COVID-19 Resource Guide

Dear Neighbor,

There’s a lot of information swirling around the internet and it can be hard to figure out what’s accurate and most important for you. We’ve compiled a COVID-19 Resource Guide for Upstate New Yorkers living in the 46th State Senate District to help cut through the clutter and give you as much information as possible, all in one place. 

We’ll be regularly updating this guide to make sure you have the most current information available. It’s important that we all continue to look out for each other during these difficult times. Remember, we’re all in this together and we’ll come out even stronger on the other side. 

P.S. If you have any additional resources to add, please email info@hincheyforny.com.

In Solidarity,

COVID-19 Resource Guide 2

Useful links & resources:

How do I protect myself?

  • Stay home. Healthy or sick, all New Yorkers must stay home unless they are essential workers, except for:
    • Essential needs and tasks, such as getting groceries
    • Getting medical care
    • Solitary exercise
    • Work (if you work for an essential business or service)
  • If you must leave your home, please:
    • Keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
    • Wear a mask, scarf or other facial covering, making sure to cover your nose and mouth.
    • Bike or walk if possible. Don’t take public transportation unless you need to.
    • Stagger working hours, if possible. For example, instead of 9 AM to 5 PM, change some work hours to 10 AM to 6 PM or 8 AM to 4 PM.
  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.

When should I go to the ER?

If you have mild symptoms, stay at home until you’ve recovered. You can relieve your symptoms if you:

  • rest and sleep
  • drink plenty of liquids
  • keep warm
  • use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough

Only if you notice shortness of breath or chest pain you should call ahead to the ER, then go to the ER for an evaluation.

When should I call 911?

Only Call 911 if you need help right away.

Testing:

Testing is free to all eligible New Yorkers as ordered by a health care provider or by calling the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

Find more information on COVID-19 testing protocols.

Your local health department is your community contact for COVID-19 concerns.

Albany County COVID-19 Resources

Greene County COVID-19 Resources

Montgomery County COVID-19 Resources

Schenectady County COVID-19 Resources

Ulster County COVID-19 Resources

Unemployment Insurance Waiting Period Waived: Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order on March 14, 2020 that waives the 7-day waiting period for workers in shared work programs to claim unemployment insurance for those that have been put out of work by COVID-19.

Unemployment Benefits and Health Insurance FAQ: A helpful, downloadable PDF for those recently unemployed due to COVID-19. [Learn More]

How & When to File an Unemployment Claim. [Visit Website]

Online Form to File an Unemployment Claim. [Visit Website]

  • Important Update: The New York State Department of Labor page has been updated with a new portal to file claims. After filing your claim, you will receive a call from the DOL within 72 hours. There is no need to call directly. If you've already filed a partial claim under the old system, you DO NOT need to keep calling or refile. Someone from the DOL will call you within 72 hours of Thursday, April 9.

Paid Family Leave: In response to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), New York State has guaranteed workers job protection and financial compensation in the event they, or their minor dependent child, are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the state of New York, the Department of Health, local board of health, or any government entity duly authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19. See Guidance For Obtaining An Order For Mandatory Or Precautionary Quarantine.

Paid Sick Leave: Job Protection as a Result of COVID-19 Quarantine: On March 18, 2020, legislation was passed that guarantees job protection and pay for New Yorkers who have been quarantined as a result of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Paid Family Leave & Disability Benefits: Overview and how to apply for if you are quarantined yourself, if your minor dependent child is quarantined, or for family care.

If your employer does not provide the required paid sick leave, you may file a complaint with the NYS Department of Labor. 

Special Enrollment Period for NY State of Health: Uninsured New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health or directly to insurers during a special enrollment period that ends May 15, 2020. If you lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of a loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, subsidized Qualified Health Plans or Child Health Plus.

Tele-Health Co-payments Waived: If you are feeling sick, use telehealth services before going to the doctor's office, Urgent Care or the emergency room. Telehealth services keep you and those around you safer.

The State Department of Financial Services will require insurance companies to waive co-pays for telehealth visits. This action will encourage New Yorkers to seek medical attention from their homes rather than visit a hospital or doctor's office — ultimately reducing strain on the healthcare system and preventing further spread of the virus.

Individual or Small Group Health Insurance Policies: Through June 1, 2020, consumers and businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying premiums under individual and small group health insurance policies. During this period, health plans will be required to continue to pay claims, not to report late payments to credit rating agencies, and to work with individuals to help them transition to new coverage, if appropriate. In addition, insurers are reminded that they cannot impose late payment fees.

TA/MA/SNAP recertification extensions: The NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is automatically extending certain TA/MA/SNAP and SNAP only recertifications scheduled to expire in March, April and May for a period of three (3) months. Details about which SNAP/TA/MA recertifications qualify for an extension.

Resources by County
Albany, Greene, Montgomery & Schenectady Counties: 

Food, Housing, Transportation and other Support: Call 2-1-1 or 1-888-366-3211 from any phone, or visit www.211neny.org for 24/7 assistance regarding food, housing, utilities, health care, senior services, disability services, transportation, and more.

Albany / Schenectady Counties: 

Food Pantries: For an updated list of available food pantries for the Capital Region, visit www.thefoodpantries.org. If you need help finding your nearest food pantry, please call the Food Access Referral Line, M-F from 8am to 4pm at (518) 458-1167 ext. 108.

Schenectady County: 

Schenectady County and The Schenectady Foundation are partnering with many other community partners to support families in our area during the pandemic. The main focus of the Coalition is delivering groceries and other essentials during this difficult time, while also identifying services offered by partner organizations for those with additional needs.

  • Schenectady County residents in need of supplies should call (518) 621-3536. Staff will work with callers to identify their needs, including any dietary or allergy restrictions, and set up a drop-off time.
Ulster County:

Family of Woodstock Prepared, Microwave-Ready Meals: Available for pick-up and delivery on weekdays for lunch and dinner. Call or text the Family of Woodstock 24/7 hotline for information about delivery and where to pick-up: 845-679-2485.

The Kingston Emergency Food Collaborative: A partnership of community groups formed to provide meals to families once Kingston City schools were closed, launched a food security hotline in conjunction with the City of Kingston. Anyone in need of food within the Kingston City School District can call (888) 316-0879 at any time to be entered into a growing database to receive prepared food or grocery delivery. The hotline is staffed by English and Spanish speakers, and will soon offer K’iche. Those interested in volunteering for the hotline and/or food delivery and preparation can sign up here.

People’s Place (Kingston): For those in need of food support on the weekdays, People’s Place is offering the following services:

  • The Community Cafe will be open from 8:30 am to 1 pm offering take out Continental breakfast and sandwiches for lunch.
  • The Food Pantry will operate in a modified version at regular hours (10 am to 1 pm Monday through Friday and Wednesday evening from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm)
  • The Bag Student Hunger Program which offers breakfast, lunch and snack items for school age children will begin on Monday, March 16 and run until school resumes. Distribution will follow the food pantry hours.
  • For more info. please call 845-338-4030 or visit the People’s Place Facebook Page

Project Resilience: Provides meals from local restaurants to families in need. Complete online form: English/Espanol, or call the County’s COVID 19 Hotline at 845-443-8888 to sign up.

The Table at Woodstock: The Table at Woodstock is offering meal and grocery pickup for Onteora School District residents in front of the Woodstock Reform Church on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 4-6 pm (or until they run out). Seniors and individuals in self-quarantine qualify for meal delivery. Those in need can contact thetableatwoodstock@gmail.com or message through Facebook. Town of Woodstock residents are encouraged to register via the Town Supervisor’s Office for delivery, grocery boxes, and check-in calls. Volunteers and donations of funds or Hannaford gift cards are needed.

The YMCA Farm Project: The YMCA Farm Project in Kingston is providing Kingston City School District students with free breakfasts and lunches every day of the week. Pickups are between 11am and 1pm at JFK Elementary and Bailey Middle Schools.

Ulster Emergency Food Services: A resource list of food pantry sources and school meals for delivery.

Recovery Check Information: The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin over the next few weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some taxpayers who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the economic impact payment.

Am I eligible for the economic impact payment? Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible. Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are otherwise not required to file a tax return are also eligible and will not be required to file a return. 

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and up to $500 for each qualifying child.

For FAQs about the Economic Impact payments can be found here.

COVID-19 Application For Suspension Of Debt Collection Activity: In response to the growing financial impairments resulting from COVID-19, the state will temporarily halt the collection of medical and student debt owed to NYS, for at least a 30-day period: [Learn More]

The Governor has also asked the Department of Financial Services to instruct state chartered banks to waive ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees and fees for credit cards to help lessen the financial hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic on New Yorkers.

Federal Student Debt Relief: COVID-19 Student Borrower Resources: Click here for more information. All Federal Student Loan payments will automatically stop from March 13, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2020.

New York State Student Debt Relief information can be found here.

COVID-19 Ancillary Fund: The HealthWell Foundation is offering assistance through their COVID-19 Ancillary Fund.

  • If you or a family member has a positive diagnosis, are a member of a high risk group, live where the virus is prevalent, have had a physician or health care provider recommend quarantine, or fall within 500% of the Federal Poverty Level, you qualify.
  • This fund will cover delivered food or medications, diagnostics, telehealth and transportation costs. Due to limited staffing, they are only using the hotline at this time at 800-675-8416.

Bartender Emergency Assistance Fund: Bartenders employed for not less than one year prior on a regular full- or part-time basis may apply for emergency funding through USBG National Charity Foundation.

Creative Freelancers Support:

  • Freelancecoop.org is offering creative freelancers that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 virus the opportunity to apply for a grant through their fund. Freelancers can apply here: https://freelancecoop.org/emergencyfund/.
  • The COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources is an aggregated list of free resources, opportunities, and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines.
  • List of Arts Resources During the COVID-19 Outbreak: As COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States, we have created a list of resources for artists working in all disciplines, as well as arts philanthropists, and arts professionals

Farming and Agricultural Assistance: Congress passes COVID-19 relief package, providing $9.5 billion for farmers who supply local food systems. [Learn More]. Additional resources for New York State can be found here.

Additional Resources By County:
Greene County:

Emergency Loans & Funding:

Ulster County:
  • Radio Kingston’s Community Fund is offering increased capacity to support Kingstonians during this time of great disruption. Residents within the Kingston City School District who are in need of financial assistance will be able to receive one-time financial support through the Community Fund, which is administered by Family of Woodstock, Inc. Apply via online form.

New York State is on PAUSE and all non-essential businesses statewide are closed. [Learn More]. This has been extended through May 28th. 

New York has started Phase 1 opening. See here for more information by region.

Sales Tax filing deadline has been extended until June 22nd.

Paycheck Protection Program: 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.  Details, FAQs and how to apply can be found here.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance: In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.  Eligibility requirements can be found here.

**Update from the SBA as of April 16th: Lapse in Appropriations Notice: SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding.  Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

SBA Debt Relief: The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of SBA's debt relief efforts,

  • The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months.
  • The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.

Information regarding the Federal CARES Act can be found here.

Ulster County

The Kingston Local Development Corporation (KLDC) is offering Economic Injury Microloans to assist City of Kingston businesses affected by the current economic crisis. Small local businesses can apply to receive low interest loans up to $7,500. More information can be found here. Amanda Bruck in City Hall is taking applications - abrucklittle@kingston-ny.gov or 845-334-3930

Albany, Greene, Montgomery, and Schenectady Counties

Food, Housing, Transportation and other Support: Call 2-1-1 or 1-888-366-3211 from any phone, or visit www.211neny.org for 24/7 assistance regarding food, housing, utilities, health care, senior services, disability services, transportation, and more.

Albany County

Senior Questions and Help with Food: Albany County-NY Connects can be contacted at (518) 447-7177.

Schenectady County

Schenectady County Friendship Cafes that provide noontime lunch meals at the Glenville Senior Center on Worden Road, Jewish Community Center on Balltown Road, Our Lady of Fatima Church in Delanson and the Ten Eyck Apartment Building in Schenectady will be closed through Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

Meals will continue to be delivered and distributed at the Ten Eyck Apartment Building, 375 Broadway, in Schenectady, for current congregate meal participants who have no other viable alternative to obtain or prepare a meal.

Ulster County

Residents over 60 years of age may be available for a variety of services (including meal deliveries and medical appointment transportation) visit the Ulster County Office for the Aging or call 845-340-6456 for more information.

Local offices are closed to the public but are available by phone at 1-800-772-1213.

To allow available agents to provide better phone coverage, the agency is temporarily changing the National 800 Number hours starting on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.  The hours will change from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time to 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. local time. The agency is experiencing longer than normal wait times on the 800 Number and asks the public to remain patient, use its online services at www.socialsecurity.gov, or call their local office.

Visit the Social Security COVID-19 web page at www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus/ for important information and updates.

In an effort to protect some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers, Governor Cuomo announced only medically necessary visits will be allowed at nursing homes. 

The state is also asking nursing homes to set up skyping and other online communication capacity so families can tele-visit their loved ones.

Additionally, the state will require health screenings for all nursing home workers each day when they enter a facility and require them to wear surgical masks to guard against any potential asymptomatic spread.

The COVID Childcare Co-op Calendar is a social tool that allows groups of parents and other caregivers to automatically generate a fairly distributed cooperative childcare schedule based on each adult’s availability.

Albany and Montgomery Counties:

Emergency Childcare Services: During these unprecedented times, the Capital District YMCA is responding to the critical need for childcare services for essential workers.

  • Monday – Friday: 7:00am – 6:00pm
  • Childcare Locations
    • Guilderland YMCA — 250 Winding Brook Drive, Guilderland, NY 12084
    • Southern Saratoga YMCA— 1 Wall Street, Clifton Park, NY 12065
    • Hoosick Falls Elementary – 21187 NY-22, Hoosick Falls, NY 12090
    • United Presbyterian Church – 25 Church Street, Amsterdam, NY 12010
Greene and Schenectady Counties:

If you know of local resources, let us know at info@hincheyforny.com

Ulster County:

Childcare for Toddlers and Infants: Call Childcare Connections: 845-331-7080

Emergency Childcare Service for Essential Workers: Effective Monday, March 23rd, beginning at 8 am, the YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County will provide childcare for first responders, emergency personnel and essential workers who do not have the option to work from home. Childcare locations:

  • Ellenville Elementary School – 28 Maple Avenue, Ellenville
  • Marbletown Elementary School – 12 Pine Bush Road, Stone Ridge
  • New Paltz (Lenape Elementary School) – 1 Eugene L Brown Drive, New Paltz
  • Kingston YMCA – 507 Broadway, Kingston (Pine Grove Entrance)
    • Hours: 8 am – 4 pm. Please pack a lunch plus two snacks and a coat for outdoors.
    • Registration is required and offered online or call 845-338-3810 x112 or email janderson@ymcaulster.org

Mortgages: The Department of Financial Services has issued a new directive to New York State mortgage providers to provide 90-day mortgage relief to mortgage borrowers impacted by the novel coronavirus. The directive includes:

  • Waiving mortgage payments based on financial hardship;
  • No negative reporting to credit bureaus;
  • Grace period for loan modification;
  • No late payment fees or online payment fees; and
  • Postponing or suspending foreclosures.

The Department of Financial Services has provided guidance to mortgage servicers regarding support for borrowers impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Rent: New York has implemented a 90-day moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants. At this time, eviction proceedings have been suspended and no one can be evicted in New York State until at least June 20.

Find additional information and FAQs for renters and tenants.

Utilities: Major utilities will suspend service shutoffs to households during the COVID-19 outbreak.

On March 25, the Public Service Commission approved orders postponing rate increases for nearly 2 million customers of New York American Water and National Grid upstate that were scheduled to go into effect on April 1st.

Home Internet Access: Families without internet access can call 844-488-8398 for free internet from Spectrum for three months.

With orders to stay home, instances of domestic violence have increased exponentially. If you are a victim of domestic violence, please review the resources below and reach out for help.  You are not alone.

New York State and National Domestic Violence Hotline numbers are:

  • New York State Domestic Violence 24 Hour Hotline (English & español/Multi-language accessibility): 1-800-942-6906 or 711 for Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  • National Domestic Violence 24 Hour Hotline 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) 
  • National Deaf Hotline Videophone 9am-5pm M-F 1-855-812-1001 or deafhelp@thehotline.org
Domestic Violence Resources By County
Albany County:
  • Equinox Domestic Violence Services (518) 432-7865 - Provides both residential and non-residential domestic violence services. OCFS Licensed and Approved.
  • In Our Own Voices LGBT Domestic Violence Support Line (518) 432-4188 - Provides non-residential domestic violence services (Monday - Friday 9:00 AM -9:00 PM).
Greene County: 
  • Community Action of Greene County (518) 943-9211 - Provides both residential and non-residential domestic violence services. OCFS Licensed and Approved.
  • In Our Own Voices LGBT Domestic Violence Support Line (518) 432-4341 - Provides non-residential domestic violence services (Monday - Friday 9:00 AM -9:00 PM).
Montgomery County:
  • Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery Counties – Domestic Violence Crime Victim Services (518) 842-3384 - Provides both residential and non-residential domestic violence services. OCFS Licensed and Approved.
  • In Our Own Voices LGBT Domestic Violence Support Line (518) 432-4341 - Provides non-residential domestic violence services (Monday - Friday 9:00 AM -9:00 PM).
Schenectady County: 
  • YWCA of Northeastern New York (518) 374-3386 - Provides both residential and non-residential domestic violence services. OCFS Licensed and Approved.
Ulster County:
  • Family of Woodstock Inc. (845) 679-2485 - Provides both residential and non-residential domestic violence services. OCFS Licensed and Approved.

During this time, it's incredibly important to keep focus on our mental and physical health. Here are some resources to help you do both:

Free Mental Health Services: As of March 26, more than 8,600 mental health professionals, including individuals from other states, have signed up to provide free online mental health services.  New Yorkers can call the state's hotline at 1-844-863-9314 to schedule a free appointment.

Mental Health America:  To aid individuals and communities during this time, MHA has compiled a range of resources and information. Click to see resources page.

The Veteran's Crisis Line: Call: 1-800-273-8255, then press 1; Text: 838255; Chat at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net

For those experiencing at-home stress and anxiety, companies like Headspace show you ways to utilize meditation to help cope. [Visit Website]

Free Fitness Programs:

Our local restaurants are some of the hardest hit businesses in this crisis and are often the central pillars to our communities. If you're able, please consider ordering food for take-out or delivery or purchasing a gift card from your favorite establishments to help keep them afloat during this time.

Albany County: List of Restaurants Open for Business in Albany County.

Greene County: This is a list of businesses who are still serving our community while helping to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Create or update your free business listing for inclusion on Buy in Greene.

WelcometoCatskill.com is a also great local resource.

Montgomery County: List of Restaurants Open for Business in Montgomery County.

Schenectady County: List of Restaurants Open for Business in Schenectady County.

Ulster County: We’re Still Open is a local resource for brick-and-mortar businesses in the Hudson Valley to let the community know that they are still open during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warns individuals to remain vigilant for scams related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Cyber actors may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes.  Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.

Read more information about Coronavirus related cybersecurity on CISA's website.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT: The NYS Department of Labor is reporting fraudulent calls from scammers trying to use this time to collect your personal information. If you receive a call, confirm it's an official Labor Dept. call first. ANYONE calling from NYS DOL will verify their identity by providing (a) the date you filed your Unemployment Insurance application, and (b) the type of claim you filed.

If you are a victim of or suspect a scam, use the online reporting form from the Attorney General's office to report it: [Visit Website]

We have seen many disturbing reports of discrimination and hate crimes related to coronavirus fears and want to ensure all of our community members understand how to report these intolerable actions.

How to report hate crimes: 

  • To report hate crimes to the State Attorney General, call 800-771-7755 or send an email to: Civil.Rights@ag.ny.gov.

For other ways to report and additional information: [Visit Website]

New Yorkers are urged to call 1-800-697-1220 or complete the consumer complaint form to report unfair price increases of products such as household cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer amid the COVID-19 outbreak. File a Complaint.

Visiting the outdoors during the COVID-19 outbreak:

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) encourage New Yorkers to recreate locally, practice social distancing, and use common sense to protect themselves and others. [Visit Website]

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that it will postpone the opening of its recreational boating season until at least Memorial Day weekend, May 23, and potentially longer depending on guidance from health experts and government leaders. More here.

Notices by County

To send additional resources and information, please email info@hincheyforny.com.

Greene County:

If you know of other local notices, let us know at info@hincheyforny.com

  • Kaaterskill Falls: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the temporary closure of Kaaterskill Falls, the viewing platform, and connecting trails beginning Monday, April 6. The Kaaterskill Wild Forest will remain open to the public. The closure of the Kaaterskill Falls site is part of DEC's statewide efforts to reduce the community spread of COVID-19 by encouraging New Yorkers to safely and responsibly recreate locally.