APRIL 10, 2020
Amalgamated Warbasse Houses is sharing information with cooperators about changes to co-op procedures and tips on staying healthy amid the Covid-19 national health crisis. To see all the information that was previously sent on the matter, please go to www.awh-inc.com.
Remember the Basics to Help Stop the Spread of Coronavirus:
Public health officials are now urging people to use face coverings when they leave their homes. Professional grade masks are in short supply and are badly needed by healthcare providers. To support our brave front-line healthcare workers, we are encouraged to make our own masks. For guidelines on creating your own mask, see this helpful guide from the Centers for Disease Control: “Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of Covid-19” https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting sick/diycloth- face-coverings.html
If the elevator is occupied, wait for the next one. As the coronavirus continues to worsen, stricter guidelines are required. If you call for an elevator and it’s already in use, wait for the next one, wait times should be shorter now that we’re observing the state’s “stay at home” order. But no matter the wait, it’s worth the time to keep our community safe.
Remember to take a squirt of hand sanitizer in the building lobby when you leave and then return to the building. If you are coming home, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as soon as you come through the front door. Sanitizer is in very short supply, so please only take one squirt!
If you have coronavirus (or think you might) and need to ride the elevator to seek urgent medical care, or if you or someone else sneezes or coughs openly on the elevator, regardless of whether the person has any other symptoms of illness; press the security button in the elevator and tell the dispatcher so they can send someone to disinfect the elevator after you leave. Remember: People can transmit the virus to others without realizing they are infected and without any symptoms.
Considering that people can contract and spread the virus without showing symptoms, we should act as if everyone has COVID-19. This is the reason for social distancing and stepped-up efforts by the AWH Maintenance staff to disinfect common areas throughout our buildings.
The co-op will provide additional cleaning and disinfection of the floors where there have been reported cases.
Infected individuals should not leave their home at all unless seeking necessary medical care Quarantined individuals should stay in their apartments and follow recommendations of health authorities. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals remain in self-isolation for 14 days after they are free of symptoms. If you have a medical emergency, call 911, but for other medical issues, call your doctor first to get advice by phone, if possible.
Use of common areas is prohibited. For individuals known to have coronavirus or who show symptoms and are not tested, they should not enter such public areas at all until after the 14-day waiting period after being free of symptoms. Healthcare professionals recommend that people recovering from coronavirus, and those caring for them, limit the use of rooms in their home, sanitize frequently touched areas, and wear gloves and masks.
In the event that the quarantined person must leave the building for a medical appointment, notify AWH Security before entering or exiting the building so that the co-op can immediately disinfect the elevator, lobby area, and hallway areas after the person and their caregiver(s) leave. The quarantined person and any individual accompanying them are required to wear a mask and gloves when entering and exiting the building. Note: all cooperators are encouraged to wear a face covering at all times when out of their apartment.
Have your deliveries left outside the apartment. Wait until the individuals making your delivery have left the hallway entirely before opening the door to pick up the bags or boxes. If possible, pay for food or supplies by credit card online or over the phone to avoid the need to exchange cash.
Amid this crisis, no cooperators should have guests or visitors unless that person is providing a crucial service. In homes where a person is recovering from coronavirus, essential-service visitors must be reported to AWH Security before entry to our buildings and upon their departure so that the common areas they encountered may be sanitized.
Numerous cooperators have complained about their neighbors failing to respect social distancing guidelines in laundry rooms. Please adhere to the following:
Regardless of current health condition, older adults and those with weakened immune systems should ideally ask someone to do laundry for them. If you must visit the laundry room, keep as far away from others as you can, no matter your age or health. Fold your clean clothes upstairs in your apartment as a way of reducing contact with surfaces that others have touched. If you see that half or more of the machines are in use, go back upstairs with your laundry and check later to see if the room is less crowded.
New York City will provide food delivery assistance for at-risk, low-income New Yorkers who cannot go out of their houses to pick up food. A link to the effort can be found here: https://cv19engagementportal.cityofnewyork.us/#/display/5e755517ad6750216160409
Qualifying households may place an order once every two days. Each order will contain at least 4 meals per person in the household, but no household will receive more than 8 meals per delivery. If you don't meet all of the eligibility criteria below, you can still get help at your local food pantry or Meal Hub (see item below). You can find the food pantry closest to you at: https://www.foodbanknyc.org/get-help
To qualify, all these categories must apply:
NEW: Free Meals for Any New Yorker at Meal Hubs Across the City
The New York City Department of Education has committed to providing New Yorkers in need with three free meals per day on weekdays at more than 400 Meal Hubs across the City. Meals Hubs will operate for children and families from 7:30am to 11:30am, and for adults from 11:30am to 1:30pm, Monday through Friday.
The nearest Meal Hub is located at IS 303 across the street from building 4. For more information, go to: https://www.opt-osfns.org/schoolfoodny/meals/default.aspx
The New York Times has developed a useful list of resources for people facing hardship related to coronavirus and/or other reasons. The page will continue to be updated. Go to: https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-money-unemployment.html
The City of New York has developed a list of resources for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional assistance. The following city website will be updated frequently amid this crisis: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/em/resources/covid-19- services-resources.page
The U.S. Department of Education has granted a payment waiver of up to 60 days to many people with federally subsidized student loans who are facing sudden hardship, but borrowers need to call their loan provider. If your income has fallen dramatically, you may fare better by entering an income-driven repayment program. Low-income borrowers can end up with no monthly payments while their income stays low. For more info go to: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/repayment/plans/income-driven
The Federal Government passed the CARES Act on March 27, 2020. The $2 trillion relief package includes support for individuals.
The bill gives money directly to adults with Social Security numbers as follows:
Who is NOT eligible:
You do NOT need to apply for this relief. If the Internal Revenue Service already has your bank account information, it will transfer the money to you via direct deposit based on the recent income-tax figures it already has on file. If you filed taxes for 2019 it will use that amount. If your last filing was for 2018 those numbers will be used. Payments should arrive by late-April 2020.
This law temporarily expands the eligibility for people who are unemployed, partly unemployed, or cannot work for a wide variety of coronavirus-related reasons. Benefit levels will also increase by $600 per week above the normal formula through July 31, 2020. This increase takes effect on April 5, 2020. If you are already collecting unemployment insurance, do not do anything. Your benefits will be automatically be upgraded. New York State urges people already receiving benefits who are only seeking information to NOT call as their phone lines are being overwhelmed. Many self-employed people (freelancers, gig workers, and independent contractors) are newly eligible for unemployment benefits. For more details about how the new rules affect unemployment insurance in New York State, including how to file a new claim, go to this page on the NYS Department of Labor website: https://labor.ny.gov/ui/cares-act.shtm.
New York State set up a mental-health hotline for free emotional support, consultation, and referral to a provider, amid the current crisis. Staying at home and practicing social distancing is the most important thing to do right now to slow the spread of coronavirus, but social isolation can also take a toll. The hotline number is 844-863-9314 and is for any mental health issue, whether related to the current coronavirus concern or not. Just because you're at home doesn't mean you need to have a sedentary life. There are numerous, excellent resources on the Internet for people of at fitness levels who want to learn how to exercise at home. For starters, check out this website: https://www.verywellfit.com/best-ways-to-exercise-at-home-1231142
Living above, below, and next to other families means we all must acknowledge that people should be able to enjoy activities in their own home, but not at the expense of overly bothering neighbors. Situations are a bit trickier as an unprecedented number of people are staying home all day in accordance with guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus. As you listen to or play music, watch TV, and exercise at home, please do your best to take your neighbors into consideration. Many have been instructed to work from home but will have difficulty doing so with a racket around them. Smokers are reminded that NYC law prohibits the transmission of secondhand smoke from your apartment, balcony or terrace into a neighbor’s apartment, balcony or terrace, or into the common or public areas of the building such as the hallways and stairwells.
Scammers are preying on people’s fear and using the coronavirus crises to promote all sorts of scams. Below are some examples of the types of scams to be on the lookout for:
If you receive a suspicious email that appears to come from an official organization such as the WHO or CDC, report the email to the official organization through their website. If you want to make a charity donation, go directly to the charity website of your choice, don't follow a link in an email, which might be fake. Type the charity’s web address in your browser instead of clicking on any links in emails or other messages.
Look for answers to your questions on the AWH website: www.awh-inc.com Call and leave a voicemail rather than visiting in person:
Please note that calls to the Management Office will be directed to our voicemail system. Someone will respond to your message as soon as possible.
The Management Office will remain closed through at least the entire month of April 2020, with staff working remotely. If you normally bring your carrying charge payments to the office, here are your options:
Recognizing the need to prioritize health first, and the fact that many may be facing unexpected hardship as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, late fees for carrying charges due for the months of April and May 2020 will be waived.
However, payment is still due in full and the funds are needed for the co-op’s continued operation. This measure is being made to ensure that health is the top concern, but please make your payment on time if you are able.
MARCH 30, 2020
Amalgamated Warbasse Houses is sharing information with cooperators about changes to procedures amid the Covid-‐19 national health crisis. To see all of the information that was previously sent on the matter, please go to www.awh-‐inc.com.
The recommendations for individuals infected with COVID-‐19 differ case by case. Certain individuals will need hospitalization, while others with less urgent symptoms and no underlying conditions may be encouraged by health care providers to self-‐quarantine and stay home if they are able to recover on their own. Those who are able to recover at home prevent the spread of the disease and lessen the burden of the health care system. Decisions about the appropriate type of care should be made in close consultation with health care providers.
If you learn of a neighbor who is self-‐quarantining, and you know they are supported (they have adequate food, medicine, are in touch with health-‐care providers), be careful not to stigmatize individuals who are doing exactly what health experts are telling them to do.
If you know of a cooperator who is infected and does not need hospitalization, but does require assistance while they stay at home, such as they are low on food, medicine, disinfectant, or toiletries and
you are healthy and able, please help your fellow neighbor the best you can while social distancing.
The Management Office will remain closed through at least the entire month of April 2020, with staff working remotely. If you normally bring your carrying charge payments to the office, here are your options:
The majority of cooperators now pay their monthly carrying charges via automatic bank deductions (ACH payments) or via online payments through our website. If you haven't signed up now is a great time to do so. You can create an account at www.awh-inc.com to set up either automatic monthly payments or individual online payments of your carrying charges.
You may continue to mail your payment in the provided envelope whether the office is open or closed. Remember to include the carrying charge statement in the same envelope. Our payment processing company will not be able to process your check if the statement is missing.
-‐ In Person Drop-Off
To slow the spread of Coronavirus, we are encouraging residents to stay home whenever possible. However, carrying charges are still being collected in the lock box located near the Security Office at 2800 West 5th Street.
Recognizing the need to prioritize health first, and the fact that many may be facing unexpected hardship as a result of the Coronavirus crisiss, late fees for carrying charges due for the months of April and May 2020 will be waived. However, payment is still due in full and the funds are needed for the co-‐op’s continued operation. This measure is being made to ensure that health is the top concern, but please make your payment on time if you are able.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended the deadline for filing income taxes to July 15, 2020. As such, AWH will be extending the deadline for the filing of Income Affidavits to July 31, 2020. We will be distributing affidavits to your door at a future date sometime in June/July.
The City of New York has developed a list of resources for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-‐19 or are seeking additional assistance. The following City website will be updated frequently amid this health crisis: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/em/resources/covid-‐19-‐ services-‐resources.page
For online information about filing for unemployment benefits, go to this New York State website page "How to file a claim for Unemployment Insurance Benefits" https://labor.ny.gov/unemploymentassistance.shtm
Independent Contractors / Freelancers / Gig Workers Independent contractors, sometimes known as freelancers or gig workers, should not assume that unemployment insurance does not cover them. Check this New York State Department of Labor page on Unemployment Insurance and Independent Contractors https://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/claimantinfo/ui%20and%20independent%20c ontractors.shtm
Halting Student Loan Payments The U.S. Department of Education has granted a payment waiver of up to 60 days to many people with federally subsidized student loans who are facing sudden hardship, but
borrowers need to call their loan provider. If your income has fallen dramatically, you may fare better by entering an income-‐driven repayment program. Low-‐income borrowers can end up with no monthly payments while their income stays low. For more info go to: https://studentaid.gov/manage-‐loans/repayment/plans/income-‐ driven
In "Coronavirus Update #2" we shared a list of nearby grocery stores that offer home delivery, along with their contact info. That list is republished below as well as home delivery of prepared food from neighborhood operating restaurants that provide no contact delivery:
-‐ Seamless www.seamless.com
-‐ GrubHub www.grubhub.com
-‐ Uber Eats www.ubereats.com
-‐ DoorDash www.doordash.com
-‐ Postmates www.postmates.com (also delivers groceries & household items)
-‐ Delivery.com also delivers groceries & household items
Local food delivery:
-‐ Keyfood, 505 Neptune Ave, 718-‐714-‐6049 (call for shopping and delivery cost)
-‐ Keyfood, 599 Ave. Z, 718-‐934-‐4279 (call for shopping and delivery cost)
-‐ Brothers Bagels, 532 Neptune Ave, 718-‐266-‐2230 (free delivery)
-‐ La Casa Bella Pizzeria, 2579 Cropsey Ave, 718-‐449-‐0200 (free delivery)
-‐ S&K Warbasse Pharmacy, 718-‐449-‐5117 (free delivery)
-‐ CVS, 532 Neptune Ave, 718-‐996-‐2233 (free delivery)
*Reminder to please keep noise to a minimum as more residents than usual are home and many are working remotely. There are unprecedented numbers of people staying at home at the same time. Please be mindful of your neighbors and keep from making excessive noise. Many people have been instructed by their employers to work from home, and they will have difficulty doing so if there is excessive noise emanating from neighboring apartments. Similarly, if you are used to a quiet apartment during the day and now hear the footsteps and sounds of adults and children who are not normally home during these hours, please take this in stride. We are all going through this together.
Reminders from Coronavirus Update #2:
Maintenance & Security Personnel are available for emergencies ONLY.
To prevent the spread of the COVID-19, the co-op is following Federal and City guidelines by allowing employees to work from home if they are able to do so. All Management Office staff is now working remotely.
Maintenance requests can still be made on our website @ www.awh-‐ inc.com or by calling 718-‐759-‐6723/4.
A temporary management email address has been established for any questions and/or concerns. The email address is concerns@awh-‐ inc.com
Only essential appliance deliveries such as a stove or refrigerator and/or medical equipment will be permitted. You still must call or email the Maintenance department so that the elevators can be properly padded.
Please do not bring any large items downstairs for removal at this time. The removal and disposal of bulk items is suspended amid the Coronavirus outbreak.
It’s difficult enough to keep the recommended six or more feet of distance from others on sidewalks and in stores. In elevators, it’s impossible.
People can be infected with COVID-‐19 and not realize it for days-‐ or at all. You might be transmitting the disease without showing any symptoms
If you call for an elevator and it’s already in use, please consider letting it continue along without you and waiting for the next one.
If you’re going out, take a squirt of hand sanitizer in the building lobby as you leave, and scrub the sanitizer on your hands thoroughly. If your coming home, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as soon as you come through your front door.
you don’t want to bring them into your apartment throw them into the compactor chute or toss them in any of the trash cans outside or in the lobby. This is a very concerning time, please think of the health and safety of yourself and others!
Laundry Room Health & Safety
It is urgent that we all practice best practices in all places, especially shared spaces such as laundry rooms.
Stepped-up Laundry Room Hygiene AWH staff is increasing the frequency by which we sanitize our laundry facilities, but please do the following: Make sure that you have washed your hands thoroughly with soap as you leave your home. Remember that using laundry machines involves touching buttons and door handles. Bring sanitizing wipes on your own for door handles, buttons, etc.
Social Distancing in Laundry Rooms If you are an older adult or have a weaker immune system, ideally find out if you can get someone to do your laundry for you. If you do visit the laundry room, keep as far away from others as you can no matter your age or health. Fold your clean clothes upstairs in your apartment as a way of reducing contact with surfaces that others have touched. We are relying on you to reduce crowding in the laundry room in your building. If you see that half or more of the machines are in-‐use, go back upstairs with your laundry and check later to see if the room is less crowded.
REMINDERS ABOUT PERSONAL PRECAUTIONS
1. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently
2. When washing your hands, always follow best practices:
Use soap, and scrub all parts of your hands.
Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the
soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. As a tip: hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice -‐ that will make sure
you've sufficiently scrubbed your hands.
Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel. Don't dry your hands on your clothes.
3. Avoid touching your face, particularly your mouth, nose, and eyes.
4. Stay home if you feel ill. Symptoms of coronavirus are often similar to the flu, including cough, fever, trouble breathing, and pneumonia. The severity of symptoms can vary widely between individuals. As such, protect others by staying in and limiting contact except as necessary to stay well. Since people can be infected and spread the virus without having symptoms, stay home even if you feel well to help slow the spread of the virus!
5. Frequently clean and sanitize all doorknobs in your apartment (and on the hallway side of your apartment) using cleaners that include at least 60 percent alcohol. Also remember to sanitize frequently touched areas in your home, such as:
kitchen and bathroom faucets
knobs on your cabinets refrigerator and freezer handles
6. Call your doctor if you are concerned about your health. In emergencies always seek immediate care, but in non-‐emergencies, experts recommend contacting your doctor or another health care professional if possible before deciding whether to visit a hospital or clinic. Always seek help from health care professionals when you have concerns.
Every household should have received their 2020 Census form in the mail by now. It is crucial that you are counted as it affects federal funding, resource allocation, and representation in both state and federal government.
Amid the Covid-‐19 crisis, you can add one more item to this list: prevent the need for Census workers to go door-‐knocking. Already the Covid-‐19 outbreak has caused Census workers to re-‐evaluate plans to send people door-‐to-‐door for follow-‐up to households that do not respond to the mailing in a timely manner.
The 2020 Census has an option for completing the form online or by mail. This makes it easy to do your civic duty without breaking the "social distancing" rules. Refer to the Census form you received in the mail for instructions on completing it online.
Beware of Census scams! If you receive an email to complete the 2020 Census survey, delete it! The U.S. Census Bureau will only send the official survey notification by U.S. Postal Service mail. The instructions and "Census ID" passcode for completing the 2020 Census online will only be on the paper form that you receive in the mail; it will never come via an email.
If your survey response is not received, an official Census Bureau worker may come to your home to ensure you have received the census. If a Census Bureau worker visits your home, verify that they are who they claim to be. A valid ID badge should have the watermark and expiration date. If you’re still unsure, call your regional census center and speak with a Census Bureau representative.
Remember, the Census Bureau will never ask for the following: your
social security number, your bank account or credit card numbers, anything on behalf of a political party, donations or money.
Warbasse wishes you and your family continued health and safety during this trying time. We thank you for your cooperation. We are all in this together.