District 2

Carlina Rivera

East Village, Gramercy Park, Kips Bay, Lower East Side, Murray Hill, Rose Hill

Updated as of April 2, 2020 at 7 PM

NOTE – Information, hours and availability of services related to COVID-19 are changing rapidly. Please email district2@council.nyc.gov if you encounter any issues or have any questions.

  • As of April 2, there are 92,381 COVID-19 cases statewide, with 51,809 cases in New York City. 
  • As of April 2, 104,041 people have been tested in New York City.
  • 2,373 people have died statewide.
  • Roughly 41% of those infected in New York City are between the ages of 18-44, 35% are between the ages of 45-64, and 21% are over 65.
  • The breakdown of infection by sex in New York City continues to remain fairly equal, with roughly 44% of cases presenting in females and 56% presenting in males. 
  • Please refer to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the New York State Department of Health for the latest case counts.

As Chair of the Council’s Committee on Hospitals, Carlina is taking rapid action to expand our hospitals’ capacity, secure resources for frontline healthcare workers, and keep New Yorkers up to date on the latest resources and safety precautions during this public health crisis.

For more information and resources, subscribe to our newsletters or visit the Office of Emergency Management for citywide services.

If you are in need of assistance and would like to contact the Office of Council Member Carlina Rivera, please email District2@council.nyc.gov or leave a voicemail at 212-677-1077. Our constituent services team or another member of our staff will get back to you shortly.

Background and Safety Measures

COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China earlier this year, and it is spreading throughout the United States. Symptoms  include coughing, fever, and trouble breathing. According to the Centers for Disease Control, symptoms may appear between 2 and 14 days after coming into contact with the virus. Seniors, individuals with compromised immune systems, and adults with lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, and other underlying conditions are especially vulnerable to the virus and its effects. 

Text COVID to 692-692 to receive updates from the Department of Health.

Envíe mensaje con la palabra COVIDESP a 692-692 para noticias en español.

Getting Medical Care

In order to mitigate the risk of overrunning our healthcare system, we are urging any New Yorkers who are NOT in a high-risk group (seniors and immunocompromised individuals), and who are experiencing mild to typical flu-like symptoms, to STAY HOME, self-isolate from any co-habitants, and recuperate.

In most cases you will not be able to receive a COVID-19 test unless your symptoms are very serious or you would need to be hospitalized.

If your symptoms do not improve or worsen within 3 to 4 days, call 311 or your healthcare provider for a tele-consultation to see if further action is needed. The City has already pledged that New Yorkers will be treated regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.

When you call 311 you will be connected with a physician who will answer your questions or screen you for symptoms. From there, you will be advised to call your doctor, and if you do not have a doctor you will be connected with New York City Health and Hospitals for assistance.

Conserving Resources

New York State is ramping up its testing capacity everyday, but it is critical that New Yorkers do not seek testing or enter a hospital unless it is an absolute emergency. At this time, hospitals are on the brink of overcrowding and tests are being reserved for critical, already hospitalized patients and healthcare workers.

You should assume that in most cases you will not able to receive at COVID-19 test unless your symptoms are very serious or you would need to be hospitalized.

Mental Health Resources

As we practice social distancing in the coming days, many New Yorkers are experiencing anxiety and depression as a result of isolation or a cutback in accessible mental health services. You can connect to free and confidential mental health support by calling 1-888-NYC-Well or texting WELL to 65173.

How to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

The virus is spread primarily by people in close contact with one another through droplets from coughs and sneezes. You can get up to date numbers on the outbreak in New York State here. We urge you to continue to take proactive measures to protect yourself and others: 

  • Practice social distancing
  • Work from home
  • Wash your hands with soap and water
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands
  • Stay home if you feel sick 

By working from home, avoiding public places, and limiting unnecessary social interactions you can avoid contracting the virus and spreading it to others. Even if you are young and have a robust immune system, please stay home in order to prevent spreading the virus to our most vulnerable New Yorkers.

How can I help?

  • If you would have medical resources like face masks or ventilators, you can contact the New York State Department of Health about how to donate these supplies, here.
  • If you own or operate a factory that can make supplies, call (212) 803-3100 or email COVID19supplies@esd.ny.gov.
  • NYC Health+Hospitals is also accepting monetary donations at this time. Funds will be used to assist medical staff and buy supplies like scrubs.
  • If you are a student or retired healthcare professional, visit the Department of Health’s website here to see if you qualify to join the Medical Reserve Corps.
  • If you are a psychologist or therapist and you wish to volunteer your services, please take New York State’s survey here.
  • Volunteer or donate to a food pantry. New Yorkers across the City are facing food insecurity. Please contact our office to be connected to a a food pantry or visit the New York City Food Bank’s website for more information.
  • Share your space! New York City is looking for businesses to share their space with the Office for Emergency Management. Take the survey here to see if your space is eligible.
  • Donate blood. We are facing a national blood shortage because blood drives are being cancelled. Please make an appointment at the New York Blood Center to see how you can help.
  • Donate to local cultural institutions in and around District 2.

Our Hospitals

Expanding Our Capacity

Both City and State officials are working around the clock to identify and create new hospital beds to treat new COVID-19 cases and mitigate disruption of existing hospital services. Governor Cuomo’s goal is to expand the state’s 53,000 bed capacity to 140,000 beds state wide. The state plans to meet this goal by suspending New York State Department of Health’s capacity guidelines, requiring all hospital systems to increase capacity by 50%, and by building field hospitals throughout the state.

Completed Field Hospitals:

  • USNS Comfort docked in New York on March 31, and has 1,000 beds.
  • 1,000 bed hospital at the Jacob Javits Center

Hospitals Planned or Under Construction:

  • 750 bed hospital at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.
  • 750-1,000 bed hospital at Staten Island Psych Center.
  • 350 bed hospital at the Billie Jean King Tennis Stadium in Queens.
  • 1,000 bed hospital at SUNY Stony Brook.
  • 1,000 bed hospital at SUNY Westbury.
  • 1,000 bed hospital at the Westchester County Center.

Governor Cuomo announced on March 30, that public and private hospitals will begin coordinating intersystem transfers and sharing resources. Hospitals will fill out daily surveys on supplies, which will then be allocated to hospitals based on need:

As of April 2 New York City hospitals have the following resources on hand:

  • 467,367 face shields.
  • 106,635 goggles
  • 2 million isolation gowns
  • 7 million surgical masks
  • 1.4 million surgical gloves

New York State has in stockpile:

  • 1.2 million N95 masks
  • 4.6 million surgical masks
  • 1.5 million exam gloves
  • 15,000 protective gowns and coveralls
  • 3,000 ventilators

The federal government has sent:

  • 340,000 N95 masks
  • 860,000 surgical masks
  • 350,000 exam gloves
  • 145,000 protective gowns and coveralls
  • 4,400 ventilators

New York State still needs for a worst case scenario:

  • 20 million N95 masks
  • 30 million surgical masks
  • 45 million exam gloves
  • 20 million protective gowns and coveralls
  • 30,000 ventilators

Testing Options

New York is leading the nation in testing. However, it is critical we preserve tests for hospital workers and the most seriously sick, and we strongly discourage asymptomatic or low-risk individuals from going to a medical facility and risking infection. You should assume that in most cases you will not able to receive at COVID-19 test unless your symptoms are very serious or you would need to be hospitalized.

Changes to Keep in Mind

In order to mitigate the overcrowding of our hospitals in the coming days, Mayor de Blasio issued an Emergency Executive Order on March 16 that will suspend all elective, or non-urgent, surgeries for 96 hours. Hospitals will decide what is an elective surgery on a case by case basis. See below for more information on system wide service and visitation changes in New York City Hospitals.

Please note, this is count only includes major hospital systems in New York City and it does not reflect every single hospital in the Five Boroughs. The bed counts listed do not reflect beds that have been added to hospitals since the outbreak began.

Hospital System Service Changes/
Visitation Policy Total Bed Counts
NYC Health+Hospital Cancelling all elective surgeries. Offering telephone appointments. Prohibiting all visitors except in pediatric, NICU, or obstetric units. Visitors will be screened before entering hospitals. Approximately 6,294 beds system wide (including both acute hospitals and SNF sites).
Mount Sinai Cancelling all elective surgeries. Rescheduling routine visits and offering virtual appointments.
Visit Mount Sinai Now for information on setting up a virtual appointment.
Prohibiting all visitors, except in pediatric, NICU, obstetrics, and palliative units. Approximately 1,134 beds system wide.
Northwell Health Cancelling all elective surgeries scheduled to take place between March 16 and April 15.
Call 833-4UR-CARE or 888-321-DOCS, or go to Northwell’s website to request an appointment.
Prohibiting all visitors except in obstetrics and end of life. Approximately 762 bed citywide (not including Long Island locations)
NY Presbyterian Cancelling all elective surgeries.
Call 646-697-4000 or visit NYP’s website for information on Virtual Urgent Care
Prohibiting all visitors except one parent or guardian in pediatric and NICU units. Visitors including spouses and partners will no longer be permitted in labor and delivery units. Approximately 2,600 beds system wide.
Hospital for Special Surgeries Cancelling all elective surgeries. Rescheduling routine visits and offering virtual appointments.
Contact your doctor directly about virtual appointments.
Do not visit if you have been sick in the last 48 hours. Approximately 215 beds.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Appointments will be honored, and patients will be offered virtual appointments.
Call 800-525-2225 or visit MSKCC’s website to request an appointment.
Only one visitor per patient except in pediatric or end of life cases. Approximately 498 beds system wide.
NYU Langone Cancelling all elective surgeries. Rescheduling routine visits and offering virtual appointments.
Call 646-726-7662 or visit NYU’s website for information on virtual appointments.
Prohibiting all visitors except in pediatric, obstetrics, and NICU units. Visitors will be screened before entering hospital. Approximately 1,276 beds citywide (not including Long Island locations)
One Brooklyn Cancelling all elective surgeries. No updates at this time. Approximately 1,500 beds system wide (including both acute and SNF beds)
SBH Health Cancelling all elective surgeries. Prohibiting all visitors except in pediatric, obstetrics, NICU, and hospice units. Approximately 422 beds systemwide.
Montefiore Medical Center Cancelling all elective surgeries. Call 718-405-8410 for information on appointments. Prohibiting all visitors except in pediatric, obstetrics, NICU, and palliative units. Approximately 1,491 beds systemwide.
SUNY Downstate Cancelling all elective surgeries.
Call 718-270-7207 for information on appointments.
No updates at this time. Approximately 376 beds.
Maimonides Medical Center Cancelling all elective surgeries. Visit Maimonides’ website for more information on appointments. No updates at this time. Approximately 711 beds.

NYC H+H Bed Breakdown

NYC H+H Acute Hospitals Total Bed Count ICU Bed Count
Bellevue Hospital 912 40
Harlem Hospital 282 14
Metropolitan Hospital 338 18
Elmhurst Hospital 545 20
Queens Hospital 269 16
Coney Island Hospital 371 22
Kings County Hospital 693 32
Woodhull Hospital 364 24
Jacobi Medical Center 457 24
Lincoln Hospital 362 23
North Central Bronx Hospital 213 20

City and State Responses

Social Distancing Measures:

School Closures:

All New York City public schools will be closed until April 20. 453 Regional Enrichment Centers are now open and they offer childcare and meals for the children of frontline workers. Visit the DOE’s website to see if you qualify and how to enroll your child.

If your child is experiencing food insecurity because of school closures, the Department of Education is offering free breakfast, lunch, and dinner for children under 18 years old at 400 different pick up sites. Find your pick up site here.

Online learning has officially begun and the Department of Education is lending internet enabled devices to families without access to technology. You can request one here. Parents can find additional information on educational activities for children in grades K-12 here. If you are an educator working from home Teq is making its online learning resources free.

Spectrum is also offering free and discounted wireless services and installation for families with school aged children.

The Department of Education is also extending its Pre-K Admissions Application to Sunday March 29. Families can apply online through MySchools or over the phone by calling 718-935-2009 (Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM).

High school admissions offers are also available on MySchools, along with program options and waitlist information. Printed offer letters are also being sent in the mail to students. If you don’t have a MySchools account or have questions about admissions, please email HSEnrollment@schools.nyc.gov.

Requirements for Businesses

  • As of Sunday, March 22 at 8 p.m., all gatherings are banned and 100% of non-essential workforce will be required to stay home.
  • Essential services include grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies, internet service providers and more are exempt from this mandate. See a full list of services and businesses deemed essential under this order here.

Playground Closures

  • All New York City playgrounds will be closed.

Emergency State and Federal Legislation


  • State tax day moved from April 15 to July 15
  • New York State passes paid sick leave and waives 7 day waiting period for unemployment benefits


  • Tax day moved from April 15 to July 15
  • $2 trillion dollar relief package including emergency financial aid and enhanced unemployment benefits.

What We Still Need

Carlina is calling on state and federal lawmakers to act quickly and confirm substantial support New Yorkers during this time of crisis.

Emergency Food Relief

Carlina along with Speaker Johnson are calling for emergency funding for food pantries and soup kitchens in the Five Boroughs. As a member of the Council’s Budget Negotiation Team, Carlina is calling on Mayor de Blasio to release $25 million in emergency funding for struggling food pantries. The City Council is asking for an additional $25 million from New York State.

Equipment for Our Hospitals

Our healthcare workers are on the frontlines of this crisis, and they need to be protected at all costs. We need personal protection equipment, including masks, gloves, and gowns, and safe staffing measures to prevent the virus’s spread.

Carlina and Mayor de Blasio are is calling for funding from the federal government to get the following resources for New York City in the coming weeks:

  • 3 million N95 masks
  • 50 million surgical masks
  • 15,000 ventilators
  • 25 million hospital gowns, coveralls, gloves, and face masks.

If you would like to support the COVID-19 emergency response effort by donating supplies, please complete the information form here.

Emergency Aid for Small Businesses

Our small businesses are already struggling, and they cannot afford to go on as this crisis drags on. Even though the City has established low or no interest loan programs to save small businesses, its not working fast enough. That’s why Carlina is calling for:

  • A moratorium on commercial rent payments
  • Suspension of commercial rent taxes
  • Halt utility shut offs and property seizures
  • Emergency financial aid and legal aid

Keep New Yorkers in Their Homes

Even though Governor Cuomo instituted a moratorium on evictions for 90 days, New Yorkers are in the midst of a financial crisis. That’s why Carlina is calling for:

Release Non-Violent Incarcerated Individuals

With confirmed cases of COVID-19 in jails like Rikers, it is only a matter of time before densely populated, unsanitary jails become a hot-bed for infection.

Carlina is calling for the release of all non-violent individuals, beginning with those in the following groups:

  • People over 50 years old
  • People who are chronically ill
  • Those being held for administrative reasons like missed appearances or parole violations.

Mayor de Blasio has already organized the release of 375 people, however organizations like the Legal Aid Society have found that the rate of infection in city jails is higher than in New York City.

District 2 Resources

Special Hours for Local Grocery Stores

Several grocery stores in District 2 are offering special shopping hours for vulnerable populations, such as seniors:

  • Union Market (240 E Houston St): Seniors and immunocompromised individuals only, 7-8 AM
  • Westside Market (84 Third Ave): Seniors only, 7-8 AM
  • Whole Foods (94 E Houston St): Seniors only, 7-8 AM
  • Whole Foods (4 Union Sq E): Seniors only, 7-8 AM
  • Morton Williams (278 Park Ave S): Seniors only, 7-8 AM
  • Morton Williams, (311 E 23rd St): Seniors only, 7-8 AM
  • Key Food (43 Columbia St): Seniors only, Wednesdays, 8 AM-3 PM

Food Banks, Pantries, and Soup Kitchens in District 2

Father’s Heart Ministries, 545 E. 11th St.

Pantry Hours: Saturdays, 8:30 AM-11 AM

The Meatloaf Kitchen, 137 E. 2nd St., (347) 850-2230

Breakfast served from 9 AM-11 AM, lunch from 12:30 PM-2:30 PM

St. Joseph House, 36 E. 1st St., (212) 254-1640

Soup Kitchen Hours: Mondays-Fridays, 10 AM-11:30 AM

Trinity Church Lower East Side, 602 E. 9th St., (212) 228-5254

Soup Kitchen Hours: Mondays-Fridays: 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Pantry Hours: Tuesdays-Fridays, 12:30 PM-1:30 PM

Temple Soup Kitchen, 33 E. 12th St., (212) 674-2340

Soup Kitchen Hours: Saturdays, 2:30 PM- 4 PM

The Bowery Mission, 227 Bowery, (212) 674-3456

Breakfast served from 9 AM-10 AM, lunch from 1 PM-2 PM, dinner from 6 PM-7 PM

Nazareth Housing, 206 E. 4th St., (212) 777-1010 

Pantry Hours: Tuesdays at 10AM

Most Holy Redeemer Church, 173 E 3rd St., (212) 673-4224

Pantry Hours: Every other Wednesday, 10 AM- 11 AM

Dewitt Church, 280 Rivington St., (212) 674-3341

Pantry Hours: Mondays and Thursdays 10 AM-1 PM 

Interfaith Church, 325 E. 5th St., call (352) 213-9020 for details

Middle Collegiate Church, 50 E. 7th St., (212) 477-0666

Pantry Hours: Wednesdays, 8 AM-9 AM

Primitive Christian Church, 207-209 East Broadway, (212) 673-7868

Pantry Hours: Last Thursday of the month, 1:30 PM-3:30 PM

Hetrick Martin, 2 Astor Place, (212) 674-2400

Soup Kitchen Hours: Tuesdays and Fridays 1 PM-3PM 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can seniors access direct services?

Senior centers throughout the city are closing and suspending services to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but they are still offering grab and go meals.

If you are impacted by senior center closures, and are in need of food please reach out to our office at district2@council.nyc.gov or (212) 677-1077. You can also visit the Department for the Aging’s website to contact your local senior center.

For more information for older New Yorkers, we recommend visiting this page from LiveOn NY.

Will this affect my benefits?

  • Social Security benefits will not be impacted at this time, and the Social Security Administration is not taking in person appointments at this time.
  • The Human Resource Administration has cancelled all in person appointments. No negative case action will be taken because of missed appointments during this period.
  • New Yorkers are also now able to apply for Cash Assistance and SNAP online by visiting Access HRA.

How is transportation impacted?

MTA Service Changes

  • Subway and bus service cut by 25%. B, W, and Z train service is suspended.
  • Shared Access-a-Ride is suspended, but riders can still travel with a persona care attendant.
  • All buses have implemented rear door boarding. Regular fare policy remains in effect wherever on-board payment boxes or SBS off-board ticket machines continue to be accessible.
  • Trains, stations, and buses are being cleaned daily, and high touch areas like turnstiles, ticket machines, and handrails are being sanitized twice a day.

Traffic and Parking

  • Alternate side is suspended through April 17. Meters remain in effect.
  • The following streets are closed until April 5:
    • Manhattan: Park Avenue between 28th and 34th Streets
    • Brooklyn: Bushwick Avenue from Johnson to Flushing Avenue
    • Queens 34th Avenue between 73rd to 80th Street
    • The Bronx: Grand Concourse between E. Burnside Avenue and 184 Street.

Citi Bike

  • Offering free 30 day membership for healthcare workers and other essential employees.
  • CitiBike is cleaning every bike at every station at least once a day. Bike stations located near New York City hospitals will be cleaned more often.
  • Uber, Lyft, and Via are suspending pooled fares.

Does this impact my housing or utilities?

  • On March 19, Governor Cuomo issued a 90 day eviction moratorium.
  • Tenants can contact New York City’s housing courts with questions by calling (212) 962-4795 on Mondays through Fridays from 9 AM to 5 PM.
  • Housing Justice for All has also created a guide for tenants during this period.
  • New York State issued an advisory to banks and lenders asking them to suspend foreclosures and mortgage payments for 90 days. Contact your individual lender for details.
  • Section 8 vouchers set to expire are automatically extended. Contact HPD if you are a Section 8 tenant facing rent hardships due to decreases in income.
  • The Department of Finance has postponed its tax-lien sale. If you received a 60 or 90 day lien sale warning should go to the Department of Finance’s website.
  • Both National Grid and ConEd are suspending shut offs for non-payment at this time.

What should I do if I own or work for a business impacted by COVID-19

How is NYCHA impacted?

  • NYCHA property offices are open; however, NYCHA encourages residents to work with staff over phone, email, or by appointment.
  • NYCHA is observing a moratorium on residential evictions and extending their rental hardship policy to impacted households.
  • The NYCHA hearing office will be adjourning all cases, and residents are encouraged to use NYCHA’s automated and online systems to complete their transactions whenever possible.
  • Any NYCHA resident experiencing a loss of income is being encouraged to request an Interim Recertification for any decrease in income that will last more than two months by accessing the NYCHA Self-Service Portal.
  • Additionally, NYCHA is securing outside vendors to provide intensive cleaning services at NYCHA developments. All senior buildings have already received intensive cleanings. More details on their cleaning process can be viewed here.
  • Residents with further questions or concerns should contact NYCHA’s customer contact center at (718) 707-7771.

How can I report discrimination or price gouging related to COVID-19?

Across the country Asian American people are being unfairly and violently targeted. If you have experienced or witnessed discrimination as a result of the COVID-19, you can report that here.

Additionally the Department for Consumer and Worker Protection has banned any increase of 10% on the following goods:

  • Thermometers
  • Sanitizing or baby wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Latex gloves
  • Face masks
  • Fever reducers
  • Cough suppressants
  • Aloe vera
  • Zinc oxide supplements
  • Facial tissues
  • Toilet paper
  • Rubbing Alcohol

What can I do while I’m at home?

Educational Resources for Children

Arts and Culture

Staying Healthy

  • Moving For Life: Online dance and movement sessions. Calendar here.
  • Fitness Blender: Several free workout videos here.
  • Goji Fitness: Daily yoga classes. You can register for free here.

Online Resources for Seniors