Ensuring the health and safety of those in our Capital Region and beyond remains my top priority. I am continuing to coordinate closely with federal, state and local public health officials on how best to address the coronavirus outbreak.
This page is dedicated to helping keep you updated on this ever-evolving situation and sharing the resources you can use to keep yourself and your family safe.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains this list of confirmed and presumptive positive cases in the United States. Their list is updated daily. visit their page dedicated solely to coronavirus HERE or search 'coronavirus.gov' for the newest updates and guidelines.
Are you able to pitch in and help out during this public health crisis? Then check out all the ways you can get involved at
The New York State Department of Labor announced the launch of a new application for New Yorkers to apply for traditional Unemployment Insurance or the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. With this new application, which aligns with updated federal policy, New Yorkers will be able to simply fill out one form to get the correct benefits.
The updated unemployment benefits application system will determine which unemployment program New Yorkers should apply for.
Visit https://www.labor.ny.gov/home/ to learn more.
A list of those who may qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance can be found here.
Below are resources from the NYS Department of Labor relating to Unemployment Insurance and the CARES Act.
Small Business Administration
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
Visit the Small Business Administration webpage HERE for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program and how to apply.
For a list for current SBA participating lenders in our Capital Region click HERE.
NOTE: THE PPP APPLICATION PROCESS HAS CLOSED AS OF AUGUST 8TH
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance
Eligible small businesses may apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Please review the fact sheet attached here with important information about the declaration and EIDL requirements. Businesses can take advantage of free assistance offered by SBA’s network of Resource Partners for help with preparing their loan applications. They may visit www.sba.gov/local-assistance to find local help. The NYS Small Business Development Center network recommends submitting a request for assistance online at http://nyssbdc.org/appointment.html.
SBA Express Bridge Loans
The SBA Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program has also been modified and the term extended. The EBL Pilot Program is designed to supplement the Agency’s direct disaster loan capabilities and authorizes SBA Express Lenders to provide expedited SBA-guaranteed bridge loan financing on an emergency basis in amounts up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes to small businesses located in communities affected by Presidentially-declared disasters while those small businesses apply for and await long-term financing (including through SBA’s direct Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, if eligible).
A list of eligible banks in NY-20 can be found HERE.
Experts at the National Council of Nonprofits and its member state association of nonprofits have compiled the following information based on legislative and legal analyses, surveys, and feedback from nonprofits throughout the country on the frontlines of responding to the coronavirus pandemic hitting their communities:
STATE & REGIONAL RESOURCES
For general questions about coronavirus, call the New York State Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
Rite Aid has opened a testing site at 1863 Central Avenue in Colonie.
Testing will be available at no cost to individuals who meet the criteria established by the CDC (Priority 1 & 2 patients), provide a government-issued ID, 18 years or older, and pre-register online at riteaid.com to schedule a time slot for testing.
UAlbany has turned its Colonial Quad parking lot over to the New York State Department of State to serve as a drive-through testing site.
The mobile testing center will be located in a parking lot at the State University of New York at Albany campus - 1400 Washington Avenue, Colonial Quad parking lot, accessible from main UAlbany entry, off Washington Avenue, Albany. The site will prioritize tests for individuals that are among the highest risk population.
Residents who believe they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, and have symptoms, must call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 888-364-3065, be approved for testing, and be given a PIN number. Upon arriving at the site, only those with a valid PIN number will be allowed to enter and will be ushered through a series of checkpoints. Site hours will be Monday - Sunday, 8 AM - 6 PM. Please be advised that no walk-in or unscheduled testing will be allowed.
Office of Mental Health
OMH Emotional Support Line: 1-844-863-9314
The Emotional Support Line provides free and confidential support, helping callers experiencing increased anxiety due to the coronavirus emergency. The Help Line is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals, who have received training in crisis counseling.
Tips for Mental Wellness (Español | বাংলা | 中文 | Р УС С К И Й | Kreyòl Ayisyen | 한국어를)
How to cope with COVID related stress and anxiety
Mental Health Resources During an Emergency
People often experience anxiety, fear, and helplessness during an emergency. Know the signs and get help.
NY State of Health
Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured New Yorkers
Individuals who enroll in Qualified Health Plans through NY State of Health or directly through insurers between March 16 and April 15, 2020 will have coverage effective starting April 1, 2020. Individuals who are eligible for other NY State of Health programs – Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus – can enroll year-round. Consumers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health on-line at nystateofhealth.ny.gov, by phone at 855-355-5777, and working with enrollment assistors.
NY Resources from the Governor’s office
Capital Region Community COVD-19 Response Fund Established
United Way of the Greater Capital Region fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. The well-being and safety of our partners, staff and neighbors is always our top priority. We are committed to supporting our community through the challenges and implications of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Co-led by the United Way and the Community Foundation, The Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund has been established to provide flexible resources to 501c3 organizations in our region working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak.
One-time operating grants will help fund frontline human services organizations that have deep roots in the community and strong experience working with vulnerable communities.
Learn more about the fund here.
Upper Hudson Library System Digital Resources
Information on access to ebooks, digital audiobooks and magazines, streaming video, etc., can be found by visiting: https://www.uhls.org/databases.asp.
The OAG enforces New York's price gouging statute, section 396-r of the New York General Business Law, which prohibits unconscionably excessive pricing of necessary consumer goods and services during any abnormal disruption of the market. During this COVID-19 outbreak, this applies to necessary consumer goods such as hand sanitizers and other disinfecting products, toilet paper and basic food items.
To file a complaint with the NY Attorney General’s Office, complete the form linked HERE.
Information on Scam Calls
Scammers commonly exploit real public health concerns and use heightened public fear to prey on consumers and profit from frauds related to those health fears. New Yorkers should beware of fundraising solicitations and offers of goods and services related to COVID-19. Additional information on scams can be found HERE.
Internal Revenue Service
To help provide additional assistance, the IRS is establishing a special phone line for taxpayers with questions about their Economic Impact Payments (EIP). That number is 800-919-9835
On April 1, the Treasury Department and IRS announced that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts.
If you have additional questions on the economic impact payments, see the IRS webpage HERE.
The Treasury Department and IRS announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.
Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.
Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline, can request a filing extension by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004.
The IRS has dedicated a page addressing coronavirus that will be updated as new information is available.
U.S. Department of Labor
As provided under the legislation, the U.S. Department of Labor will be issuing implementing regulations addressing coronavirus. Additionally, as warranted, the Department will continue to provide compliance assistance to employers and employees on their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA.
DOL's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has posted an expansive list of Questions and Answers addressing current inquiries most frequently received from stakeholders for guidance on a variety of topics including Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation orders, and the definition of child care provider.
For more information on FFCRA’s benefits and requirements please see the WHD Fact Sheet for Employees and Fact Sheet for Employers.
WHD has also provided additional information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to COVID-19 and its effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.
For education-related information, the Department has established a dedicated Coronavirus webpage (ed.gov/coronavirus), which includes resources for institutions of higher education and for K-12.
The Department has provided additional information for families and communities including:
- Information regarding certain flexibilities under the Every Student Succeeds Act, or “ESSA;”
- Information regarding services to children with disabilities;
- A fact sheet from our Office for Civil Rights on the risk of Coronavirus in schools while protecting the civil rights of students; and a short webinar on Online Education and Website Accessibility.
- Information on the Family Education Records Privacy Act, or “FERPA,” as it pertains to K-12 and higher education students.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Farmers and ranchers whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic can apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program beginning May 26th. The program will provide direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19.
Visit www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus for information on Rural Development loan payment assistance, application deadline extensions, and more.
Farm Service Agency
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices are open by phone appointment only until further notice, and FSA staff are available to continue helping agricultural producers with program signups, loan servicing and other important actions. Additionally, FSA is relaxing the loan-making process and adding flexibilities for servicing direct and guaranteed loans to provide credit to producers in need.
Risk Management Agency (RMA)
USDA Addresses Milk Dumping, Authorizes Other Flexibilities To Help Producers Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) authorized the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to implement an immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for the next 60 days in an effort to address impacts to the financial well-being of America’s individuals, families, and businesses caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The guidance issued applies to homeowners with FHA-insured Title II Single Family forward and Home Equity Conversion (reverse) mortgages, and directs mortgage servicers to:
• Halt all new foreclosure actions and suspend all foreclosure actions currently in process; and
• Cease all evictions of persons from FHA-insured single-family properties.
- HUD Albany Field Office: 518-862-2801
- FHA Resource Center: 1-800-Call-FHA. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may reach this number by calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has suspended routine in-person services. However, staff will continue to perform duties that do not involve contact with the public, and may provide emergency services for limited situations. To schedule an emergency appointment contact the USCIS Contact Center.
Visit CoronaVirus.gov for a complete list of CDC travel health notices.
Learn about the Department of Homeland Security’s response here.
Library of Congress
While the Library's doors may be closed, they have provided countless resources available online for all. Visit loc.gov/engage to find ways to engage with authors you love and to connect to the Library’s resources from anywhere in the world.
Smithsonian Institution Digital Resources for Students
The U.S. Census Bureau is carefully monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and will follow the guidance of federal, state and local health authorities.
Census Bureau statement on coronavirus:
We designed our 2020 operations precisely so we could offer multiple ways to respond. In so doing, we are able to make necessary adaptations at the local level for special operations as well. For instance, “group quarters,” the operation which counts people in nursing homes, college dorms, prisons and other institutional living facilities, includes a myriad of ways to respond, such as via eResponse, paper listing or self-enumeration by the facility. The same is true for “service-based enumeration” which counts people experiencing homelessness at the site where they receive services. The site administrators have multiple options for response.
STEPS TO KEEP AMERICANS SAFE FROM CORONAVIRUS
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus cases.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Call your healthcare professional if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
How to Protect Yourself and Others
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. There are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Practice social distancing
- Wear a mask or face covering when in public areas
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:
- Stay home except to get medical care
- Call ahead before visiting your doctor
- Wear a facemask
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Avoid sharing personal household items
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily. The latest updates are available on CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website.
ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE FOR OLDER AMERICANS AND/OR THOSE WITH SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITIONS: In addition to the CDC guidance for all Americans on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus (such as hand washing, etc.), the CDC has now published additional guidance for older Americans and/or those who have serious chronic medical conditions – the individuals who are at higher risk of getting very sick from coronavirus. For those at higher risk of serious illness, the additional guidance includes:
- Stock up on supplies
- Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
- Avoid crowds as much as possible.
- Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
- During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
Infographic on the Symptoms of Coronavirus (In English, Spanish, and Chinese)
Infographic on Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus (In English, Spanish, and Chinese)