If you’ve lost your job and worried about paying your rent, if you are a small business worried about paying your employees, if you are exhibiting symptoms or Covid-19, or just need somebody to talk to, here are NYC and NY State resources, including hotlines, that will help us all survive these stressful, even lonely, days.
For the latest updates on how the NYC is responding to the crisis, sign up for one or both of these official alerts:
- Notify NYC is an app for everything from subway and traffic delays to dispelling false rumors about the spraying of disinfectant from helicopters over Brooklyn.
- Sign up for text alerts by texting COVID to 692 692.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms of COVID-19 are a dry cough, sore throat, fever and shortness of breath.
- Call (800) 232-4636 for more info or go to cdc.gov/covid19
If you have symptoms, contact your primary health care provider first, who will advise you whether or not to get a coronavirus test or to go a hospital.
- If you do not have a doctor, NYC can help you find one, regardless of your immigration or insurance status.
- .Call (844) 692-4692 or 311
- You can also call 311 to report discrimination or harassment due to the outbreak.
Limit calls to 911 for life-and-death emergencies requiring immediate response by EMS, NYFD or NYPD.
- Seriously, if you can’t find toilet paper in a store, it is not a 911 emergency, or even a 311 emergency.
You can also visit one of CityMD’s more than 100 urgent care locations in the five boroughs.
If they rule out seasonal flu, they may recommend a coronavirus test.
- Find your nearest CityMD at citymd.com/urgent-care-locations
Here is a chart with official information from the official World Health Organization (WHO) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that shows the difference between symptoms for Coronavirus, flu and the ordinary common cold.
If you are a state-certified health care professional, NYC and NY State need your help to handle the expected rise of coronavirus patients, including retired professionals.
The NY State Department of Health is operating a 24/7 coronavirus hotline at (888) 364-3065 for updates.
- Check out the latest numbers of confirmed cases statewide by county at health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/
Several supermarket chains in NYC have instituted special early morning shopping hours for seniors and those with other health issues who are most susceptible to the dangers of Covid-19.
Supermarkets include Whole Foods, Key Food and Morton Williams.
Also, TD Bank has special hours for seniors and the health challenged.
NYC subways and buses, the Staten Island Ferry, NYC Ferry, LIRR and MetroNorth are running on reduced weekend or holiday schedules.
- For service updates, call 511 or go to mta.info/nyct
The city has suspended alternate side parking through Tuesday, March 24.
- Sign up for parking info email updates from DOT at www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/contact/email_signup.shtml.
- Check the NYCOTC 2020 Parking Rules Calendar for the full calendar of NYC parking holidays.
If you spot a merchant raising prices on items like cleaning materials and hand sanitizer, report the illegal price gouging at (800) 697-1220
- You can also file a complaint at dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/
NY State has waived the seven-day waiting period to file for unemployment benefits for those out of jobs due to the outbreak.
- To file: (888) 209-8124 or online at labor.ny.gov/home/
Rent, Mortgage & Utility Payments
NYC has paused all eviction proceedings.
- To report a marshal executing an eviction, call the Department of Investigation’s Bureau of City Marshals at (212) 825-5953.
Con Edison has suspended service shutoffs for people having payment issues. If you are experiencing outages, call (800) 752-6633.
Small Business Grants and Loans
NYC businesses whose sales decreased 25% or more because of Coronavirus can sign up for a zero-interest $75,000 loan from NYC
- Additional resources for NYC small businesses
Evelyn Kanter is a native New Yorker who has written for the NY Times, NY Daily News, NY Post, New York Magazine, and is a former on-air investigative consumer reporter for WCBS Newsradio 88 and WABC-TV Eyewitness News.
Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
Purchase autographed copies by emailing [email protected]