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Here at the AMPHS, the health and safety of our communities is our highest priority. We understand the concern over the coronavirus and will continue to send information about preventive measures as we learn more. Here are answers to important questions:
How are AMPHS’ services impacted?
We are dedicated to providing you the needed services and will continue to offer essential services Tuesday to Saturday, 10AM – 6PM until further notice while maintaining social distancing guidelines. Please continue using the services at AMPHS and other community organizations if they are important to you, unless you are displaying symptoms of fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, runny nose, and/or shortness of breath or have a pre-existing condition. We are taking the necessary precautions to protect our members because your health is our priority.
Currently, New York State and New York City are in a State of Emergency. What does that mean?
The number of positive coronavirus cases in NYC has risen to 269 as of today. A State of Emergency means that the Governor and Mayor can more rapidly reallocate funding and create new rules to protect New Yorkers.
Should I go outside into crowds or gatherings?
Gatherings with 500 people or more have been banned – with the exception of schools, hospitals, nursing homes and mass transit facilities. Venues with capacity of less than 500 will reduce capacity by 50%. This goes into effect at 5 PM on March 13. Small gatherings are still permissible, but individuals should maintain social distancing of 6 feet.
How are schools impacted?
While local public school districts can elect to close, the only mandatory closures at this time are if a member of the school community, which includes staff, faculty, and students, tests positive for coronavirus. In that case, the school will close for a minimum of 24 hours. If a school is closed for 24 hours, grab-and-go breakfast and lunch will be available for any student who wants it at the entrance of their school building. Student tardiness and absences in the current school year will not count against students for their admissions to middle school and high school. However, families must notify schools of the reason for the absence.
How is mass transit affected?
Mass transit will not be halted, but workers will be conducting a deep clean every 72 hours, including Access-A-Ride. However, it is advisable to avoid packed train cars and traveling during rush hour.
How are seniors at nursing homes protected?
Only screened medical staff will be admitted to nursing homes – no visitors will be permitted due to the severity of the virus for seniors, with some exceptions.
How is the virus spread?
The virus spreads from one person to another between people who are in close contact, through respiratory droplets that are produced when one coughs or sneezes within a radius of 6 feet. Another way a person may contract the virus is by touching a surface or object that has the virus and proceed to touch their mouth, nose, or eyes (however this is not the main way the virus is spread).
How can I protect myself and my family from the virus?
The easiest and most effective way to prevent the coronavirus is through frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you do not have soap or water, use hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol level or higher. Maintain more vigilant hygiene practices — disinfectant your doorknobs, phones, sinks, and handles regularly.
How can I get tested?
The City approved 23,000 new tests, which will be prioritized for those who have been exposed to someone diagnosed with a confirmed case of coronavirus, returned from impacted travel areas, seniors with pre-existing conditions, and for those who already display symptoms and have had other tests come back negative (meaning they likely have coronavirus).
Do I have to pay for the tests?
If you have health insurance, you are not responsible for copays or coinsurance for the test.
If you do not have health insurance and need coronavirus testing, you may call 311 and they will refer you to a public hospital where you will receive the test for free.
My business is seeing less business and I cannot pay my employees? How can I get help?
New York City will provide relief for small businesses seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees with decreased sales of 25% or more will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000. Small businesses with fewer than 5 employees can apply for a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees. Eligible owners should fill out this interest form.
We are closely monitoring the situation and will send regular updates. If you do feel sick or have symptoms, you should call and seek guidance from a health professional or call the state’s helpline: 1-888-364-3065 or the city’s help-line 311. If you experience any discrimination or harassment, call 311 and file a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights. For regular updates from NYC, text “COVID” to 692692 or visit the NYC DOHMH website.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at (212) 256-9036 and we will connect you with the appropriate resources or a counselor. You can also check out our Immigrant Resources Directory to find a social service provider.