Staying Connected from Home
STAY HOME TO STOP THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS
New Yorkers working together and staying home can slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)
in New York City. When you go out for essential needs, work or to get fresh air, keep distance
between yourself and others and take the following precautions.
BRONX TIMES REPORTER,BTR APRIL 24-30, 2020 11
We New Yorkers find ourselves in
a unique and difficult time, where
everything we took for granted and
normal has been upended. Yet we
are all adjusting and defining this
new normal for our health and
safety and others. New Yorkers
are being asked to hunker down
– study remotely, work from
home, and stay indoors as much
as possible, especially older adults
who are vulnerable to COVID-19.
As part of the city shutdown, the
New York City Department for the
Aging (DFTA) temporarily closed
nearly 300 congregate centers, which
served as a hub of social activity, support
and community for about 21,000 older
New Yorkers. DFTA and its partners
have worked to transition many of the
services provided at congregate centers to
the home, including the direct delivery of
lunch meals they received at centers. We
had to create a new system to implement
the enormity of this transition! DFTA’s
network, which had served an average
participation of 21,000 daily, saw that
number grow to 39,000 within one week.
During this crisis, we had to learn to fly as
we’re flying! This was made possible with
our network of partners. Together, we
were able to provide more than 500,000
meals to over 39,000 individuals citywide.
We knew early on that many of the
1.74 million older adults who were
independent would find themselves
socially isolated and food insecure. To
address this issue, the Mayor established
a Food Czar to lead the GetFoodNYC
initiative and address the broader issue of
food insecurity and hunger. GetFoodNYC
will have the capacity to serve the many
older adults not enrolled in DFTA’s direct
delivery system. Older New Yorkers, who
have not enrolled, can call 311 or
visit nyc.gov/getfood to do so.
We’ve also transitioned other
programs to services that are
accessible at home. Our congregate
centers’ staff are doing wellness
check-ins by phone to increase
social engagement and combat
social isolation. DFTA’s Friendly
Visiting program, which pairs older
adults with volunteers for weekly
visits, has also transitioned from
in-person visits to telephone calls
done two to three times a week,
helping continue friendships that
the program has helped build. At
this time, we continue taking new
volunteers. Anyone wanting to volunteer,
or be part of the program, can call Aging
Connect, DFTA’s contact center, at
To help older adults stay active and
engaged, many centers are offering virtual
classes, including nutrition workshops,
fitness programs, and more. Recently,
Greenwich House launched its virtual
art show featuring the work of senior
center members. You can call your local
senior center to find out about virtual
While this is a difficult time, we want
older New Yorkers to know that they
are not alone. There are resources and
support available, and DFTA and its
partners are here to help. New Yorkers
are tough, but we are also compassionate
and giving. Together, by supporting and
staying connected with each other, we will
get through this.
DFTA partner Encore Community Services’ staff help deliver
meals to older New Yorkers.
NYC Department for the
Text COVID to 692-692 for real-time updates or visit nyc.gov/coronavirus.
Call 311 to report harassment or discrimination. Call 888-NYC-WELL, text "WELL" to 65173
or chat online at nyc.gov/nycwell to connect with a counselor.
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Bill de Blasio
Oxiris Barbot, MD
• Keep at least 6 feet between
yourself and others.
• Wash your hands with soap
and water often.
• Cover your nose and mouth
with a tissue or sleeve when
sneezing or coughing.
• Do not touch your face with
• Monitor your health more
closely than usual for cold or
IF YOU ARE SICK
• Stay home.
• If you have a cough,
shortness of breath, fever,
sore throat and do not feel
better after 3-4 days,
consult with your doctor.
• If you need help getting
medical care, call 311.
• NYC will provide care
regardless of immigration
status or ability to pay.
• Stay home.
• Telecommute if possible.
If you do go out:
• Stagger work hours away
from peak travel times.
• Walk or bike.
• Do not gather in crowds.
• Stay home if you have
lung disease, heart disease,
diabetes, cancer or a
weakened immune system.
• Stay home and call, video
chat or text with family or
friends who have one of