Coronavirus Updates

As news about coronavirus (COVID-19) changes, the resources below can help guide you and your family with up-to-date and accurate information and support.

          

Staying Healthy

For information on how to help stop the spread of coronavirus, available resources, and other updates, visit the COVID-19 Citywide Information Portal

COVID-19 vaccine

The first COVID-19 vaccine is now available to these New Yorkers:

  • People ages 65 and older
  • Teachers and education workers
  • First responders
  • Public safety workers
  • Public transit workers

To find and schedule a vaccine appointment, visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Finder.

COVID-19 hotline

 The City has a COVID-19 hotline: 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319). Call to get information about testing sites, advice from medical staff, information about quarantining, mental health support, and more.

Stopping the spread of coronavirus

  • Stay home if sick
    Only leave for essential medical care and or other essential errands.
  • Keep physical distance
    Stay at least 6 feet away from other people.
  • Keep your hands clean
    Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Wear a face covering
    You can be contagious without symptoms. Protect those around you by wearing a face covering.

Getting together safely

In addition to following the general COVID-19 prevention guidance, be careful when you meet up with friends. Stay away from indoor activities and big groups by sticking to a core group of friends and family.

When to get care

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you should get tested now and then stay home. People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms. Symptoms commonly include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

This list is not all inclusive.

Getting tested for COVID-19

All New Yorkers should get tested to find out if they have COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms or are at risk. Tests are free. Look for a testing site near your home.

Testing for students and teachers

Schools will require weekly in-school testing for a random selection of staff and students in all reopened school buildings. In order for your child to return to in-person learning, you must submit the consent form for in-school COVID-19 testing by the first day your child returns to their school building. 3K, Pre-K, and Kindergarten students will not take part in random testing.

Students and teachers of NYC DOE schools will also get priority testing at 22 Health + Hospital sites during the school year. Find a site near you

Immigration status and testing

You will not be asked about immigration status. COVID-19 testing and care services are not a public benefit under the public charge rule.

Finding a health care provider

If you have symptoms or questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19), call 1-844-NYC-4NYC to connect to a medical provider. The service is free and available seven days a week from 9am–9pm. You can also call 311 anytime. New Yorkers get care regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.

Face coverings

New Yorkers ages 2 and older should continue to wear a mask or face covering when out in public and in situations where they can’t stay 6 feet away from others. Learn about face coverings.

New or expecting parents

For information on COVID-19 for Guidance for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or caring for newborns, read NYC Health’s guidance. (Also available in:  Español, Русский, 繁體中文, 简体中文, Kreyòl ayisyen, 한국어, বাংলা, Italiano, Polski, ײִדיש ,العربيةFrançais, اردو ,فارسى, ελληνικά, עברית, हिन्दी,日本語, नेपाली, Português, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ (India), ਪੰਜਾਬੀ (Pakistan), Tagalog, ไทย, བོད་པ་, and Tiếng Việt.)

Staying on track with immunizations 

It’s more important than ever to get on-time vaccinations for your child. Some clinics offer curb-side shots for safety. Learn more about vaccine schedules and payment support, or call 311 to find a health care provider.

School and Child Care

School year 2020–21

NYC Schools have a plan for keeping students and families healthy during the school year

Fill out the form at any time to choose to continue school completely remotely. At this time, you can’t request to switch to blended learning (a mix of in-person days at school and remote-learning days at home)

Child care

Learning Bridges is a new program that will provide free child care options for children in 3-K through grade 8 on days when they’re scheduled for remote learning. If you’re interested in the Learning Bridges program, please complete this survey.

Resources for families with young children

Find information and support for managing this shift in your family’s daily life, including tips for talking about the coronavirus, how to manage daily routines, and making space for caring for yourself. Visit our newly updated page in partnership with the NYC Department of Education.

Connecting to WiFi

If you need help getting connected to the internet for remote learning, here are some options.

New York Public Library WiFi Hotspots
You can connect to free wifi from a public library, find one near you:


Hotspot and tablet loan program

Public libraries may have tablets and hotspots available to loan to those with a library card and who meet requirements. Learn more from your library:


LinkNYC Public WiFi

You can connect to free Wi-Fi through a LinkNYC kiosk. To connect, select the ‘LinkNYC Free Wi-Fi’ network from your device’s Wi-Fi settings, and register with your email. Find a Link kiosk near you.

Xfinity WiFi Public Hotspots
Xfinity WiFi Public Hotspots are now open to everyone on the “xfinitywifi” SSID.

Spectrum Internet Assist
Spectrum offers low-cost broadband service, called Spectrum Internet Assist, for new customers in select areas.

  • You may be eligible if your child attends an NYC public school and takes part in  the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) through NYC SchoolFood.
  • Call the Spectrum Internet Assist toll-free number for help enrolling at 1-844-525-1574.

Remote learning devices 

To support remote learning for students, the DOE is lending internet-enabled iPads. If you did not already get one for your NYC student, fill out the Request Form

Food

Emergency food

If you need emergency food assistance, call the Emergency Food Hotline at 866-888-8777 or 311 to find a local pantry or kitchen. There is no income limit for emergency food. Learn more

Grab-and-go meals for all New Yorkers

Any New Yorker who wants one can get free breakfast and lunch every weekday. Starting September 21, Meals Hubs will operate:

  • For children taking in-person classes, during the school day
  • For children doing remote learning, from 9am–12pm 
  • For others, from 3–5pm 

Find a location near you, or learn more on the DOE’s website. You can also Text “NYC FOOD” or “NYC COMIDA” to 877-877 (text messaging and data rates may apply).

Other food assistance options

Options to get free food from the City include:

  • Grab & Go meals at NYC Schools for children and adults
  • SNAP (food stamps)
  • Emergency meal delivery

Learn how to get food at NYC.gov/getFood.

SNAP benefits 

You can get help paying for groceries with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or “food stamps”). They come on a debit card that you can use at many grocery stores, including some online groceries, and farmer’s markets. Learn more about SNAP.

Cash and Benefits

HRA offices and appointments

ACCESS HRA is a great way to skip a trip to the HRA offices. For those applying for or renewing SNAP benefits or Cash Assistance, you can submit the application/recertification form and upload pictures of documents. After submitting, clients can call anytime Monday–Friday, 8:30am to 5pm for a telephone interview.

Cash assistance

Apply for Cash Assistance or Emergency One Time Assistance with the ACCESS HRA website and mobile app. An HRA staff member will call to you complete your eligibility interview.

Eligibility screener

Screen and determine your eligibility for over 30+ City, State, and Federal level benefits in minutes on ACCESS NYC.

Housing

Domestic violence

In an emergency, dial 911. Call the NYC Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-621-4673, TTY 866-604-5350 (if you are hearing impaired) to speak with a counselor. You can also visit nyc.gov/NYCHOPE for more information and to get over-the-phone guidance from a Family Justice Center.

Eviction protection

No evictions can take place until January 1, 2021 at the earliest by order of the New York State courts. Under a new State law, if you experienced a financial hardship any time after March 7, 2020, you may not be evicted for failing to pay rent owed during that period. Learn about tenants’ rights from the Tenant Resource Portal or the NYC Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants. Every New Yorker, regardless of immigration status, can also get help avoiding eviction by calling 311 and asking for the “Tenant Helpline.”

Preventing homelessness

Homebase can help you develop a plan to overcome an immediate housing crisis and achieve housing stability. Call 311 or visit the HRA website to learn more and get help.

Youth experiencing homelessness

Runaway and Homeless Youth programs are expected to continue providing basic services to young people, with some schedule changes. Call 311 if you have more questions.

Emotional Support

An infectious illness outbreak can be stressful to you, your loved ones, and your friends. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed, sad, anxious, and afraid, or to experience other symptoms of distress, such as trouble sleeping. To reduce your stress and to manage the situation, reflect on the positives in your life, remind yourself of your strengths, connect with friends and loved ones, and use healthy coping skills. 

Remote services for children and families

Children and families can get remote mental health services during these difficult times. The School Mental Health Program is working with its community providers to offer tele-health services, which use health insurance, Medicaid, or offer a sliding scale for billing. Reach out by phone or email for more information.

Emotional learning tools

Students and families can also access remote social emotional learning tools for all age groups from the NYC Department of Education.

Call, text, or chat for support

NYC Well’s website offers a number of wellbeing and emotional support applications (apps) that can help you cope. If your symptoms of stress become overwhelming, reach out for support and help. You can contact NYC Wella confidential helpline for mental health and substance misuse services. Trained counselors can provide you with support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 200 languages. Services include:

  • Crisis counseling
  • Peer support
  • Short-term counseling
  • Mobile crisis teams
  • Connection to ongoing mental health and substance misuse services

To talk to someone now:

If you’re worried about how your child is dealing with the stress of COVID-19, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on managing stress and anxiety

Help for Immigrant New Yorkers

Immigration-related legal help

ActionNYC offers free, safe immigration legal help in a network of trusted community organizations and schools. Services include:

  • Free legal screenings to find out if you qualify for any immigration benefit
  • Free legal help for a range of cases, such as:
    • Citizenship
    • Green card applications and renewals
    • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
    • Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Call 1-800-354-0365 to make an appointment to get help (Monday – Friday, 9am – 6pm). Learn More about Action NYC.

Immigrants and public charge

On March 13, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said that seeking or using healthcare services related to COVID-19 will NOT be considered under the public charge rule, even if the services are Medicaid-funded. Learn more about public charge and this alert. Anyone who needs help during the COVID-19 crisis should seek care without fear, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay for health services. To learn more about health care and testing, refer to the top of this page. 

More COVID-19 resources for immigrant communities

Learn more about city services available regardless of immigration status from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Free online English classes

In response to COVID-19, We Speak NYC is offering weekly online classes. Find a time that works for you, or sign up for a class.

Talking with Kids about COVID-19

If you’re looking for tips on how to have a conversation with kids about coronavirus, check out the guide from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The guide recommends that adults:

  • Remain calm and reassuring
  • Make yourself available to listen and to talk
  • Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma
  • Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online
  • Provide information that is honest and accurate
  • Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs

Updated January 15, 2021