Dear New Yorker,

As we begin the New Year, we want to reaffirm our commitment to keeping you informed. 

As New York City continues to respond to COVID-19, we want to ensure this newsletter continues to deliver information on critical resources and city updates. To this end, we have refreshed the look and organized it to find information easier.

As 2021 promises a new beginning, we are confident that we will overcome any challenges and rise together.

In partnership,

América Cañas
Acting Commissioner, Mayor's Community Affairs Unit

NYC COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Testing Sites

Walk-in testing is available at no cost to you at these NYC Health + Hospitals locations. 

Click to access:

COVID-19 Vaccine
DOHMH has created a Vaccine web page to keep New Yorkers up to date.
Click to access:
COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to certain groups in NYC. The following groups have recently become eligible:

● People ages 65 and older

● Teachers and education workers

● First responders

● Public safety workers

● Public transit workers

Learn which groups are currently eligible for the vaccine, and which may be eligible next.

Click to access

COVID-19 Data
The data reflects the most recent information collected about people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in NYC. It is updated daily. 
Click to access COVID-19 DATA

General Information on COVID-19

There is increasing transmission of COVID-19 in New York City and widespread transmission across the United States and in many other countries. Read about:

New COVID-19 Variant

What we know - Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants emerge and persist. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic.

What we do not know - Scientists are working to learn more about these variants, and more studies are needed to understand:

● How widely these new variants have spread

● How the new variants differ

● How the disease caused by these new variants differs from the disease caused by other variants that are currently circulating

What it means- Public health officials are studying these variants quickly to learn more to control their spread. They want to understand whether the variants:

● Spread more easily from person to person

● Cause milder or more severe disease in people

● Are detected by currently available viral tests

● Respond to medicines currently being used to treat people for COVID-19

● Change the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. There is no evidence that this is occurring, and most experts believe this is unlikely to occur because of the nature of the immune response to the virus.

Test and Trace Corps

The NYC Test & Trace Corps is a public health initiative to fight the threat of COVID-19. 

Test – Get a COVID-19 Test and an Antibody test to know if you have been exposed to the virus. – The tests are FREE, confidential and safe. More than 200 testing sites now open. Learn more.

Trace – Answer the call of the Contact Tracers – they provide support to New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts. Learn more.

Take Care – Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones – Safely isolate in a free, comfortable and convenient hotel room or at home. Learn more.

Seasonal Flu (Influenza)

As the flu and COVID-19 will likely circulate at the same time this season, getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever.

COVID-19 Community Conversations:
The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is providing a free 60-minute virtual presentation entitled COVID-19 Community Conversations: Mental Health, Equity & Resilience. The COVID-19 Community Conversation presentation covers topics including grief, trauma, coping, resilience and mental health tips. 
Click here to register for an upcoming presentation!

Additional Resources

NYC Department of Education:
School Year 2020-2021 Calendar: 
See the full calendar for the current school year. 
Happening Now: 
The kindergarten application for the 2021 - 2022 school year is now open, and the deadline to apply is January 19, 2021.
Apply to kindergarten by submitting your application one of two ways:
● Online with MySchools
● By phone at 718-935-2009
Get Ready to Apply for Specialized High Schools
Registration for Specialized High Schools admissions is now open! Learn more on our Specialized High Schools page.
The high school application will open the week of January 18, 2021. The deadline to apply is  February 23.
● Create your MySchools account
Need a high school now? Learn what to do on our New Students page
Important Links: 
● Want all-remote learning for your student ? Let us know by completing the Learning Preference survey
● See the Messages to Families page for updates from Chancellor Carranza
● Schools across the City are currently open for in-person and remote learning. Decisions regarding individual school buildings closures will be made in accordance with our COVID-19 protocols and with New York State guidance on restrictions in designated COVID-19 Zones. You can see if your school is currently in a State-designated Orange in Red Zone using the City’s COVID-19 Zone Finder.
● Daily COVID Case Map- this Map shows all known cases of COVID-19 at New York City public schools. It is updated Sunday through Friday at 6:00 PM.
● Free Meals for Students, Families, and Community Member, for more information visit:
Emergency Food Assistance Program - NYC.GOV/GETFOOD
Become an Emergency Food Provider -


Call 1-888-NYC-WELL If you are thinking about suicide, or know someone who is, counselors are available to listen to and support you 24/7. Contact NYC Well by calling 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355), texting “WELL” to 65173 or chatting at If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of hurting themselves, or in immediate danger because of a health condition or other situation, call 911.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

Hours: Available 24 hours.

Languages: English, Spanish. 

NYC Health + Hospitals:

As part of the largest municipal health care system in the world, NYC Health + Hospitals’ public hospitals and neighborhood health centers offer a wide variety of excellent mental health services to foster recovery from mental illness of all kinds. We help patients rediscover their strengths and abilities, as well as overcoming the stigma of mental illness. Click to learn more.

Domestic Violence Support:

NYC 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-621-HOPE


Disposing of electrical appliances is bad for the environment and illegal. DSNY offers you a special collection of appliances. Click here for more information.

To coordinate appliance disposal events for the community, fill out this form:

City Agency Service Update:
 See more about: Agency Suspensions and Reductions

Important Dates to Know:

● NYS Homes and Community Renewal Announces Expansion of Covid Rent Relief Program (February 1, 2021)

The New York State Legislature established the COVID Rent Relief Program to help households who are experiencing a loss of income during the COVID-19 crisis. This program will provide eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord.

How to Apply: Applications for COVID Rent Relief Program Available Online at The deadline to submit your COVID Rent Relief Program application is February 1, 2021.

For Help Applying: Residents who need help or have questions about their application can contact HCR’s COVID Rent Relief Program Call Center for assistance at 1-833-499-0318 or Call Center representatives are available Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. You can also call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline” to be connected with tenant support specialists who can help you navigate the application process.

● NYC Civic Corps (March 1, 2021) recruits and places AmeriCorps members to serve full time at select community-based organizations for 10 months. Our vision is that community-based organizations will more effectively utilize volunteers and more efficiently carry out their mission to make our city a more equitable place for all New Yorkers.  Application close date: March 1, 2021. The website link is:

Planning an Event in NYC? Contact one of our Business Managers

Member Login