ROCKLAND COUNTY LEGISLATURE COVID-19 REFERENCE GUIDE

Legislator Alden H. Wolfe, Chairman

Please note: This continues to be a fluid situation and some or all of this information is subject to change.

PAUSE Until May 15

New York State officially remains on PAUSE until May 15th requiring all non-essential workers to stay home and bans all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason.

COVID-19 Information:

Contact your doctor or the state hotline if you or your family develop symptoms of the virus, which can include a cough, fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and/or loss of smell or taste.

  • The New York State Department of Health's 24-hour hotline is ‪1-888-364-3065‬. An expert will answer your answer questions about COVID-19, including testing. ‬‬‬‬‬
  • Rockland County's COVID-19 Hotline is also available everyday from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Call 845-238-1956.

Website Resources:

Food Assistance:

  • If you or someone you know is in need of food, please visit the Rockland Community Against Hunger website at http://www.Rocklandhunger.org/ to find a food pantry or feeding program near you. Information is updated regularly as to when these pantries are open. You can also call RCAH at (845) 268-8034.

General Information About Health & Human Services:

  • For local information and resources call 2-1-1. United Way's 2-1-1 Helpline is a free, confidential, multilingual service to assist the public in finding the answers to a variety of Health and Human Services related questions, including food assistance. It is open 365 days a year. Just call 2-1-1 or visit http://www.hudson211.org/cms/

Mental Health Help

These are challenging days. If you need to talk, please call:

  • The Mental Health Association of Rockland County at (845) 589-0671 to receive emotional support and/or resources. You can call 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • The New York State COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline at ‪1-844-863-9314‬. You can call 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.‬‬‬‬‬
  • The Rockland County Department of Mental Health at ‪845-364-2955‬. You can call Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ‬‬‬‬‬

Unemployment Information:

  • The best way to file a new unemployment insurance claim or to check in the status of an existing claim is to visit the New York State Department of Labor website. The agency has added computer servers and workers and partnered with corporations to improve the efficiency of its operations, it says. Be advised that the agency acknowledges there is a wait time as claims are processed. You should pursue your claims even though you may feel frustrated by the process. Even if you have been unemployed for the past month, but haven't been able to file until today (as an example), you will still receive the funding based on your earlier eligibility date. Please note that the website has contact information in multiple languages. Visit the State Labor Department here: https://www.labor.ny.gov/home/
  • $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits will be made available to all New Yorkers; and the period covered by unemployment benefits is being extended for another 13 weeks, for total of 39 weeks.

Health Insurance:

  • New Yorkers without health insurance can apply through NY State of Health through May 15, 2020; must apply within 60 days of losing coverage. Go here: https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/
  • This is becoming an issue for some idled workers who have already been told by their companies that their health coverage will end by May 1.

Help for Small Businesses, including the Nonprofit Community:

Assistance is available to help our small businesses, including the non-profit community, which have been extremely hard hit by the impacts of the pandemic.

  • Many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat as they have been required to shut down operations.
  • Many nonprofits have been overwhelmed by the amount of people in need of their services, taxing both the services and the funding needed to provide them.
  • Go to the U.S. Small Business Administration's website for a full menu of programs and assistance opportunities. Here is the link: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources#section-header-0
  • Locally, the Rockland County Office of Economic Development & Tourism, Rockland Community College's SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and the Rockland Business Association have been working to inform businesses about programs and assistance that is available.
    - On March 20, they conducted a Facebook Live chat focused on SBA Disaster Loans.
    - On April 16, they participated in a Facebook Live chat focused on funding and business assistance available with information and insights from both local and global representatives.
  • Videos of these programs can be found on the Rockland County government Facebook page.

Concerns About Non-Compliance

Executive Orders issued by Gov. Cuomo, collectively known as PAUSE, directed all non-essential businesses in New York to close their in-person operations and banned all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason.

In addition, Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Ruppert issued a Commissioner's Order prohibiting gatherings under the state and county Sanitary Code. Dr. Patricia Ruppert's order specifies criminal charges and fines for violating the social distancing and gathering rules outlined in the Executive Orders.

Gov. Cuomo has increased fines for violating the state's order to $1,000.

To assist local authorities with enforcement of the orders, the governor established the New York State PAUSE Enforcement Assistance Task Force where people can file complaints regarding the operation of non-essential businesses or gatherings.

Complaints can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online or by phone:

  • Go here to file a complaint against your employer or place of work: https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/coronavirus-complaints.shtm
  • Go here to file a complaint about a business, location or incident in your community: https://mylicense.custhelp.com/app/ask
  • Call 1-833-789-0470.
  • Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco, county District Attorney Thomas Walsh, and Deputy County Health Commissioner Catherine Johnson Southren have been appointed as the local points of contact for the enforcement task force. They will review the cases and refer them when appropriate to town or village officials and their police chiefs.
  • Local police departments, code enforcers and the health department are aiding the overall effort. All involved continue to work to improve the efficiency of this effort.

Rockland County Health Department Orders regarding isolation, quarantine, what employers must do, and what healthcare and other ESSENTIAL workers must do to be able to return to work:

  • For the orders and for Health Department fact sheets (which summarize the orders), go to
    https://rocklandgov.com **Click on the health department's COVID-19 page.**

DMV Offices, Drivers' License Renewals & Vehicle Registrations

  • All DMV offices are closed until further notice and a significant number of services are unavailable. However, many services are still available online.
  • Go to the DMV website for more information. It has a Question & Answer page to help guide visitors. Go here: https://dmv.ny.gov/dmv/covid-19-information-customers-and-businesses
  • Vehicle inspections set to expire on March 31, 2020 or later have been extended until further notice.
  • An eye exam is required for an online license renewal. For motorists who do not want to get an eye test, the State has extended the validity of driver licenses that expired on or after March 1, 2020 until further notice. Note: If someone had an exam and can get their examiner to provide them with the information, the online renewal process can be completed.

Domestic Violence Help:

According to the experts, being in isolation, quarantine and staying at home in general places the target of domestic violence in even greater danger.

From the National Domestic Violence Hotline: Here's how COVID-19 could uniquely impact intimate partner violence survivors:

  • Abusive partners may withhold necessary items, such as hand sanitizer or disinfectants.
  • Abusive partners may share misinformation about the pandemic to control or frighten survivors, or to prevent them from seeking appropriate medical attention if they have symptoms.
  • Abusive partners may withhold insurance cards, threaten to cancel insurance, or prevent survivors from seeking medical attention if they need it.
  • Programs that serve survivors may be significantly impacted –- shelters may be full or may even stop intakes altogether. Survivors may also fear entering shelter because of being in close quarters with groups of people.
  • Survivors who are older or have chronic heart or lung conditions may be at increased risk in public places where they would typically get support, like shelters, counseling centers, or courthouses.
  • Travel restrictions may impact a survivor's escape or safety plan – it may not be safe for them to use public transportation or to fly.
  • An abusive partner may feel more justified and escalate their isolation tactics.

The organization recommends that survivors create a safety plan, practice self-care and reach out for assistance.

  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline: Available 24 hours a day. Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY, or if you're unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.
  • The New York State Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline: Available 24 hours a day. Call 1 (800) 942-6906. Deaf & hard of hearing, call 711.
  • Rockland County: Center for Safety and Change (845) 634-3344 - Provides both residential and non-residential domestic violence services. 24-hour hotline.

Face Masks

  • The governor issued an executive order requiring all people in New York to wear masks or face coverings in public, including when taking public or private transportation or riding in for-hire vehicles (taxis, Uber, Lyft, etc.).
  • An executive order also directs employers to provide essential workers with face masks free of charge to wear when interacting with the public.
  • Face masks are required by most pharmacies, grocery stores and essential businesses to gain entry into the buildings so you can shop.
  • Face masks are required if you want to use public transportation, including riding buses in Rockland.

Compiled by Laura Incalcaterra, Communications Director, Rockland County Legislature. Any updates or suggestions? Please send to incalcal@co.rockland.ny.us or call (845) 638-5184.

Please see our cancellations page for up to date information on meeting, event, class and exam cancellations and/or postponements.