Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources Page
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Coronavirus Information and Resources Page
With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the situation changes by the hour as new information and directives come out. As much as possible we are trying to provide links to trusted source information so that you can check the most up-to-date information.
The New York State page about reopening, covid rates and zones, vaccination program, covid restrictions and guidance, travel advisory, etc. coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home.
IMPORTANT: There is still no cure for COVID-19, and the distribution of vaccines will take months. Vaccines are free in NYC.
Ensuring a Safe and Effective COVID-19 Vaccine forward.ny.gov/covid-19-vaccine-distribution.
New York City is in Phase 4 of the coronavirus reopening. Further increases in the statewide coronavirus positivity rate are expected after the Thanksgiving holiday.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19
- wear face coverings when in public
- maintain distance (6' between people in different households)
- keep hands clean
- stay home if sick
All New Yorkers can get tested for covid-19. Sites run by New York State Health + Hospitals are free and often can return results more quickly than commercial sites. Check with the commercial sites to find out if there will be charges. coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you.
See the MHNA Reopening page for more details about NYC's reopening.
New York City is in Phase 4 of the coronavirus reopening, but many industry groups are on temporary PAUSE due to rising rates of the virus.
NYC's Phase 4 businesses may open on July 20 (final phase).
Phase 4 Industry guidance forward.ny.gov/phase-four-industries
Schools (must have an approved plan), Low-Risk Outdoor Arts & Entertainment (zoos, botanical gardens), Media Production, Professional Sports Competitions With No Fans, indoor dining in NYC with 25% capacity, gyms, malls. IMPORTANT: The following NYC businesses and nonprofits remain CLOSED: venues with large gatherings. Gatherings are limited to 50 people. Religious gatherings are limited to 50% of capacity.
NYC's Phase 3 busineses may reopen July 6.
Phase 3 industry guidance forward.ny.gov/phase-three-industries
NYC's Phase 2 businesses may reopen on June 22.
Phase 2 industry guidance forward.ny.gov/phase-two-industries.
As many as 300,000 more workers are expected to come to NYC.
NYC's Phase 1 businesses may reopen June 8.
Phase 1 industry guidance forward.ny.gov/phase-one-industries.
200,000-400,000 additional people are expected to come to NYC.
For an overview of industries that are authorized to reopen during Phases 1-4 see forward.ny.gov.
Also see NYC's Small Business Services coronavirus page www1.nyc.gov/site/coronavirus/index.page.
If you are a business owner and have questions about when you can reopen, please use the New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool: businessexpress.ny.gov/app/nyforward.
From Notify NYC: Travel Advisory. Travel increases chance of getting & spreading COVID-19. Know the latest New York State travel restrictions: coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.
The NYC Citywide Information Portal www1.nyc.gov/site/coronavirus/resources/resources-for-new-yorkers.page and 311 portal.311.nyc.gov have created COVID-specific resource guides for New Yorkers. These resource guides contain information related to emotional well-being, rent and housing, NYCHA residents, and more. Get information and resources to help protect yourself and others from COVID-19 www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-main.page.
View the latest data on COVID-19 in NYC
Update on NYC’s Localized Restrictions. The City is taking steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 in neighborhoods where cases continue to rise. Three zones have been identified by the State— red, orange, yellow. To find your zone, visit nyc.gov/COVIDZone. Starting October 8, certain closure and stay-at-home restrictions will be in place in these neighborhoods. Restrictions will be lifted if the rate of infection drops to low levels.
The Dept. of Parks has canceled all athletic permits until further notice (see the “Programming Service Changes” section). nycgovparks.org/about/health-and-safety-guide/coronavirus.
November 13, 2020 (Effective date) New COVID-19 Restrictions [Due to concerns about the rising rate of coronavirus infections statewide] Bars, restaurants and gyms will be required to close from 10pm-5am daily, and private gatherings will be limited to 10 people. [Source: Gov. Cuomo's press release of November 11, 2020, governor.ny.gov/news]
7/24/2020 Message from Gov. Cuomo for young people: This is not the time to fight for your right to party. We are seeing a statistically significant increase in the COVID infection rate in 21- to 30-year-olds. Remember: Young people can get seriously sick and some will die from the virus. Young people can bring it home and give it to others inadvertently. To deliver the message, we launched a social and PSA campaign to communicate the hard facts to young people. If you treat COVID lightly, you may not live to regret it. Watch the video youtube.com/watch?v=_PSvyr8xJE0.
7/24/2020 Outdoor recreational spaces can reopen: zoos and botanical gardens, swimming pools, beaches.
7/24/2020 The CDC is now recommending that N95 masks with valves should NOT be used. They do not do a good job of protecting others if you have the virus.
6/22/2020 Playgrounds for younger children reopen. Team sports are not permitted.
5/15/2020 After May 15, New York State will open on a regional basis as regions meet the guidelines for re-opening. Re-opening will be in stages defined by risk and whether the activity is essential. Public health (saving lives) and the economy will both be considered. When a region has met all of the criteria, it qualifies to reopen. The COVID statistics will continue to be monitored for NYC.
NYC will not issue permits for street events through December 31, 2020.
What is "Stay-at-Home" or PAUSE?
In general, this means that people should not leave their homes except for essentials such as groceries and medicine or emergencies. When outside, cover your nose and mouth with a scarf, bandanna or mask and practice social distancing (6' between people). Businesses that do not provide essential services must close and send workers home. Businesses considered essential could include grocery stores, restaurants that do take out service, pharmacies, organizations that provide services for vulnerable populations, first responders and hardware stores. Public transportation continues to operate to get nurses, doctors, law enforcement officers, and other essential personnel where they need to go. Everyone else: Limit the use of public transportation to only when necessary.
For details, visit the NYC Department of Health website: nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/coronavirus.page
The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association will follow Federal, NYS and NYC guidelines during the COVID19 outbreak and will update our website and other channels of communication if there are any changes. All events are canceled until at least the fall.
The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association extends an offer to members: contact us if you need assistance during the COVID-19 outbreak, email email@example.com or call 212-886-5867.
Visit the Centers for Disease Control website for advice on how to prevent COVID-19 cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html
New York State's webpage: health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus and health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/prepare.htm
NYC's Department of Health webpage: www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/coronavirus also nyc.gov/coronavirus
NYC COVID-19 main page www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-main.page.
White House Coronavirus Task Force response to COVID-19 webpage www.coronavirus.gov.
Know How it Spreads
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Take steps to protect yourself
- Clean your hands often
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Wear a mask. Cover your nose and mouth when you go outside.
Take steps to protect others
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Wear a facemask. The Centers for Disease Control is now recommending that members of the general public refrain from using N95 masks with valves. The CDC says that a face mask with a valve does not do a good job of protecting people in your vicinity if you’re infected.
- Clean and disinfect
Symptoms to look out for: cough, muscle pain, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, fever, new loss of taste or smell, chills. Get medical attention immediately if you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 — like trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, or bluish lips or face. [Source: Medicare email of 5/14/2020]
"Talking can spread COVID-19" Watch this CDC video explaining how the COVID-19 virus is transmitted by those without symptoms. youtube.com/watch?v=qzARpgx8cvE&feature=youtu.be
10/28/2020 The CDC expanded its definition of “close contact.” The updated guidance now states that close contact includes someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/contact-tracing/contact-tracing-plan/appendix.html#contact.
10/28/2020 The FDA approved the first antiviral drug (remdesivir) for use in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. The drug was originally approved under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) on May 1, 2020.
7/25/2020 FDA Recalls 75 Hand Sanitizers That May Be In New York Homes
July 24, 2020, patch.com, by Michael Woyton
As the coronavirus persists and demand for hand sanitizers grows, people in New York may have brands that contain dangerous methanol.
If you have non-emergency issues related to COVID-19 call the COVID-19 hotlines that are available or you can call 311. The 24-hour state hotline number is 1-888-364-3065, the number for vulnerable New Yorkers to call about testing is 1-844-NYC-4NYC. Use 911 when you feel seriously ill. Notify the dispatcher if you think you have coronavirus.
5/8/2020. Source: Gov.Cuomo's email. A disturbing new development is a serious illness affecting children, known as multi-system inflammatory syndrome (PMIS). The illness is potentially linked with COVID-19, and it has features that are similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome. Parents 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 or rash, 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. Parents can call 311 to get help finding a doctor.
Mental health resources
NYC Well, a confidential 24/7 helpline, staffed by trained counselors. They can provide brief counseling and referrals to care in over 200 languages. Call 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355), text "WELL" to 65173, chat at NYC.gov/nycwell. Free online mental health services. New Yorkers can call the state's hotline at 1-844-863-9314 to schedule a free appointment. ThriveNYC Mental Health Services: thrivenyc.cityofnewyork.us/mental_health_support_while_home
Coping with stress during an infectious disease outbreak: www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/coping-with-stress-disease-outbreak.pdf
Domestic violence resources
All shelters are operating and hotlines are available 24/7.
- 4/25/2020 New York State launched a new texting program and confidential service to help New Yorkers experiencing domestic violence. Text 844-997-2121 or visit opdv.ny.gov to confidentially chat with a professional at any time of day or night.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: call 1-800-799-7233 (TTY: 1-800-799-7233), log onto http://thehotline.org, or text LOVEIS to 22522
- Safe Horizon: call 1-800-621-HOPE or visit http://Safehorizon.org/SafeChat to speak with an advocate; all Domestic Violence Shelters are operating.
Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) is a member of the City's Animal Planning Task Force, which is now providing a COVID-19 Pet Hotline and supportive services for NYC residents with pets. If you have a COVID-19 pet-related issue call the hotline at 877-204-8821 (8am to 8pm daily).
4/8/2020 Pets. Currently, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, are contributing to the COVID-19 outbreak. Some animals can get infected, such as dogs and cats, but there are no reports of them spreading the virus. More information COVID-19 and Animals FAQ from the newly formed Office of Animal Welfare www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/covid-19-animals-faq.pdf.
COVID-19: Public Health Milestones Dashboard www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-goals.page
Mapping the Coronavirus Outbreak Across the World
Updated: August 28, 2020. The U.S.is #1 in covid cases and deaths.
How to wear a mask without your glasses steaming up
Testing and contact tracing
All New Yorkers should be tested. For more testing information, see the Testing page.
You May Have Antibodies After Coronavirus Infection. But Not for Long.
June 18, 2020, Updated June 20, 2020, nytimes.com, by Apoorva MandavilliAntibodies to the virus faded quickly in asymptomatic people, scientists reported. That does not mean immunity disappears.
Open for delivery/pickup and catering (partial listing)
Due to the changing situation, call or check their website for updates. If the restaurant offers gift certificates, you can purchase them to show your support. Please tip delivery personnel generously.
With the "stay-at-home" directive, only "essential" businesses are open to the public at their brick-and-mortar locations. Many are conducting business online. They may be using technology solutions for online conferencing. Visit their webstite or call for an appointment if you need to use their services.
Closed until further notice. Please check their websites for updates.
CDC's guidance for holiday celebrations
Gatherings with higher risk are:
- in a room with poor ventilation
- with large numbers of people
- with people who are coming from other locations that have higher rates of infection
- with people who do not wear masks or practice social distancing (prior to or during the gathering)
Do not attend in-person gatherings
- if you are sick with COVID-19 or have been exposed to people who are sick
- if you have higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19
12/29/2020 New York has updated its quarantine guidelines to align with the CDC's recommendations. Individuals Can End Quarantine After 10 Days As Long As No Symptoms Are Reported. After day 10 is reached, individuals must continue monitoring for symptoms through day 14 and if any develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare provider to report this change and determine if they should seek testing. Individuals should to continue strict adherence to all recommended safe behaviors to stop the spread - wearing masks, socially distancing and avoiding gatherings. Press release. Also see the New York State Travel Advisory coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory
How to spend holidays with the family safely
[Source: Bloomberg Prognosis email, bloomberg.com, 11/8/2020] [with minor editing]
Bertha Hidalgo, an epidemiologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has some practical advice about celebrating the holidays.
- Understand that getting a Covid-19 test before a large gathering is not a sure-fire way to know that you’re free of the virus. For example, if you take the test at the wrong time, you could easily get a negative result even if you’re positive. It’s better to quarantine before seeing family—as well as after. If you have kids in school, and people are coming to your home for the holidays, consider pulling them out beforehand, so they can quarantine, too. And if you have college kids coming home, best keep them as separate as possible from everyone else.
- If you're going to be traveling by plane, wear protective eyewear in addition to a mask. Some studies have suggested that transmission on airplanes themselves isn’t that bad, especially if people wear masks. But people take off masks to eat and drink, and airports themselves are high-traffic places. Better yet, celebrate at a different time, when there are fewer people traveling and less risk—celebrate Christmas in April!
- The safest choice is to stay home. But if you are going celebrate the holidays with friends or family, there are lots of ways to minimize that risk. Learn more at the CDC website cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html.
[Source: Bloomberg Prognosis email November 27, 2020, bloombergbusiness.com]
Covid triage tool helps flag riskiest cases
As hospitals again run out of intensive-care beds, doctors just gained a new triage tool to help them decide how to prioritize medical treatment. A Swiss firm called Abionic SA started selling a blood test in Europe that it says can help hospitals more quickly pinpoint patients at risk of a severe form of Covid-19. The method can be performed on a droplet of blood, and gives results in five minutes. A low score can allow physicians to shift patients from intensive care to the general ward -- or discharge them...Abionic’s tool uses a biomarker called pancreatic stone protein, which is secreted by the pancreas in response to stress from a systemic infection and can signal organ dysfunction. It’s already been used to gauge the risk of developing sepsis.
CDC Updates: Duration of Isolation and Precautions for Adults with COVID-19
Updates as of October 19, 2020, cdc.gov
Available data indicate that persons with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain infectious no longer than 10 days after symptom onset. Persons with more severe to critical illness or severe immunocompromise likely remain infectious no longer than 20 days after symptom onset. Recovered persons can continue to shed detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA in upper respiratory specimens for up to 3 months after illness onset, albeit at concentrations considerably lower than during illness, in ranges where replication-competent virus has not been reliably recovered and infectiousness is unlikely...The duration and robustness of immunity to SARS-CoV-2 remains under investigation.
How the Coronavirus Hacks the Immune System
November 2, 2020, newyorker.com, by James Somers
At a laboratory in Manhattan, researchers have discovered how SARS-CoV-2 uses our defenses against us.
Can You Get Covid Twice? What Reinfection Cases Really Mean
October 28, 2020, bloomberg.com, by Suzi Ring and Jason Gale
The questions of whether people have immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after getting it, and if so for how long, have become more acute now that scientists have found a growing number of individuals who’ve caught the coronavirus twice...A number of factors can allow for repeat infection, including an insufficient response by the immune system, waning immunity, and a mutation of the virus to the extent that people are essentially encountering the latest version for the first time...those who’ve had Covid-19 should take the same precautions as everyone else against it.
10/18/2020 An untested, highly controversial approach to Covid-19 has been gaining political momentum...as a strategy for getting back to normal. Basically the concept is this: Let the virus loose and let people do what they want; those who are at risk or concerned should stay out of circulation. Of course, that means more people will get sick and die…A group of 80 scientists writing in the medical journal the Lancet Wednesday called it a “dangerous fallacy unsupported by scientific evidence.” [Source: Bloomberg Prognosis email, 10/18/2020]
New Yorkers With ‘Long-Haul’ Symptoms Are Upending the Narrative About COVID-19
September 27, 2020, gothamist.com, by Caroline Lewis
Long-haulers experience a wide range of symptoms they believe to be linked to COVID-19 after contracting the disease, often persisting for months after they initially get sick...Resources for Long-Haulers:
Post-COVID-19 Care Clinics in Manhattan. Note: In some cases, patients may need a referral from a hospital or primary care doctor.
Mount Sinai Center for Post-COVID Care (Manhattan) mountsinai.org/about/covid19/center-post-covid-care
Survivor Corps helps connect COVID-19 survivors to research opportunities survivorcorps.com/research
Body Politic Slack group wearebodypolitic.com/covid19
COVID-19 Long Haulers Discussion Group on Facebook facebook.com/groups/COVIDLongHaulers
COVID-19 Longhauler Advocacy Project on Facebook facebook.com/groups/Covid19LonghaulerAdvocacyProject
ClearHealthCosts Q&A about short-term disability, long-term disability and Social Security clearhealthcosts.com/blog/2020/09/coronavirus-covid-19-and-disability-how-to-do-it-with-a-disability-specialist-who-has-gone-through-it-herself
Covid Doctors Find a Turning Point in Life-Threatening Cases
September 24, 2020, bloomberg.com, by Jason Gale
When two brothers fell critically ill with Covid-19 around the same time in March, their doctors were baffled. Both had been young and healthy, but within days they were unable to breathe on their own and, tragically, one of them died...The common thread in the research is the lack of a substance called interferon that helps orchestrate the body’s defense against viral pathogens and can be infused to treat conditions such as infectious hepatitis. Now, increasing evidence suggests that a significant minority of Covid-19 patients get very ill because of an impaired interferon response.
CDC Expands Covid Risk Warning to Include Overweight People
October 8, 2020, bloomberg.com, by Emma Court
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that people who are merely overweight, not just the obese, may be at high risk of serious disease from the infection.
Neurologic Symptoms Found in 4 of 5 Hospitalized Covid Patients
October 5, 2020, bloomberg.com, by Reg Gale
About 4 out of 5 patients hospitalized with Covid-19 suffer neurologic symptoms such as muscle pain, headaches, confusion, dizziness and the loss of smell or taste, new research shows. The most severe condition listed was encephalopathy, “characterized by altered mental function ranging from mild confusion to coma,” said Igor Koralnik, the chief of neuro-infectious disease at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago and one of the study’s authors.
Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), A $5 pandemic prescription
[Source: Bloomberg Prognosis email, 9/29/2020]
It would cost less than $5 per person to take the necessary measures to prevent future pandemics...Gro Harlem Brundtland, who led the World Health Organization during the SARS outbreak, estimates it would take about that amount -- a total of about $40 billion -- for humanity to get prepared enough to deal with the next pathogen after Covid-19. The alternative is the $11 trillion-plus that governments are going to spend to mop up the aftershocks of the current pandemic, Brundtland said in a report this week, blasting the world’s lack of foresight. “It would take 500 years to spend as much on investing in preparedness as the world is losing due to Covid-19,” she said in the report. “The return on investment for global health security is immense.” Report apps.who.int/gpmb/annual_report.html.
Counterterrorism Policies Are a Terrible Fit for Addressing Challenges Like Covid-19
July 6, 2020, brennancenter.org, by Faiza Patel
From fighting the coronavirus to stopping school shootings, using government powers and tactics developed after 9/11 is counterproductive. [W]e need to find new ways of conceptualizing the challenges we face and their causes, design fitting responses, and avoid the steep costs of treating these challenges as terrorist threats when they’re clearly not.