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Information on Coronavirus

Information on Coronavirus
March 24, 2020
Press Release

As the COVID19 epidemic continues, it is important that New Yorkers have access to reliable information.

Please utilize the following information to prepare yourselves and address any problems or pressing concerns you may have.

Residents of New York's 7th Congressional District may always contact the Congresswoman's office for help. The best way to do so is by using this online form. Submissions are checked daily. 

Updated May 19

Acessible Testing

New York City has begun the process of increasing test accessibility across the city. Community test sites operating under NYC Health + Hospitals offer free testing to walk-ins. To see which test sites are near you, click the following link: https://on.nyc.gov/2zIpI7B

Testing sites in or near our Congressional District include:

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Cumberland
100 North Portland Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11205
718-388-5889
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM; Saturday, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
No appointment necessary.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, East New York
2094 Pitkin Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11207
718-388-5889
Hours: Monday - Saturday, 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
No appointment necessary.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull
760 Broadway
Brooklyn, New York 11206
718-963-8000
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
No appointment necessary.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Gouverneur
227 Madison Street
New York, New York 10002
212-238-7897
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM; Saturday, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
No appointment necessary.

Opened Businesses

North Brooklyn Neighbors has provided a map of operating business locations across Williamsburg and nearby communities. Locals can check by industry to see what shops, restaurants, and pharmacies are open.

If you are an open business, use this link to submit your information and be added to the map. This page will experience regular updates: check back daily to ensure you have accurate information.

Newsletter Update

I’ve been providing constituents with regular updates regarding the coronavirus pandemic in my district.  Please click the following links to see the latest updates.

PDF iconE-Update: April 28

PDF iconE-Update: May 8

PDF icon E-Update: May 19

Transportation Update

This week, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio announced they are suspending subway service between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. while trains and stations are disinfected.  Bus service will continue operating 24/7.

Between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., essential workers will be able to use Essential Connector service. Essential Connector riders will be limited to two trips per night on for-hire-vehicles and must show proof of essential travel with appropriate credentials. Riders who do not have a smartphone will be able to request a ride through a dedicated number. Wheelchair-accessible vehicles will also be available. 

Read more on the changes here.

* * IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES - APRIL 24* *

The Congresswoman has set up a dedicated webpage on COVID-19 and small businesses here.  

Updated April 24: The Small Business Administration is again accepting loan applications for the Paycheck Protection Program starting Monday, April 27 at 10:30AM.

There are several Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) that serve New York's 7th Congressional District that can help small businesses navigate SBA's assistance program. 

Important: during the COVID-19 outbreak, it is highly encouraged to email these entities for assistance, rather than calling. See contact information below.

Information on all SBA coronavirus relief options is online here.

Brooklyn Small Business Development Center
718-797-0187
NYC College of Technology
25 Chapel Street, 11th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201  
Email Address: sbdc@citytech.cuny.edu
Website: https://www.brooklynsbdc.org/

Manhattan SBDC
Center: (212) 618-6655
Pace University
163 William Street, Room 328
New York, NY 10038  
Email Address: sbdc@pace.edu
Website: http://www.PaceSBDC.org

Queens-York SBDC 
Center: (718) 262-2880
City University Of New York
York College, 94-50 159th Street
Jamaica, NY 11451-9902  
Email Address: sbdc@york.cuny.edu
Queens – LaGuardia
Center: (718) 482-5303

LaGuardia Community College
30-20 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101 
Email Address: sbdc@lagcc.cuny.edu

You may also always contact the Congresswoman for assistance in navigating these programs. 

 

* * IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE * *

Updated April 17

You may file for unemployment from New York State here: https://applications.labor.ny.gov/IndividualReg/

The State has additional information on the recently enacted CARES Act (the economic stimulus bill) here: https://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/cares-act.shtm

New York State has also prepared a helpful Q & A guide on unemployment insurance. It is online here.

Note: the state unemployent office has made several upgrades to its system as call centers have been overwhelmed due to spikes in demand.  You can read more about those changes here.

The Congresswoman continues pushing for the State Department of Labor to accelerate this process. In addition, you may always contact the Congresswoman's office for assistance by clicking here.  

* * IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON HEALTH INSURANCE * * 

New York has extended health insurance open enrollment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Enrollment is now open until May 15 through NY State of Health or directly through insurers.

You may enroll online at https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/

If you need help navigating the system, you may find a broker/navigator online here.

You may also call 1-855-355-5777 for assistance.

* * HOUSING INFORMATION * * 

HPD Information 

NYC Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) has coronavirus resources online here.

HPD Section 8 tenants experiencing a rent hardship due to a decrease in income may contact HPD via DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or by fax at 212-863-5299

New York State has instituted a 90-day moratorium on ALL evictions.

Any New Yorker who does get an eviction notice, or who sees or experiences an eviction being executed by the City Marshals, should report it to the Bureau of City Marshals in the Department of Investigation at (212) 825-5953. 

In addition, the CARES Act, legislation the U.S. Congress passed and that was signed into law on March 27 instituted a four-month moratorium on evictions for residents of federally subsidized apartments, including NYCHA.

Federally-backed mortgages will also receive a reprieve through a foreclosure moratorium. 

NYCHA Information

NYCHA has created a hardship rent program. Some details are below but you can read more and apply online here.

Rent Hardship Program Details
A household may qualify for a rent reduction based on rent hardship if all the following conditions are met:
There is at least a 5% reduction to gross income
Current rent is more than 30% of net household income
Residents can initiate an Interim Recertification via the NYCHA Self-Service Portal or by requesting a paper form to be mailed to their residence by calling respective Management Offices. 
 
Loss of income examples include but are not limited to: 
Cut Hours 
Laid off 
Lowered business profits  

If you are experiencing a loss in income, report this loss using an interim recertification immediately. You must include documentation verifying the  income changes.
 
NYCHA also has a Frequently Asked Questions section of its website available here. 

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has released a new announcement stating that due to the pandemic, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac borrowers are not required to pay their missed payments in a singular lump sum. Read more here:

https://www.fhfa.gov/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/No-Lump-Sum-Required-at-the-End-of-Forbearance-says-FHFAs-Calabria.aspx


* * IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES * * 

Anyone who needs help during the COVID-19 pandemic should seek care without fear. Many city services are available to everyone, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. Click here to learn more from the City's Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Language in Different Sources Available Here.

For DACA recipients: If you live in New York City and you have DACA, you can call ActionNYC at 1-800-354-0365 for help renewing your application.

----------------------

Update from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Employees in these offices are continuing to perform mission-essential services that do not require face-to-face contact with the public. 

USCIS will continue to provide limited emergency services. Please call the Contact Center for assistance with emergency services. https://www.uscis.gov/contactcenter

USCIS field offices will send notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments and naturalization ceremonies impacted by the extended temporary closure. USCIS asylum offices will send interview cancellation notices and automatically reschedule asylum interviews. When the interview is rescheduled, asylum applicants will receive a new interview notice with the new time, date and location of the interview. When USCIS again resumes normal operations, USCIS will automatically reschedule ASC appointments due to the temporary office closure

 

* * INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS & PARENTS * *

Information on where NYC schools are still providing free meals to families is online here.

For information on remote learning/learn at home, visit this website

U.S. Department of Education information for borrowers of federal student loans is online here.  

* * RESOURCES FOR SENIORS * *

The NYC Dept. of Aging has valuable information for seniors online here

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, senior centers are currently closed for congregate programming and meals are being provided through a centralized meal delivery system. Call your local senior center with questions about how to receive delivered meals.

You can also call Aging Connect at 212-Aging-NYC (212-244-6469) or 311.

Volunteers are also available to speak with seniors feeling isolated by calling 212-Aging-NYC (212-244-6469). 

* * MENTAL HEALTH ASSISTANCE * * 

For mental health assistance in these troubling times you may call the state’s emotional support helpline at 844-863-9314.

NYC has valuable mental health resources you may access from home online here or you may call 1-888-NYC-Well (692-9355) or text “Well” to 65173.

* * NUTRITIONAL, FINANCIAL & CHILD SUPPORT ASSISTANCE * *

Information from Human Resources Administration is online here.  

NEW: Apply for Cash Assistance or Emergency One Time Assistance with the ACCESS HRA website.  An HRA staff member will call you to complete your eligibility interview.
 
You may apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program online at www.nyc.gov/accesshra or by smart phone with the ACCESS HRA app. After you submit your application, complete your eligibility interview by calling 718-SNAP-NOW (718-762-7669) anytime between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday.
 

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Families First COVID-19 Constiutent Service Resources Toolkit: This guide explains benefits in recently passed legislation for workers, small businesses, families, veterans, student loan borrowers and more. 

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Coronavirus E-Newsletters

The Congresswoman is periodically sending e-newsletter coronavirus updates to constiutents. 

March 27th update.  

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Coronavirus Data

Information on the spread of COVID-19 globally, nationally and by state is online here.

Data on case numbers specific to NYC is online here.  

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Legislation and Other Work

The Congresswoman is promoting a number of legislative initiatives in Congress in response to COVID-19. Information on some of those efforts is below.

* Updated March 31 *

The Congresswoman has introduced legislation providing grants to nonprofits who partner with restaurants to meet community nutrition needs. More information is here.

* Updated March 23 *

The Congresswoman has introduced legislation to suspent rent contributions for tenants who live in public housing or who are in the Section 8 program during the duration of the pandemic. More information here

* Updated March 20 *

As Congress works on an economic stimulus package Rep. Velazquez has joined with colleagues in calling on the House Ways and Means Committee to ensure that direct "relief payments' include Puerto Rico and the territories. You may read her letter online here.  

 * Updated March 19 *

As Chair of the House Small Business Committee, Rep. Velazquez has introduced the COVID–19 Relief for Small Businesses Act of 2020, robust legislation to assist small businesses harmed by the pandemic. You may read more about that bill here

* Updated March 18 * 

On Wednesday, March 18, Congresswoman Velazquez held a coronavirus telephone townhall. Audio of that conversation is online here.  

* Updated March 16 * 

As you may know, ALL New York City Schools are closed beginning, Monday, March 16th.

 

Here are some key dates to keep in mind:

• Monday, March 16th: Citywide closure. Students, teachers, and principals do not report.   

• Tuesday, March 17th to Thursday, March 19th: STAFF ONLY report to school. Teachers and principals participate in professional development on remote learning.  

• Thursday, March 19th to Friday, March 20th: Students who need it will be able to begin the process of picking up the technology necessary for remote learning. Further information will be sent to families this week.  

• Monday, March 23rd: Remote learning launches, with additional guidance provided throughout the week of the 23rd.  

More information from the Department of Education is available here.

The New York City Department of Education has a series of resources on your child’s school, family letters, protocols, and regular updates here.

Learn about safety measures for the workplace, schools, businesses, and at home from the CDC here.

 

If You Think You May Be Sick:

The WHO provides informational videos on how to properly use a mask here.

 

For Travel:

If you intend to travel, please look here for CDC suggested protocol for travelers both domestic and abroad.

The U.S. Department of State provides information for travelers and official advisories here.

 

For the Elderly and Immunocompromised:

Am I at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus?

 

For Businesses:

The New York City Small Business Services provides assistance and guidance for businesses impacted due to novel coronavirus here.

The U.S. Small Business administration provides basic information on their plans to aid businesses during the pandemic here.

The U.S. Small Business administration provides information on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, guidance for businesses and employers, and local assistance here.

 

 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has resources on protecting yourself from the financial impact of the virus.

In addition, the City Health Department has useful New York City specific information available online here.

The New York State Department of Health has information available here. 

New Yorkers who are concerned about price gouging related to the outbreak can register complaints with the NYS Attorney General here.

 

For More Information:

The CDC keeps an updated list of Public Testing Laboratories here, along with a tally of all data collected.

The CDC provides alert graphics to post at your businesses and schools here.

The Congresswoman is carefully monitoring the situation and will post updates here and on social media as useful information becomes available.

 

For Residents of New York:

Want to receive real time updates through text?  Text COVID to 692-692 for information on health and safety in the city.

 

* Updated March 13 *

The Congresswoman has prepared this fact sheet for New Yorkers in both English and in Spanish.  

The following fact sheets from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention should be useful:

CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  What You Need to Know (English)

CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  What You Need to Know (Spanish) CORONAVIRUS: Hoja Informativa: Lo que necesita saber

NEW:  CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  What You Need to Know (Chinese)       最新:冠状病毒:美国疾病控制中心公告:您需要知道的(中文)

CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  What To Do If You Are Sick (English)

CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  What To Do If You Are Sick (Spanish) CORONAVIRUS:  Hoja informativa: Qué hacer si se contagia

NEW:  CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:   What To Do If You Are Sick (Chinese)    最新:冠状病毒:美国疾病控制中心公告:如果您生病了该怎么办(中文)

CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  What the Public Should Do (English)

CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  Stop the Spread of Germs (English)

CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  Stop the Spread of Germs (Spanish) CORONAVIRUS: Hoja informativa: Detenga la proliferación de los microbios

NEW:  CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet: Stop the Spread  of Germs (Chinese)      最新:冠状病毒:美国疾病控制中心公告:如何阻止细菌传播(中文)

 

New Yorkers can regularly check for updates from the CDC at this website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

In addition, the City Health Department has useful New York City specific information available online here.

The New York State Department of Health has information available here

New Yorkers who are concerned about price gouging related to the outbreak can register complaints with the NYS Attorney General here.  

 

* * IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES* *

Updated April 16: The Small Business Administration has temporarily stopped taking applications for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. 

The Congresswoman is working with colleagues to see additional funds apporpriated for these programs and protections strengthened so that assistance goes to truly small businesses. 

Read more here. 

 

These resources help explain the SBA programs available. 

First, read this SBA fact sheet.

Then, visit the SBA website to begin your application.

Information on the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) from SBA is online here:https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp 

This guide prepared by the House & Senate Small Business Committees explains small business provisions in the CARES Act (the economic stimulus bill enacted March 27).

Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

Applications may be completed online. However, if you choose to apply by mail, completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155. 

This flow chart prepared by the House Small Business Committee explains the new grants and loans in the CARES Act (the economic stimulus bill): https://smallbusiness.house.gov/uploadedfiles/cares_flow_chart_edit.pdf