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COVID Newsletters

Weekly COVID Newsletter (7/23)


It’s Thursday, July 23, 2020. Welcome to the weekly edition of my COVID newsletter.

At press time, nonprofit news site’s COVID-19 tracker shows Manhattan has 29,943 confirmed cases and 3,138 deaths; New York City as a whole has 222,444 cases and 23,428 deaths. According to the NYC Dept. of Health, reporting delays are contributing to an unnatural drop in cases; for example, yesterday (7/22) only 11 cases were confirmed.

The Architect’s Newspaper published “It Takes a City: Foley Square’s Black Lives Matter mural is a designer-led transformation of public space” a terrific piece about our street-painting project. And last Friday the New York Times ran “The ‘Black Lives Matter’ Street Art That Contain Multitudes: The works in Harlem and Lower Manhattan are much more than a challenge to President Trump; they are opportunities for Black artists and community togetherness.” about all the murals.  I’m thrilled these artists are getting the recognition they deserve.

Mayor de Blasio just announced three new walk-in COVID testing sites in Manhattan, which are open from 8 am to 8 pm no appointment needed! The locations are 330 West 42nd Street, 919 2nd Avenue, and 77 Dyckman Street. Learn more about the Test and Trace program here.

Gov. Cuomo this week added 10 more states (and removed one) to the self-quarantine list if their residents visit New York State. The state removed was Minnesota, and the states added were Alaska, Indiana, Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia and Washington.

The deadline for New York State’s new COVID Rent Relief Program is July 30. Tenants who have lost income during the COVID-19 crisis are eligible to apply and will benefit from a one-time rental subsidy paid directly to landlords. Learn more and apply here. My staff can help with your application– leave a voicemail at 212-531-1609.

The deadline for NYS health insurance special enrollment has been extended to August 15. New Yorkers without health insurance can apply for coverage through the NY State of Health / Health Plan Marketplace.

Cooling centers are open across the city today until 8 pm due to the heat advisory. Find your nearest location here or call 311.

The launch of the annual Fresh Food for Seniors program– sponsored by my office and Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Members Helen Rosenthal and Margaret Chin–  is now pushed to the fall, if feasible amid all the necessary health precautions. We will share updates as soon as we have news. Meanwhile, view the list of city Greenmarkets that are functioning here.

United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew spoke at a telephone town hall for teachers where they discussed the need for schools to open safely and for the teachers to take action if it is not being done right. He said that if schools do not open, all teaching will be done online. At a minimum, if schools do re-open, some instruction will still be done online. For teachers requesting medical accommodations, no requests have been denied so far. A decision to re-open schools, according to Mulgrew, won’t come until the last week of August or first week of September.

NYC public school families will soon receive $420 per child on a  Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) card. The amount is equivalent to the budget for school breakfasts and lunches since the start of the pandemic. If families already have EBT, the amount will be added to their existing accounts; if not, they will be sent a card in the mail (look for the envelope!). Many students rely on those meals, obviously, and the economic impact of that spending at local grocery stores and farmers markets is vital. Community Food Advocates has prepared these informative resources in multiple languages.

SCHealth donates masks at Rangel Houses on Thursday July 23 2020

(left to right: Caputo, McNear, Beys, Bennett, myself, and Nelson)

Up at NYCHA’S Rangel Houses Senior Center today, I was proud to join former Community Board 7 Chair Elizabeth Caputo, NYCHA Executive Vice President Gerard Nelson and Tenant Association Leaders Bernadette McNear and Rhonda Bennett in accepting a donation of 100,000 three-ply surgical masks from Michael Beys, CEO of SC Health (3rd from left), a US-owned medical supply vendor. The masks will be distributed to NYCHA residents throughout Manhattan, coordinated by NYCHA Tenant Association leaders.

There’s a new Brooklyn-Manhattan overnight bus route, the B99 interborough local,” operating between Flatbush Ave.-Brooklyn College and Columbus Circle with service between 1 – 6 am.

Alternate side parking is back, with some changes. Residential streets that have multiple ASP days will be cleaned– with vehicles required to be moved– only on the latest day in the week on each side, as indicated on posted signage. Cars on streets that have just one day of ASP regulations on each side will move on that posted day alone.

The Public Art Fund has commissioned 50 artistic reflections on the current moment, displayed at hundreds of locations citywide. Visit All In NYC: Public Art Edition to explore new public art throughout the city.

New York Foundation for Senior Citizens continues to offer home sharing and respite care programs.

Volunteers are needed to assist seniors and those with disabilities at the “Get Off Our Necks” Commitment March, sponsored by the National Action Network and a coalition of groups, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C on Friday, August 28. Email NYC Chapter Chair of the Disabilities Committee Naomi Jones.

Nominate an individual or organization doing outstanding urban public health work for the Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize. Nominations will be accepted until December 31.

Every weekday at 2 pm, New York-Presbyterian psychologists and social workers present tips, tricks, and Q&A for the COVID-19 crisis. Join the English session here; join the Spanish session here.

The 30th anniversary celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act continues this week with these events from the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.

Run the Randall’s Island Virtual 5K & 10K by this Sunday (7/26). You can run either virtually or physically on Randall’s Island’s nine miles of flat paths. Register here.

RING Garden at Lt. William Tighe Triangle in Inwood has reopened. Information about visiting here.

Applications open today for artist space in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Arts Center, part of the Governors Island Residency Initiative, which will provide temporary free space to artists.

Tonight (7/23) at 7:30 pm, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance’s #StayHomeOpenStudios will tour Laurence Elle Groux’s studio. Watch here.

Zoos and aquariums will once again welcome humans as they reopen tomorrow (7/24).

Tomorrow (7/24) at 3 pm, National Association of Women Artists will host its weekly “Art in Conversation” with CUNY and School of Visual Arts Professor Farrin Chwalkowski. Stream on Youtube.

Tomorrow (7/24) at 5 pm, Jacob’s Pillow will celebrate 50 Years of Ballet Hispánico with a virtual PillowTalk discussion. Register here.

Apply by Friday night (7/24) to join Freedom Summer 2020, a free month-long political education experience for current parents of NYC public school students, hosted by advocacy group Alliance for Quality Education.

Saturday (7/25) at 10 am, join me and our neighbors for a community clean-up of Broadway between 145th to 150th Streets. We’ll meet at Harlem Public, 3612 Broadway (it’s between 148th and 149th.)

Saturday (7/25) at 12 pm, Harlem Renaissance 2.0 will launch with a banner presentation celebrating SGLBTQ sheroes and heroes who pioneered the Harlem Renaissance. Register here.

Saturday (7/25) at 2 pm, the Chinese-American Family Alliance for Mental Health’s College Student Wellness program is hosting a three-part journaling workshop series: “Reclaiming Self During Uncertain Times: Emotional Navigation for Asian American Students through Journaling.”

The documentary “Mart 125” about the historic Harlem vendors’ market has been released online, and on Sunday (7/26) at 8 pm, Community Board 10 will host a Central Harlem community discussion on Mart 125 for those who’ve watched it.

On Monday (7/27) at 3 pm, Harlem Educational Activities Fund will host a virtual conversation and Q&A with author Jacqueline Woodson about her award-winning memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming. Register here.

On Monday (7/27) at 5 pm, Older Adults Technology Services’ Senior Planet will host a virtual craft circle, Creative Creations. Join by Zoom or find call-in information here.

On Monday (7/27) at 6 pm, join a Virtual Town Hall with NoHo elected officials sponsored by the NoHo BID to discuss all things pandemic. Register here.

On Monday (7/27) at 8:30 pm, ReelAbilities will host a virtual Q&A with the filmmakers of “Crip Camp,” a documentary about a summer camp for teens with disabilities. This conversation will have live captioning. Register here.

On Tuesday (7/28) at 2 pm, the Guggenheim and artist Ad Minoliti will discuss Minoliti’s Mompainted #1, #2, and #3 (2018) as part of the Guggenheim’s Artwork Anthology online talk series. Watch here or livestream on the Guggenheim’s Youtube page.

Tuesday (7/28) at 6 pm, Lower Manhattan Hospital’s Health & Wellness virtual lecture series continues with “COVID-19 Safe Care.” RSVP to

On Tuesday (7/28) at 6:30 pm, Community Board 4’s Balanced Business Task Force is hosting a “Small Business Support Programs and NYC’s Re-Opening Plan in the Age of COVID-19” virtual forum. Panelists include NYC Small Business Services, Robert Benfatto (BID Association, Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance BID), Wendy Gonzalez (Google Small Business Marketing), Nathaniel Garber (Garber’s Hardware), Maya Joseph (Sullivan Street Bakery), and Charlene Wilkinson (Christ Chase Hair Salon). Click the title to register.

Daily FreshDirect deliveries continued this week at NYCHA developments all across the borough. Thank you to my staff and local Tenants’ Associations for all your help on this amazing project. The FreshDirect contract from the city has now been extended to the end of September!

 Stay Safe