NY12 Coronavirus Update 4/26
I am continuing to work on my Student Debt Forgiveness for Frontline Health Care Workers Act that would forgive graduate student loan debt for those who are providing direct patient care during this crisis and working with my colleagues on the next COVID-19 emergency relief bills. As we move forward, I am working to make sure that those who most need help get it, including by implementing monthly payments that would build on the one-time economic impact payment that is currently being distributed by the IRS.
Please remember to fill out your 2020 Census if you have not done so already. You can submit the form online, by phone, or by mail.
As the CARES Act is implemented across the country, my office is here to help you navigate these new resources that are available from the federal government. If you need help with a federal agency and navigating the changes brought on by coronavirus mitigation efforts, please reach out to my office at 212-860-0606.
You can continue to expect these updates from me as verified and pertinent information becomes available.
Facts and Figures
- According to Johns Hopkins, there are now 940,797 positive cases across the United States with 54,001 deaths.
New York State:
- Our state has confirmed 282,143 positive cases. We have lost 22,009 New Yorkers to COVID-19. We remain the most impacted state in the nation.
New York City:
- The City has confirmed 155,113 cases with 17,126 deaths.
The IRS has opened a new, online portal and launched a new, free app for economic impact payment tracking. This portal will allow taxpayers to find out the status of their payment. If a payment hasn't yet been issued, individuals can provide their banking information for direct deposit. Individuals who were not required to file 2018 or 2019 taxes can enter their information here so that they will receive economic impact payments.
- I am continuing to work on my Student Debt Forgiveness for Frontline Health Care Workers Act that would forgive graduate student loan debt for those who are providing direct patient care during this crisis. This is the least we can do to recognize their service. You can read more about this bill at MTV News.
New York State
NYS is extending the open enrollment period for New Yorkers without health insurance to May 15. Please get covered if you are not already. Enroll here.
- The State is expanding diagnostic testing criteria to include more frontline New York workers. The expanded critieria will now allow all first responders, health care workers, and essential employees to be tested for COVID-19 even if they are not symptomatic. The state will continue to expand testing criteria as testing capacity increases.
- Governor Cuomo will issue an Executive Order allowing pharmacists to conduct diagnostic testing for COVID-19. This action will unlock a network of more than 5,000 pharmacies as COVID-19 testing locations andhelp the state build a collection network to meet laboratory capacity and increase overall testing capacity.
- The State is continuing to conduct antibody testing for frontline health care workers, including at four hospitals and health care systems in New York City. The antibody testing will be conducted at Bellevue Hospital, Elmhurst Hospital Center, Montefiore Medical Center, and SUNY Downstate Medical Center. The State will begin conducting NG antibody testing for first responders and transit workers starting next week, including MTA employees and transit workers, New York State Police, and the NYPD. You learn more about this expanded testing on the Governor's website.
- The New York State Department of Labor announced that it has distributed $3.1 billion in unemployment benefits to New Yorkers since the coronavirus pandemic started impacting New York businesses in early March. In total, more than 1.4 million New Yorkers have submitted completed applications for unemployment benefits since the crisis began, including for traditional unemployment insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
New York City
If you are a recovered COVID-19 patient, the NY Blood Center is asking for your plasma. If you had a positive COVID-19 test and have been symptom free for 14 days, please consider donating. You can sign up here.
- A reminder on tenant protection; it is illegal for a landlord to evict you or ask you to leave your home because you are sick. If you are struggling with a landlord, call the tenant hotline via 311 for free legal help, regardless of immigration status.
- The City has opened COVID-19 testing centers for high-risk patients in all five boroughs. These centers, run by NYC Health + Hospitals, will offer testing on a walk-in basis, prioritizing those over the age of 65 with pre-existing conditions. You can learn more about these centers and their hours here.
- Many forms of help are available to ALL New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status. You can learn more about what is available here. If you are concerned about public benefits and immigration, you can call Action NYC at 1-800-354-0365 for free, safe legal help.
- Help is available to DACA recipients who need to renew their applications. For assistance, call ActionNYC at 1-800-354-0365. The City may even be able to help with the renewal fee.
- Use of health services related to COVID-19 will not be considered under the Public Charge rule and will not impact individuals' ability to apply for a green card or citizenship. Learn more here.
- Starting tomorrow, Moday April 27, TLC drivers will be paid $53 per route, rather than an hourly wage. This equates to $40 base salary + $13 for expenses. Drivers can use personal cars and do multiple routes. This change will help drivers earn more.
- The City is working to make sure no New Yorker goes hungry. This includes $25 million worth of support to make sure food pantries stay stocked. If you need food visit nyc.gov/getfood or call 311. Free meals are available to every New Yorker at more than 400 locations. You can learn more online at schools.nyc.gov/freemeals or by texting "NYC FOOD" or "NYC COMIDA" to 877-877. You can read more about the $170 million plan to make sure no New Yorker goes hungry here.
- As a reminder, free Halal meals are available at NYC Meal Hubs for those observing Ramadan.
- The City has public a new resources page for New Yorkers with Disabilities during COVID-19. For informaiton on food/supply delivery, Social Security and Medicaid benefits, home health care services and more, visit this website.
- New York City Housing Court is closed for most non-essential matters and all pending proceedings are being administratively adjourned. The Courts are only open for essential cases permitted by the court, such as landlord lockouts, serious housing code violations, and requests for emergency repair orders. Reminder; as of March 16, all eviction proceedings in NYC have been suspended indefinitely. Anyone with knowledge of City marshals attempting to execute on warrants of eviction can report this activity by calling the Department of Investigation's Bureau of City Marshals at 212-825-5953. Call 311 or fill out this form online if you are being threatened with eviction, harassment, or need emergency help.
- The Mayor has created the Fair Recovery Task Force to focus on a broader, post-crisis recovery effort to do more than just get people back to work, but to also build a stronger, safer, and fairer economy and society. Joining this task force are Patrick Gaspard, President of Open Society Foundations; Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO of Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies; Richard Ravitch, former Lieutenant Governor of New York; Henry Garrido, Executive Director of District Council 37; Maria Torres Springer, Vice President for US Programs at the Ford Foundation; Carl Weisbrod, Senior Advisor at HR&A Advisors; Liz Neumark, CEO of Great Performances; and Fred Wilson, partner at Union Square Ventures. The task force is charged with formulating a preliminary road map by June to guide the city's recovery efforts, among other tasks.
- The City is creating the City Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity to engage with the hardest-hit and disproportionately affected communities. The task force will monitor the City's response and recovery efforts across neighborhoods; identify unique needs within minority and women owned businesses (MWBEs), community-based health care, and the essential workforce; and work with City officials and agencies to narrow long-standing racial and economic dispartities.
- The City is creating sector advisory councils to aid in addressing specific challenges around reopening. The sectors identified for these councils include public health and health care; businesses big and small; labor; arts, culture, and tourism; nonprofits and social services; faith-based organizations, and education and training.
- As a reminder, census data informs the distribution of more than $1.5 TRILLION in federal funding for things like schools, hospital beds, safe roads and bridges, and essential first responder programs. It also determines voting districts at every level of government for the next decade. If you are not counted, you are not respresented. Make sure you are heard, make sure you are counted.
- The response rate in our district, NY-12, is up to 42.8% and is climbing by the day! However, we are still below the New York State rate of 47% and the nationwide rate of 52.8%. Please fill out your census today if you have not already done so.
- The lowest response rate in NY-12 is in tract 449.02 in East Williamsburg. This area has an extremely low response rate of 6.4%. If you live in East Williamsburg, please fill our your census today! If you have friends or family who live in East Williamsburg, please encourage them to fill our their census.
- As a reminder, it is illegal for the Census Bureau to share your information with law enforcement. You answers cannot be used to impact your eligibility for government benefits. Your answers are ONLY used to create statistics about our community, city, state, and country.
- The Census is available online, by phone, and by mail. Paper questionnaires are being mailed out with a reminder letter to households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. If you were not able to answer via online or by phone, please fill out this paper form.
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, transit workers, childcare workers, mail carriers, take-out cooks, teachers and sanitation workers in your lives.
Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress