To help support our community of members, staff, and BCNY families, please see below for an overview of helpful resources to explore.
Updated March 2020
COVID-19 Specific Resources
- To get regular updates on the latest developments regarding coronavirus in New York City, text COVID to 692-692. For updates in Spanish, text COVIDESP to 692-692. You will receive regular SMS texts with the latest news and developments.
- The Main NYC Health coronavirus page contains information that includes prevention tips, a list of symptoms, and links to various city sites with information pertaining to the crisis.
- The New York State Department of Health’s coronavirus page offers prevention information and links to multiple state resources. The state’s coronavirus hotline is 1.888.364.3065.
- Here’s the latest NYC Health + Hospitals patient and visitors policy.
- The federal Centers for Disease Control’s main coronavirus page has information on how to protect yourself and a sign-up to get email updates.
- The World Health Organization’s coronavirus hub offers guidance on multiple facets of the pandemic.
- If you are being harassed due to your race, nation of origin, or other identities, call 311 or file a complaint online with the City Department of Human Rights.
- The FDNY offers an instructional video on the safe storage of potentially flammable cleaning products.
- For the most up-to-date information from NYC DOE visit: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/health-and-wellness/coronavirus-update.
- NYC Well offers free confidential counseling in more than 200 languages.
- NAMI NYC : Their Helpline continues to be available as a source of information and support.
- Call from 10 am to 6 pm: 212.684.3264 or send an email to: email@example.com.
Senior centers will only be open for grab and go or delivery meal service–no in-person services.
Emergency food services: https://access.nyc.gov/programs/emergency-food-assistance/.
- Software Programming and Coding Glossary for Kids is a great tool for any child interested in learning more about coding and programming terminology.
- All Digital School prides itself on having the largest community of educators and directory of resources online.
- The New York City Department of Education coronavirus page contains the latest school information and updates.
- The New York Public Library has a comprehensive list of digital resources, including access to e-books, research e-journals, online newspapers, and resources for young learners.
- NYSCA (NYC Schools Account)
All NYC public schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year. Parents are urged to access their NYSCA for information and remote learning. Until then, parents are encouraged to keep their children reading and doing online and workbook practices and following any interim directives from their individual schools. To learn about signing in to your NYCSA (NYC Schools Account) go to Resources.
Accessing Internet-Enabled iPads
Parents: 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 Request form. If you don’t have your account creation code, reach out to your parent coordinator via email or by calling your school asap. If you do not already have their email address, you may be able to find this information on your school’s website or by going to org, entering your school name and number, and clicking on “contact info.” (Grab & Go breakfast and lunch will be available from 7:30 am – 1:30 pm at all public schools outside the main entrance. Pick one up at the school most convenient for you.)
In response to the threat posed by COVID-19 and the impact this public health crisis continues to have on our daily lives, many internet service providers have, temporarily or permanently, modified their service options to support learning from home.
Below is an overview of general information compiled by Michael Stultz, BCNY’s Director of Information Technology:
AT&T is waiving data overage fees to all customers so that families and students can stay connected during the pandemic. The company is promising not to terminate the service of any customer over the next 60 days.
Spectrum Internet Assist is available exclusively to qualified households.
Verizon Lifeline Program is available to qualified households.
- Learn at Home: (Appropriate activities for all ages from NYC Schools).
- Scholastic Learn at Home: day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.
- General online learning tools:
- The MTA’s coronavirus page offers service updates, prevention measures, and other information.
- You can find more information about the precautions the MTA is taking here.
- You can find more information about MetroCard Mobile Sales Service Centers here.
- You can find more information about our Customer Service Center at 3 Stone Street here.
- NYC Access a Ride Resources.
- The NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission coronavirus page contains information geared toward drivers and fleet operators.
- The Port Authority’s coronavirus page offers basic information about local airports and its local bus and rail hubs.
- The World Health Organization provides ongoing travel advice.
- The New York State Court System’s coronavirus page includes updates on court operations, including juror service.
- The NYC Department of Correction site has very basic information geared toward people planning to visit city jails.
- All USCIS field offices, asylum offices, and Application Support Centers (ASCs) will not provide in-person services until at least April 1. This includes interviews, naturalization ceremonies, and biometric collection appointments. However, we will continue to provide emergency services during this time. If you have an emergency service request, please contact the USCIS Contact Center.
- USCIS field offices will send de-scheduling notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments impacted by this closure.
- USCIS asylum offices will send interview cancellation notices and automatically reschedule asylum interviews.
- USCIS will also automatically reschedule ASC appointments due to the office closure. Those impacted will receive a new appointment letter in the mail. Individuals who had InfoPass or other appointments at the field office must reschedule through the USCIS Contact Center once field offices are open to the public again. Please check to see if your field office has been reopened before reaching out to the USCIS Contact Center.
INFORMATION FOR ATTORNEYS
- The City Bar is working to make as many of its resources available as possible remotely. We will continue to update the roster of On-Demand CLE programs, and are looking to deliver timely CLE programming via live webinars.
- If you have specific questions about a case already in court, or you need to start a court case, call the Coronavirus Telephone Hotline: 833.503.0447.
- All eviction proceedings and pending eviction orders are suspended statewide until further notice.
- New York Legal Assistance Group has put together some helpful tips on financial planning during a crisis.
- You can also read a helpful resource about protecting yourself financially from the impact of coronavirus.
- A compilation of Legal Resources for COVID-19–State Policies Relating to Legal Services Attorneys and Client.
- Resource Guide for Undocumented individuals.
- The NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development, The NYC Department of Homeless Services, and the New York City Housing Authority all link to the Department of Health coronavirus page. However, all offer information on general use.
To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Housing Court has suspended normal activity:
- Evictions are suspended indefinitely.
- NYCHA Hearings are also suspended.
- Each borough will have one judge handling emergency cases including illegal lockout cases, emergency HP Actions, and post-eviction cases. Anyone in this situation can call the court.
- Housing Court Answers’ hotline will still be operating from Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Any folks with questions about court or evictions can call 212.962.4795 for more information.
GUIDANCE FOR THE HOMELESS
- The NYC Department of Homeless Services has issued guidance for services for our homeless residents.
Coronavirus Financial Impact Loan Program: The Coronavirus Financial Impact Loan Program provides interest-free loans of $2,000-$5,000 to residents of New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester, or Long Island who are facing financial challenges caused by the Coronavirus outbreak: https://hfls.org/loan-programs/coronavirusfinancialimpactloan/.
NYC Paid Sick Leave Policy: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dca/about/paid-sick-leave-FAQs.page.
NYS State Department of Labor is suspending the 7-day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines.
- The NYC Department of Small Business Services
- NYC Employee Retention Grant Program.
- NYC Small Business Continuity Fund:
- Nonprofits-City Agency Guidance for Health and Human Service Contract Providers
Price Gouging: DCWP has declared face masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes temporarily in short supply. This means stores cannot excessively increase the price they charge you for these items during the shortage due to the new coronavirus (COVID-19). Be sure to compare prices when shopping. The City’s declaration took effect in March. 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.”
Staying Healthy While Working at Home
Wake up at your typical work time, wash your face, brush your teeth, shower, and get dressed. It’s vital to do still as many of the activities you would typically do in the morning. If you don’t usually wash loads of laundry or vacuum every nook and cranny of your place when you wake up, now’s not the time to start.
Pick a comfortable spot: Make it your dedicated “office.” Keep in mind what kind of calls you might be making and what type of work you’ll be doing.
Close the door if you can: It signals to your children, roommates, etc., that you’re busy and working. You may even want to put up a “do not disturb” sign on the door. This helps create a divide between your “work” life and your “home” life, even if they’re physically the same place.
Think about lighting: Don’t sit with the window behind you while video chatting. If you’re a person that thrives off of natural light, situate yourself as close to the window as possible.
Eat as you would at work: Don’t dive into the microwave popcorn and your chocolate stash just because it’s accessible. Sugar highs and endless snacking will lead to big lows. What you eat will impact your mood and energy level.
Make sure you’re aligned with your team about how and when you’ll communicate. It’s essential to keep as close to your typical work hours as possible.
Video chat when you can: It creates the feeling of being in the office and gives you that valuable face time.
Remember, punctuation is key: Remember that tone doesn’t always come across in email.
Hone in on your deliverables: Be clear with your supervisor about expectations. Having a clear outline of what deliverables are expected from you will help you make sure you’re being productive and being evaluated fairly.
Maintain boundaries: Remind family and friends that just because you’re not working in your office doesn’t mean you’re not working. You’re not available to jump on the phone or FaceTime just because you’re home.
Set office hours: Continue to work the same hours. Though sleeping in might feel nice, working until midnight might not. This will also stop you from working long past a typical workday.
Give yourself an evening routine: Make sure you’re clear about “logging off.” Whether that means booking a virtual workout class, shutting off your computer, or cooking dinner, make a hard shift mentally after you’ve logged off.
Schedule breaks: It’s crucial to build breaks into your schedule, especially when you are used to taking them at work.
Move: It might be easy to get used to not having a commute. Then all of a sudden, it’s 8 pm, and you haven’t walked more than 50 feet around your apartment. Remember to get some exercise because endorphins make you happy.
Socialize: Working alone can be hard, especially when you’re used to having a lot of people around. Make sure you’re checking your email and talking with your co-workers regularly. This will help prevent feelings of loneliness or disconnect.
Take sick time: Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should work if you’re sick. If you’re not well, take time off; your work will thank you for it.
Self-care Resources: Mediation, Physical Health, & Entertainment
- Apple Books has expanded its free e-book and audiobook offerings.
- 305 Fitness offers an all-levels dance cardio fitness class.
- Ailey Extension was created to continue Alvin Ailey’s legacy of community dance.
- DJ D-Nice‘s live virtual dance parties at “Club Quarantine” on Instagram are sweeping the internet!
- Insight Timer is a website and app that offers guided meditations in a variety of areas, such as anxiety, stress, and relaxation. They even have one specific to coronavirus.
- Peloton is offering 90 days of free spring training. No bike required.
- FitnessBlender offers different types of workouts, from stretch sequences to body strengthening and more.
- The Met is offering opera streaming.
- Many museums are offering virtual tours, including the Louvre in Paris.
- The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library, has live events and online exhibitions focused on the African American, African Diaspora, and African experience.
- You can listen to David Byrne’s American Utopia setlist online and even de- and re-construct his songs on the Build the Beat page.