Resources you need during the coronavirus crisis
Making Sense of the Census
TIMESLEDGER | QNS.COM | MARCH 27-APRIL 2, 2020 13
For information on how to help stop
the spread of coronavirus, available
resources, and other updates, visit the
NYC Health Department (DOH) website.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses
that cause illnesses ranging from the
common cold to more serious illnesses
like pneumonia. The 2019 novel
coronavirus causes a respiratory disease
called COVID-19. Infections with this new
virus have been reported in many areas,
including the United States and New York
City. To learn more, see the Coronavirus
Health care and testing
All New Yorkers should consider
themselves potentially exposed to
coronavirus. That means that everyone
should stay home as much as possible,
even if they do not have any symptoms
You should consult with your doctor
• Have fever, cough, shortness of
and do not feel better after three to four
Have mild symptoms and are an older
adult or have any of the chronic health
conditions listed above
• Use telephone, text, telemedicine or
a patient portal to reach out rather than
going to your doctor in person. You and
your provider will decide if you need to
come to medical care.
provider, call 311.
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.
Immigrant Affairs (MOIA).
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 section above.
If you need emergency food assistance,
call the Emergency Food Hotline at 866-
or kitchen. There is no income limit
for emergency food. Learn more about
Free meals for K-12 students
All NYC children can get three free
meals a day from the NYC Department of
Education (DOE). Through Friday, March
20, meals are available at the entrance
to every school from 7:30am–1:30pm.
Beginning March 23, meals will be
distributed at more than 400 sites across
the city. Find a location near you.
How to pick up a meal:
• No registration, ID, or documentation
• You can pick up all three meals a day
at the same time
• No dining space is available, so you
must eat meals away from schools
Senior residents and food
For seniors ages 60 years and older
who have disabilities or access or
functional needs, NYC Department
for the Aging (DFTA) provides homedelivered
meals . Call 311 and learn more
You can now use your Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
and groceries and have them delivered.
Use your EBT card at these online stores
an online store delivers to your home
address. Learn more from HRA.
In an emergency, dial 911. Call the NYC
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Hotline at 800-621-4673, TTY 866-604-
5350 (if you’re hearing impaired) to
speak with a counselor. Learn more
about how Family Justice Centers can
Risk of homelessness
Homebase will help you develop a
plan to overcome an immediate housing
crisis and achieve housing stability. Call
and learn more from HRA.
Programs and services for youth
who are experiencing homelessness
are expected to continue providing basic
services. Learn more from DYCD website.
NYC Housing Preservation and
Development (HPD) Section 8 voucher
holders having trouble paying rent
because of income loss should email
Rent Arrears and Public Assistance
If your work schedule was reduced
as a result of the coronavirus and you
are unable to pay your rent, you can
apply for a Cash Assistance special grant
• If you have an active Cash Assistance
case, the fastest way to submit your
request is online on ACCESS HRA.
• You can apply in person for a onetime
grant at a Job Center.
• Call HRA Info line at 718-557-1399 to
learn how to apply by mail
NY State (NYS) is dropping the 7-day
waiting period for Unemployment
out of work due to COVID-19 closures or
quarantines. Learn more from the State
Department of Labor.
NYS Dept. labor is extending telephone
• Monday through Thursday, 8am to
• Friday, 8am to 6pm
• Saturday, 7:30am to 8pm
Call 888-469-7365 if you have
Vulnerable populations and
children of frontline workers
Regional Enrichment Centers will be
available all day starting Monday, March
healthcare workers, transit workers, and
the most vulnerable student populations.
If you think your child may be eligible,
Learn more about the centers on the
Free internet at home
Charter is offering free Spectrum
broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days
to households with K-12 and/or college
students who do not already have a
Spectrum broadband subscription.
New student households don’t have to
pay installation fees
To enroll, call Spectrum at 844-488-
Devices for remote schooling
The NYC Department of Education
is helping families that need remote
learning devices. Please fill out the
survey below if you need assistance:
• Online (available in English, Español,
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• Phone: 718-935-5100 (press 5)
After school and enrichment
All DYCD-funded programs based in
NYC DOE schools, includingBeacon, are
closed until schools reopen. Cornerstone
and COMPASSCenter-based programs are
closed for the remainder of this week.
Please contact programs for updated
An infectious illness outbreak can be
stressful to you and your loved ones.
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 more
resiliently, try to remain positive, remind
yourself of your strengths, connect with
friends and loved ones and use healthy
If your symptoms of stress become
overwhelming, reach out for support
and help. You can contact NYC Well, a
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
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.
Until further notice, all Xfinity
WiFi Public Hotspots are now open to
• Public hotspots can be found in
small/medium businesses and outdoors
in commercial areas.
• Non-Xfinity subscribers need to
accept Terms and Conditions to access
the network and repeat when requested
to continue to receive free unlimited
• Find a WiFi Public HotSpot on this
By Julie Menin, Director of NYC Census
During these trying times we are in,
we want to share one bit of good news,
readers! Thanks to you and your fellow
New Yorkers, New York City is already
making great strides in the 2020 Census.
After being available for just one
week, 15.1% of NYC households have
already responded to the 2020 Census.
These are good starting numbers, but
let’s take a moment to appreciate why
this is so significant.
In 2010, after one week, just 6% of New
Yorkers had responded to the census by
this point, compared to the national average
of 16% at the time. Now in 2020, as
of March 23, the national average is 21%,
and NYC is at 15.1%. That means we are
closing the gap between New York City
and the national average.
That alone is incredibly significant.
But we have to remember that this is
even more important than ever because
of the unprecedented challenges we’ve
faced in the 2020 Census: the fear, misinformation,
and disinformation stemming
from the protracted, multi-year
battle surrounding the citizenship question;
a deep and widespread distrust of
the federal government; the census being
primarily available online for the
first time; and now, New York City is one
of the national epicenters of the battle
against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now more than ever, to keep each
other safe and healthy, it’s never been
more important for New Yorkers to selfrespond
to the census, as more than 15%
of us have already done. And luckily, it’s
never been easier, since you can fill it out
in just five minutes online or by phone.
So if you haven’t filled out the census
yet, fill it out now at my2020census.gov
or by calling 844-330-2020. And if you
have already done it, take a moment to
pat yourself on the back for being a part
of this historic effort — then tell your
friends, family, and neighbors to do the
“Making Sense of the Census” is a
weekly column from Julie Menin, Director
of NYC Census 2020. Every week we
will be publishing pieces from Julie and
guest authors laying out the facts and
answering tough questions about this
year’s census. Fill out the census now at
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