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Update on the City's Response to COVID-19

Dear New Yorker,

Estimado Neoyorquino,


As you are aware, the City is currently responding to the novel coronavirus, and we want to make sure that you are provided with the most up-to-date information.

Cómo ya sabe, la Ciudad de Nueva York está respondiendo al brote del coronavirus, y queremos asegurarnos que reciba información actualizada.

如您所知, 紐約市目前正在應對新冠病毒, 我們會確保向您提供最新的消息。


Cool It! NYC program will expand cooling options on existing Open Streets with tree-based shade and hydrants, focusing on heat-burdened communities

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today unveiled the first set of “Cool Streets” for this summer, announcing expanded cooling options on existing Open Streets in the most heat-burdened parts of New York City. The Cool It! NYC program prioritizes new cooling options on blocks in vulnerable neighborhoods with the highest tree-based shade and fire hydrants with spray caps. During heat advisories, NYCDEP and FDNY will proactively install spray caps on these streets’ hydrants to ensure every New Yorker living in a heat-burdened community is within 1/4 mile of an outdoor cooling element.

The Cool Streets initiative focuses on Open Streets in areas that rank highest on the Heat Vulnerability Index, which uses social and environmental factors to understand how heat-related health risks vary across NYC neighborhoods. The City is prioritizing its cooling efforts on HVI 4 and 5 zones, the most heat burdened communities, to serve vulnerable residents during extreme heat events. A citywide map of cooling elements can be found online at Cool It! NYC. To find the nearest cooling element or Cool Street, visit Cool It! NYC. DOT’s Open Streets map will also highlight each Cool Street across the city.

“New Yorkers are in for a long, hot summer, and staying cool is an essential part of physical health, mental health, and public safety,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’re excited to build on our popular Open Streets program and find creative ways to fight back against COVID-19 by giving New Yorkers the public space they deserve.”

“Summer is very much here, and we need all of the tools at our disposal to keep New Yorkers safe and cool - especially during such unprecedented times," said Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin. "We have seen the success of our Open Streets program across the five boroughs, so it only made sense to find ways to utilize these streets with our broader cooling strategy. While we encourage New Yorkers to remain inside as much as possible during extreme heat events, these Cool Streets will give our most vulnerable New Yorkers a spot to stay cool outdoors when the city heats up."

Under the Cool It! NYC program, the City is activating 250 new cooling elements – in addition to the existing 950 – and proactively adding spray caps to 320 fire hydrants during hot weather. The City has already installed over 32,000 air conditioners for low-income seniors.

“We are taking every step to ensure our heat vulnerable neighborhoods will have sufficient outdoor options to Cool It! this summer. Cool Streets is another tool we can use to beat the heat, and I am proud our City agencies and partners have banded together to provide this necessary relief to New Yorkers, especially on the hottest days,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell.

“Running through the spray of a fire hydrant is a venerable New York City tradition and a sign that summer is in full swing,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We are proud of the work we and our agency partners have done so far to create Open Streets and protected bike lanes across the five boroughs, and these new Cool Streets will make this program better, safer and more fun when the temperatures get high.”

“With the City’s new Cool Streets initiative, New Yorkers will have more opportunities than ever to stay cool safely this summer, taking advantage of brand new open streets and our city’s extensive tree canopy,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. "The addition of these new Cool Streets, and our brand new Cool It! NYC map which highlights existing and new cooling features, provides residents even more new, innovative ways to stay cool and beat the heat this summer.”

Cool Streets include:






East Harlem

101st St

Park Ave

3rd Ave


W. 117th St

Morningside Ave

5th Ave


W. 138th St

Lenox Ave

Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd

Hamilton Heights

Edgecombe Ave

St. Nicholas Pl

W. 145th St 






New Lots

Blake Ave

Miller St

Hindsdale St

Boerum Hill

Wyckoff St

Nevins St

3rd Ave


Williams Ave

Liberty Ave

Atlantic Ave

Red Hook

Henry St

Lorraine St

Bay St

Ft. Greene

N Elliott Pl

Park Ave

Flushing Ave







Trinity Ave

E 166 St

E 161 St

Mott Haven

E 140th St

Brook Ave

Willis Ave

Mott Haven

Jackson Ave

E 143rd St

E 147th St






South Richmond Hill

120th St

Atlantic Ave

Liberty Ave


39th Ave

Woodside Ave

Barnett Ave

"As summer heats up, it is important to give New Yorkers the resources and opportunities they need to beat the heat. The Cool Streets Initiative will help New Yorkers stay cool during the hot summer weather," said Assembly Member Joseph R. Lentol.

Mayor de Blasio announced 23 more miles of Open Streets – including 9 miles of new protected bike lanes – in late June, bringing the City’s nation-leading program to a citywide total of 67 miles.

Under Open Streets, pedestrians and cyclists are free to use the roadbed of each street. No through traffic is permitted, with remaining vehicle traffic limited to local deliveries, pick-ups/drop-offs, necessary city service, utility, and emergency vehicles only. Such drivers are alerted to be hyper-vigilant and to drive at 5 MPH along these routes. Open streets hours are from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM but may vary slightly depending on staff availability.

Organizations wishing to have other New York City streets considered for the Open Streets program should reach out to fill out an online survey. More information is available at



Broadband deployment will connect 600,000 New Yorkers to jobs, training, education, mental health supports and healthcare resources from home

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio, Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity co-chairs First Lady Chirlane McCray, Deputy Mayor J. Phillip Thompson, and Deputy Mayor Dr. Raul Perea-Henze today announced that the City will accelerate broadband deployment in all five boroughs, prioritizing public housing communities, which have suffered disproportionately during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City will make a historic $157 million investment in ending digital redlining and providing high-speed internet, including $87 million redirected from the NYPD budget. This investment will extend new internet service options to 600,000 underserved New Yorkers, including 200,000 NYCHA residents over the next 18 months. This approach will create a path to NYCHA-wide implementation and universal broadband across New York City.

“Our mission to deliver affordable, high-quality internet service has never felt more urgent,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “COVID-19 has further exposed the inequalities in internet access while changing the way New Yorkers work, learn, and live. Accelerating universal broadband access will make our city healthier, safer, and more equal.” 

“Broadband service has quickly become as necessary to modern life as electricity and running water. Having it or not having it can be a matter of life and death, particularly for communities of color, which may be cut off from critical health alerts and other information during the COVID-19 crisis," said First Lady Chirlane McCray. "Universal broadband means that Black and Brown New Yorkers will have access to health care, educational resources, employment opportunities, and social programs, which will help them stay connected and strengthen these communities for generations to come."

As part of the plan, the City will work with M/WBE service providers and community-based organizations who will create a pipeline to jobs by training, certifying, and employing adults and youth to install and operate network infrastructure. 

“As our lives increasingly move online, especially during a time where in-person engagement risks the health and safety of New Yorkers, it is critical that communities of color are not left behind due to their inability to afford internet access,” said J. Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives and co-chair of the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity. “Not only will affordable broadband service increase access to health care, educational opportunities and jobs, it will also strengthen participation in our democracy. By giving historically underrepresented communities the ability to register to vote, fill out the Census, engage with elected officials, and take other actions online, we can ensure their voices are heard and included in decision-making as we work to create a fair and equitable recovery in New York City.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic shows that staying healthy depends on staying connected in our virtual world, and that means more broadband for New Yorkers who need it most,” said Dr. Raul Perea-Henze, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services and co-chair of the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity. “Our plan to close the digital divide will empower communities hit hardest by the virus with online access to build a fair recovery and equitable future.”

According to the NYC Internet Master Plan, 46% of New York City households living in poverty do not have broadband at home. A full 18% of all New York City residents – more than 1.5 million people – have neither home nor mobile connection. Internet use is foundational to economic mobility, but current broadband subscription costs can impose a considerable burden on the budgets of low-income families.  

“A key tool in helping us eliminate the inequalities that still exist throughout New York City is ending the digital divide once and for all,” said Laura Anglin, Deputy Mayor for Operations. “COVID-19 has only further exposed these inequalities, and all New Yorkers should have access to affordable, high-speed internet regardless of the size of their paycheck or where they live. We know that universal broadband can help lift up these communities by connecting them to the essential services and resources they need." 

The digital divide and the unequal access to information experienced by so many communities of color during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the necessity of affordable, fast, and reliable internet.  Expanding access will enable our NYCHA families to access essential health, educational, and employment resources," said Vicki Been, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development. "Thanks to our agency partners for making a meaningful difference for NYCHA residents.

“New York City’s digital divide is a barrier to individual opportunity, creates risks related to public health, and presents a threat to long-term economic growth,” said John Paul Farmer, Chief Technology Officer. “By investing and partnering to deliver low-cost broadband for communities in need, we are not only doing the right thing, we are doing the smart thing in connecting people to greater opportunity across all five boroughs, driving toward universal broadband, and setting New York City on a path to come back stronger than ever.”

“COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of having an internet connection for all aspects of life, including receiving health and safety information, accessing services and benefits, and sustaining education and employment," said Gregory Russ, Chairman of the New York City Housing Authority. "Low income families including NYCHA residents must have broadband access, and they deserve to receive this service without having to worry about the expense or sacrifice other essential needs.  We are grateful to Mayor de Blasio and the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity for their efforts to provide NYCHA residents with low-cost, high-quality broadband. I am encouraged by the innovative proposals we have received so far to the RFEI and look forward to implementing solutions.”

“Closing the City’s digital divide, which for too long has disproportionately impacted our communities of color, is an important step towards achieving a fair and equitable recovery,” said James Patchett, President and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “Access to low-cost internet service creates connections to critical tools and resources that  remove barriers to opportunity, improve lives and strengthen communities. Investments like these, which focus on equity and creating job opportunities for our youth and communities in need – especially those significantly impacted by COVID-19 – will make our city stronger today and in the years ahead.”

The first phase of plan implementation is underway. The Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, in partnership with NYCHA and NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), collected proposals through a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI). The RFEI identified ready-to-deploy ideas or pilot projects that will provide residents at NYCHA units with reduced-cost internet service options. These options may range from new products and pricing, new service choices with discounted rates for public housing residents, free Wi-Fi solutions that residents can reach from their homes, or other innovative approaches employing established or emerging technologies.

The City expects to announce partnerships at the end of the summer 2020, with full deployment of the program occurring throughout 2020 and 2021.

Taskforce Appoints Sideya Sherman as Executive Director

The Taskforce named Sideya Sherman as Executive Director to replace outgoing Executive Director Grace Bonilla. Ms. Sherman was appointed Executive Vice President for Community Engagement and Partnerships at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) in October 2016. In this capacity, she oversees a partnership-based, collective impact model for engaging and connecting public housing residents to economic opportunities and services. Residents are connected to community resources through the Departments of Resident Economic Empowerment & Sustainability (REES), Family Partnerships, Resident Engagement, Community Development, and Health Initiatives, which Ms. Sherman oversees.

"I am deeply honored to serve as Executive Director for the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity and thank Grace Bonilla for her tremendous leadership. COVID-19 laid bare our city’s long-standing racial disparities," said Sideya Sherman. We have an unprecedented opportunity to respond and recover in a way that fosters a more equitable city, and I am excited to take on that challenge. Working with my colleagues across City government and community stakeholders, I look forward to driving both immediate and long-term solutions benefitting the communities most impacted by COVID-19. Through collective action, we can help our hardest-hit communities not only become more resilient, but thrive."

"It has been an honor and privilege to be the Executive Director for a taskforce that took on the racial disparities highlighted by COVID-19," said Grace Bonilla. "Working with my colleagues from across the city to set in motion powerful recommendations provides the first step to us healing as a city. As the Racial Inclusion and Equity Taskforce moves to the second phase, focused on implementation, I cannot think of a better person to take over as Executive Director than Sideya Sherman. She has dedicated her career to managing the toughest aspects of our systems. Her connections to the many communities we serve and her deep understanding of systemic challenges make her a strong leader for the next leg of this recovery." 

Ms. Sherman previously served at NYCHA as Vice President for Strategy and Partnership, as well as Director of REES. While at REES, she played an integral role in the early design of the Zone Model, a partnership-based framework for connecting residents to economic opportunity and critical programs and services. Under her stewardship, REES launched service coordination zones and built a network of local and citywide providers that offer best-in-class services to residents through outcome-oriented projects. Ms. Sherman has garnered funding to support job creation, new training, financial capability, and entrepreneurship programs for NYCHA residents.

Prior to joining NYCHA, Ms. Sherman acquired over a decade of community and economic development experience at a variety of community service organizations. Most recently, she served as Project Director for the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS), one of New York City’s leading urban design, planning, and preservation advocacy organizations. While at MAS, she provided training and technical assistance to community-based organizations and neighborhood advocates confronting local planning, land use, and economic development challenges. Ms. Sherman managed key MAS programs, including the Livable Neighborhoods Program and the Community Information Technology Initiative, building planning capacity of New York City youth and community boards through intergenerational programming. Ms. Sherman has also held positions with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Lower East Side Business Improvement District, where she helped implement urban commercial corridor revitalization programs at both a national and local scale, respectively.

Ms. Sherman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Utica College in political science and a Master of Science degree in urban affairs from Hunter College.



Anti-Gun Violence Employment Program (AGVEP) will engage approximately 700 young New Yorkers from communities impacted by gun violence with employment and virtual enrichment programs

NEW YORK—New York City’s Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) today announced the virtual launch of the Anti-Gun Violence Employment Program (AGVEP), offering employment and enrichment opportunities to approximately 700 young people.

Starting July 13, AGVEP will employ New Yorkers between the ages 14 and 24 living in neighborhoods and NYCHA housing developments most significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will engage in 10 to 15 hours of activities for a 6-week period, with the potential to earn a stipend of $850 to $1,200.

ONS, which is part of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ), oversees the Office to Prevent Gun Violence (OPGV) and the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP). Both teams will help guide participants through enrichment activities held virtually and in socially distanced in-person settings with local organizations in their communities.

With an infusion of support from the Young Men’s Initiative (YMI), ONS developed a network of virtual programming organizations that will offer training in youth leadership and organizing, career readiness, financial empowerment, web development and coding, urban planning, music and film production, civic engagement, and more.

AGVEP is a year-round employment program that increases employment opportunities for participants who may be at risk of being victimized or perpetrating violence. First launched in 2016 by MOCJ and the New York City Council, it is currently budgeted at $1.5 million with funding from both the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years. Participants work at community-based organizations engaged in positive activities to cultivate self-efficacy and leadership skills designed to contribute to their social, educational, and professional growth.

"The most powerful route to safety is to provide meaningful opportunity to New Yorkers. The Anti-Gun Violence Employment Program, with its proven track record, does just that with youth who play a vital role in our neighborhoods,” said Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice. “These investments are even more important at this juncture in our city’s history as we turn more and more to a community-first approach to safety."

“The youth in our communities are our future innovators and leaders — we have to invest in them today,” said MOCJ Deputy Director Eric Cumberbatch, who leads ONS. “The Anti-Gun Violence Employment Program is another crucial way in which the City is creating opportunity for our young people, especially at this incredibly important moment where we are redefining what safety and well-being mean for our communities.”

"Empowering communities — and young people in particular — should be the foundation of all justice reforms,” said Young Men's Initiative Executive Director Jordan Stockdale. “YMI is proud to support the Anti-Gun Violence Employment Program, which provides engaging learning opportunities and meaningful stipends to our future leaders. We commend the civil servants at ONS for their hard work to ensure our youth have more enrichment opportunities this summer."

Launched in December 2019, ONS was created to improve the sharing of resources and access to holistic assistance to New Yorkers affected by violence. The Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety organizes residents, multiple city agencies, and numerous community-based organizations in 15 NYCHA developments into an effective neighborhood-based, problem-solving effort. The Office to Prevent Gun Violence works through multiple programs, including the Crisis Management System, to coordinate and amplify the work of a network of community-based non-profits across 22 precincts in the city.

For questions about AGVEP, interested applicants can email for more information.



NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Finance Commissioner Jacques Jiha announced today the postponement of the annual tax lien sale until September 2020, as the city continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. “We must build a fair and equitable recovery for the working people of our city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Postponing the lien sale will give some relief to those struggling to make ends meet, and more time for New Yorkers to apply for our hardship programs.”

“While New York City begins to rebound from the effects of COVID-19, many property owners continue to face serious financial challenges from the effect of the virus,” said Department of Finance Commissioner Jacques Jiha. “Postponing the sale allows property owners to better assess their situations and to apply for assistance or a payment plan, if necessary.”

The lien sale is administered by the NYC Department of Finance, which sells overdue property taxes, water and sewer charges, and other property charges to a non-profit trust. The agency sends out four warning notices to property owners starting three months prior to the sale, alerting them that the property is at risk of being on the lien sale list. More than 80 percent of owners pay the full amount owed, enter into payment plans, or obtain an exemption that removes them from the at-risk pool. DOF also advertises at risk properties and conducts extensive outreach to property owners at risk of having their liens sold, often partnering with community groups and elected officials to reach as many property owners as possible.

The sale was originally scheduled to occur in May 2020, but it was previously postponed until August 2020 as the City focused its efforts on the COVID-19 outbreak.

Property owners who are facing hardships making their property tax payments can take advantage of several existing DOF programs. These include exemption programs to lower the amount of taxes owed, standard payment plans, or a new Property Tax and Interest Deferral (PT AID) program, for those who qualify. DOF also provides a monthly property tax billing service to facilitate budgeting for property owners billed on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. More information on those programs can be found on the agency’s website.

“Postponing the lien sale is exactly the right thing to do.  As our city reels from the economic hardship caused by COVID-19, we need to do everything we can to protect all those without the ability to pay.  In many cases, non-profits or religious institutions may not have even gotten their mail in months and so are unaware of the impending sale,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer.

"In light of the ongoing pandemic, postponing the annual tax lien sale is the right decision," said Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik.  "I urge anyone who is having difficulty making payments to take advantage of the assistance programs that the city offers."

“While New York State on PAUSE was established to save the lives of New Yorkers, it has also created financial hardship for many families across the five boroughs,” said Council Member Paul Vallone. “Postponing the annual tax lien sale at a time when many New Yorkers are struggling to make ends meet will provide much needed relief to those families facing serious financial pressure during these challenging times.”



“As New York City continues to reopen, more parents will need child care. This decision is rooted in health as well as equity. Data show that white and wealthy parents are more likely to have job flexibility or to hire independent caregivers, while these options may not be the same for Black, Brown and low-income families. We don’t want any New Yorker to have to choose informal or illegal child care; every child deserves a safe place where they can learn and grow. To support child care programs, the Health Department has developed tools for implementing new safety protocols, will provide technical assistance, and will host a series of webinars to review the COVID-19 mitigation requirements and answer questions.”

For additional information:


Resources and Updates you may find useful:

Recursos y Actualizaciones que les pueden ser útiles:


New York City is now in Phase Three of reopening. Personal Care businesses can now reopen in New York City. Personal Care businesses include cosmetology, massage therapy, nail specialty, spas, tattoo and piercing facilities, tanning salons, and waxing

La ciudad de Nueva York se encuentra ahora en la fase tres de reapertura. Las empresas de cuidado personal ahora pueden reabrir en la ciudad de Nueva York. Las empresas de cuidado personal incluyen cosmetología, terapia de masajes, especialidad en uñas, spas, instalaciones para tatuajes y piercings, salones de bronceado y depilación con cera


PHASE 2 of Reopening NYC: What Workers Need to Know: English | Español (Spanish) | العربية (Arabic) | বাংলা (Bengali) | 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified) | 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional) | Français (French) | Kreyòl Ayisyen (Haitian Creole) | 한국어 (Korean) | Język Polski (Polish) | Русский (Russian) | ردو (Urdu) Note: For detailed industry-specific guidance, available in additional languages, visit

Phase Two guidance for:

· Hair Salons and Barbershops (PDF, June 28)




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