For those celebrating, we would also like to wish our neighbors Ramadan Mubarak! With May here, we can say we have come a long way since the beginning of this crisis. We have endured the worst so far and although it is not quite over, we have proved to be resilient throughout the most difficult moments of this crisis. This crisis has highlighted many issues, such as long standing disparities within our city and across the nation. However, it has also shown heartwarming aspects of our community, such as solidarity and the selfnesses of our essential workers.
Here at AMPHS we are here to continue supporting our communities through this crisis and beyond it. We encourage our community members to call us with any questions or concerns at (212) 256-9036 and to access our available resources through our COVID-19 Virtual Community Center.
As of today, there are 164,505 positive COVID-19 cases and 13,000 deaths in NYC, and 42,417 hospitalizations.
In NYS, there are 308, 314 positive COVID-19 cases and 13,168 deaths.
Reopening NY and NYC
What is being done to reopen the city?
On April 26th, Mayor De Blasio announced the steps that the City is taking to restart the economy and rebuild a fairer New York with an end goal to address the structural economic and racial inequalities that exist. This will be accomplished gradually through the creation of:
- Sector Advisory Councils. The Councils will guide the Administration’s efforts to reopen the economy and city life and meet weekly.. Sector Advisory Councils will include: Large Businesses, Small Businesses, Public Health and Health Care, Arts, Culture, and Tourism, Labor, Nonprofits and Social Services, Faith-Based, Education and Vocational Training.
- Administration Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity. The taskforce will be comprised of officials from across the Administration to engage hardest-hit communities, monitor response and recovery efforts in those neighborhoods, identify unique needs associated with Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) and community health care providers, and work with City officials and agencies to reduce racial and economic disparities.
- Fair Recovery Taskforce. Civic leaders from diverse backgrounds will help the City formulate a broader post-crisis recovery effort that builds a stronger, safer, and fairer economy and society. In the beginning of June, the task force will put forward a recovery road map that will inform the City’s recovery efforts. They will continue to support the City over the course of the recovery and make necessary adjustments.
What is being done to reopen the state?
According to Governor Cuomo, based on CDC recommendations, when a region experiences a 14-day decline in the hospitalization rate they may begin a phased re-opening. Businesses in each region will re-open in phases.
- Phase one will include opening construction and manufacturing functions with low risk.
- Phase two will open certain industries based on priority and risk level. Businesses considered “more essential” with low risks of infection in the workplace and to customers will be prioritized, followed by other businesses considered “less essential” or those that present a higher risk of infection spread. Regions will open attractions or businesses that would draw a large number of visitors from outside the local area.
- Additionally, each business and industry must have a plan to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business.
- There will be two weeks in between each phase to monitor the effects of the re-opening and ensure hospitalization and infection rates are not increasing.
- For additional guidelines to reopen the state regarding, health care capacity, testing, and more visit here
How will additional space be provided as warmer weather approaches and more people are on the streets?
A minimum of forty miles of streets will be closed to vehicular traffic over the next month through sidewalk widening measures, closure of streets near and within parks, closure of streets in partnership with local organizations, new bike lanes, and more. The goal is to reach one hundred miles of open street working in partnership with the City Council and implementing strategies that require minimal staffing resources without jeopardizing safety.
Are the results for antibody testing available?
- Yes, on April 27, Governor Cuomo announced the results of phase two of the state’s antibody testing survey. The preliminary results show 14.9 percent of the population have COVID-19 antibodies, after testing 7,500 New Yorkers.
- In NYC, the preliminary results showed that 24.7 percent of those tested in the city were found to have COVID-19 antibodies, indicating that approximately 2.1 million of the city’s 8.6 million residents were infected.
- On April 29, the Governor also announced that 17.1 percent of FDNY/EMS members and 10.5 percent of NYPD cops screened for coronavirus antibodies tested positive, after testing 1,000 members from each department.
Will more antibody tests be administered?
- New York City will offer free antibody tests, courtesy of the federal government, to more than 150,000 healthcare workers and first responders starting next week. Tests will be available at hospitals, police precincts, firehouses and other central locations. The city’s goal is to test all health-care workers and first responders within one month
- On April 29, Governor Cuomo announced that the next round of antibody testing would focus on transit workers.
- On April 25, Governor also signed an Executive Order allowing all pharmacies to test for COVID-19, which will bring over 5,000 small pharmacies into the state’s testing capacity.
Are there new methods for COVID-19 testing?
Self-collection is available at NYC Health + Hospital testing sites. In addition to minimizing contact between patient and healthcare workers, nasal and saliva self-swab collection will increase the capacity of existing test sites from the previous rate of 15 per hour to up to 20 per hour.
Are there new COVID-19 testing sites available?
A new walk-In testing site is available in Flatbush at Brookdale Family Health Center located at 1095 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11226. By appointment only. You must call the NYS Department of Health at 888-364-3065.
Are there new symptoms associated with COVID-19?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its list of possible symptoms of the coronavirus. Originally only three symptoms were considered: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and fever. Now six new symptoms have been added, which include: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.
What assistance can I receive as an essential worker for my child care needs?
New York State will provide child care scholarships to all essential workers whose income is less than 300% of the federal poverty level — or $78,600 for a family of four. Essential workers (including health care providers, law enforcement, food delivery workers, grocery store employees and others) can use these scholarships to pay for their existing care arrangement. If an essential worker needs child care, they can contact their local child care referral agency to find openings. To apply click here
Department of Education
Where can I get free halal meals, especially during Ramadan?
During Ramadan, which began Thursday, April 23 the Department of Education will significantly increase the supply and distribution of Halal meals at 32 DOE Grab & Go sites across all five boroughs with large Muslim populations. In Brooklyn, the locations offering halal meals are:
- PS 119 Amersfort – 3829 Avenue K, Brooklyn, NY, 11210
- PS 159 Isaac Pitkin – 2781 Pitkin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11208
- P.S. 179 Kensington – 202 Avenue C, Brooklyn, NY 11218
- JHS 062 Ditmas – 700 Cortelyou Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11218
- PS 217 – 1100 Newkirk Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11230
- PS 139 – 330 Rugby Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11226
- PS 170 – 619 72nd St, Brooklyn, NY 11209
- PS 253 – 601 Oceanview Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235
- PS/IS 104 – 9115 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209
For the full list of NYC locations, click here
Have there been updates about grading policies?
Yes, on April 28, Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza announced the adjusted K-12 citywide grading policy for 2019-20 school year.
- Grades 3-K and Pre-K will not be affected since they do not receive report cards
- For grades K-5, schools will award grades using a binary “Meets Standards” and “Needs Improvement” scale to ensure students are demonstrating mastery of the learning outcomes for their required courses.
- For grades 6-8, schools will award grades using three values: Meets Standards, Needs Improvement, and Course in Progress.
- For grades 9-12, schools will continue with the same grading scales they had before remote learning with the addition of a “Course in Progress” rating for students who cannot submit work or demonstrate mastery.
Failing grades will be considered “Course in Progress.” Students will be given the time and support they need to complete coursework and earn credit through January 2021. In alignment with CUNY’s COVID-19 flexible grading policy for their 2020 Spring Semester, high school students who have successfully completed and earned credit for a course will have the option to convert a passing grade to a “Pass” rating that preserves their existing GPA, but will still count as credit toward graduation.
Have there been changes to insurance coverage due to COVID-19?
Anyone whose Medicaid or Essential Plan coverage was due to expire from March-June has been automatically extended for 1 year. Payments of monthly premiums with Child Health Plus or Essential Plan can be deferred, to try to preserve coverage that individuals already have. Special enrollment period on Marketplace is also continuing until May 15.
Where can I get support regarding my pet during COVID-19?
The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare launched the NYC COVID-19 Pet Hotline, which serves as an information, planning, referral and service coordination hub for residents who need support for their pets during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Pet Hotline operators can be reached directly at 877-204-8821, from 8 AM to 8 PM daily.
How is the city addressing the homeless population during COVID-19?
To help as many unsheltered New Yorkers as possible come off the subways, the City will increase its focus on end-of-line stations, where NYPD Homeless Outreach and Department of Homeless Services Homeless Outreach teams will engage unsheltered New Yorkers who are leaving the subways, about accepting services, survey them for any symptoms, and connect them to care, to isolation, or to shelter as needed
The stations and lines that the city will focus on include: Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue (D,F) Flatbush Ave Brooklyn College (2,5), Jamaica – 179th St.(F), Jamaica Center – Parsons/Archer (E), WTC – (E), 96th St./2nd Ave (Q), Pelham Bay Park (6), Van Cortlandt Park 242nd St. (1), Wakefield – 241st St.( 2,5), Woodlawn (4)
Additionally, 200 Safe Haven beds will begin to open this week, providing safe, secure spaces for unsheltered New Yorkers, and connect them with the resources and support they need to find a lasting path to stability. Beds will be prioritized for the most vulnerable unsheltered New Yorkers living on the streets and subways, with locations strategically placed in areas where outreach teams have experienced activity and determined need.
- Elections. The New York State Board of Elections announced that it would cancel the upcoming Presidential Primary as well as special elections in New York, which had been set for June 23. This was following a previous decision to postpone the April 28 Presidential Primary to June 23. However, local primaries will continue to be held on June 23rd. All eligible voters in active or inactive status will be mailed an absentee ballot application. The early voting period will be from June 13, 2020 – June 21, 2020.
- Alternate Side Parking. Alternate Side Parking is suspended for another two weeks through Tuesday, May 12th.