experiencing critically low blood and platelet appointments-- making it difficult to meet patient needs and hospital demand. If you’re able to donate blood, please visit: www.nybloodcenter.org
NYC Dept. Of Health COVID-19 Daily Data Summary:
Find a soup kitchen or food pantry near you:
To help small businesses deal with the impact of COVID-19, the City has launched the Employee Retention Grant Program to help retain employees as businesses face decreased revenue. This program is available to New York City businesses with one to four employees that can demonstrate at least a 25% decrease in revenue as a result of COVID-19. Eligible businesses will receive a grant covering up to 40% of their payroll for two months. Businesses can access up to $27,000. More information can be found here: https://www1.nyc.gov/nycbusiness/article/nyc-employee-retention-grant-program
Pandemics are stressful, and working from home or avoiding public spaces can lead to increased anxiety.
- Visit NYC Well, call 888-NYC-Well or text “WELL” to 65173 to receive free confidential counseling in more than 200 languages.
You can apply for a NYPL card online and check out e-books to read at home!
Social Security assistance: you can visit the COVID-19 web page at www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus to find out what services are continuing and which ones are being suspended, how to contact the agency, and important information about deadlines that are being extended to ease the burden on you and medical providers during this pandemic.
- 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 20. Students will begin digital learning this Monday, March 23. Meals are available at every school from 7:30am to 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 at 212-860-0606. 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