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NY State Senate Brad Holman: Coronavirus Update

I wanted to share the latest updates on novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Currently, there are 142 individuals in New York State with confirmed cases of coronavirus, the vast majority of whom are residents of Westchester County. There are only 19 confirmed cases in New York City right now, though that number will likely increase as more testing is conducted.

New York is taking aggressive action to stop the spread of coronavirus and there are many resources available for you and your family to stay informed. The New York State Department of Health operates a coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065, where you can call in with specific questions. You can also sign up for text message updates from the NYC Department of Health by texting “COVID” to 692-692.

Finally, I’ve included the NYC Department of Health’s most up-to-date guidance and safety tips for coronavirus at the bottom of this email. If you’d like more information, my office is here to help: contact us at hoylman@nysenate.gov or at 212-633-8052.

FAQ: COVID-19 GUIDANCE AND SAFETY TIPS 

What is updated guidance on personal hygiene? 
Continue to practice good hygiene, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, cough and sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands), and do not shake hands – greet people with an “elbow bump” or a wave instead.

Monitor your health more closely than usual for cold or flu symptoms. 

How can I stay up to date on the latest information?
If you have any questions on finding medical care call 311.

To get regular updates on the latest developments with coronavirus in New York City text COVID to 692-692. You will receive regular SMS texts with the latest news and developments.

For additional information head to: nyc.gov/coronavirus

What should I do if I feel sick?
First and foremost, if you are sick, STAY HOME. If you are experiencing any cold or flu- like symptoms – cough, sneezing, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat – stay home and call your doctor. 

If after 24-48 hours you are not feeling any better, seek medical care immediately. Additionally, the City is advising those with chronic lung disease, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or a weakened immune system to avoid unnecessary events and gatherings. 

What if I cannot afford medical care? 
Health care is available to all in NYC regardless of ability to pay. Call 311 to get connected with a provider. 

Should I go to work? 
If you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, STAY HOME. Call your employer and let them know. If you don’t feel better after 24-48 hours, seek care from your doctor. 

Should I consider telecommuting? 
If you’re sick STAY HOME. 

The City is advising private-sector employers and employees to consider telecommuting where possible. 

Additionally, we are asking private-sector employers and employees to stagger work hours. For example, instead of 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., change some work hours to 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. or 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. to help reduce overcrowding during rush hour. 

Should I send kids to school? 
Same advice as above. If your child is experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms have them STAY HOME. If they don’t feel better after 24-48 hours, seek care from your doctor. 

Can I take public transportation? 
Yes, but remember to practice good hygiene – avoid touching your mouth or face, wash your hands often with soap for 20 seconds following the ride, and cough and sneeze into your sleeve (not your hands). 

We are also asking New Yorkers to help with overcrowding – if you can get to where you need to go by walking or riding a bike – do so to help keep yourself and other New Yorkers healthy.

If you can come into work an hour later or earlier to help avoid rush hour, please do so. 

When taking the subway, if the train is too packed be patient and wait for the next one. 

Can I go to public gatherings? Church? Sporting events? Museums?
If you are sick, STAY HOME.

If you have chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, a compromised immune system, chronic lung disease and/or cancer, we are advising you to avoid unnecessary events and gatherings.

If you have no symptoms, it’s okay to go to events but we’re asking New Yorkers to continue to practice good hygiene and remain vigilant about their health.

Will New York City be cancelling large events? 
Right now no large events or public gatherings are cancelled but the City will continue to monitor developments and adjust as needed. 

Text COVID to 692-692 to get regular coronavirus updates. 

Can I visit my elderly family members?
Again, if you’re sick, STAY HOME. If you are not sick, it is fine to visit your family members but please continue to practice good hygiene. 

Additionally, if you have family or friends who have one of the following conditions – heart disease, diabetes, a compromised immune system, chronic lung disease and/or cancer – do not visit them if you feel sick. 

Should I wear a mask?
Again, if you are sick, stay home and call your doctor. If you are not feeling any better after 24- 48 hours, seek medical care. Consult with your doctor to determine if wearing a mask if necessary.

If you’re not sick, there is no need to wear a mask in public. 

Do I need to leave New York City? Can people come to New York City to visit me? 
Starting today, all international school trips for the remainder of the school year have been cancelled. Additionally, all government international travel of non-essential personnel has been cancelled as well. 

There is no need to leave New York City and New York City continues to remain open for business. 

Continue to monitor guidance from the CDC and the State Department on travel warnings and directives for specific countries. 

Do I need extra supplies / canned goods? 
It is always good to have what you and your family needs on hand, but there is no need to stock up on extra supplies.

However, as a good practice, if you have an underlying medical condition(s), we recommend contacting your pharmacy to make sure you have restocked on your prescriptions. 

Can I go to restaurants?
Again, if you’re sick, STAY HOME. If you do not have symptoms, it is fine to go about your daily life – just continue to practice good hygiene. 

Can I walk my dog? Can animals transmit? 
No, animals are not known to transmit COVID-19 and you should feel free to walk your dog. 

Can I take a cab or Uber? 
Yes but continue to practice good hygiene as listed above and crack a window to help reduce recirculated air. 

Albany Office: 
413 Legislative Office Bldg 
Albany, NY 12247 
518-455-2451 
Fax: 518-426-6846District Office: 
322 Eighth Ave, Suite 1700 
New York, NY 10001 
212-633-8052 
Fax: 212-633-8096