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September is here and many of our children are returning back to school. More outdoor dining options and outdoor sports are becoming available. It appears as though we have achieved initial success in the fight against COVID-19, but we must not take it lightly. Remember: stay home if you are sick, wear a mask, stay six feet apart, wash your hands, and get tested!

Although we are only available remotely for the time being, AMPHS continues to support the community through this pandemic via our free social assistance, mental health, food assistance, and adult literacy services. Please feel free to contact us Tuesday-Saturday from 10AM to 6PM at 212-256-9036 for more information.

AMPHS Updates

Sunset Park Food & Mask Distribution and Census Completion 

Since June, the AMPHS team has been distributing fresh produce and PPE every week to nearly 5,250 families, while completing nearly 100 Census surveys weekly and registering voters in partnership with NYS Senator Zellnor Myrie, Councilman Carlos Menchaca, The Campaign Against Hunger, South Brooklyn Mutual Aid and the US Census Bureau in the lowest Census response tracts in Sunset Park. These past three weeks, we were extremely excited to have worked with Modern Eyes Optical, Muslim Community Center, and our newest partner, Urban Justice Center’s Street Vendor Project, to distribute over 855 delicious, culturally-sensitive meals while getting out the count. The deadline to get counted is September 30th, and Sunset Park is at approximately 52% completion rate. If you have not already done so already, complete your Census at https://my2020census.gov/. Sunset Park, we’ve got this!

Sunset Park Week of Action

In August, Sunset Park saw an uptick in positivity rates of coronavirus. In response, AMPHS  organized a Sunset Park Week of Action to hit the streets between August 18 and 20 and spread awareness across the neighborhood and distribute PPE to our essential workers. Our 56 volunteers  visited over 700 businesses across Sunset Park, hung up over 1500 posters, distributed 3000+ pieces of COVID and Census education literature and disseminated 20,000 face masks. A huge shoutout to all the neighbors, elected partners, and CBOs who came together to support our efforts, including Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, NYS Senator Zellnor Myrie, Councilman Carlos Menchaca, Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Parent Child Relationship Association, United Senior Citizens Center, Tzu Chi Foundation and South Brooklyn Mutual Aid who came out to canvass a total of 120 street blocks! 

Magic in Plain Sight

AMPHS is happy to announce its partnership with Target Margin Theater this fall in their performance series “Magic in Plain Sight!”. Magic in Plain Sight involves a series of free socially distanced performances that will take place all over Sunset Park, including storefronts, stoops and parking lots. The performance will offer themes reflecting on loss and wonder with its final event, “Electric Feeling Maybe”. All events are designed to ensure social distancing and are limited to an audience of 10. Performances will run from October 10th-30th, to find out more information or to reserve your tickets visit this link: https://www.targetmargin.org/magic/

Adult Literacy ESOL Classes Summer and Fall 2020

AMPHS will be launching our 2020-2021 adult literacy classes once again beginning October 2020 to June 2021. We offer four levels: beginner, high beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Interested students should ill out our registration form at bit.ly/amphsesol, or call us at 212-256-9036 for assistance. Registration does not guarantee enrollment and you will be contacted to take a placement exam if selected.

Additionally, to prepare returning students, we are offering two preparatory classes between August 26th and September 26th:

  • A computer course for intermediate and advanced level students to learn basic computer skills, how to use email, and how to use Google Drive.
  • A conversation group for beginner to high beginner students to practice English conversation on different topics every week.

COVID-19 Updates

Health:

  • In mid-August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that immunity to the virus may last at least three months, but much is still unknown about what level of antibodies could protect against reinfection or lead to a less severe, second infection and for how long. So far, there have been at least four documented cases of COVID-19 reinfection. Reinfection reports highlight the importance of taking precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus, even if you’ve been infected recently. It is important to continue wearing face masks, get tested, continue hand-washing, and follow social distancing guidelines.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, limited doses of two unidentified COVID-19 vaccines could potentially be ready by October or November, only if shown to be safe and effective. Priority will likely be given to health care workers, essential workers (like police officers or those who work in critical industries like food production), “national security populations,” and workers and residents of long-term care facilities like nursing homes.
  • NYC Care is now available to New Yorkers in each borough! NYC Care is a health care access program for people who are not eligible for or cannot afford health insurance. While it is not insurance, the program ensures all New Yorkers, regardless of their income or immigration status, have equal access to comprehensive, high-quality care. To enroll, call 646-692-2273 and learn more about the program, visit nyccare.nyc.
  • COVID testing is free and confidential; check out AMPHS’ list of COVID test sites local to Sunset Park. For other testing locations, visit www.nyc.gov/covidtest or text “COVID test” to 85548 or call 311.

Outdoor Activities: 

  • Dining: 
    • The City’s initiative, “Open Streets: Restaurants,” expands additional restaurant seating options onto car-free streets for select corridors throughout the weekends. Currently, there are more than 9,000 participating restaurants across 81 streets citywide. The hours of operation for these locations will be from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday nights, and noon to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Some hours will vary by location. 
    • The Governor announced that indoor dining in NYC will resume on September 30th at 25% capacity, in time for the cooler fall weather. Patrons would be required to wear a face covering when not seated. By November 1, the state will reassess whether restaurants will be able to reopen at 50% capacity.
  • Youth Sports:
    • To support our children’s physical and mental health, NYC Parks will resume  lower and moderate-risk outdoor youth sports on park athletic fields beginning Tuesday, September 15. 
    • City athletic fields have been opened for first-come, first served, socially distanced play throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Now youth sports leagues will be issued permits for organized outdoor play. Permitted sports will include baseball, softball and soccer. Indoor sports, including swimming, will not be permitted. Leagues must enforce the following regulations:
      • Face coverings must be worn by all coaches, staff, spectators, and players on the sidelines; players are encouraged to wear while playing if possible
      • Social distancing must always be practiced by all when not active in game play
      • Spectators must be limited to two per player
      • All must leave the field post game, there shall be no congregating
  • MTA:
    • In order to increase mask compliance across public transportation system’s subways, buses, and railroads, the MTA announced riders who refuse to wear a mask on public transit will be subject to a $50 fine. This new measure has gone into effect as of Monday, September 14.
  • Malls:
    • As of September 9th, malls have been allowed to reopen with a 50 percent occupancy limit.

Schools:

  • New York City announced a delay in school reopenings to give schools more time to prepare. All schools will begin full-day teaching and learning on Monday, September 21st. Students in blended learning will begin to report to buildings, depending on their in-person schedule. All students in 100% remote learning will begin full-day learning.
  • September 16 – September 18 will serve as a period for students participating in remote learning to meet their teachers online and get prepared for coming back, but will not count toward attendance.
  • School bus service will be provided on the first day of in-person learning on September 21st.
  • Coronavirus testing tents will be constructed outside New York City schools. Beginning October 1st, the city is planning to randomly test about 10 percent to 20 percent of students, teachers and staffers at each school once a month. Officials hope to return test results in 48 hours and provide individual students with their results. The city’s Health and Hospital system will oversee the schools testing program and is likely to rely on school nurses to help administer the tests. Children who do not have parental consent to testing will be required to learn remotely at home. School staff who choose not to participate will be put on unpaid leave.
  • Students who need an internet-enabled device, or internet access for a different device, may submit a request through the NYC Department of Education’s Remote Learning Device form: coronavirus.schools.nyc/remotelearningdevices.
  • In an effort to ensure school safety, school principals have the option to request for outdoor learning. School principals had until August 28th to develop and submit outdoor learning plans, which must identify feasible streets, parks and playgrounds which can be used as classrooms while protecting students’ and staff’s safety, although requests can still be submitted on a rolling basis. So far, almost 800 school’s outdoor learning plans have been approved.
  • New York school districts will be required to provide the Department of Health with daily data on the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in each school.The information will be publicly available on a new online dashboard developed by the Department of Health, which will be found here.