NY12 Coronavirus Update 5/21

May 21, 2020

Dear Friend, 


Today, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis is holding a briefing on the impact of the crisis on frontline heroes during which we will hear directly from essential workers and their loved ones.  


Accurate census data is incredibly important to make sure our city and state receive the federal funds we need and deserve to support things like health care, including our hospitals, Medicare, and Medicaid. 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

United States

- According to Johns Hopkins, the United States has confirmed 1,552,594 cases with 93,471 deaths.


New York State:

- New York State is reporting 354,370 cases. According to Johns Hopkins, the State has seen 28,558 deaths.


New York City:  
- According to NYS, New York City has 194,550 cases. According to NYC Health, the city has seen 20,934 deaths.


News Updates:


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. Individuals who were not required to file 2018 or 2019 taxes can enter their information here so that they will receive economic impact payments.


- Today, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis is holding a briefing on the impact of the crisis on frontline heroes. We will be hearing from essential workers and their families, including Zenobia Shepherd, who lost her son Leilani Jordan, an essential employee, to COVID-19. You can watch the briefing live herebeginning at 12PM ET.


New York State

NYS is extending the open enrollment period for New Yorkers without health insurance to June 15. Please get covered if you are not already. Enroll here.


- The Capital Region has met all seven metrics required to begin Phase One of the State's regional phased reopening plan which began yesterday, Wednesday, May 20. The region joins the Western New York, Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Mohawak Valley Regions.


- The Governor announced a collaboration with the Greater New York Hospital Association and the Healthcare Association of New York State to implement a two-week hospital visitiation pilot program in 16 hospitals across the state to allow increased visitations for family members and loved ones. As part of the pilot program, visits will be time-limited and visitors will be provided with and must wear PPE and are subject to symptom and temperature checks. I was proud to join with members of the New York Congressional Delegation in supporting Assemblyman Joe Lentol's Compassionate Helper Volunteer Program and thank the Governor for implementing this pilot program. You can read the support letter from delegation members here.


- The State will allow Memorial Day ceremonies of 10 people or less statewide, with final decisions about ceremonies being left to local governments. The Governor encouraged vehicle parades in honor of veterans. 


- The results of NYS’s antibody testing survey of approximately 8,000 individuals at churches in lower-income New York City communities and communities of color show 27% of individuals tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, compared with 19.9% of New York City's overall population.

  • The data shows high positive rates and continued high community spread in these communities.
  • To address these continued high infection rates, the State is continuing its partnership with Ready Responders to expand testing from 8 to 40 public housing developments across New York City.
  • The State will also partner with SOMOS to establish 28 additional testing sites at churches and community-based providers in predominately minority communities, for a total of 72 faith-based testing sites in the state in partnership with Northwell Health and SOMOS.
  • The State will also increase PPE availability, provide hand sanitizer, enforce social distancing and expand public health and education in these communities to stop the spread. 
  • Governor Cuomo also directed all local governments to expand testing in low-income communities and develop outreach programs to help address the disparities in these communities.  


- Beginning today, Thursday, May 21, religious gatherings of no more than 10 people will be allowed statewide where strict social distancing measures are enforced, and all participants must wear masks. Additionally, drive-in and parking lot services will be allowed beginning today. 


- The State is convening an Interfaith Advisory Council to discuss proposals to safely bring back religious services. A list of the council's members is available here.


- The Governor announced the five finalists for the Wear a Mask New York Ad Contest, which asked New Yorkers to create and share a video explaining why New Yorkers should wear a mask in public. The State received more than 600 submissions from across the state in the past two weeks. The winning ad will be announced on Tuesday, May 26, and that ad will be used as a public service announcement. New Yorkers can vote for the winning ad until Monday, May 25 here.


- Per the NYS Department of Labor (DOL), the backlog of pending unemployment benefit applications has been reduced to 7,580. These unprocessed applications includes those that are missing critical information and cannot be processed, duplicates, and abandoned claims. Since the passage of the CARES Act, 562,766 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applicants have received unemployment benefits. In total, more than 2 million NYS unemployment benefit applications have been processed, amounting to more than $10 billion in benefits.  


- Following a spike in domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa and the New York State Council on Women and Girls announced the creation of a new task force to find innovative solutions to this crisis. The task force will identify solutions to help domestic violence survivors, with the specific goal of looking beyond the traditional ways that services have been provided in the past. The task force will make recommendations to Governor Cuomo by Thursday, May 28, and the Governor will make a final policy determination.  


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.


- This summer, the Department of Education will provide academic support to approximately 177,700 students with remote summer learning. This includes education and services to students with disabilities and academic support and additional time to students not yet mastering grade-level standards. 

  • Summer learning will be extended to students who are required to attend by their schools in order to achieve promotion to the next grade, or students who could use some extra help to prepare for the next school year. 
  • Schools will begin to notify families in June if their student is being recommended or required to participate in summer learning.
  • Participating students will have opportunities to go on virtual field trips to cultural institutions and engage in daily community building and social emotional learning activities.
  • The City is also exploring ways to provide summer learning and activities for all students.
  • RECs will continue to operate throughout the summer. 


- The City has provided 284,000 internet-enabled iPads to students. The City will provide iPads to every public school student who needs one, and is offering these devices to students with disabilities in non-public schools. If you still need a device, complete this Remote Learning Device Request form or call 718-935-5100 and choose option 5. 


- The City has announced a four point plan to help seniors:

1. Expanding Testing for Nursing Home Residents: The City will offer on-site PCR tests to all 169 of the City’s nursing homes, providing capacity to run 3,000 tests a day. There will be a 2-week blitz to reach every nursing home that accepts, followed by regular weekly testing for residents 

2. Providing More Staff in Nursing Homes: Mandatory staff testing has begun, and staff who test positive are required to stay out of work for 14 days, which will inevitably create shortages. In response, the City’s surge staffing has already added 240 personnel across city, and will fulfill all staffing requests by the end of next week 

3. Creating Outbreak Response Teams: The City will implement 10 outbreak response teams, with members including epidemiologists and experts in infection control, mental health, and social work. The City will also employ DOHMH expertise to support State oversight in the monitoring of infection control, PPE management, and resident and staff retesting.

4. Shifting to Home-Based Care: As part of a better, fairer recovery, the City will be working on a plan to grow home-based care, with more info coming in the next few weeks.  


- The City is establishing a stockpile of sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) to support the needs of all our hospitals, nursing homes, funeral homes, as well as the needs of FDNY, NYPD, EMS, and Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The stockpile will contain a sufficient PPE supply through May (including N95s, face shields, goggles, gloves, gowns, face masks). The goal is to establish a 90-day supply of PPE by the end of the year, in addition to a stock of 4,000 full-service ventilators, with a maintenance program launching in June to keep them in state of good repair.


- Vaccination rates are falling as a result of fewer doctors’ offices being open and families staying home.

  • The number of administered vaccine doses is down 63% – for children 2 years old and younger it is down 42%, and for those older than 2 years it is down 91%.
  • Vaccinations are essential to protecting our children and communities, and as such, the City will be offering free vaccines at more than 1,000 NYC facilities as part of the Vaccines for Children program, and at all H+H community health clinics.
  • I encourage you to make an appointment by calling your childcare provider or 844-NYC-4NYC.  



Census Update

- We need to #GetOutTheCount in our district! Please fill out your census and encourage your friends and family to do so, as well.

  • The response rate in NY-12, is up to 49.1% and is climbing by the day, but it is still far too low.
  • We are still below the New York State rate of 54.5% and the nationwide rate of 59.7%. 


- A 1% undercount in the 2020 Census means that our community, NY-12, could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. A report from the Oversight Committee showed that an undercount of just 1% in NY-12 could lead to a loss of $430,000 in federal funding just for our schools! On top of that, the Census also determines funding for things like Medicare and Medicaid, transportation, and support services like SNAP. 


- 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