COVID-19 Tips & Resources
March 16, 2020
WHDC encourages all to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out this useful guide below from our friend Jose Ortiz, Jr., Executive Director of NYC Employment & Training Coalitions (NYCETC). Another excellent resource is the newsletter from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and other elected officials. We’ve added a few other resources and will continue to make updates as we receive them.
Below you will find Federal, State and Local Government Resources; Day-to-Day Tips; Support and Discussions for Human Services Organizations; and Small Business Support.
FEDERAL, STATE + LOCAL GOVERNMENT RESOURCES
Please take a look at the following Federal, State, and Local agencies links provided below. These are the main websites for an overview on COVID-19. They each contain information on the symptoms, prevention, testing, and precautions around travel, as well as other resources, guides, and answers to commonly asked questions.
- NYC HRA Cooling Assistance Benefit
- NYS Test Site Finder
- NYC Food Help
- NYC DoE Remote Learning Device Request Form
- World Health Organization
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- NYS Dept. of Health
- NYC Dept. of Mental Health and Hygiene
- NYC Nonprofits
- CDC Fact Sheet
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- NYC Department of Health Fact Sheet
- FAQ for Contracted Health and Human Service Providers from the Office of the NYC Mayor
- NYC Health Business and Employer Guidance
- NYC Comptroller’s COVID-19 Resource List
- Community Voices Heard’s Resource Map
- Manhattan Legal Services – if you are seeking legal assistance on a new matter, you can call the legal assistance hotline at 917-661-4500, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Staff can take calls in any language.
- Childcare for Children of Essential Workers
- NYS OCFS Guidance for funded, operated, licensed, regulated, or designated providers
- Homeless Shelter Interim Guidance
- Congregate Setting Interim Guidance
- Schools and Families Guidance
- Business and Employer Guidance – an update from 3/5
- Commercial or Residential Building General Disinfection Guidance
- Businesses and Non-Healthcare Setting General Disinfection Guidance
- Updated Guidance for Business Owners from the NYC SBS
- CDC: Business Planning Checklist for Pandemic
OTHER FORMS OF COVID-19 FINANCIAL RELIEF FOR INDIVIDUALS
Our friends at Finimpact want to remind you of your personal financial relief options during this pandemic. If you have been hit hard with the effects of COVID-19, its vital to use all of the avenues at your disposal. These avenues include:
- Mortgage Relief – The CARES Act allows mortgage relief up to 180 days for those affected. This is the case for Federally backed mortgages. If you cannot make your mortgage payments due to COVID-19, then you definitely need to contact your bank. All you have to do is submit a request to the servicer – no further documentation is required.
- Lease Relief – know your rights. Landlords cannot evict tenants during the present time (provided they have been granted forbearance) without giving 120 days of notice. The CARES Act forbids evictions in Federally backed housing (note that you must still pay your rent – you just have a longer time to do it and won’t have any penalties for late payment). Many states and local authorities have issues laws that prevent landlords from evicting tenants.
- Unemployment Benefits – If the worst comes to worst and you do lose your job, then at least you will be fully entitled to jobseekers allowance. A $2 Trillion Bill enacted in late March allows those who are now unemployed due to Corona Virus to gain the necessary funds to meet basic needs. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (‘PUA’) covers. Independent contractors and sick people caring for a loved one. The PAU also offers $600 on top of existing benefits for eligible applicants.
Below, are some day-to-day tools to prevent and/or manage the epidemic, including tips we have collected from a number of workforce development service providers. We’ve listed them into three broad categories: Personal Protective, Community & Social Distancing, and Environmental Measures.
- Ensure sufficient supply of personal hygiene products, especially hand soap and hand sanitizer.
- Wash hand frequently, cover coughs, and to stay home when sick through emails and flyers throughout your office and facilities.
- Wipe down surfaces, especially doorknobs and elevator buttons more regularly
Community & Social Distancing
- If traveling, stay informed of which areas are high-risk and the associated risk.
- Establish policies to ensure those returning from travel to high-risk areas self-quarantine for 14-days.
- Limit non-essential business travel.
- Limit large gatherings and large events.
- For employers, consider creating separate teams of employees working on essential business functions. Teams could then be located in separate areas and/or asked to rotate working from home.
- Consider staggering shifts for workers, as well as staggered one week quarantines if necessary.
- Institute policies to separate employees from being in close contact.
- Encourage and support telecommuting:
- Do an inventory of employees working with laptops that can be more easily asked to work from home.
- Ask staff and clients about computer and Internet access at home and set up policies for those without access.
- Investigate your organization’s IT capacity if the need arises to have all staff work remotely simultaneously and accessing your servers.
- Encouraging and supporting remote learning and training:
- Analyze and prepare what classroom content, if any, could be delivered remotely or via alternative methods.
- Prepare digital and distance learning tools and protocols.
- Digital tools to consider include Zoom and Google Hangouts (see comparative analysis)
- Note: While COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for approximately 72 hours, the main method of transmission is from person-to-person.
- Clean surfaces regularly and increase cleaning of high touch surfaces.