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We have reached the original May 15 benchmark of NY on PAUSE, which would mean some regions in New York State may begin to reopen. It has felt like we have waited a long time for this, however, because New York City was the epicenter of COVID-19, we still have a long way to go until we can begin and continue with the phased reopening. Regions in New York State must meet seven required criteria, which includes decreased rates in hospitalizations, new hospitalizations and hospital deaths, availability of ICU beds, and increased testing and contact tracers, before we can begin to reopen and proceed with future phases. NYC has only met 3-4 of those requirements so far.

Therefore, we must continue to do our own part in helping diminish coronavirus cases and maintain the downward trends. It is crucial that we continue following social distancing guidelines and continue taking precautionary measures, such as practicing good hygiene, limiting our time outside and wearing face coverings For any questions or concerns, we encourage our community members to call our phone line at (212) 256-9036 and to access our available resources through our COVID-19 Virtual Community Center

As of today, there are 187,848 positive COVID-19 cases and 15,422 deaths in NYC, and 49,580 hospitalizations.

In NYS, there are 345,813 positive COVID-19 cases and 27,755 deaths.

COVID-19 Updates

Will NY on PAUSE end on May 15th?

No, Governor Cuomo announced on Thursday, May 14, that the state’s stay-at-home order would be extended until June 13, 2020. Four NY regions will begin to reopen on May 15 because they met the seven required criteria, however, New York City is not one of them. When NYC and remaining NY regions meet the seven required criteria, they may be “UN-PAUSED” and begin reopening.

Are there new updates regarding the pediatric inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19?

New York State health officials are currently investigating more than 100 cases of a rare and dangerous inflammatory syndrome that affects children and appears to be connected to the coronavirus. As of Tuesday, May 12th, there have been three deaths in the state that have been linked to the illness, which is known as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome and causes life-threatening inflammation in critical organs. 57% of the cases involve children ages 5 to 14. On Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that 82 cases of the syndrome had been reported in New York City

What kind of symptoms should I be looking out for in my child?

New Yorkers should seek immediate care if a child has:

  • Prolonged fever (more than five days)
  • Difficulty feeding (infants) or is too sick to drink fluids
  • Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Change in skin color–becoming pale, patchy and/or blue
  • Trouble breathing or is breathing very quickly
  • Racing heart or chest pain
  • Decreased amount of frequency in urine
  • Lethargy, irritability or confusion

Can New Yorkers get tested for COVID-19 if they present with COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes, Mayor de Blasio announced on Thursday, May 14, that New York City’s community clinics will now make free coronavirus testing available to all people showing symptoms. The city’s testing sites will also start testing people who have come into contact with someone confirmed to be infected with the virus, regardless of whether they show symptoms. The same criteria will be applied to individuals who work in congregate settings such as nursing homes, homeless shelters, or adult care facilities. If you are interested in getting tested, visit the Department of Health’s page to find your nearest community clinic

Will more testing centers be available to New Yorkers?

The city is adding 12 new Health+Hospitals testing sites in all five boroughs over the next two weeks. The city can currently test 5,100 people per day for COVID-19. The week of May 18, two sites will be added in Manhattan and Brooklyn, bringing the number of tests performed to 6,300. Then 10 more sites will be added in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island the week of May 25 to bring testing up to 10,700 per day.

Additionally, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez has arranged with the NYS Governor’s office and Northwell Health a new COVID-19 testing site at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) in Sunset Park, which available by appointment ONLY by calling 1-833-422-7369 (833-4CARENY). The testing dates are the following:

  • Wednesday, May 20th, from 12PM-5PM
  • Thursday, May 21st through Sunday, May 24th from 9AM-5PM

Are there any changes to the current testing centers?

There is an entrance update to the Augustana testing location in Sunset Park for COVID-19 testing to protect community members and reduce spread. The entrance is now at 5434 2nd Avenue. For an appointment call ahead at 888-364-3065. This entrance should only be used for COVID-19 testing to help the community stay safe and stop the spread.

How can I access telehealth services?

New York City has set up a free Phone-A-Clinician and Tele-Visits to ensure the hardest hit communities have more options when it comes to health care.  You can call 844-692-4692 if you are a New Yorker who has symptoms or questions about COVID-19.

What is the city doing to promote social distancing in public?

  • The city’s Open Streets initiative, designed to give pedestrians and cyclists more space to exercise while practicing social distancing, will expand by 12 more miles on Thursday, May 14th. 9.2 miles of protected bike lanes will also be opening across the city through the month of May.
  • The city also announced that it would redeploy a new force of civilian workers to conduct outreach, education and guidance on social distancing in locations of potential crowding, as an alternative to police enforcement. 

COVID-19 Related Bills

Are there any laws currently being proposed in response to COVID?

  • Governor Cuomo has proposed the “Americans First Law” which would require companies to hire back all workers they laid off during the coronavirus crisis if they want bailout money from the government.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a more than $3 trillion coronavirus aid package on Tuesday May 12, known the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act, which would offer:
    • $1,200 for every family member, including children, up to $6,000 per household
    • $175 billion housing assistance fund to help pay rents and mortgages
    • $75 billion more for coronavirus virus testing, contact tracing, and isolation measures
    • Continuation of the $600-per-week boost to unemployment benefits through January 2021.
    • 15% increase for food stamps 
    • New help for paying employer-backed health coverage
    • Employee retention tax credit for businesses
    • $200 billion in “hazard pay” for essential workers on the front lines of the crisis.

The House is expected to vote on the package as soon as today, however, the Senate will wait until after Memorial Day to act.

New Date Changes

  • Alternate Side Parking: Alternate side parking is suspended through May 17. It will then resume May 18-24 for a week-long sweep of the city, after which it will be again suspended from May 25-June 7.