We are here to help you.

We are committed to serving you during this time of uncertainty surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, and will do all that we can to help you.

Here’s what you need to know about CIDNY:

  • We are continuing to work with our consumers, but via telephone only. You can reach our Manhattan office at 212-674-2300 and our Queens office at 646-442-1520. If we are unable to speak with you when you call, we will return all messages as soon as we are able.*** ASL-speaking consumers can call our Manhattan office VP line at 646-350-2681 or our Queens VP line at 347-905-5088. (Scroll down to see our video message below.)
  • All walk-in hours, in-person meetings, counseling sessions, and workshops are canceled until further notice. We will resume all of these as soon as we are able.
  • Future announcements will be posted on this page and will be shared via email on our mailing list. If you would like to receive our newsletters and announcements via email, sign up here.

You may have noticed that public spaces such as museums, libraries, and many nonprofits are closing or no longer offering face-to-face counseling, workshops, or other gatherings. If you can, we encourage you to avoid large gatherings and places where there are many people at higher risk, limit close contact with others, wash your hands frequently, and follow other precautions. As NYC and the surrounding area begins a phased opening it is important to maintain precautions such as social distancing and face coverings if possible.

Please reach out if you are having difficulty following preventive measures such as having enough food to remain at home. Please also let us know if you are having interruptions in medical care or community-based services and we will try and help.


Advice for People at Increased Risk

CIDNY has received guidance that we wanted to share with you from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for people who may have an increased risk for contracting a severe form of the coronavirus disease.

Are you feeling okay?
If you are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath and traveled to an area where COVID-19 is spreading, or you have had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, call your health care provider. Your provider will work with the Health Department to determine if you need testing. If you need help finding a health care provider, call 311.

Facts About 2019 Novel Coronavirus

1. What are coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that are common throughout the world. They cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious illnesses like pneumonia. A novel (new) coronavirus is a type of coronavirus that has not been previously seen in humans.

2. What is 2019 novel coronavirus?
2019 novel coronavirus is a new type of coronavirus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness (which affects breathing) called COVID-19 that was first detected in Wuhan, China. It is reported in countries all across the globe, including the U.S.

The virus is not being spread by people of any particular race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion. It is important that people understand this and do not discriminate.

3. How serious is this virus and what are the range of symptoms?
Reported symptoms due to infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 have ranged from mild to severe. Symptoms can include fever, cough or shortness of breath.

4. Who is at higher risk for severe illness?
People who are older or may have underlying disabilities or medical conditions (such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, immunosuppression, or cancer) or are over 60 years of age appear to have a higher risk of severe COVID-19. Children and young adults can be in the higher risk category if they have one of these conditions.

5. How does this virus spread?
Much is still unknown about how the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads. Current information indicates the virus is being spread in the community by people who have not been abroad or had contact with people who have been abroad. Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how the flu and other respiratory illnesses spread.

6. How long before symptoms of the virus appear?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear between two and 14 days after exposure.

For more information on COVID-19, visit nyc.gov/health/coronavirus or cdc.gov/coronavirus.


Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus/COVID-19

Below are a few questions and answers we hope can help you at this time. We will be updating these as we receive new and updated information.

Are buses and subway service still running?
Yes, but there are still a few changes.

*Masks are required for riding
*Normal weekday subway service.
*Normal weekday school-closed bus schedules
*Restored service on express buses
*The MTA will no longer accept cash transactions at station booths.
*The subway will continue to close from 1 a.m.-5 a.m. each day.
*Riders should still board through the rear door (express bus riders and riders who board using a ramp can use the front door)
*Most buses, including express buses, are operating weekday school-closed schedules

Please check the MTA website (https://new.mta.info/coronavirus/subway-and-bus-service) for the latest updates.

I need assistance getting on the bus. How will these changes affect me?
People who need to use the ramp or kneelers can board through the front of the bus. This includes customers who use wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes, any other mobility devices, and those with invisible disabilities or seniors who may need the ramp or need the bus to kneel. There will be a barrier separating sections; the front section of the bus is currently reserved for customers who use mobility devices or otherwise need priority seating. Bus operators are still required to assist and secure customers who use wheelchairs.

Is Access-A-Ride still running?
Access-A-Ride is still running. There are no shared rides. People who have been approved to travel with a personal care attendant (PCA) can continue to do so. For those who need to travel with a guest, you must share this information when booking your ride.

Participants in the on-demand pilot can continue to use the service for essential travel as usual. No new riders will be added.

Can I still sign up/schedule an assessment for Access-A-Ride?
Access-A-Ride assessment centers are currently closed. New applicants with clearly demonstrated needs such as dialysis, chemotherapy or emergency surgeries may be given interim/temporary eligibility until an assessment can be scheduled. Eligibility for current customers whose eligibility is expiring soon will be extended. More information about Access-A-Ride and paratransit can be found here: https://new.mta.info/accessibility/paratransit

Can I shop for groceries online with my SNAP Benefits?
Yes, you can! You can now use your Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to shop online for groceries. Use your EBT card to shop securely for fresh produce and groceries at these participating stores in the NYC area (links below are clickable):
Note: SNAP benefits cannot be used to pay delivery fees. Make sure an online store delivers to your home address. More information on SNAP Benefits can be found here: https://otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19/.

What businesses are opening in phases? Is there still a list of essential businesses?
New York City (and State) has begun a “phased reopening. You can find out more about which businesses are in each phase here: https://forward.ny.gov/phase-one-industries.  You can find a full list of types of essential businesses here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-issues-guidance-essential-services-under-new-york-state-pause-executive-order. Remember, businesses like these are allowed to be open but they may choose to close on their own even during phases of reopening.

Where can I get information about schools and remote learning?
NYC schools are currently closed through the end of the academic year. It’s possible that closures may be extended. For up-to-date information from the NYC Department of Education please visit: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/coronavirus. If  you need to request a remote learning device (iPad) you can do so here: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learn-at-home/ipad-distribution.

What do I do if I have children that receive school meals?
Three meals a day, including breakfast, will be available to all NYC children Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 1:30 pm at locations across the city. For locations, menus and more information visit:

What do I do if I can’t pay my rent?
As of March 31, NYC residents are not exempt from paying rent. However, organizations are still working on a #CancelRent initiative. Due to an Eviction Moratorium you CANNOT be evicted through June 20, 2020. From 6/20 through 8/20 the moratorium will only apply to tenants who have suffered a “financial hardship” because of COVID-19 or who qualify for unemployment. Click here for more details.

I have another question that isn’t answered here. Who do I talk to?
If you have a question or concern that isn’t addressed here, please contact us at info@cidny.org and we will do our best to put you in touch with someone who can help you.

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