Our Time Press

From the Desk of Eric Adams

April 29, 2020

Friends,

We will continue to keep you up to date with our emails on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to greatly impact and surround our communities.
As we continue to navigate COVID-19, we are doing everything we can to support our first-responders and frontline workers.
We need your help, Brooklyn, not just today, but everyday, because we are  #BrooklynForLife! At a time when the restaurant industry has suffered greatly, many have continued to rise above and beyond to feed those on the frontline and have truly become heroes. I have called for the creation of a “Hero Grants” program to be allocated to restaurants to support their relief efforts as well as provide support for these businesses which continue to keep our city running.
Please remember that a face mask must be worn when in public if social distancing is not possible. If you do not have access to a mask, watch and share our video on how to make one yourself.
While practicing social isolation, you can check out online webinars in a variety of topics to keep you connected, engaged, and growing through this pandemic. Scroll below for current webinars being hosted by my office in financial education, life coaching, and fitness.
And as always, if you have a home printer, I encourage you to print out a copy of our #StayStrongBrooklyn poster and place it in your window, share on social media, or safely distribute as you see fit to promote a sense of Brooklyn solidarity amid the crisis impacting each and every one of us.
 
-Eric

Updates and Important Information

  • As of 6:00 PM on Tuesday, April 28th, there are 159,865 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York City and 42,380 confirmed cases in Brooklyn. As of 6:00 PM on Tuesday, April 28th, there were 12,287 confirmed deaths citywide, with an additional 5,302 probable deaths, including 3,678 confirmed deaths and 1,300 probable deaths in Brooklyn.
     
  • As per Governor Cuomo, all registered voters may apply for an Absentee Ballot to vote in the upcoming June 23rd elections.
     
  • As per Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carranza, an adjusted K-12 citywide grading policy will be put into effect.
     
  • The Formula E venue at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on July 11, 2020 has been cancelled.
     
  • The New York City Board of Elections (BOE) has canceled June’s Democratic Presidential primary.
     
  • Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center has partnered with Share Meals, Hunger Free America, BetaNYC, and Plentiful to compile a listing and guide on food resources available to New Yorkers.
     
  • New York Road Runners has released an online portal to keep you “Active at Home.”
     
  • SOMOS Community Care has opened an antibody testing center in Sunset Park. It is available by appointment only, Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Call 1-833-SOMOSNY (1-833-766-6769) for an appointment.
     
  • New York City partnered with T-Mobile to provide free tablets with internet access to 10,000 the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) seniors to stay connected with their families including a hotline for live human help.  The first neighborhoods to receive help from the $5 million venture will be Brownsville, Bushwick, Coney Island, East New York, Red Hook, and Mott Haven.
     
  • The Coalition for the Homeless has resources online to help homeless New Yorkers, including downloadable borough-specific resource guides, a crisis hotline, mobile soup kitchen schedule, New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) guidance, and policy papers.
     
  • All publicly permitted events that were scheduled in the month of May and June have been cancelled.
     
  • The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection’s Office of Financial Empowerment has transitioned all financial counseling and coaching programs to offer services remotely. Book an appointment here. 
     
  • Beginning May 4th, the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) will suspend its curbside composting program. During the suspension, any food scraps and yard waste set out for composting will be collected as trash. Residents with brown bins should store their bins in a safe location for the duration of the suspension.
     
  • The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that the opening of its recreational boating season will be postponed until May 23rd.
     
  • The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) launched the NY COVID-19 Legal Resource Hotline to help New York City residents impacted by COVID-19 get answers to their legal questions on issues including unemployment benefits, employee rights, housing, public benefits, consumer debt, advance planning, stimulus payments, and special education issues.  Call (929) 356-9582 Monday-Friday 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM to leave a message with your name and contact information or visit nylag.org/hotline for more information. 
     
  • Women.NYC, which is powered by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, released a downloadable guide for free and low-cost tech courses in New York City.
     
  • Per Governor Cuomo, the PAUSE plan will stay in effect through Wednesday, May 15th. The maximum social distancing fines have been increased from $500 to $1,000. One hundred percent of a non-exempt essential service business’s workforce should stay home. Guidelines on what essential services must still be in person can be found here. A halt on all non-essential public gatherings remains in effect.
     
  • The Trump Administration is moving to delay some deadlines for the 2020 Census due to the novel coronavirus, including delivering data to states for congressional redistricting. The Census Bureau is requesting Congress to allow a 120-day delay on some data-reporting deadlines. The delay would accommodate social distancing guidelines for workers to prevent the spread of the disease and extend the deadline from December 2020 to April 2021. You can do your part to secure respect, money, and resources with the 2020 Census. Please fill out the Census online and #MakeBrooklynCount.
     
  • If you or your house of worship would like to sign up to participate in this rolling 24-hour prayer initiative, go to brooklyn-usa.org/24hrs-of-prayer to share and commit to the day you are planning to hold your vigil.
     
  • NYCHA’s journal has information about how they are responding to COVID-19. Information is available here about hardship reductions for NYCHA residents struggling to pay rent.
     
  • New York Cares is currently mobilizing volunteers to respond to COVID-19.
     
  • New Yorkers can use their SNAP benefits to order online.
     
  • The City has streamlined the home delivery of meals to seniors and working to support our food pantries, who are critical partners in these efforts. In the interim, you can find a list of key resources at nyc.gov/GetFood or by calling 311 and saying “Get Food.”
     
  • Free and low-cost childcare options during the COVID-19 crisis are available through Workers Need Childcare, for parents and caregivers in New York City’s essential workforce.
     
  • Mental health professionals have signed up to volunteer their services at a FREE hotline. Call (844) 863-9314 for a free appointment.
     
  • Worried about having to self-isolate in a dangerous home situation? Co-quarantined with an abuser? Please reach out and contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline.  Call 1 (800) 799-7233,  TTY 1 (800) 787-3224, or chat online at thehotline.org.
     
  • The City has created a new, online portal that will allow New Yorkers to self-report COVID-19 data, helping the City to communicate with affected members of the public and assist in the identification of areas that may require an enhanced response. By going online or calling 311, New Yorkers can quickly input information about themselves and legal guardians can add information for children or adults in their care. New Yorkers can update their status at any time through the Portal or by calling 311. The Portal is available in 11 languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu. It is not intended as a mechanism for providing advice or treatment, and should not be relied upon as a method to obtain medical care or emergency service. Personal information will be stored securely and only accessible to City employees protecting public health. It will not be accessible by ICE, or used for law enforcement or any other purpose.
     
  • Banks have waived mortgage payments for 90 days and suspended foreclosures. Eligibility is based on financial hardship. Late payment fees and ATM overdraft fees are also suspended. All student loan interest has been suspended. 
     
  • Tax Day has been pushed back to Wednesday, July 15th. As per Mayor de Blasio, all tax lien sales will be postponed from May until at least August.
     
  • The Employee Retention Grant for small businesses with four or fewer employees is available and includes space for you to add March and April’s revenue.  Information and eligibility can be found here. Additionally, loans are available for small businesses affected by COVID-19, the application can be accessed here. The Small Business Continuity Fund will offer financial assistance to small businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25 percent or more will be eligible for loans of up to $75,000, to help retain employees and ensure business continuity.
     
  • We have partnered with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to get businesses the relief they deserve amid the pandemic. Join the Small Business Hotline via the Brooklyn App.
     
  • Mayor De Blasio and Chancellor Carranza announced that New York City public schools are remote learning and are closed until September 2020. The DOE will provide computers and internet access to every student who needs it. Call (718) 935-5100 (press 5). Parents and guardians of students with disabilities can send questions to specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov. 
     
  • School sites are open for grab-and-go meals this week, from 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM, outside of main entrances of every school building. The program is now open to anyone who wants food, no questions asked. Go to schools.nyc.gov, or text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877 for lists of where meals are being served.
     
  • For veterans and their families, the NYC Veterans Alliance has a list of resources on their website.
     
  • MTA buses and subways remain open, and the NYC Ferry system and Staten Island Ferry will continue to operate. MTA buses are rear-door boarding-only, with exceptions for disabled riders. On local buses, that means no more fare collection. Regular fare policy remains in effect wherever on-board payment boxes or SBS off-board ticket machines continue to be accessible.
     
  • Alternate Side Parking (ASP) is suspended through Tuesday, May 12th. Parking meters are still in effect. Rideshares and carpools have been banned by executive order.  With the exception of families, there can only be one passenger per vehicle.   
     
  • The City is recruiting TLC-licensed drivers through DeliveryTLC to help with work related to COVID-19, such as delivering food to older adults. This work will be paid $15/hour plus reimbursement for gas and tolls. Drivers will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. The initial need for drivers will be small, but they expect it to increase as they expand the programs.
     
  • The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) is fining and shutting down non-essential construction sites. Essential construction may continue and such construction includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals, or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. A map of essential and emergency construction sites allowed to continue working can be found here.
     
  • While all Brooklyn Public Library branches are closed until further notice, services and programming are still available online at their website. 
     
  • A statewide eviction moratorium is currently in effect, including residential and commercial properties as well as foreclosures, according to the Office of Court Administration. The City will work with the State to suspend the Rent Guidelines Board process for the coming year, which will maintain all regulated rents at their current level for 2.3 million tenants in nearly one million stabilized units across the city.
     
  • Utilities have been ordered to not shut off service for gas, water, or electricity. Internet services will not be cut off during this time.
     
  • If you see price gouging, report it to 1 (800) 697-1220, fill out the complaint form on the New York State Attorney General’s website, or email askeric@brooklynbp.nyc.gov.
     
  • If you are feeling sick, please wait three to four days before contacting a doctor. Use telemedicine services BEFORE going to the doctor’s office, urgent care, or the ER. Thanks to our advocacy and Governor Cuomo’s leadership, co-pays for telemedicine consultations have been eliminated due to COVID-19. Call (800) 633-4227 or your doctor for more information if you are on Medicaid. Whether you utilize Medicaid, private insurance, or are a self-payer, options are offered across many specialty areas.  Urgent care telemedicine is available with New York-Presbyterian, Mount Sinai, orNYU Langone. Mental health telemedicine is available with Columbia Doctors. Diabetes telemedicine help is available with NYC Health + Hospitals. If you know other services, email askeric@brooklynbp.nyc.gov.
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