In December 2019, a novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) was detected by world physicians. COVID-19 is caused by a virus (SARS-CoV-2) that is part of the larger family of viruses termed coronaviruses. Recently, community-wide transmission of COVID-19 has occurred in the United States, including New York where the number of both persons under investigation and confirmed cases are rapidly increasing. It is therefore directed that any gathering with 50 or more participants be cancelled or postponed. The White House is also urging everyone to avoid discretionary travel, not to socialize in groups of more than 10 people, and to practice good hygiene.
The health of our members and staff is Venture House’s utmost priority. With this in mind, Venture House will take the precautionary step of closing our physical clubhouse locations temporarily to encourage the practice of social distancing. While the Clubhouses are closed, we are still active.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough or shortness of breath. An infection can result in death, but that is a rare outcome. Most people with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms. People who are at most risk for severe illness are those who have health conditions including:
- Chronic lung disease
- Heart disease
- A weakened immune system
As of March 2020, the Health Department recommends the following precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19:
- Stay home if you are sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing — do not use your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
- Do not shake hands. Instead, wave or elbow bump.
- If you have family or friends who are elderly, have compromised immune systems or chronic respiratory or coronary issues, do not visit them if you feel sick. Stay home and keep your loved ones safe.
- Consider telecommuting, biking or walking to work if possible.
- Consider staggering working hours. For example, instead of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., change some work hours to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or disinfecting wipes.
- Get your flu shot. Although the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu which has similar symptoms to this coronavirus.
Health Care and Testing
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. HOTLINE: 888-364-3065
What is considered a essential service in New York
1. Essential Health Care Operations, Including:
- research and laboratory services
- walk-in-care health facilities
- emergency veterinary and livestock services
- elder care
- medical wholesale and distribution
- home health care workers or aides for the elderly
- doctor and emergency dental
- nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
- medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers
2. Essential Infrastructure, Including:
- utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission
- public water and wastewater
- telecommunications and data centers
- transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, or for-hire vehicles, garages
- hotels, and places of accommodation
3. Essential Manufacturing, Including:
- food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages
- medical equipment/instruments
- sanitary products
- household paper products
4. Essential Retail, Including:
- grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
- convenience stores
- farmer’s markets
- gas stations
- restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
- hardware and building material stores
5. Essential Services, Including:
- trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
- mail and shipping services
- building cleaning and maintenance
- child care services
- auto repair
- warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
- funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
- storage for essential businesses
- animal shelters
6. News Media
7. Financial Institutions, Including:
- services related to financial markets
8. Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations, Including:
- homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
- food banks
- human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support
9. Construction, Including:
- skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers
- other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes
- defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government
11. Essential Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses, Including:
- law enforcement
- fire prevention and response
- building code enforcement
- emergency management and response
- building cleaners or janitors
- general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
- automotive repair
12. Vendors that Provide Essential Services or Products, Including Logistics and Technology Support, Child Care and Services:
- technology support for online services
- child care programs and services
- government owned or leased buildings
- essential government services
Where to find more up to date information on COVID-19 in NYC
For further information: New York State Department of Health’s COVID-19 Webpage https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/
Local health department contact information can be found at: https://www.health.ny.gov/contact/contact_information/index.htm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Webpage: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
White House Coronavirus Guidelines for America:
Those looking for resources for New Yorkers with Disabilities during COVID-19 should see the new web page from the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities:
The page contains information on the following:
- Food and Supplies
- Social Services/Medicaid Benefits
- Home Health Care Providers
- Pets and Service Animals
- Mental Health Resources