The state is continuing to adjust its response to this crisis on a daily basis which will impact your day-to-day life. My office has developed the following guide which is updated daily to help Capital Region residents and families plan for the disruption to daily lives in the coming days and weeks by accessing the following resources + information.
Please note: some information may repeat as events unfold.
Go-To Resource Guide:
• Public schools will remain closed until April 15th, extended beyond the original date of April 1st, which may be reassessed in the future. Meals, services, and other ongoing programs will continue until that time.
• All non-essential construction must cease operation except for emergency construction (e.g. a project necessary to protect the health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site). More information on this Executive Order can be found here, including an updated list of essential businesses.
• Healthcare providers and healthcare facilities who need equipment should request supplies from their local county emergency response unit or department. Albany County’s link: https://www.albanycounty.com/government/county-sheriff/emergency-management-office
Legislative News and Events:
• Congress Set to Pass $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Package: Despite the needed $2 Trillion stimulus package from Congress for COVID-19, the unemployed, small businesses, and more — it does not solve the massive New York State deficit nor the budget woes, which we’ll be grappling with in the next few days (April 1st deadline) — and well beyond.
• Capital Region Company Begins Producing Ventilators: So proud to see a Capital Region company pivot to help make needed ventilators for healthcare facilities throughout New York State and the country.
• St. Peter’s in Need of Protective Equipment and Gear: St. Peter’s hospital is in need of supplies such as masks, gloves, etc. If you have protective gear you’d like to donate, Peter Semenza with St. Peter’s Hospital can be reached at 518–482–4433.
• New NYS Health Insurance Enrollment Period Announced: The New York State health insurance marketplace has announced a first-ever second open enrollment period for families and individuals seeking to sign up for health-related benefits amid the COVID-19 outbreak, with the enrollment period running from March 20 to April 15. More information can be found at the hyperlink in this section.
Job + Employment Opportunities:
• JOBS: NYS Dept. of Labor Openings: The New York State Department of Labor is hiring an immediate 40 employees at their Albany location, for more details please visit: https://labor.ny.gov/careerservices/CareerServicesIndex.shtm
• JOBS: NYS Dept. of Health Openings: The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is looking for new employees (Office Assistant I Temp./multiple openings) to complete data entry on a flexible schedule to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic at the Wadsworth Center here in the Capital Region and other locations. Please share with anyone you know who might be interested and get the word out.
• JOBS: Price Chopper Hiring 2,000+ Workers. Price Chopper will expedite and shorten the hiring process to bring on over 2,000 new employees throughout our region. To apply, visit pricechopper.com/apply.
• JOBS: Amazon Hiring 100,000+ Nationwide for Distribution. Amazon plans to hire over 100,000 nationwide to help with distribution of packages for an expected rise in online ordering. To apply visit www.amazon.jobs.
• JOBS: Target Hiring. Target plans to hire hundreds of new employees in most of its stores. To apply, please visit www.jobs.target.com/.
• JOBS: Hannaford Hiring. Hannaford plans to hire thousands of workers in the Northeast. To apply, please visit www.hannaford.com/careers/.
• JOBS: Walmart Plans to Hire 150,000+ Workers: Walmart plans to hire an additional 150,000 workers nationwide. To apply, visit https://storejobs.wal-mart.com/HiringCenter/.
• JOBS: ALDI: https://careers.aldi.us/
• JOBS: Dollar General: https://careers.dollargeneral.com/
• JOBS: Domino’s: https://jobs.dominos.com/dominos-careers/
• JOBS: Stewart’s Shops: https://www.stewartsshops.com/careers/
CDTA Schedule and Route Update
• Beginning last Monday, March 23, CDTA is running on a modified schedule. STAR (paratransit), a critical transportation option for people getting to medical and other urgent appointments, will continue to operate on a full weekday schedule: https://cdta.org/news/service-changes-begin-march-23/
Social isolation and stress as a result of the disruption caused by #COVID19 can exacerbate existing mental health problems and affects everyone differently. Call the NYS mental health hotline at 1–844–863–9314 for free emotional support, consultation, and referral.
Domestic Violence Resources:
• The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence hotline is open 24/7 at 1–800–942–6906.
Hate and Bias-Related Crime Hotline
• If you believe that you were the victim of a hate crime or bias-related incident as a result of the novel coronavirus or for any other reason, please call the New York State Hate Crimes Task Force at 1–888–392–3644 or contact the New York State Attorney General at the e-mail below. #HateHasNoPlaceHere
Resources for Employers:
NEW: Information on sales tax due dates, late fees, interest, etc. for small businesses: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/notices/n20-1.pdf
• Essential Businesses: 100% of non-essential workforces must stay at home beginning Monday, March 23. What is classified as an essential service in NYS? Note: If you believe that your business is an essential service but is not included in that list, you can apply with New York Empire State Development to have it listed as an essential service here.
• #SupportsmAlbany — Small Biz Survey: As COVID-19 outbreak related challenges progress in across the nation and in New York State, SupportsmAlbany wants to further address the impacts to businesses, and particularly small businesses, in the City of Albany. The actions being taken by the State of New York, the City of Albany, and public health authorities are necessary in mitigating the spread of the virus. Support smAlbany was formed to serve small businesses in whatever way we can as our community is facing unprecedented challenges. Support smAlbany is a coalition of regional business support partners that are coordinating efforts to offer assistance and help employers stay informed and prepared in this rapidly-evolving situation. Action to alleviate the economic impact on individuals and businesses is expected from federal and state governments in the coming weeks.
More Labor and Benefit Information
• NYS Department of Labor: The NYSDOL has waived the 7-day unemployment insurance (UI) waiting period to apply, and has extended service hours and guidelines for when you should call or go online to apply — more information is available here. Please note they are experiencing heavier than usual customer traffic.
• Paid Sick Leave for Workers in Mandatory/Precautionary Quarantine: The state legislature authorized an emergency 2-week paid sick leave program for all workers impacted by precautionary or mandatory COVID-19 quarantine, with more information on how to apply and who qualifies at this link.
• New York State — How You Can Help: New York State is looking for both mental health and public health professionals to volunteer at medical facilities throughout the state or remotely to help manage the COVID-19 outbreak. Interested individuals can find more information here and apply at this link.
• Albany Medical Reserve Corps: The Albany County Department of Health, in conjunction with community partners, is preparing to open multiple Point of Dispensing (POD) sites throughout the County. These POD sites will serve to distribute medications, supplies, or (future) vaccinations to large segments of the County’s population. Albany Co. is looking for primarily licensed medical professionals with more information at this link. Medical Reserve Corp members, both clinical and non-clinical will be key in staffing the POD sites. Non-clinical volunteers will perform administrative support roles such as registration, data entry, language translation, crowd control, and assisting with special needs residents. Clinical volunteers would be integrated with Department of Health staff to conduct medically appropriate tasks.
• St. Vincent’s Food Pantry: St. Vincent’s Community Food Pantry (984 Madison Ave, Albany) is looking for volunteers to help keep its operations going and to keep feeding the community during this crisis. Those interested should email St. Vincent’s at: email@example.com.
Beginning March 23, CDTA is running on a modified schedule. STAR (paratransit), a critical transportation option for people getting to medical and other urgent appointments, will continue to operate on a full weekday schedule. More. Link: https://cdta.org/news/service-changes-begin-march-23/
Childcare Resources — Boys & Girls Club | The Y
The Capital District YMCA has extended care to cover “essential” workers. In addition to licensed health professionals such as physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, LPNs, there are many other “essential” workers. The Y has also partnered with several other organizations, such as the Victory Church, and is providing food for children in Albany, Bethlehem, Greenbush, Schenectady and Troy.
Locations Providing Care
Arbor Hill Elementary — 1 Arbor Drive, Albany, NY 12207
Eagle Point Elementary — 1044 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12203
Giffen Elementary — 274 South Pearl Street, Albany, NY 12202
Hoosick Falls Central School — 21187 NY RT 22, Hoosick Falls, NY 12090
New Scotland Elementary — 369 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208
Philip Schuyler Achievement — 676 Clinton Avenue, Albany, NY 12206
Sheridan Preparatory Academy — 400 Sheridan Avenue, Albany, NY 12206 YMCA
Branches Providing Care
Bethlehem — 900 Delaware Ave, Delmar, NY 12054
Duanesburg — 221 Victoria Drive, Delanson, NY 12053
Glenville — 127 Droms Road, Glenville, NY 12302
Greenbush — 20 Community Way, East Greenbush, NY 12061
Greene County — 35 Rt. 81, Hope Plaza, West Coxsackie, NY 12192
Guilderland — 250 Winding Brook Drive, Guilderland, NY 12084
Schenectady — 433 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12305
Southern Saratoga — 1 Wall Street, Clifton Park, NY 12065
Troy — 2500 21st Street, Troy, NY 12180
Legal Assistance for Low-Income Residents: The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York is closing offices beginning today but will continue to offer its full range of legal services — new/existing clients are asked to call Albany, Amsterdam, + Saratoga Springs office numbers for assistance. https://lasnny.org/coronavirus-information/?utm_source=Letter+to+Funders&utm_campaign=COVID-19+letter+2&utm_medium=email
- Parents and childcare providers — WMHT Public Media is expanding their learn-at-home educational program to help with structuring kids’ days while schools are closed. View the full program Rightwards arrow with hook https://wmht.org/homeclassroom/
Nursing Home and Hospital Information
- All nursing home and senior assisted living facility visits are prohibited in New York State. Please check with your individual Nursing Home or Assisted Living facility to see what restrictions or other guidelines that may have been implemented as a response to COVID-19.
- The CDC has posted guidelines for visitors concerned about visiting family members or friends in these facilities which can be found here.
- NYSDOH has posted similar guidelines and how nursing homes and similar facilities should prepare, which can be found here.
- Healthcare providers who need equipment are ale to request that from their local county emergency response unit or department. Albany County’s link: https://www.albanycounty.com/government/county-sheriff/emergency-management-office
As of (3–20–20):
Key Policies and Announcements:
• 100% of non-essential workforces excluding essential services* i.e, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, shipping, supplies, etc., must stay at home effective Sunday, 3/22 at 8 PM. What is classified as an essential service in NYS?
• All non-essential gatherings of any size for any reason are prohibited. Any concentration of individuals outside their homes must be limited to workers providing essential services.
• In public places, you must practice social distancing of at least 6-feet.
• Effective Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 8 p.m. and until further notice, all barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors and related personal care services will be closed to members of the public. This shall also include nail technicians, cosmetologists and estheticians, and the provision of electrolysis, laser hair removal services, as these services cannot be provided while maintaining social distance.
• Interest and fees on late payments of state small business sales tax are waived.
• #PaidSickLeave is now available for workers affected by precautionary/mandatory COVID-19 quarantine. More information below.
• The New York State Education Department is suspending elementary and intermediate-level student state tests this year.
• NYS will issue an economic disaster declaration enabling small businesses impacted by this crisis to apply for federal disaster relief loans (link here).
• 90-day moratorium on residential and commercial evictions/eviction proceedings. Foreclosures/foreclosure proceedings are indefinitely suspended. NYers can request a 90-day hardship waiver for mortgage payments.
• Bank overdraft/overcharge fees and credit card ATM fees are waived.
Statewide Public Restrictions:
✅ Casinos, movie theaters/entertainment venues, gyms/fitness centers, bars/restaurants, are closed indefinitely. Please note: takeout and delivery service are permitted 24/7.
✅ Public gatherings of 50+ are banned in NYS.
✅ Local governments are required to reduce staffing levels by 50% by allowing non-essential employees to work from home.
✅ State workers throughout New York who are non-essential are asked to work from home.
✅ Private businesses are strongly advised to close if possible/close by 8 PM each day excluding grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies. More restrictions on private businesses may be forthcoming.
✅ The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has moved to appointment-only transactions.
✅ Visitation at all NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision facilities is suspended until April 11th.
✅ The New York State Capitol is now closed to visitors.
✅ State, county, and local park fees are waived.
✅ Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins have announced that time-limit parking regulations have been lifted at both Washington Park and Lincoln Park until further notice to create additional parking opportunities throughout the City during the COVID-19 outbreak. Other parking regulations, including parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or at a crosswalk, continue to be in effect in both parks. The City of Albany is asking residents to continue to comply with alternate-side parking regulations throughout the City to help facilitate the continued collection of solid waste and recycling as scheduled. For more information on what City of Albany services and resources continue to be available during this crisis, please visit this page.
Nonprofit Resources + Information (donation links):
✅ United Way of the Greater Capital Region fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community. The well-being and safety of our partners, staff and neighbors is always our top priority. They 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. Contributions to the Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund can be made online at this link: COVID-19 RESPONSE FUND or text COVID19 to 41444. Donations can also be mailed to: The Community Foundation, 2 Tower Place, Albany, NY 12203. Interested donors and partners, please contact John Eberle at firstname.lastname@example.org
✅ Life Path New York (Formerly Senior Services of Albany) is looking for donations to continue its critical services and support for the Capital Region’s Senior Community. Donate online or call + make checks payable to: LifePath 28 Colvin Ave., Suite 2 Albany, NY 12206.
✅ Albany’s Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless’ doors are still open. Basic necessities like food and shelter are still in demand. IPH will continue to make sure those resources are accessible to all who need them. If someone you know is in need of support or services, please call 518–434–8021 to navigate the best course of action. They are adjusting facility access to community members. For the time being, volunteer groups and non-essential community meetings will be suspended or postponed. They will not be accepting clothing, toiletry, or household items at this time. They are still in need of meal donations and will make arrangements with each donor on a case-by-case basis.
Child Care Resources + Information:
✅ Individuals who need child care or who would like to provide child care (such as college students who may be home or others who have availability) should call Tricia Howland at 518–426–7181 ext. 315 or Paulann Beardsley at 518–426–7181 ext. 306 at Brightside Up (previously known as the Capital District Child Care Council) https://www.brightsideup.org/ Governor Cuomo has granted OCFS the authority to temporarily waive selective regulatory requirements. More information is available at https://ocfs.ny.gov/main/news/COVID-19/.
Ways to Support Our Small Businesses + Main Streets:
✅ Check-in with your favorite small businesses to see if they are offering remote ordering or service, and use the list compiled below by 99.5 The River for takeout ordering (list includes greater Capital Region) for some of our region’s restaurants and eateries — check with your local establishments before ordering.
🍽🏘 Remember to support our local small businesses and Main Streets, who are being hit especially hard financially as a result of #COVID19.
Lark Street: https://larkstreetbid.org/support-hub/
Downtown Albany: https://downtownalbany.org/safelysupport
What is there to do? Recreational Tips + Resources:
✅ New York State has waived fees for all state, county, and local parks. Please remember to utilize social distancing at all times. Get outside and keep yourself active at any of these Capital Region state parks:
- Cherry Plain
- John Boyd Thacher State Park
- Peebles Island
- Falls View Park
- Max V. Shaul State Park
- Saratoga Spa State Park
- Grafton Lakes
- Mine Kill State Park
- Schodack Islands
- Hudson River Islands
- Moreau Lake State Park
- Thompson’s Lake
School Resources + Information:
✅ All NYS schools will close for a period of 2 weeks starting Wednesday, March 18. To clarify: Superseding local closure decisions, all schools in New York State will mandatorily close from Wednesday, March 18, to Wednesday, April 1. Albany City School District: Schools listed below will open to students from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. daily. Grab and Go lunch and breakfast for the following day will be available for pick-up with student/school ID:
- Albany High School (Washington Avenue entrance), 700 Washington Ave.
- Albany School of Humanities (ASH), 108 Whitehall Road
- Arbor Hill Elementary School, 1 Arbor Drive
- Giffen Memorial Elementary School, 274 South Pearl St.
- Tony Clement Center for Education, 395 Elk St.
- William S. Hackett Middle School, 45 Delaware Ave.
Bethlehem Central School District: Beginning Tuesday, March 17, free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch for children will be available for pick up at Bethlehem Central High School. Those picking up meals should come to the Van Dyke Road entrance near the cafeteria. To keep traffic disruption to a minimum, please note the following pick-up schedule for M — F:
- 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. — Last names beginning A-M
- 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. — Last names beginning N-Z
✅ Due to the closing of Albany City Schools, the Mater Christi Food Pantry will be offering families with school-aged children a pantry visit once every week, to replace the loss of school lunches during the closure. Call for an appointment at 518–596–6691. Don’t see your school listed? Visit this page for more school district information or check with your individual district for more information.
✅ The 180-day rule for K-12 public schools to receive state funding is waived.
Community Resources + Information:
✅ Area Libraries are there to help even though buildings are closed. All our area libraries have Librarians ready to answer your questions by email and phone. Get help with your library account, info on how to download eBooks, and vital reference questions.
All libraries have digital materials — including eBooks, eMagazines, eAudiobooks, eVideos — through website and corresponding apps for their personal devices. Look for the free Libby, OverDrive, and Flipster apps on your device app store.
All libraries have free wifi accessible right outside the buildings and in their parking lots. Albany Public Library WiFi at the library branches and three city parks (Lincoln Park pool, Washington Park playhouse and skate park, Bleecker-Swinburne Park stadium) remain turned on, so you can access them if you are in close proximity to the buildings.
Altamont Free Library — AltamontFreeLibrary.org, (518) 861–7239
Bethlehem Public Library — http://www.bethlehempubliclibrary.org/, 518–439–9314
Guilderland Public Library — www.guilderlandlibrary.org 518–456–2400, Reference questions can be asked at email@example.com, or patrons can go to the staff page on our website to email particular staff members.
Voorheesville Public Library — www.voorpl.org, 518–765–2791
✅ Capital District YMCA’s branches are closing for one week, beginning Monday, March 16th.
Utilities and Labor Resources + Information:
✅ For more information on price gouging and consumer scams related to the COVID-19 crisis and how to report this activity can be found here: https://ag.ny.gov/coronavirus
✅ Evictions, including current orders of eviction, and other nonessential housing court proceedings are suspended until further notice. Most other nonessential NYS court proceedings have been postponed or suspended — call your local courthouse.
✅ Does your workplace need training to protect against COVID-19? NYCOSH is available to conduct virtual trainings for unions, workers’ centers, community organizations, employers, and workplaces throughout New York State to educate and inform on best practices. The trainings will also be a space for workers to strategize on how to improve preparedness in their facilities and to keep New York’s workforce safe. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free training today.
✅ Charter will offer free access to Spectrum broadband and wifi for 60-days for K-12 and college student households for distance-based learning. To enroll call 1–844–488–8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. Charter is partnering with school districts to ensure local communities are aware of these tools to help students learn remotely. Charter will open its Wi-Fi hotspots across its footprint for public use.
✅ AT&T will not cut-off the service of any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer because of their inability to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. They will waive any late payment fees that any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer may incur because of economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic, and keep their public Wi-Fi hotspots open for any American who needs them.
✅ Verizon will help customers and small businesses disrupted by the impact of COVID-19 and will waive late fees and keep residential and small business customers connected.
✅ National Grid is suspending the collection of bill payments for 90 days.
✅ The New York State Department of Labor has waived the 7-day waiting period for unemployment benefits for workers laid off due to the virus.
✅ The New York State Department of Public Service is prohibiting service cut-off to utility customers unable to pay due to the virus.
What To Do If You Feel Sick:
✅ Primary care providers and practices should call (518) 447–4580 to request a test from NYSDOH — New York State Health Department. ✅ Are you experiencing all symptoms of COVID19? Call ahead to your doctor to discuss your symptoms, let them guide you in the right direction, and/or call NYS DOH at 1–888–364–3065. ✅ Capital Region hospitals have erected makeshift tents, repurposed space and established drive-thru lanes where people can come to have swabs taken for COVID-19 testing. No walk-ins allowed. They will only test on a doctor’s order in order to prioritize those at high-risk.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the NYSDOH recommends that individuals should follow these guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus:
1. Wash your hands regularly, 2. cover your cough or sneeze, 3. avoid touching your face, 4. avoid close contact with others and large public gatherings if possible, and 5. stay home if you are sick. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas should call ahead to their health care provider before seeking treatment in person. Even if you have not been in contact with an infected person or an affected area, but are experiencing all symptoms of COVID-19, you should call NYSDOH at 1–888–364–3065 to receive guidance on what to do and how to self-quarantine.
Higher Risk Population Related Information
- Populations such as; older adults, people living with cardiovascular issues, diabetes, lung disease, and other immuno-compromised people are at higher risk of experiencing severe symptoms and hospitalization.
- Please read the CDC’s guidelines and advice linked here for those populations considered ‘high-risk’ and best practices to prevent infection.
Health-Insurance Related Information
- Testing for COVID19 in New York State is at no cost to the patient, whether in person or tele-health regardless of health insurance provider, thanks to an initiative spearheaded by Governor Cuomo, in the interest of removing financial barriers to testing and care.
Paid Sick Leave Related Information
- The state will guarantee two full weeks of paid leave for all state workers who are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine as a result of the novel coronavirus. Employees will not have to charge accruals during the time taken off work for quarantine. This will apply to all state employees, regardless of civil service classification, bargaining unit, and regardless of part-time or accrual status.
- Tomorrow, the state Legislature will vote on a Paid Sick Leave proposal for most private-sector employees in New York State.
To protect the public’s health, you are encouraged to stay at home, avoid public gatherings, and practice social distancing of at least a 6-foot radius. Should you have any questions during this time please do not hesitate to utilize my office as a resource at (518) 455–4178 or email@example.com. #CapitalRegionStrong
Help keep this current! Please send any updates/resource information and links to Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.