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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (12th District of New York)

On Thursday, I launched the bipartisan Postal Preservation Caucus with my colleages Reps. Connolly, King, and Amodei. Today, I joined with Sens. Warren and Markey to get informaiton from assisted living faclities on their response to the coronavirus crisis. These facilities face similar challenges as nursing homes without the required federal oversight. We must make sure that their clients are getting the care they need and deserve. 

As we continue to contend with the coronavirus crisis, we must make sure that all New Yorkers and that every single person living in this country is counted in the 2020 Census, even with the difficulties created by the pandemic. Accurate data is incredibly important to make sure our city and state receive the federal funds we need and deserve to support things like health care, including our hospitals, Medicare, and Medicaid. Please remember to fill out your 2020 Census if you have not done so already. You can submit the form online, by phone, or by mail. 

As the CARES Act is implemented across the country, my office is here to help you navigate these new resources that are available from the federal government. If you need help with a federal agency and navigating the changes brought on by coronavirus mitigation efforts, please reach out to my office at 212-860-0606.

You can continue to expect these updates from me as verified and pertinent information becomes available.

Facts and Figures

New York City:  
– According to NYC Health, the City has confirmed 164,505 cases with 18,231 deaths.

News Updates:

National

The IRS has opened a new, online portal and launched a new, free app for economic impact payment tracking. This portal will allow taxpayers to find out the status of their payment. If a payment hasn’t yet been issued, individuals can provide their banking information for direct deposit. Individuals who were not required to file 2018 or 2019 taxes can enter their information here so that they will receive economic impact payments.

– On Thursday, in partnership with Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Rep. Peter King, and Rep. Mark Amodei, I launched the bipartisan Postal Preservation Caucus to continue to highlight the severity of the financial situation at the Postal Service. As the Caucus’s first official action, we appealed to House and Senate leadership urging swift passage of bipartisan legislation to give the Postal Service the assistance it needs to keep functioning on behalf of the American people. The coronavirus crisis is wreaking havoc on the U.S. Postal Service. Without immediate help from Congress and the Administration, the Postal Service—a vital staple of American society since 1775—could cease to function by this summer. This is a national emergency. The negative effects of this crisis will be borne hardest by those in rural areas—where millions of Americans are currently sheltering in place and relying on the Postal Service to deliver essential supplies. You can read our full letter to Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader McConnell, and Leader Schumer here. 

– Today, I joined with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey to request information from the nation’s largest assisted living operators. We asked a series of questions about COVID-19 outbreaks at their facilities and the actions they are taking to prevent and mitigate outbreaks when they do occur. Assisted living facilities deserve particular scrutiny in this pandemic because they share several of the same characteristics that increase risks at nursing homes — a population of senior citizens, many with chronic health problems, living and interacting closely together — but they face a significantly less stringent regulatory environment. You can read our full letter to these operators here. 

New York State

NYS is extending the open enrollment period for New Yorkers without health insurance to May 15. Please get covered if you are not already. Enroll here

– Governor Cuomo announced today that schools will be closed for the rest of the academic year. 

MTA Deep Cleaning Plan

– The MTA will close the subway overnight from 1am to 5am for daily deep cleaning and will launch a new “Essential Connector” service to continue moving frontline workers beginning Wednesday, May 6. During the 1am-5am period, the MTA will intensify disinfecting operations and clean its fleet of thousands of subway cars and buses every night and test new and innovative cleaning solutions including UV, antimicrobials, and electrostatic disinfectants. Essential workers traveling to and from work during this period will be connected with for-hire vehicles thorugh the “Essential Connector” service at no cost. The workers will be limited to 2 trips per night and must show proof of essential travel with appropriate credentials. Customers who do not have a smart phone will be able to request a ride through a dedicated number. Rides will be available to customers requiring wheelchair accessible vehicles.

– LIRR, Metro-North, New York City Transit, and MTA Bus service continue to operate under the MTA essential service plan with enhancements along high-ridership routes.

– New York City has agreed to deploy additional NYPD officers to ensure safety and security of the system overnight. All customers will be required to leave trains and stations during the overnight cleaning period. 

Contact Tracing Program

– Governor Cuomo announced that New York’s contact tracing pilot program will begin in the coming weeks. This nation-leading tracing program will focus on areas with the highest rates of infection and on regions that, based on data, could be the first to open. The program will operate through the next flu season, and it will be implemented in coordination with tri-state neighbors New Jersey and Connecticut. The program will include a baseline of 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 individuals and will utilize additional tracers based on the projected number of cases in each region; meaning 6,400 – 17,000 tracers statewide. Contact tracing teams will work remotely to develop a secure database of information on the spread of the infection.

– There will be a 3-step process to build up the army of contact tracers; (1) recruitment, (2) interviewing, and (3) training. Bloomberg Philanthropies will help the Department of Health (DOH) to identify and recruit potential contact tracers for the program from State, City, and County Health Departments. As part of this effort, The Bloomberg School, in consultation with DOH, will develop a world-class online curriculum for the State’s contact tracers that includes a training program and an online exam that must be passed to complete the program. Vital Strategies’s initiative Resolve to Save Lives will provide technical and operational advising to NYS DOH staff. 

– Contact tracing can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 with 4 key steps:

1. Labs will report positive cases of COVID-19 immediately to contact tracers on a daily basis. 

2. The contact tracer will then interview the positive patient to identify people they may have been in contact with over the past 14 days.

3. The contact tracer will notify and interview each contact to alert them to their risk of infection and instruct them to quarantine or isolate for 14 days to ensure they don’t spread COVID-19 to others. 

4. The contact tracers will monitor those contacts by text throughout the duration of their quarantine or isolation to see if they are showing any symptoms. 

New York City

If you are a recovered COVID-19 patient, the NY Blood Center is asking for your plasma. If you had a positive COVID-19 test and have been symptom free for 14 days, please consider donating. You can sign up here.

– 125,000 surgical gowns per week are now being made in New York City. A local partner working with EDC has a sister factory in Vietnam capable of large-scale production. New York City has now secured more than one million, with an additional three million gowns being manufactured. The City is now confident with gown supply until mid-May.

– Three additional NYCHA testing sites opened today; Jonathan Williams Houses in Williamsburg, Woodside Houses in Woodside, and St. Nicholas Houses in Harlem. 

– Two new Health + Hosptials (H+H) community testing sites will open this weekend at Ida G. Israel Clinic in Coney Island and Dyckman-Clinica de Las Americas in Inwood.

– All 11 H+H Hospitals will open for community testing next week, with 30 more sites opening the week of May 18.

– NYC is ramping up capacity at community testing sites; the week of April 27 with a capacity 14,000 tests per week, the week of May 4 with 35,000 tests, and the week of May 18 with 43,000 tests per week. 

– Reminder: New Yorkers must wear face coverings in grocery stores, pharmacies, and other areas where we pick up food. Please don’t put fellow New Yorkers at risk. Rember that the store has the right to make you leave. 

– The City will start distributing 100,000 free face coverings in City Parks. Distribution will start this week with a focus on hard-hit communties and high-traffic parks. Visit nyc.gov/facecoverings for locations and times. 

– More than 1,000 full-time City staff will be assigned to patrol parks and public spaces, dedicated to proactive social distance enforcement and education. Workers with the Parks Department, the Office of Special Enforcement, the Sheriff, FDNY, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) will instruct groups to disperse and educate New Yorkers, distribute 275,000 face coverings across NYC starting this week, and complement NYPD patrols and response to 311 reports.

– The City is accepting suggestions for locations and partners for the NYC Open Streets program through a new online form. Please submit multiple applications if you are proposing pedestrianizing more than one corridor in your community. 

Thank you to following groups who are helping in the fight against COVID-19 

– Citi Bike is expanding in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan with 100+ new stations including those serving essential workers at Lincoln Hospital and Harlem Hospital. Through the Critical Workforce Membership Program, Citi and Masterard will extend one year free memberships for essential workers, a $1 million commitment. More than 5,500 workers enrolled this month. 

– The NBA has donated 1,140 N95 masks and 30,000 surgical masks. 

– American Eagle donated 175,000 surgical masks.

– The Consulate General of Egypt has donated 200,000 surgical masks, 3,000 protective suits, and 2,000 gowns. 

– AT&T donated $100,000 to the “Food for Heroes” Mayor’s Fund initiative 

– Fresh Cosmetics donated $205,000 worth of personal cleaning products to our H+H Hospitals and Department of Homeless Services isolation shelters. 

– Facebook has launched a $6.5 million grant program for NYC small businesses. You can apply at facebook.com/grantsforbusiness

Census Update

– As a reminder, census data informs the distribution of more than $1.5 TRILLION in federal funding for things like schools, hospital beds, safe roads and bridges, and essential first responder programs. It also determines voting districts at every level of government for the next decade. If you are not counted, you are not respresented. Make sure you are heard, make sure you are counted.

– The response rate in our district, NY-12, is up to 44.4% and is climbing by the day! However, we are still below the New York State rate of 48.8% and the nationwide rate of 54.6%. Please fill out your census today if you have not already done so. 

– As a reminder, it is illegal for the Census Bureau to share your information with law enforcement. You answers cannot be used to impact your eligibility for government benefits. Your answers are ONLY used to create statistics about our community, city, state, and country. 

– The Census is available online, by phone, and by mail. Paper questionnaires are being mailed out with a reminder letter to households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. If you were not able to answer via online or by phone, please fill out this paper form.

As always, if you need assistance with any federal matters, please call my office at 212-860-0606. Please forward this information to any of your friends, families, or coworkers and let them know that they can sign up for regular updates from me here.

Please, wash your hands, stay home, and thank the medical workers, first responders, grocery store employees, delivery workers, transit workers, childcare workers, mail carriers, take-out cooks, teachers and sanitation workers in your lives.

Sincerely, 

Carolyn B. Maloney

Member of Congress

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