COVID-19 City of Albany Resource Guide
- Vaccination Pre-Registration
- City of Albany Essential and Non-Essential Services Updates
- COVID-19 Test Sites
- How Do I Become A Contact Tracer?
- COVID-19 Symptoms & Prevention
- Home-Proofing for COVID-19 and Other Illnesses
- NYS Mandated Prohibitions
- Where to Access Food
- Domestic Violence Prevention
- Mental Health Support
- I've Lost My Job or Closed My Business as a Result of COVID-19
- Public Transportation
- Information for Various Federal, State & Local Agencies, Nonprofits & Others
- What to do if I cannot pay my utilities during COVID-19 outbreak
- What If I don't Have Health Insurance During the COVID-19 Outbreak?
- Where Can I Volunteer My Time to Help My Community?
As of Wednesday, February 24, the Washington Ave. Armory has been open as a vaccination site. To make an appointment, visit: https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ or call 1-833-697-4829
Thanks to President Joe Biden, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Daniel McCoy - Albany County Executive, and Alliance for Better Health for partnering with the City of Albany to equitably bring vaccine to our residents.
Albany County Department of Health has more vaccine information available.
Albany City Hall and other city buildings have been reopened to the public. To protect the health and safety of our residents and employees, residents are encouraged to continue accessing services online and by phone, when possible.
In-person services at certain departments are only available by appointment at this time. Masks are required to enter City buildings. Some buildings and departments will remain closed to the public due to staffing limitations. Complete department-by-department list of City Service updates.
I encourage you to continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health and the Albany County Department of Health for the most recent guidelines regarding COVID-19 precautions and symptoms.
All individuals are urged to continue following social distancing protocols, including staying at home as much as possible, especially if you feel ill but even if you feel well, keeping at least 6 feet from other individuals, avoiding unnecessary appointments, regularly washing hands, covering coughs, avoiding the touching of face, eyes, mouth, nose, and ears, and taking special caution to avoid exposing the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.
The Albany County Department of Health has a complete list of testing site locations that is regularly updated. Instructions for getting tested at these sites is also included. Access testing information on the Albany County Department of Health website.
New York State will hire and train a team of staff working remotely to support the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) and Local Health Departments (LHDs) to perform COVID-19 contact tracing in communities across NYS. The aim of this initiative will be to call every person diagnosed with COVID-19, establish all contacts of this person, and proceed to call and maintain ongoing communication with every contact. In addition, the team will support the isolation and quarantine of individuals, as appropriate in cooperation with the LHD. This includes virtual needs checks and referral to community resources as needed. This contact tracing initiative is in tandem with statewide-wide efforts to increase testing, improve communication and knowledge of effective strategies to reduce transmission, and implementation of isolation and quarantine. This will fortify efforts to control the pandemic in NYS. Find more information including qualifications and to apply.
What is COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?
COVID-19 is a virus spread person to person by droplets when coughing. It can cause an illness ranging from mild to severe. This virus causes a disease called COVID-19 and can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath. For more information on COVID-19, please visit the Albany County Department of Health website. As of Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global health pandemic.
Ways to Prevent COVID-19:
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH), themost essential ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include:
- Wash your hands with soap and water regularly for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with others and practice social distancing.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Clean and disinfest frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Symptoms of COVID-19
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH), the symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Shortness of breath/trouble breathing
- Pain/pressure in the chest that doesn't go away
- Experiencing confusion or trouble waking up
- Bluish lips or face
Please see links to copies of the Stop the Spread of Germs poster in various languages below.
- Arabic CDC Stop the Spread of Germs Poster (PDF)
- Burmese CDC Stop the Spread of Germs Poster (PDF)
- Chinese CDC Stop the Spread of Germs Poster (PDF)
- Dari CDC Stop the Spread of Germs Poster (PDF)
- Farsi CDC Stop the Spread of Germs Poster (PDF)
- French CDC Stop the Spread of Germs Poster (PDF)
- Pashto CDC Stop the Spread of Germs (PDF)
- Portuguese CDC Stop the Spread of Germs Poster (PDF)
- Russian CDC Stop the Spread of Germs (PDF)
- Spanish Stop the Spread of Germs (PDF)
- Swahili CDC Stop the Spread of Germs Poster (PDF)
- Tigrinya CDC Stop the Spread of Germs Poster (PDF)
- Ukrainian Stop the Spread of Germs (PDF)
What to do if you have symptoms of COVID
Call ahead to your health care provider before seeking treatment in person. Even if you have not been in contact with an infected person or an affected area, but are experiencing all symptoms of COVID-19, you should call New York State Department of Health at 1-888-364-3065 or Albany County Department of Health at (518) 447-4580 to receive guidance on what to do and how to self-quarantine.
Effective May 19, New York has adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People,” issued May 13, for most businesses and public settings.
Please see New York's Implementation Guidance.
For help determining which guidelines apply to your business, use the NY Forward Reopening Lookup Tool. You can also scroll down to find the guidance for each industry.
All businesses must develop a written business safety plan to outline how your workplaces will prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Where to Access Food
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Capital Area are hosting free breakfast and lunch to all youth 18 years and younger daily between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm at the following Albany locations:
- Ezra Prentice – 625 South Pearl Street
- Creighton Storey Homes – 158 3rd Avenue
- Robert E. Whalen – 295 Colonie Street
- North Albany Homes – 41 Jennings Drive
Please email Claire Livezey for more information.
The South End Children’s Café is delivering food to children and families. To arrange for food for your children and family or to donate food for these families, please contact Lily at 518-478-3369.
Meals and Assistance for Seniors
The Albany County Department for the Aging is encouraging older residents who are home-bound and in need of day-to-day assistance, including home delivered meals and medication to contact NY Connects at 518-447-7177.
Within the City of Albany, the Albany Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NNORC), a program administered through Jewish Family Services, is using their program to assess and meet the critical needs of the more than 4,000 residents age 60 and over who live within the NNORC neighborhood. Throughout the duration of this crisis, all staff will be making regular phone calls to inquire about each resident’s:
- Health status
- Access to food and meals
- Access to transportation to vital medical appointments
- Access to medications
As needs arise, the NNORC staff will be coordinating with local authorities, medical providers, grocery stores, and pharmacies to safely meet any identified needs. NNORC also recognizes that an extended period of isolation cuts our seniors off from much needed social contact, and as a result their staff is also working hard to develop creative ways to connect residents to the NNORC and to one another, whether through a Facebook Live chair yoga class or weekly telephone support groups with our mental health and healthcare professionals. Once details are finalized, they will be shared here.
Additionally, AARP has a hotline for seniors who are isolated and feeling lonely. Visit the Friendly Voice Virtual Volunteer Opportunity page if you would like a friendly call or you are interested in recruiting and supporting volunteers to reach out to interested people.
Grocery Store Hours, Including Specifically for Seniors
Price Chopper/Market 32
Open daily from 7 am to 10 pm Seniors only between 6 am and 7 am.
City of Albany locations:
- 40 Delaware Avenue – Phone: 518-465-2603
- 911 Central Avenue – Phone: 518-482-0280
- 1060 Madison Avenue – Phone: 518-438-6241
ShopRite of Albany
Open daily from 7 am to 10 pm. At risk individuals only between 6 am and 7 am.
- 709 Central Avenue – Phone: 518-292-1245
Open Monday through Sunday from 6 am to 12 am, and Sunday from 7 am to 12 am. At risk individuals only Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7 am to 8 am.
- 900 Central Avenue – Phone: 518-438-7296
Honest Weight Food Co-Op
Open daily from 8 am to 8 pm. Monday, Wednesday and Friday: Open to elder and high risk shoppers 6 am to 8 am.
- 100 Watervliet Avenue – Phone: 518-482-2667
Food Pantries Open
- Food Pantries of the Capital Region - Contact the Food Access Referral Line to find the nearest food pantry if you need help right now (518-458-1167 x108)
- Mater Christi pantries - 3 West Erie Street – 518-596-6691
Feed Albany provides at-risk and in-need individuals in Albany, New York and the Greater Capital Region with access to prepared & packaged meal solutions by utilizing commercial kitchens, unemployed restaurant workers, volunteers and the use of donated vehicles to produce, package and distribute prepared meal solutions.
They are working closely with The United Way, the City of Albany, The Food Pantries, the Albany County Sheriff and various other local organizations and service providers to identify those at-risk and in-need and through our resources and partnerships, to facilitate delivery of both prepared meals and food items to these individuals and organizations.
We need your help. Make a donation today to help us continue to provide these crucial services to individuals in need. Make a donation now.
During this time there has been an uptick in domestic violence crimes across New York State and Albany County. Advocates are available 24/7 to talk to anyone who is experiencing domestic violence, looking for information or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.
Under Executive Order 202.6, domestic violence service providers are considered essential services. The NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence has provided a list of domestic violence programs. The NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline is operational 24 hours/day, 7 days/week and can be reached by calling 1-800-942-6906. For those who are unable to make a phone call, The National Domestic Violence Hotline offers a chat function through their website that is available 24/7/365.
The Albany County DV program is Equinox - hotline number 518-432-7865. Their services, including the DV shelter is open and accepting clients. Facebook: @NYSdomesticviolence or Twitter and Instagram: @NYSOPDV
The National Domestic Violence Prevention Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233). Albany County is also providing a similar service. You can call their 24-hour sexual assault crisis hotline at 518-447-7716 any time to speak with a sexual assault counselor.
During this difficult time, we are all facing challenges that seem daunting and that we may feel unprepared for. Access a Resource Guide (PDF) intended to help navigate life with children through the pandemic and the days that follow.
The Help Line is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals, who have received training in crisis counseling. To access the Emotional Support Line, please call 1-844-863-9314
The New York State Emotional Support Line provides free and confidential support, helping callers experiencing increased anxiety due to the COVID-19 emergency.
The Help Line is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals, who have received training in crisis counseling. To access the Emotional Support Line, please call 1-844-863-9314
Crisis Support for Students
This time is also incredibly difficult for our young people. Crisis Chat is a place to talk about problems and stress that may be difficult to talk about anywhere else. It is a place to find non-judgmental support and help through a difficult time. Crisis Chat is a place to find information on mental-health problems and services. It’s a confidential, secure and anonymous way of reaching out for help when you don’t know where else to turn. For more information visit the Albany Schools website.
Mental Health Support Lines
For those who are experiencing stress, anxiety or even depression during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, New York State has a Crisis Text Line where you can anonymously text someone 27/4. Starting a conversation is easy – text GOT5 to 741741.
Albany County Mental Health Support Line has expanded its hours and is now available seven days a week from 8 am to 8 pm. Residents can access that line by dialing 518-269-6634.
Anyone experiencing a psychiatric emergency should still call the Albany County Mobile Crisis Team at 518-549–6500.
Additionally, AARP has a hotline for seniors who are isolated and feeling lonely. Visit the Friendly Voice Virtual Volunteer Opportunity and Program page if you would like a friendly call or you are interested in recruiting and supporting volunteers to reach out to interested people.
Apply for NYS Unemployment Insurance now. NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines. To file an application for Unemployment Insurance, please visit the Department of Labor website.
IMPORTANT: If you are filing a new Unemployment Insurance claim via phone or web, the day you should file is based on the first letter of your last name:
- A through F: Monday
- G through N: Tuesday
- O through Z: Wednesday
If you missed your filing day, please claim on Thursday or Friday. Filing later in the week will NOT delay your payments or affect the date of your claim, since all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed.
Please see the following chart for more information about what to expect if you are filing for Unemployment Insurance Benefits.
You may also call the NYS Department of Labor’s Telephone Claim Center, toll-free at 888-209-8124 between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday, to file a claim.
Assistance for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
On Sunday, March 15, Mayor Kathy Sheehan requested that the President of the Capitalize Albany Corporation coordinate with Albany’s Business Improvement Districts on a business recovery plan for businesses impacted by the closures directed by Governor Cuomo as a result of the spread of COVID-19.
Local organizations have joined together to provide a clearinghouse of federal, state and local information and resources that become available to support our businesses at this difficult time.
Visit Support Small Albany for additional information about resources and programs to help businesses as we work together to address the economic fallout of this unprecedented crisis. You can also follow updates on social media using the #SupportsmAlbany hashtag.
In addition to the Federal assistance being processed for business owners, this working group is actively gathering, identifying and developing additional financial assistance and programming to support the needs of Albany’s small businesses. Crucial news to support business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, more resources and guidance issued is available along with a list of open restaurants offering takeout, and takeout parking signs for business owners at Support Small Albany. Please continue checking back for updates.
Financial Assistance for Non-Profits Impacted by COVID-19
The United Way of the Greater Capital Region and Community Foundation of the Greater Capital Region have partnered to create the Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund
The Fund has been established to provide flexible resources to 501c3 organizations working with local communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak.
To learn more about how to access the funds or how to donate to the fund, please visit the Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund website.
Mortgage Foreclosures and Payments and Other Legal Needs During COVID-19
To meet needs during this challenging time, the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York (LASNNY) has created a comprehensive COVID-19 Legal Response which includes a legal line and a COVID-19 legal information web page. You can also call 833-628-0087. For information specific to homeowners and mortgages, visit the Home Save website.
Many of our healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential employees rely on public transportation, and it's why we're so thankful that that Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) continues to provide this essential service.
CDTA is taking every precaution put forth by the CDC and Governor Cuomo. For more information on public transportation during COVID, please visit the CDTA website.
Due to the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order expanding the Tax Commissioner’s authority to abate late filing and payment penalties.
This will allow the Commissioner to abate interest on quarterly and annual sales and use tax filings and remittances with a due date of March 20, 2020, for those who were unable to timely file and pay as result of the COVID-19 virus.
To view the guidance issued, visit N-20-1, Announcement Regarding the Abatement of Penalties and Interest for Sales and Use Tax due to the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19.
For additional information, visit Tax Department response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Borrowers with federal student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days effective March 20, 2020. In addition, borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments without accruing interest for at least two months. Please visit the US Department of Education website for more information.
New York Attorney General Letitia James took action to protect millions of New Yorkers and block debt collectors from raiding billions of dollars in emergency stimulus payments authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Attorney General James issued official guidance to New York State banking institutions, creditors, and debt collectors, making clear that financial relief provided through stimulus payments are exempt from garnishment under New York law (PDF). The CARES Act authorized the U.S. Department of Treasury to send billions of dollars to Americans struggling as a result of the economic fallout of COVID-19 public health crisis, but these emergency stimulus payments were not designated as exempt from garnishment, allowing debt collectors to potentially benefit before consumers.
NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices are are now available for limited in-person transactions at state-run DMV offices in regions that are in at least Phase 3 of reopening. Reservations will be required and will only be offered for a limited number of critical services that cannot be done online or by mail or drop box. For more information visit the NYSDMV website.
The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York (LASNNY) has created a comprehensive COVID-19 Legal Response which includes a Legal Line (833-628-0087) and a COVID-19 Legal Information Web Page. This initiative is meeting the urgent civil legal needs of low income people in the 16 counties they serve. Equal justice under law means that everyone facing a serious civil legal problem because of this crisis, should receive the legal information, advice, brief service and representation they need.
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) Toll-free Helpline (866-232-8484) remains open to help families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia illnesses during this time. This is especially important because the outbreak is causing many people, particularly higher risk individuals such as senior citizens, to break from their normal routines and isolate. The Toll-Free Helpline is open seven days a week and staffed entirely by licensed social workers who are trained in dementia care. Families can connect with the AFA Helpline by phone: 866-232-8484, via website chat by visiting the Alzheimer's Foundation of America website and clicking on the blue and white chat icon on the lower right hand corner of the page, by sending a text message to 646-586-5283. The web and text chat features are available in more than 90 languages.
National Grid Will Not Disconnect for Non-Payment
National Grid is suspending the collection of bill payments for 90 days. Learn more on the National Grid website.
Spectrum Will Not Disconnect for Non-Payment
Learn more on the Spectrum website.
Spectrum Provides Free Wi-Fi for Households with Students
Charter will offer free access to Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi for 60-days for K-12 and college student households for distance-based learning. To enroll call 1–844–488–8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. Learn more on the Spectrum website.
At&T Will Not Disconnect for Non-Payment
AT&T will not cut-off the service of any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer because of their inability to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by COVID-19
New York State of Health has announced a Special Enrollment period for uninsured individuals to ease COVID-19 fears. Please visit the New York State of Health website now through April 15 to enroll today. You may call 855-355-5777 if you have any questions.
At the beginning of NY PAUSE, Governor Cuomo called on health care professionals, schools of public health or medicine and PPE products providers and manufacturers to come forward to support the state’s response because we are #StrongerTogether. Learn how you can help.
The Red Cross is still looking for volunteers to donate blood - please visit RedCrossBlood.org to make an appointment.
Blood Plasma Donations
Under Dr. McKenna’s leadership, Albany Med has also announced that they are among the first hospitals in the country to use convalescent blood plasma therapy to experimentally treat critically ill COVID-19 patients.
As part of this initiative, Albany Med is seeking plasma donors for further research. Eligible donors must be fully recovered from COVID-19 with no symptoms for at least 14 days.
Potential donors may call (518) 262-9340 to learn more.
Help Provide Meals for Albany's Children
Help provide meals for students - Help our kids get meals while the schools are closed. Albany City Schools are in need of 36 volunteers per day Monday-Friday for the next two weeks to ensure that kids can get "grab and go" meals at 7 different sites. Sign up here.
Please only volunteer if you are well, symptom free, and have been practicing social distancing. Volunteers are needed at the following sites:
- Albany School of Humanities (ASH)
- Arbor Hill Elementary School
- Giffen Elementary School
- Schuyler Achievement Academy
- Tony Clements Center for Education
- William S. Hackett Middle School
Help volunteer as a member of the Albany County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC): The Albany County Medical Reserve Corps enhances the county’s emergency preparedness efforts by ensuring a trained group of healthcare professionals and community volunteers are ready to assist the county in response to a public health emergency. For more information please visit the Albany County Department of Health’s website.
Help Us Reach More People: AVillage and the Radix Center are looking for Block Ambassadors to help spread information such as this and make sure everybody on their block is safe and has their needs met. With funding available and the crisis over later this year, the Ambassador role could expand into a paid role — outreach to get our Census count up, to make sure everybody is registered and votes, and to organize their block for new gardens and to address quality of life issues.
If you're are interested contact Kevin VanNess at 518-421-8817 or the AVillage office at 518-451-9849 or via email.