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COVID Newsletters

Weekly COVID newsletter (4/23)


It’s Thursday, April 23, 2020.

For the last five weeks, we’ve begun with reporting the Johns Hopkins COVID case tracker accounting of confirmed cases (which includes people who got better), and the cumulative death count.

But Johns Hopkins has a lag, so going forward we’ll now relay the count prepared by nonprofit news site The City, which consolidates and cross-references data from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Governor’s office, and several private sources, including the Johns Hopkins tracker. Visit their page here and see how robust their data are.

At press time,’s COVID-19 tracker shows Manhattan has 17,803 confirmed cases and 1,805 deaths; New York City as a whole has 141,754 confirmed cases and 15,411 deaths.

This is the last day to access the Dept. of Education (DOE) form to request the borrowing of internet-enabled iPads. You can also reach DOE to request one over the phone; call (718) 935-5100. Everyone who fills out a request form online, with a staff member, or over the phone, will be sent follow up emails and texts.

Tonight (4/23) I’m sponsoring a second Uptown Arts Teleconference at 6:30 pm, in partnership with the Arts and Culture Committee of The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the Harlem Arts Alliance, and the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance. We will broaden the initial discussion (needs, strategies, and resources) to include a discussion on funding, philanthropy, and technical assistance opportunities. Panelists will include Voza Rivers (Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce), Joyous Pierce (Harlem Arts Alliance) and Niria Leyva-Gutierrez, Ph.D. (Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance). The Harlem Arts Alliance asks that you complete their Uptown Arts & Culture Resource Assessment Survey, which can be found here.

Register here to be sent a link to log into the Zoom meeting.

Following my letter to Mayor de Blasio with Councilmembers Johnson, Chin, Powers, and Rivera asking that the City look at expanding pedestrian space on Broadway between Times Square and Chinatown, I’ll be testifying tomorrow (4/24) at 11 am before the City Council’s Transportation Committee on legislation to temporarily expand pedestrian and cyclist space on 75 miles of city streets to allow New Yorkers to safely social distance. Watch the hearing here.

If you missed my virtual Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) Town Hall, you can watch the hour-long panel on my YouTube channel. We discussed the importance of SYEP and efforts to save it, featuring panelists from many of the city’s leading non-profits.

Tonight (4/23) at 6 pm, the New York Urban League (NYUL) is hosting their second COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall, with a focus on “Health Care and Mental Health in the Black Community.” The town hall promises “an open forum for guests to receive up to date information on the COVID-19 crisis and ask questions about ways to ensure mental and spiritual health during challenging times,” and features opening remarks from Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul. The panel, moderated by NYUL President & CEO Arva Rice, includes The Root’s Danielle Belton, Harlem Hospital’s Ebone McIntosh Carrington, The Hope Center Harlem’s Rev. Kyndra Frazier, and the NYU McSilver Institute’s Dr. Michael Lindsay. Register here.

Tonight (4/23) from 6 – 7 pm Gabrielle Revlock teaches her weekly class at dance studio Movement Research (available for free on Zoom): “Contact Improvisation: The Basics.”

Tonight (4/23) from 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm, the Citywide Council on Special Education is hosting an online Parent Forum: “Special Education during COVID-19: Understanding the current educational environment for children with disabilities during these uncertain times.” Join the meeting via Google Hangout, or call in at +1 (929) 324-1317 with PIN: 326 073 316#.

Tomorrow (4/24) at 8 am, Bike New York is hosting a “Virtual Friday Morning Happy Hour: Conversation on the impacts of COVID-19 for you and cycling.” Email with any questions.

Tomorrow (4/24) from 7 – 8 pm, the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden is hosting a virtual opening reception for a piece by Sandra Fernandez titled Movement, Migration and Home; the piece is a beautiful work that depicts Manhattan as a literal cultural patchwork, with colorful segments stitched together by the paths people from all over the world take to reach our city. Access the reception on Zoom here, with Meeting ID: 731-2357-4447.

The dance company for older adults Dances for a Variable Population have shifted to remote programming, with free access videos and Zoom-based classes (14 classes a week, 7 days a week), as well as remote telephone conference programs.

Following up on our item in Tuesday’s (4/21) newsletter, here are two additional resources for downtown businesses which are still open:

  • Downtown Alliance has a has a list (Google Sheets) of restaurants, bars, grocery stores and other businesses still open for business in Downtown Manhattan.

  • Flatiron-23rd Street Partnership has shared similar lists for restaurantsessential retailers, and online classes from Flatiron-based businesses.

And here’s the rest:

250 of the jobs for NYCHA residents listed on have yet to be filled. These positions are for temporary per diem workers to assist with general maintenance at NYCHA properties. Per diem income will not have an impact on your rent. Apply here.

NYCHA residents who’ve lost income should qualify for NYCHA’s rent hardship program and should apply now. Residents can self-certify without submitting any documents and will be given a credit as soon as the request is submitted and reviewed by NYCHA (Residents do not have to wait as they did in the past). Call (718) 707-7771 or learn more here. has announced Emergency HP Action, a new tool empowering tenants against landlords who are neglecting essential repairs or harassing tenants. Emergency HP Action allows tenants to sue landlords from any device that connects to the internet– saving a trip to Housing Court. Learn more here.

Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) have announced A Common Thread, a grants program for the American fashion firms who have been impacted by the pandemic. Grants will target designers, small retailers and other members of the fashion community. The second round of applications is now available through May 3. The fund is not limited to former Fashion Fund participants or CFDA members.

The education consultancy Teq has made their OTIS series of classes and resources, which help guide teachers and schools in distance learning as well as online professional development, free to use; it’s equipped with a chat box to directly connect with Teq staff for advice. Learn more here.

You can help make sure every New Yorker gets counted! Sign up to join the new Text Out the Count campaign from the Census Bureau: there are virtual text banks being held daily.

Please forward these newsletters to anyone you know who would find them useful, or have them subscribe to my enews here or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram.

And please do call me with any urgent problems or concerns: (212) 669-8191.