If you’ve lost your job and worried about paying your rent or utility bills, a small business worried about paying your employees, exhibiting symptoms or Covid-19, or just need somebody to talk to, these NYC and NY State resources, including hotlines and FREE meals, will help us all survive these stressful, even lonely, days.
Beware of scammers pretending to be from the IRS sending you emails or making robocalls.
First and most important, do not call 911 unless it is a life or death emergency.
The heroes staffing 911 calls, including EMTs, dispatchers and others are stretched to their limits, responding to double the number of calls as what used to be normal.
NYC has a 24-hour COVID-19 hotline available at: (888) 364-3065 for information up-to-date information.
If you are part of an at-risk population such as a senior or immuno-compromised and want testing, call (844) NYC-4NYC, or call 311.
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.
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.
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.
Where to Get Medical Care
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.
Kareem Malek, COO of Within Health (seewithin.co) emailed NYC on the Cheap to offer FREE telehealth calls to patients are experiencing COVID symptoms, to help people out of the ER and reduce the strain on NY hospitals.
Use this link if you or a loved one needs to speak to a doctor https://seewithin.co/pages/telehealth-call
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
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/
Three free meals a day are now available Mon-Fri for all New Yorkers in more than 400 Meal Hubs across the five boroughs.
See our full report on how to find a location near you by zipcode or school district, daily menus and more.
Or text “NYC FOOD” to 877-877.
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.
Parents can also help their kids get learning materials at home:
If your child needs a device to learn at home, call (718) 935-5100, then press 5.
More time at home could raise the risks of domestic violence.
Call Safe Horizon’s hotline at (800) 621-HOPE or go to Safehorizon.org/SafeChat
NYC subways and buses, the Staten Island Ferry, NYC Ferry, LIRR and MetroNorth are running on reduced weekend, some as little as once an hour.
- 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.
NYCHA residents in need of emergency maintenance or repairs should call (718) 707-7771.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org