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Press Releases

Mayor De Blasio Announces New Plan to Combat COVID-19 at NYCHA

Deepening City's current efforts to ensure residents are safe and supported during crisis

Apr 22, 2020

New York, NY

Mayor de Blasio today announced a plan to deepen the City’s response to COVID-19 at NYCHA. This pandemic is exacerbating the challenges that working people face, especially for NYCHA’s 400,000 residents. This new plan will ensure that these hardworking New Yorkers are safe and supported during this crisis.

“NYCHA residents are the backbone of New York City, but for decades they have not received the support they deserved from all levels of government,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We refuse to continue this pattern, and this new plan will provide residents with the support they need to protect themselves and their families during this crisis. My promise to the New Yorkers who call NYCHA home: we will have your back, no matter what.”

The new plan will provide the following services to residents:

Access to Free Testing: The City is increasing access to free testing for NYCHA residents by opening 6 additional sites at or near NYCHA developments. All six sites will be run by NYC Health + Hospitals, and will offer free walk-in COVID-19 testing. NYCHA residents will be prioritized for testing at these sites. While NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Cumberland, NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Belvis, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Gouverneur are opening this Friday, the sites at Jonathan Williams, Woodside and St. Nicholas will open next week.

Personal Protective Equipment: To help residents protect themselves and their families during this crisis, the City will be distributing face coverings and gloves to all residents. The City will also distribute hand sanitizer to NYCHA senior buildings. These deliveries will start next week. The City has already provided NYCHA staff with 60,000 masks and 10,000 pair of gloves.

Food for Seniors: To fulfill the pledge to provide food to all New Yorkers in need, the City is enrolling all NYCHA senior buildings in the food delivery program over the coming weeks. This will make it easier for residents to get food delivered directly to their door. The City has already delivered 288,000 meals to 24,000 NYCHA households over the past month.

Wellness Checks: The City is expanding NYCHA’s wellness call program to all seniors and vulnerable residents. These live, telephone calls are made to check on resident’s health and well-being, and ensure they have all their basic necessities such as medicine and groceries. Since the start of the outbreak, NYCHA has made 40,000 wellness calls.

Free Tablets and Internet Service for Seniors: The City is investing $5 million to provide free tablets and internet service for 10,000 senior residents to help them remain connected with their loved ones. In partnership with T-Mobile, the City will start rolling out this service next week for seniors in Brownsville followed by developments in Central Brooklyn, South Bronx, Eastern Queens and Upper Manhattan. The City will also provide training for seniors on how to use these devices.

Cleaning Schedule: NYCHA’s third party vendor is sanitizing common areas three-times a week at family developments and five-times a week at senior developments. These aggressive cleaning schedules will be posted on NYCHA website this week.