Resources for Immigrant Communities During COVID-19 Pandemic
This website provides human translations into ten languages designated by Local Law 30.
Other languages are provided through Google Translate.
This information is up to date as of December 14, 2020. The information on available services and resources is frequently changing. For updated information, visit nyc.gov/coronavirus and follow @NYCHealthy and @NYCImmigrants on Twitter.
The number of new COVID-19 cases in NYC has been rising rapidly. People with underlying health conditions, as well as those who live or care for such people, should now take increased precautions, including not leaving home except when necessary and avoiding public spaces. Find out if you or someone you know is at a high risk for severe illness and should follow these increased precautions by visiting the DOHMH COVID-19 webpage or reviewing the guidance below.
Starting December 14, restaurants and other food service establishments in New York City are no longer allowed to open for indoor dining. They may still offer outdoor dining, pick-up and delivery. Visit New York Governor’s Announcement webpage for more information.
Starting December 14, gyms and fitness centers will be allowed to operate at 25% capacity, reduced from 33%. Personal care services -- for example, salons and barbershops -- will be allowed to provide services so long as the employees performing services are tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis, and obtain a negative test result prior to opening. Visit New York Governor’s Announcement webpage for more information.
Starting Friday, November 13, bars, restaurants, gyms and fitness centers are required to be closed daily from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. This restriction also applies to any State Liquor Authority-licensed establishment. Restaurants may still provide curbside pick-up or delivery of food orders after 10 p.m., but they cannot take alcohol orders. Visit New York Governor's press release for more information.
See the Education Section below of this Resource Guide for the COVID-19 related school restrictions and reopening plans
COVID-19 Zone Restrictions
Due to recent increases in COVID-19 cases in certain neighborhoods, schools and businesses in those neighborhoods must temporarily close or have limited in-person services. Areas of the city have been designated as Red, Orange or Yellow zones based on their number of cases, and each type of zone has different restrictions.
Schools: All New York City public schools and nonpublic schools must close and return to full remote learning.
Businesses: All nonessential businesses are required to close.
Food Service Establishments: Restaurants, bars, cafes and other food service establishments can provide takeout and delivery service only. No indoor or outdoor dining is allowed.
Houses of Worship: Houses of worship may remain open at 25% capacity, up to a maximum of 10 people, whichever is fewer.
Gatherings: Non-essential gatherings of any size are prohibited and must be postponed or cancelled. Any individual who encourages, promotes or organizes mass gatherings may be fined up to $15,000/day.
Schools: All New York City public schools and nonpublic schools must close and return to full remote learning.
Businesses: Businesses including gyms and fitness centers, and personal care services, including barbers, hair salons, spas, tattoo or piercing parlors, nail technicians and nail salons, cosmetologists, estheticians, the provision of laser hair removal and electrolysis, etc. must close.
Food Service Establishments: Restaurants, bars, cafes and other food service establishments can provide outdoor dining and takeout and delivery service only. There is a four-person maximum per table. No indoor dining is allowed.
Houses of Worship: Houses of worship may remain open at 33% capacity, up to a maximum of 25 people, whichever is fewer.
Gatherings: Non-essential gatherings must be limited to no more than 10 people for both indoor and outdoor settings. Any individual who encourages, promotes or organizes mass gatherings may be fined up to $15,000/day.
Schools: All New York City public schools and nonpublic schools may remain open. Testing guidance will be issued by New York State on Friday, 10/9/2020.
Businesses: All businesses may remain open but must follow COVID-19 requirements for their sector.
Food Service Establishments: Indoor and outdoor dining is allowed. There is a four-person maximum per table.
Houses of Worship: Houses of worship may remain open at 50% maximum capacity.
Gatherings: Non-essential gatherings must be limited to 25 people maximum for both indoor and outdoor settings. Any individual who encourages, promotes or organizes mass gatherings may be fined up to $15,000/day.
Learn more below about what these restrictions mean and whether your facility is located in a zone of concern by visiting the webpages below.
All New Yorkers should get a COVID-19 diagnostic test, whether or not they have symptoms or are at increased risk. If you have already been tested and were found to be negative, you should get another test if you have COVID-19 symptoms or concerned by a possible exposure. Tests are free.
If you have already been tested and were found to be negative, you should get another test if:
You or your provider is concerned by a possible exposure, such as:
Spending time in large crowds
An exposure to someone with confirmed or possible COVID-19
Breaches in wearing a face covering or maintaining physical distancing
You work in a residential congregate setting, such as a nursing home or shelter.
You are planning to visit someone at highest risk for severe COVID-19 illness, including people 65 or older and people with serious underlying medical conditions.
Try to maintain strict physical distancing and other precautions for at least 10 days before you get tested. If you have had COVID-19 symptoms within the last 14 days, no matter how minor, postpone your visit.
Free testing, regardless of immigration status or whether you have insurance, is available at the following locations:
NYC Health + Hospitals operates multiple COVID-19 testing sites throughout the five boroughs. The location information can be found on their website.
In addition to the testing sites run by NYC Health + Hospitals, there are more than 100 other testing locations throughout the five boroughs. To find other testing sites, click here or view our list of partners below. No appointment needed at most locations.
The Test & Trace Corps is an initiative to stop COVID-19 infections in New York City and help the city open back up.
If you test positive, you will receive a call from a Tracer who will if you need more medical attention, help you arrange isolate at home or at a free hotel, and create a list of everyone you had contact with since shortly before the onset of symptoms.
If you test positive, a Tracer will also facilitate health care as well as mental health services and get meal and medication delivery.
When seeking care at these facilities, you will not be asked about immigration status. COVID-19 testing and care services are not a public benefit under the Public Charge rule.
COVID-19 Symptoms and Seeking Care
People with COVID-19 have reported many different types of symptoms, including:
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Call your health care provider if you have these symptoms, especially if you are an older adult, pregnant or have health conditions that put you at increased risk for severe illness.
If you need help finding a doctor or getting medical care, call Health + Hospitals’ hotline 844-NYC-4NYC (844-692-4692). The City of New York will provide medical care no matter what your immigration status is and regardless of your ability to pay.
If you have any of the following symptoms, go to an emergency room or call 911 immediately:
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
New confusion or inability to stay awake
Blue lips or face
Sudden face drooping
Numbness in the face, arm, or leg
Any sudden or severe pain
Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
Any other emergency conditions
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a new health condition associated with COVID-19 that is appearing in children in NYC and elsewhere. The syndrome was previously called pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or PMIS. MIS-C is like other serious inflammatory conditions such as Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome. Children with MIS-C can have problems with their heart and other organs and need to receive medical care in a hospital. Download the MIS-C fact sheet.
The most important prevention steps are as follows:
Stay home if you’re sick: only leave for essential medical care or other essential errands.
Keep physical distance: Stay at least 6 feet away from other people.
Keep your hands clean: Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Wear a face covering: You can be contagious without symptoms. Protect those around you by wearing a face covering
Face Covering: New Yorkers must wear face coverings in public, especially when they are not able to stay at least six feet away from others. A face covering is a well-secured paper or cloth that covers your nose and mouth and should be worn whenever you leave home. For more information about what type of face covering should be used and how, visit the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene COVID-19 webpage.
Travelers from a restricted state or country generally must comply with the mandatory 14-day quarantine rule. However, New York State recently announced a guideline that allows some travelers to test out of the 14-day quarantine. For more information, visit the New York State Department of Health’s COVID-19 Travel Advisory webpage.
New York City enacted random checkpoints as an educational tool designed to ensure travelers understand and comply with New York State’s travel restrictions. For more information, visit the NYC Checkpoint Frequently Asked Questions.
People with HIV: Most people with HIV do not need to take additional precautions for COVID-19. There is no evidence that having HIV puts you at greater risk of severe illness. Review the Guidance for People with HIV.
The COVID-19 antibody test is a blood test to find antibodies — proteins in your blood that fight infections. A positive test for antibodies is not necessarily an indication of immunity. But you'll know if you had COVID-19 and help develop research for vaccines and other ways to fight the virus.
You should get an antibody test if you:
DON'T have COVID-19 symptoms
HAVEN'T been sick in the last two weeks
HAVEN'T tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks
The City’s guidance on what you should do regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is frequently updated. To stay up to date with the latest information, visit NYC.gov/Coronavirus. Information is available in over 20 languages.
The City of New York is NOT setting up COVID-19 tests directly with patients. If you receive such a call, it is a scam. Only discuss your personal health information, including any needed tests, with your health care provider.
COVID-19 and Immigration Concern
Getting care, treatment, or testing for COVID-19 will NOT make you a “Public Charge” or hurt your ability to apply for a green card. Getting charity or discounted medical care will not hurt your ability to apply for a green card. There is no Public Charge test when green card holders apply for citizenship. Seek care without fear.
The Trump Administration has sought to expand the public benefits that may be counted against certain individuals applying for a green card by issuing a new Public Charge rule. Visit nyc.gov/publiccharge or the USCIS webpage on the rule for more information.
The City of New York is fighting in court to stop this rule from being implemented. Check nyc.gov/publiccharge for updates and more information.
Many immigrants are not affected by the “Public Charge” test. There is no “Public Charge” test when green card holders apply for citizenship.
Not all public, services, programs or benefits are considered “public benefits” under the Public Charge test. For example, the following services and programs are NOT considered “public benefits,” even for immigrants who are subject to the new Public
COVID-19 testing and care
Healthcare services and most health insurance except non-emergency Medicaid
While Medicaid is included in the new Public Charge rule, the following Medicaid benefits are excluded:
Services funded by Medicaid but provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
School-based services or benefits funded by Medicaid
Medicaid benefits received by children under the age of 21
Medicaid benefits received by a woman during pregnancy + 60 days
Many types of food assistance, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), food pantries, Grab and Go meals at school, and more (except SNAP; see “Food” section below)
Free legal help
There are strong privacy protections in place for all health care patients regardless of immigration status. Under federal law, hospitals and clinics do not share patient information without patient authorization, unless required to do so by law.
If you have questions about immigration and public benefits, call the free, confidential ActionNYC hotline at 1-800-354-0365, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or call 311 and say “Public Charge” to access timely and trusted information and connections to legal help.
NYC Health + Hospitals provides care to all New Yorkers, no matter what your immigration status or insurance status is. NYC Health + Hospitals will help you even if you do not have insurance and cannot pay for health care. This is true for all types of health care services, including emergency care, doctor's visits, medications, long-term care, and hospital stays. Visit Visit NYC Health + Hospitals, or call 844-NYC-4NYC (844-692-4692) or 311.
NYC Care is a health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services offered by NYC Health + Hospitals to New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance. Visit NYCCare.nyc, or call 646-NYC-Care (646-692-2273) or 311. NYC Care is accepting new enrollments and currently available in the Bronx, Staten Island, and Brooklyn. It will be available in Queens and Manhattan in September 2020.
New York City is home to many community health centers that provide medical care on a sliding-fee basis, depending on your income. This care is available to everyone, regardless of immigration status. Human Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) provides information on community health centers near you. Visit FindaHealthCenter.HRSA.gov or the NYC low- to no-cost care option list to find a location near you.
Community testing sites operated by NYC Health + Hospitals use self-collection of swabs to minimize contact between patients and health care workers. Free and convenient walk-in testing is now available at the following locations. No appointment is necessary. Visit nyc.gov/covidtest to find a community testing site near you.
If you are feeling anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, connect with trained counselors at NYC Well, the City's free, confidential helpline available in 200+ languages. Call 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355), text WELL to 65173, or chat online at NYC.gov/NYCWell.
Many low- to no-cost health insurance plans are available to immigrants, including undocumented children and pregnant people. Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and Essential Plan are available all year around. Qualified Health Plans from the New York State of Health, the state’s official health plan marketplace, are available during the Open Enrollment Period, which is from November 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021. Visit New York State of Health, the official health insurance plan marketplace of New York, or call 311.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person health insurance enrollment services will be suspended until further notice. During this period, you can sign up online or call to schedule a telephone enrollment appointment. Help is available regardless of immigration status and in many languages. Visit the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website to make an appointment, or call 311. You can also text CoveredNYC to 877-877 to communicate in English. Text SeguroNYC to 877-877 to communicate in Spanish.
Community Health Advocates (CHA) helps New Yorkers navigate the complex health care system by providing individual assistance and education to communities throughout New York State. CHA provides assistance on how to use health insurance, resolve medical billing and debt issues, and dispute coverage denials and eligibility determinations. CHA has a language line that can provide translation services in more than 170 languages. Call the hotline at 888-614-5400, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, helps people with limited income buy food. Benefits are provided on an electronic card that is used like an ATM card and accepted at most grocery stores. Some immigrants may be eligible for the program. Online application and renewal can be done via ACCESS HRA, the city’s online portal that allows you to apply for and manage your public benefits case. For more information about SNAP benefits and eligibility, visit the Human Resources Administration (HRA)'s webpage on SNAP or call HRA's Infoline at 718-557-1399.
If you have questions about immigration and public benefits such as SNAP, call the free, confidential ActionNYC hotline at 1-800-354-0365, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or call 311 and say “Public Charge” to access timely and trusted information and connections to legal help.
P-EBT: New York State’s Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) is a benefit funded through the federal stimulus bill that gives up to $420 per child in money for groceries to all NYC public school families. New York State Department of Health's COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions addresses many common issues or concerns about travel restrictions. No sign-up is required. All families of NYC public school children, regardless of immigration status, income, or employment, will receive this money. Visit the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance P-EBT FAQ webpage for more information.
Most families that receive SNAP and/ or TA (Cash) benefits already received the P-EBT food benefits for each eligible child sometime in May or June. The P-EBT food benefits were issued directly to your household's existing EBT card and added to your SNAP balance. You can check your family's SNAP/P-EBT food benefits balance (but not your eligibility for P-EBT food benefits) by visiting www.connectebt.com or by calling 1-888-328-6399. Call center agents at this number can only answer questions about your SNAP balance. They do not have information about P-EBT food benefits and cannot answer any questions about whether you are eligible and when you will receive them.
Most families with children who receive Medicaid, who are between the ages of 3 and 18 and who are eligible for P-EBT food benefits will have their P-EBT food benefits issued either to the Medicaid Common Benefit Identification Card (CBIC) of the parent or to the CBIC of the oldest child in your household who has been certified for free or reduced-price school lunches. Households with children in this group received a letter in July telling them how to access their P-EBT food benefits using their Medicaid CBIC.
The parents/guardians of eligible children who did not receive their P-EBT food benefits on a SNAP, TA (Cash) or Medicaid card are receiving a P-EBT 2020 food benefit card in the mail sometime between September and December 2020. A card is being sent for each eligible child. These cards are mailed in each school-aged child’s name, not a parent’s or guardian’s name. All P-EBT 2020 food benefit cards will have an ID number that starts with the letter "I" and a generic birthdate of 01/01/1900. If you are concerned that the State of New York may not have your correct address, please call 833-452-0096 or email otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov.
NYC P-EBT flyers are available in multiple languages here.
WIC: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides free healthy food and other services to low-income women and children. Visit ACCESS NYC (for Spanish, visit ACCESS NYC Español) or call HRA's Infoline at 718-557-1399.
Get Food NYC: The services listed below are provided for free to all New Yorkers no matter what your immigration status is. Undocumented immigrants can also receive these services, and doing so will NOT make you a “Public Charge” or hurt your ability to apply for a green card. There is no Public Charge test when green card holders apply for citizenship.
New York City’s food pantries provide groceries, and community kitchens provide hot meals. There is no income limit. Find locations near you and hours using the interactive maps of FoodHelpNYC or Food Bank NYC. You can also call 311 and say "food pantries."
Three meals a day are available for all New York residents at meal hubs citywide. Meal Hubs operate Monday to Friday from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. No registration, identification, or documentation is required to pick up these meals. No one will be turned away, and all adults and children can pick up three meals at one time. Parents or guardians may pick up meals for their children. No dining space is available, so meals must be eaten outside of meal hubs. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are available at all sites. A number of sites offer exclusively kosher and halal meals. No registration or ID is required. Visit the Department of Education's free meal location finder website or call 311. You can also text FOOD to 877-877 to communicate in English. Text COMIDA to 877-877 for Spanish.
If you cannot leave your home, do not have anyone who can bring you food, and you are not able to use private delivery options, you may be eligible to get meals delivered directly to your home. Visit the NYC COVID-19 Food Assistance Resources website and go to the “NYC Food Delivery Assistance” section. You can also call 311 and say “Get Food.”
If you want to purchase fresh produce but cannot leave home, numerous local and national businesses now offer home delivery options. The list of businesses can be found on the NYC COVID-19 Food Assistance Resources website (go to the “Grocery Delivery Options”).
Housing and Utility
Temporary Eviction Prevention Laws: Currently, many tenants facing eviction may be protected from eviction under State law and under an order from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These protections are explained below.
Tenant Safe Harbor Act: Under a new state law called the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, tenants who have experienced financial hardship any time from March 7, 2020 to the date when all COVID-related safety restrictions are lifted in the region may not be evicted for failing to pay rent first owed during that period. Although protection under the Tenant Safe Harbor Act may prevent your landlord from evicting you, a court can still allow your landlord to take action to collect unpaid rent from you.
CDC Order: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order effective Sept. 4, 2020, which prohibits landlords from evicting some tenants for nonpayment of rent through Dec. 31, 2020. Therefore, if you qualify under this order, you cannot be legally evicted for falling behind on your rent until after Dec. 31, 2020. In order to be protected by this order, tenants must meet the following criteria:
Renters must meet one of the following qualifiers: They will earn $99,000 or less this year (or $198,000 if filing jointly), they did not have to report income to the IRS last year, or they received a federal stimulus payment; AND
Renters must provide the landlord with a signed declaration swearing that 1. They will make $99,000 or less this year (or $198,000 if filing jointly), they did not have to report income to the IRS last year, or they received a federal stimulus payment; 2. They are unable to pay rent due to substantial lost income, loss of hours or wages, a layoff, or “extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses,” 3. They have used best efforts to obtain government assistance for rent or housing; 4. They’re using best efforts to pay partial rent, and 5. Eviction would force them into homelessness or shared living conditions.
To learn more about how these eviction moratoria might apply to you, contact the City’s Tenant Helpline by calling 311 and saying “Tenant Helpline.”
Importance of Answering the Landlord’s Eviction Petition: Tenants who with nonpayment eviction cases that were filed on or before November 3, 2020 should file their answer by the end of this year (December 31, 2020). Tenants against whom a nonpayment petition is filed after November 3, 2020 have the ordinary legal period of 10 days to file an answer. Failure to answer an eviction petition could lead to a default judgment against you, which can lead to eviction. If you have questions about how these orders might affect your eviction case, please call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline.”
If you receive a petition for a Housing Court eviction case, you do not have to go to the courthouse to respond to it in person. New eviction petitions are required to include a notice that includes information about how to respond to the petition by phone and includes the phone number for Housing Court Answers, which provides basic legal information and connection with free legal services through HRA's Office of Civil Justice.
Free Legal Counseling: Free legal advice and counseling are available for New York City residential renters through HRA’s Office of Civil Justice and the City’s “right-to-counsel” law. Call 311, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and say “Tenant Helpline” to receive over-the-phone legal assistance with questions about tenancy, eviction or landlord-tenant disputes. You can also fill out the Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants' Contact Us form.
The hotline also provides guidance on how to apply for city benefits and other resources to help all New Yorkers—regardless of ZIP code, income, or immigration status—address tenancy issues during the COVID-19 crisis.
Tenant Resource Portal: The New York City Tenant Resource Portal is an online tool to help renters in New York City navigate public and private resources that can stabilize their housing situation. A tenant seeking help will be taken through a series of questions and directed to the most useful resources, including rental assistance, non-payment and holdover options, as well as the rights and protections they have based on their responses.
One Shot Deal and Emergency Cash Assistance: Human Resources Administration (HRA) is ready to receive applications for emergency rent arrears assistance for those in need. In most cases, the entire process can be done without going in person to the HRA office. Some immigration restrictions apply. Visit ACCESS NYC (for Spanish, visit Access NYC Español) or call HRA's Infoline at 718-557-1399.
Homebase and FASTEN: The Homebase program can help NYC residents at imminent risk of losing their housing and entering the shelter system regardless of immigration status. Homebase offers:
Services to prevent eviction
Assistance obtaining public benefits
Emergency rental assistance
Education and job placement assistance
Financial counseling and money management
Short-term financial assistance
The service is currently available to all NYC residents no matter what your immigration status is (those who do not qualify for Homebase can seek the same assistance from the same providers through FASTEN). Visit HRA’s webpage on Homebase or call 311 and say “homebase” to find a Homebase provider near you.
Section 8: If you use an NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Section 8 voucher and are having trouble paying rent because of income loss, email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov to receive assistance.
NYCHA: NYCHA residents experiencing income loss may qualify for NYCHA’s rent hardship program. A complete loss of income may qualify for NYCHA’s Zero Income Policy. To learn more, call the NYCHA Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771.
COVID-19 Hotel Program
The NYC Test & Trace Corps, through its Take Care program, will make sure that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts will have the resources needed to safely separate in a hotel, free of charge, or at home to help prevent the spread of the virus. Anyone can call 1-212-COVID19 (212-268-4319)and press 5 to book a room. A medical provider will assess your situation and then refer you to a hotel if appropriate.
New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 or who may have been exposed to the virus can qualify for a FREE hotel room for up to 14 days to safely separate and protect their loves ones.
Hotel guests will have FREE:
Round-trip transportation to and from the hotel and any necessary medical appointments
Private rooms and bathrooms
Onsite COVID-19 testing
Free Wi-Fi and unlimited local phones calls to stay connected
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily
On site health care services by skilled doctors and nurses
Telepsychiatry to access expert mental health providers
The Parker Mosley Act, a New York state law, protects New York residents from having their utility services such as gas and electricity terminated due to nonpayment during the COVID-19 state of emergency, currently set to expire on January 1, 2021. After the state of emergency expires, NY residential customers who state/attest that they have experienced a change in financial circumstances due to the pandemic are also protected from having their service terminated through March 31, 2021 — and will be offered a deferred payment agreement with no late payment charges or penalties. Check the ConEdison website and the National Grid website for more information.
Internet Service Assistance
Comcast created an assistance program that enabled our customers to continue using our services during the pandemic shutdown. Visit the Xfinity or Comcast Business website for more information, or call the Comcast hotline at 1-800-391-3000. In addition, Comcast is offering two months free internet with speed up to 25 Mbps to new low-income customers. Visit the Comcast Internal Essentials website to find out more.
Charter Spectrum provides internet services at an affordable price for households with at least one member who receives one of the following public assistance programs: (1) National School Lunch Program (NSLP); (2) Community Eligibility Provision of NSLP; (3) Supplemental Security Income (for applicants age 65+ only). To find out more and apply, visit the Spectrum Internet Assist webpage.
Suddenlink and Optimum offer 30 Mbps Altice Advantage Internet service for $14.99 per month, which includes free equipment, unlimited data, discounted installation and the option to cancel anytime. For more information, visit the Altric Advantage Internet website.
Connect2Compete affordable internet program is available to households with at least one member who is a K-12 student and participate in a government assistance program. For more information, visit the Cox Connect2Compete webpage.
Education and Childcare
Public School Closure and Return Dates
Starting November 19, all school buildings were temporarily closed for teaching and learning, and all New York City public school students transitioned to fully remote learning.
3K through Grade 5: All students in grades 3K through 5, across early education and elementary school types (e.g., in K-2 schools, K-3 schools, K-5 schools, as well as District Pre-K Centers, K-8 schools, and K-12 schools) will return to in-person learning beginning on Monday, December 7.
In order for your child to return to in-person learning, you must submit the consent form for in-school COVID-19 testing. Mandatory in-school testing will happen weekly for a random selection of staff and students in all reopened school buildings.
Even if you have already submitted consent, Department of Education encourages you to do so again to ensure your student has the latest form on file by using or creating the NYCSA account or printing and signing the form and bring it to your child’s school on the first day they are back in the school building.
A printable PDF file of a consent form, as well as an exemption form, is available in 10 languages at on the Department of Education COVID Testing page.
COVID-19 Requirements for nonpublic and charter schools in NYC
Remote Learning Device Assistance: To help students stay connected during emergencies, the DOE is lending internet-enabled iPads to support remote learning for students. If you would like to request a device for a NYC student in your family, please fill out the Remote Learning Device Request Form.
Transportation Guideline and Assistance: Your child’s current transportation assignment and information is now available in your NYC Schools Account (NYCSA). Contact your child’s school for help setting up a NYCSA account and to find out your child’s schedule, what days they will be in attendance, and their programming model.
Following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), buses transporting students will be limited to 25% of capacity to ensure safe social distancing. The only exception to this will be students from the same household who may be seated with each other, and nurses and paraprofessionals assigned to students. With the exception of students who are exempted from facial coverings requirements, everyone in a school bus must wear face masks at all times.
Your school will provide student MetroCards to students engaged in blended learning to travel to and from school. Some parents who must accompany students traveling for in-person blended learning are eligible for a MetroCard as well.
Reimbursement will be available for families with special circumstances whose children are eligible for curb-to-school bus service, cannot use public transportation via MetroCard, and are awaiting bus service. For more information, speak with your school or email TransportationReimbursement@schools.nyc.gov.
NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) has a virtual COVID-19 resource guide for parents and children, including parenting tips, suggested activities during quarantine, and resources for basic needs.
The New York Public Library (NYPL) offers free online tutoring for students. Students can receive online homework help one-on-one from tutors daily from 2 to 11 p.m. Tutors are available in English and Spanish, from early elementary through high school grades, in core subject areas. Video content and other resources are also available 24 hours a day. Families will need a New York Library card to access this service, and can apply for a card on the New York Public Library website.
Family Enrichment Centers: NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) partners with community-based organizations in three neighborhoods to provide Family Enrichment Centers (FECs), which are warm, home-like spaces that provide a range of offerings for and with the community. FECs are now providing remote referrals and support, as well as limited in-person emergency resources. Please contact your local FEC for more information.
Circle of Dreams in Highbridge Office Hours: Tues., Weds., Fri., / 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Operating Remotely 718-618-5559 firstname.lastname@example.org
266 E. 165th St., Bronx, NY 10456
O.U.R. Place in Hunts Point/Longwood Office Hours: Mon.- Fri. / 2 to 4 p.m. and Operating Remotely 917-945-1152 ourplacefec.graham-windham.org
940 Garrison Avenue, Bronx, NY 10474
Community Partnership: ACS has established 11 community-based planning groups that meet monthly. They are now using virtual meetings and e-mail to plan and provide referrals for families. Some partnerships are also providing in-person emergency resources. Learn more about the program on the ACS Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships webpage. Download the flyer with contact information and hours: English
Staten Island (North Shore)
Office Hours: Operating Remotely
eIf you are a parent who needs childcare while you work during the pandemic, you can submit a request to be matched with a safe, low-cost option for your family through workersneedchildcare.org.
Worker Support and Financial Assistance
Workers’ Benefits during the Pandemic
If COVID-19 has affected your work, you may be eligible for certain benefits. Refer to the ACCESS NYC chart to understand which benefits you may be able to get in your situation.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: PUA provides payment to workers not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history, and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency. Visit the New York State Department of Labor PUA Checklist to see if you qualify.
Know your rights as a worker and that you have these rights no matter what your immigration status is, including paid safe and sick leave under the New York City law. The NYC Department of Consumers and Worker Protection (DCWP) created a summary of City labor laws for employers and employees as you deal with the impact of COVID-19 on your workplace. Visit the DCWP website to download the summary in your preferred language.
You may be eligible for emergency paid sick leave for COVID-19 under the New York State law. In some cases, undocumented immigrants are also entitled to paid sick leave. To learn more, visit the New York State Governor’s Office website or call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
Immigrant New Yorkers and/or their children may be eligible for cash assistance in New York. Visit ACCESS NYC (for Spanish, visit Access NYC Español) or call HRA's Infoline at 718-557-1399.
You can stop your federal student loan payments without penalty and without accruing interest for at least 60 days. Find out more at studentaid.gov.
If you are having financial difficulties in paying home mortgages, your bank may waive your mortgage payment for 90 days under the New York State Department of Financial Services’ mortgage exemption guidance. Call your mortgage lending bank to find out more.
Federal student loan payments are automatically suspended, without interest or penalties, from March 13, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Loans that do not qualify for this relief include older federal family education loans not owned by U.S. Department of Education, Perkins Loans owned by schools, and private student loans. Find out more at NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection’s Student Loan Debt Tips During COVID-19.
If you have student or medical loans overdue for payment to the New York State, you may be temporarily protected from debt collection. Find out more at the New York Attorney General’s website.
DCWP provides financial education and counseling, safe and affordable banking options, and income-boosting tax credits. Visit the DCWP website to find out more.
DCWP also accepts consumer and labor complaints and continues to provide services online. Check the DWCP website for the list of available services and how to contact the office.
Adult Education and Job Search Assistance
We Speak NYC: We Speak NYC provides free online educational English language resources and is offering free weekly online classes. Sign up for a class today to meet new people, learn about New York City services available to all New York City residents, regardless of immigration status, and practice speaking English. If you would like to drop in to a class, please visit the schedule of classes here. Anyone can access free resources on the We Speak NYC website without a need to create an account. Multimedia resources include videos, study guides, short stories, and online quizzes, where students can practice reading, listening, and visual literacy skills. There are also materials for educators including lesson plans, and handbooks.
Adult Literacy Program: Adult literacy programs provide full instructional and support services to anyone over the age of 16 who is not enrolled or required to be enrolled in school and who is unable to speak, read and/or write the English language well enough to participate in education or training programs conducted in English. The program connects participants to a range of reading, writing, English-language and high school equivalency/General Educational Development (GED) Tests preparation programs. For more information, For more information, visit the NYC Office of Workforce Development’s adult literacy class online portal or call DYCD at: 1-800-246-4646 or 1-646-343-6800.
Coursera: The New York State Department of Labor is partnering with Coursera to provide unemployed New Yorkers with access to nearly 4,000 programs across high-growth industries and can hone skills in data science, business, and technology. Many of these programs are pathways to certifications, professional certificates and can help elevate your career. To learn more and sign up, visit the DOL Online Learning with Coursera webpage.
Workforce1 Career Centers: The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) prepares and helps New Yorkers to find jobs. Free services offered at the network of Workforce1 Career Centers throughout the five boroughs include job listings, recruitment events, job search resources, veterans’ services, résumé and interview workshops, and training. For more information, visit the ACCESS NYC webpage on Workforce1 or the SBS webpage on Workforce1.
HRA Career Services: HRA's Career Services offer Cash Assistance clients training and career service opportunities to help them increase their job skills and build a career that will lead to success and financial security. For more information, visit the HRA Career Services website.
Small Business Support
COVID-19 Guidance Compliance
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) provides up-to-date information on the latest COVID-19 guidance for each industry, including the forms you need. Visit the DOHMH COVID-19 guidance for business webpage.
New York City Small Business Services (SBS) has published plain language industry guides as a tool for small businesses to adhere to the latest mandatory guidance and to share best practices. For more information on the guides and forms/templates, visit nyc.gov/business.
SBS Hotline: SBS has launched a small business hotline to answer the most pressing questions of small business owners as they prepare to re-open. Small Business Advocates and Compliance Advisors will monitor the hotline and have been equipped with the latest guidelines and regulations to share with business owners. Call 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
SBS Resource Fair and Webinars: SBS is hosting an inter-agency digital resource fair for New York City entrepreneurs looking for the latest up-to-date guidance on recovery and reopening. Representatives from various City agencies will be on hand to answer any questions. SBS and partners will provide information about requirements and guidelines to re-opening, safety plans, financial assistance, regulatory changes, employee support, licensing, inspections, and more. Please visit nycsmallbizcourses.eventbrite.com to sign up for the resource fair and to find all of our digital webinar offerings, which include financial assistance, building a business website, and preparing a business for emergencies.
SBS Compliance Consultation: The NYC Department of Small Business Services offers no-cost compliance consultations to help you understand how to comply with key City rules and regulations to avoid receiving common violations. The SBS will not issue violations or fines – the consultants simply help you understand the rules. To sign up for consultations, visit the SBS webpage and fill out the online form.
Face Covering: Distribution sites for small businesses looking to obtain face coverings, are now open. With the aid of community partners, these materials are being distributed in all five boroughs to help guarantee the health and safety of small businesses and their employees. Business owners are strongly advised to take advantage of these contactless stations if needed. For a list of distribution sites available, visit nyc.gov/business.
License Application and Renewal: Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) is extending certain license expiration dates and renewal application deadlines. Visit the DCWP website for more information. Online license application continues to be available on DCWP’s Licenses webpage. For inquiries, email NYC Online Licensing Service Help Desk at ELP@dca.nyc.gov.
SBS Loans and Grants: NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) announced three financial assistance programs available for small businesses in low-to-moderate income (LMI) neighborhoods.
The NYC LMI Storefront Loan is an interest-free loan up to $100,000 to help storefront businesses located in low-to-moderate income (LMI) areas of New York City restart or continue operations after experiencing challenges from COVID-19. To learn more and apply, visit the SBS LMI Storefront Loan webpage.
The Interest Rate Reduction Grant will help reduce the interest expense owed on an existing loan with select Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI). CDFIs focus on serving businesses who cannot easily access capital and creating opportunities that positively impact the communities they serve. SBS has partnered with 11 CDFIs who work primarily with Asian, Black, Latinx, and immigrant business owners. To learn more, visit the SBS Interest Rate Reduction Grant webpage.
The Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant provides $20,000 funding to community-based development organizations (CBOs) to implement local COVID-19 recovery support to small businesses. The funds will be used to conduct outreach, provide technical assistance to connect small businesses, increase awareness and comprehensive of new City and State rules and regulations, and strengthen merchant relationships to foster collaboration and increased local organizing. To learn more and apply, visit the SBS Strategic Impact COVID-19 Commercial District Support Grant webpage.
SBA Loans and Grants: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has loans and grants for small businesses to address the economic impact of COVID-19. Visit the SBA COVID-19 Small Business Guidance and Resources webpage for more information. Some immigrant business owners may be eligible for these loans.
Governor Cuomo has extended the Executive Order that protects commercial tenants for failure to pay their rents from eviction and late rent fees until January 1, 2021.
City and Community Resources for LGBTQ+ New Yorkers
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NYC Unity Project surveyed hundreds of LGBTQ program and service providers across New York City to develop a resource page, which includes up-to-date information on LGBTQ resources still available during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the Unity Project's COVID-19 resource page for more information.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Judson continues to provide urgent sexual/reproductive care, LGBTQ affirming services, and mental health support for New York City's adolescents and emerging adults during the COVID-19 emergency. The physical space is being temporarily being relocated to NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Gouverneur located at 227 Madison Street, New York, NY.
In order to adhere to the social distancing directive and to ensure the safety of our staff and patients, those wanting to access these services should first call to receive a comprehensive telephonic assessment. An in-person appointment with a healthcare provider will then be scheduled as medically necessary.
The following services are being provided:
STI testing and treatment
Emergency contraception and birth control
Urgent GYN needs
Gender affirming care, including hormone therapy
Pregnancy testing and options counseling
Mental health support
NYC Health + Hospitals provides care to all New Yorkers, no matter what your immigration status or insurance status is. NYC Health + Hospitals will help you even if you do not have insurance and cannot pay for health care.
New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA)'s Burial Assistance Program provides financial support to help low-income people help pay for the burial costs of a loved one. The program is open to all low-income New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status
To address the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, DSS/HRA issued an emergency rule:
Increasing the burial allowance from $900 to $1,700 and increasing the cap on burial costs from $1,700 to $3,400.
Extending the timeframe for when you can apply to 120 days from the date of the individual's death.
Applications received on or after March 12, 2020 will be considered for the increased burial assistance allowance. All applications received will be reviewed regardless of immigration status.
For more information, visit HRA's Burial Assistance page, which includes the application forms in 11 languages (social security number is not required) and Frequently Asked Questions.
You can also called the HRA Office of Burial Services at 929-252-7731. Please leave a message and a staff member will return your call before the end of the next business day.
If your loved one passed away at NYC Health + Hospitals, you can contact the Patient & Guest Relations department to seek assistance in identifying their bodies and planning the next steps. The direct phone number for each facility can be found below.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi
NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx
Public Safety and Protection Against Harassment or Discrimination
Hate and discrimination against anyone on the basis of their race, national origin, or other status is not tolerated in New York City. The NYC Commission on Human Rights, Mayor's Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, and NYPD are monitoring and responding to reported hate and bias incidents resulting from fear and stigma related to COVID-19.
Call 311 to report harassment or discrimination.
Call 911 if you are the victim of a hate crime or witness what you believe to be a hate crime. NYPD officers will not ask about the immigration status of anyone seeking help.
Visit nyc.gov/StopCOVIDHate for information on how to report hate and bias incidents related to COVID-19, and access victim and mental health support.
NYC Family Justice Centers are available by phone to provide assistance to domestic violence survivors, including immediate safety planning, shelter assistance, legal assistance, mental health and counseling services, and other vital resources. You may be asked to leave a message, and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.
From Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can call the center location near you.
For NYC Family Justice Center, Bronx, call 718-508-1220
For NYC Family Justice Center, Brooklyn, call 718-250-5113
For NYC Family Justice Center, Manhattan, call 212-602-2800
For NYC Family Justice Center, Queens, call 718-575-4545
For NYC Family Justice Center, Staten Island, call 718-697-4300
In the evenings or weekends, call NYC's 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-621-HOPE (4673).
ActionNYC is the City's initiative that provides free, safe, and confidential legal immigration help for New Yorkers. The program is currently adjusting during this time to allow for immigration screenings by phone to comply with social distancing (staying at least six feet away from people who do not live in your household). For any questions or concerns you have regarding immigration status, including COVID-19-related changes, call 800-354-0365 Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or call 311 and say "ActionNYC."
NYC Office of Civil Justice provides free legal services to New Yorkers in need, including tenants, immigrants, low-wage workers and other New Yorkers facing civil legal challenges. Visit the NYC Office of Civil Justice website to find out more.
All immigration court hearings are postponed through at least January 1, 2021 for people who are not detained. For people who are detained, hearings are continuing for now. Stay informed about updated by visiting Justice.gov/EOIR, calling the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) hotline at 1-800-898-7180, and checking EOIR's Facebook page
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed in-person naturalization oath ceremonies, with social distancing guidelines. Interviews and biometrics appointments have also resumed. All applicants and legal representatives will receive reschedule notices by mail. Visit USCIS.gov/Coronavirus (for Spanish, visit the Respuesta de USCIS al Coronavirus 2019 webpage). If you have questions (including re-scheduling of your appointment), call the USCIS hotline 1-800-375-5283, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The USCIS New York asylum office has resumed its services and are conducting in-person interviews. Reschedule notices will be sent to asylum applicants.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has modified its policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit ICE.gov/COVID19
Visits to people in ICE detention are currently not allowed for family and friends. For attorneys, some legal visitation continues. However, ICE is encouraging video visitation for attorneys where possible and requiring those visiting in person to provide their own personal protective equipment and they may be subject to testing at the facility. Attorneys should contact the individual facilities for details and updates.
ICE cancelled all in-person check-ins for people who are not detained. Telephonic check-ins are still happening.
Arrests by ICE continue. ICE has said they will implement some limitations on who they will arrest and that they will not carry out arrests at or near health care facilities except in extraordinary circumstances.
Consumer Fraud Protection
Price gouging is illegal for any personal or household good or any service that is needed to prevent or limit the spread of or treat COVID-19. This means businesses cannot increase prices of these types of goods and services by 10% or more. Find out more by visiting the DCWP website. If you think a store excessively increased the price of these items beginning in March, file a complaint online or call 311 and say "Overcharge."
NYC.gov/DCWPAlerts provides information and translated resources on scams, funeral planning tips, debt collection cease communications, student loans, free tax prep, license expiration and renewal dates, price gouging, and more.
Scammers often take advantage of vulnerable people during times of crisis and distress. It is important that you be aware of any potential scams in order to protect yourself and your money. Scammers have come up with numerous ways to defraud people in connection with COVID-19. These scams may be phone calls, emails, text messages, or sometimes even in person. It is important to be aware of them and know what to do if you encounter one. Some of the common categories of COVID-19 scams include:
Fake Government Calls/Emails/Texts. Legitimate government agencies do not call unexpectedly asking for money, especially in the form of gift cards. Most payments can be done through their official websites.
Charity Scams. Always do your research before donating to a charity organization or person setting up a GoFundMe page. All legitimate charities must be registered with the New York Attorney General's Charities Bureau. Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.
Fake "Anti-COVID-19" Products and Medicines. Do not use products or medicines promoted as "anti-COVID-19" unless approved by a health care provider. There are currently no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19.
COVID-19 Home Test Kits. Ignore any online offers for vaccinations and home test kits for COVID-19. If someone unexpectedly knocks on your door claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), or NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to conduct a "COVID-19 test" – dial 911.
Personal Protective Equipment Scams. Beware of fake calls to your business requesting money for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The caller may state that a manager had placed an order for PPE for the company and a money order is needed to be sent prior to delivery.
Phishing Scams. Phishing emails, text messages, or social media posts often contain a link or ask you to provide personal information. Always verify the email address or link before clicking or responding.
Unknown Callers and Robocalls. Scammers may call you or use illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam COVID-19 treatments to work-at-home schemes. Beware of calls threatening to disconnect gas and electric services unless you pay immediately.
Debt Relief Scams. If you receive a call claiming to offer debt relief, do not engage.
Counterfeit Coupons. Beware of fake coupon deals circulating on social media. The coupon link may take you to a third-party site and ask for your personal information in order to receive the coupon.
Tax Loans. Beware of any promise to give you a "bigger" refund through deductions and credits.
Puppy Scams. It is important that you research the website before making any purchases. Fraudulent pet sites may advertise animals that don't exist and are never shipped. It is best practice to not buy a pet without seeing it in person.
Student Loan Scams. Most federal student loan payments are automatically suspended, without interest or penalties, until September 30. Student loan holders do not have to take any action to have them suspended. If you are contacted by someone claiming they can get you into the program faster or for free, it is a scam.
Many people who have been impacted by COVID-19 qualify for benefits to help them buy groceries, get health care, or get financial support to make up for lost income. The Pandemic Benefits Guidance are available in top 10 languages on the AccessNYC site.
Questions about immigration or how to access City services? Call the MOIA hotline at 212-788-7654, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., send an email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov, or reach out to a MOIA Neighborhood Organizer.
The City is providing NYCHA residents with various resources, including personal protective equipment and COVID-19 testing for all NYCHA residents as well as food and wellness checks for seniors. For more information, visit NYCHA website.
NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has launched a resource center to provide legal, financial, and other services to drivers. Visit the TLC Driver Resource Center website to learn more and schedule an appointment.
The City of New York is hiring licensed TLC drivers to deliver food to New Yorkers in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more and sign up on the NYC Food Delivery Driver Portal.
Download city campaign graphics in a convertible PDF format that explains COVID-19 policies, guidance, and city services available to all New Yorkers to address the health and economic hardship arising from the pandemic, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay: