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Update on Novel Coronavirus

Dear Neighbor,
With the rise in reported cases of COVID- 19 (Novel Coronavirus) in New York State, it is important that we come together as a community to take precautionary steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones from exposure and infection. Remember to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes and face, and if you are not feeling well, to stay at home. The State’s Coronavirus Hotline is open 24 hours if you have any questions or concerns: 1-888-364-3065. If you need help getting medical care, call 311.
We must all play a role in our overall health and well-being. The City Council will continue working closely with the Administration, City officials, healthcare professionals and other stakeholders.
As always, I am happy to serve as your representative in City Hall, and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to my office at 718-588-7500.
COVID-19 Information & Tips:
If you are being harassed due to your race, nation of origin or other identities, call 311 to report discrimination or harassment to the NYC Commission on Human Rights.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough or shortness of breath. An infection can result in death, but that is a rare outcome. Most people with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms. People who are at most risk for severe illness are those who have health conditions including:
Chronic lung disease
Heart disease
A weakened immune system
As of March 2020, the Health Department recommends the following precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19:
  • Stay home if you are sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing — do not use your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Do not shake hands. Instead, wave or elbow bump.
  • If you have family or friends who are elderly, have compromised immune systems or chronic respiratory or coronary issues, do not visit them if you feel sick. Stay home and keep your loved ones safe.
  • Consider telecommuting, biking or walking to work if possible.
  • Consider staggering working hours. For example, instead of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., change some work hours to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or disinfecting wipes.
  • Get your flu shot. Although the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu which has similar symptoms to this coronavirus.
  • Health Care and Testing
If you are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath and traveled to an area where COVID-19 is spreading, or you have had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, call your health care provider. Your provider will work with the Health Department to determine if you need testing.
If you need help finding a health care provider, call 311.
New Restrictions and Guidance for Large Events
Existing and future standalone events with attendance exceeding 500 people, including parades, sports events, performances, races and rallies, are canceled until further notice. Programming will also be canceled at indoor venues with consistent seating capacity over 500.
New Restrictions and Guidance for Establishments
Establishments with a capacity of 500 people or fewer, including concert venues, theaters, museums, department stores and religious institutions, are required to maintain an occupancy level at or below 50% of their legal capacity to ensure maximum social distancing.
Returning Travelers
If you recently returned to New York from China, Iran, South Korea, Italy or Japan and you do not have symptoms, the Health Department requires that you home self-monitor. You must stay home from work or school for 14 days since the day you left one of these countries.
What You Can Do to Keep Yourself and Your Family Healthy:
  • Take everyday preventive actions to stay healthy.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
  • Stay informed. CDC’s COVID-19 Situation Summary will be updated regularly as information becomes available.
  • NYCHA staff have been directed to take extra effort with daily cleaning with special focus on high trafficked areas at our developments such as building entrance doors, elevator controls, mailboxes and hopper doors.
  • NYCHA authorized a U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) approved vendor to begin a two-step treatment plan including a deep cleaning and applications of additional product to prevent germs from spreading on surfaces. These treatments began today at senior buildings.
  • For more information on how NYCHA is handling COVID-19, you can click HERE.
  • On Wednesday, March 4, 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the SUNY and CUNY study abroad programs in China, Italy, Japan, Iran, and South Korea have been suspended effective immediately in response to concerns over novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The decision was made based on recommendations from the New York State Department of Health (DOH).
  • SUNY and CUNY are making arrangements to bring back all non-essential students, faculty and staff currently studying or working in those countries and begin 14-day quarantine. All five countries have either been issued a Level 2 or Level 3 travel notice from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, SUNY and CUNY have cancelled campus-sponsored travel outside of the United States to impacted countries for the spring semester. SUNY and CUNY will continue to review CDC guidance and work closely with DOH to make additional determinations on continuing or cancelling upcoming travel at all other campus sponsored international locations.
NYPL Update:

All New York City public libraries are temporarily closing to the public beginning on Saturday, March 14 through at least Tuesday, March 31.

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