Do YOU need something and can’t get out? – contact us by calling or texting 845-341-3135 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
2020 May 26 – This is it…finally Phase 1 for the next 14 days… here is what can open and how the businesses should operate https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase#overview–reopening-in-phases. PLEASE continue to use social distancing practices, if you can’t please wear a mask. Also practice proper hygiene and we can get back to normal.
2020 May 23 – Per Governor Cuomo, the Mid-Hudson Region will be opening into Phase 1 on Tuesday, May 26th, contingent upon having the required number of regional contact tracers signed up and certified. We need to meet this metric.
If you are willing to be a contact tracer or know someone else who will, please do the following no later than 5:00 pm Monday, May 25th:
Volunteers will need to take a free course and the exam from John Hopkins University
When filling out the online application, it initially shows a fee of $49. A discount is applied upon checkout making it no cost.
Provide your name and e-mail address to Michael Ventre, Deputy Commissioner of Orange County Health Department (email@example.com).
Provide Deputy Commissioner Ventre with a copy of your certification upon completion of the course/test (scan and e-mail, or text or e-mail a photo of it).
Please note: if you have already done the steps above, you do not need to resubmit the information.
For more information on:
Phase 1 of the re-opening, visit https://forward.ny.gov/
The Empire State Development website has re-opening guidance and guidelines for businesses: https://esd.ny.gov/
The role of a contact tracer will involve calling people throughout the County who may have contacted a COVID-19 positive individual and collecting and entering data with respect to their whereabouts and individuals they have encountered.
To be a contact tracer, New York State requires the completion of an online training and certification program. According to the State, this online course and exam takes five hours; however, most people seem to complete it in roughly an hour.
How to become a NYS Contact Tracer: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/get-involved-how-you-can-…
2020 May 14 – Here is a video update regarding Port Jervis and the reopening process:
A link to the NY Forward Monitoring Dashboard: https://forward.ny.gov/regional-monitoring-dashboard
A link to the NY Forward Reopening phases and what will reopen at each phase: https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase#overview–reopening-in-phases
MOST IMPORTANTLY: Every business must have a Business Reopening Safety Plan that must be available to any police officer, building official or health department official if asked. Here is a easy template to fill out: https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/NYS_BusinessReopeningSafetyPlanTemplate.pdf
2020 May 8 – Many of you have heard that New York State has set May 15th as the date to begin opening businesses in a 4 phased process separated by 2 weeks.
In order to initially reopen there is a 7 step metric that a region must clear. The state has been separated into 10 regions. We are in the Mid-Hudson region. If a region does not clear all 7 steps they do not enter phase 1.
Between each phase there are 14 days before going to the next phase. If a region that is in any of the stages does not continue to maintain all 7 steps of the metric they do not move forward and depending on the severity can fall back.
I am attaching 2 slides that shows the 4 step phase program and where we currently are in the Mid-Hudson (unfortunately we are lumped with Westchester and Rockland counties that have higher numbers) in reaching our 7 metrics. Currently it does not look promising for the Mid-Hudson to get to phase 1 on May 15th but it is not impossible.
Please know that a re-opening plan is being crafted, by the state, in order to keep our citizens as safe as possible from the continued spread of the virus. Unfortunately, we have to follow these state guidelines otherwise there will be consequences when it comes to state aid and assistance.
In the meantime, I encourage our businesses that haven’t been able to open and who are struggling to please continue to take advantage of small business assistance offered by the federal government by contacting your local bank. Additionally to look at your business and how you might be able to redesign yourself as an essential business that offers PPE, sells food or provides a essential service. A simple application to the Empire Development Corp can give you permission to open with a plan in place for safety.
2020 May 3 – This week was suppose to be the dedication of the Michael W McCarthy Riverside Memorial Walkway. The dedication is being postponed until Saturday, May 30th at 11:00am. This is the same day as the dedication of the Frank D Bell Memorial Tri-States Bridge that will be held at 10:00am.
Additionally, The VFW Post #161 along with the Tri-State Naval Ship #7241 has cancelled the Port Jervis Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony that was scheduled for Monday, May 25th. The continued concern of social gathering at Orange Square Park and putting those vulnerable or susceptible, including our senior veterans, outweighed their decision to hold the ceremony. They ask that each American remember those that paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
2020 Apr 18 – Hopefully this video will help those that have questions regarding the need for wearing masks and gloves in congregate areas. (My apologies as I accidentally stated “Saturday April 16th” when if fact it was Saturday, April 18th. If you have any questions please contact us a firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call 311 if you are in Orange County, NY.
2020 Apr 7 –
Hope you are well and safe. Please share with anyone!
The U.S. government has taken some steps to help people financially, including signing the CARES Act into law, which provides individuals making less than $75,000 a year a one-time $1,200 stimulus check. And while many stimulus checks are coming in the next three weeks, that doesn’t change that many of your biggest bills may be due today.
We’ve compiled a list of resources that may be helpful if you need financial assistance for everything from paying rent to finding low-cost mental health services and resources for parents of kids with disabilities. Many of these resources are available all the time, but they may be especially needed right now due to COVID-19.
Rent and Housing
- If you own a home, contact your mortgage lender. Many are offering support to homeowners who are struggling financially. If your mortgage is managed by the Federal Housing Administration or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the federal government has placed a temporary halt on foreclosures and evictions if you can’t pay.
- Renters who are struggling to make their rent payments can try working with their landlord or property manager for leniency or temporarily reduced payments to get through the next couple of months. Be sure to check what your state or city has decided for renters. Many cities, like Seattle, Boston and Los Angeles, are preventing landlords from evicting tenants for non-payment due to COVID-19 financial issues. This may require filling out a form or showing proof of financial difficulty, like job loss. Other cities have set up financial assistance programs for renters. This website can help you find out what’s available in your area.
- Student loans are a big financial burden for many people in the U.S., and the CARES Act included student loan relief. If you’re struggling financially and want to defer your student loans, you can now apply for a COVID-19-related forbearance to get a break on these loans for up to 60 days. To apply for the forbearance, contact your loan provider.
- The federal government’s stimulus package also reduced student loan interest on federally subsidized loans to 0% for at least 60 days, which means your student loan payments are going directly to your balance.
- Job loss may mean a loss of your health insurance coverage, which can be scary, especially if you live with a chronic condition. If you had health insurance through your job, you may be eligible to stay on your existing health plan through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA). However, these plans can be very expensive to pay on your own.
- After a life event (including job loss), you’re eligible to enroll in an Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance plan on the marketplace outside of the open enrollment period. Depending on your income, you may qualify for subsidies that make many of the plans available more affordable, especially while you’re struggling financially. You can visit the ACA marketplace here.
- Depending on your income, if you’re not already enrolled in Medicaid, you may be eligible to apply if your yearly earnings are no more than $17,500 as an individual or your monthly earnings have dropped below $1,470, according to CNN. Visit the Medicaid website to learn more.
Prescription Drug Assistance
- Going without your medication isn’t an option for many people with a chronic illness, disability or mental illness. If you’re having trouble paying for your prescription drugs, start by looking up the manufacturer of your medication. Many drug companies offer patient assistance programs for those who don’t have insurance to make medications more affordable. PhRMA’s Medicine Assistance Tool can help you find these resources.
- Check discount prescription services like ScriptSave WellRx or FamilyWize, which offer free coupons for most medications that can save you hundreds off the list price without insurance. You can find a list of discount services here.
Low-Cost Mental Health Care
- COVID-19 and its resulting economic stress are taking a major toll on many people’s mental health. If you’re already working with a therapist and anticipate having trouble paying for continued treatment, talk to your therapist. Many therapists want to continue supporting clients through this difficult time and many are willing to work with you to find a more affordable payment or come up with a payment plan for the time being.
- If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) created a COVID-19 guide for mental health services that includes resources and information if you’re struggling. You can also call NAMI’s helpline for assistance finding low-cost mental health services in your area at 1-800-950-6264 Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also has a national helpline, which you can reach 24/7 at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). SAMHSA also put together a list of virtual recovery resources, many of which are free. You can see that list here.
Disability Financial Assistance
- A number of government and nonprofit organizations offer financial resources for people with disabilities. Check out your state and local disability nonprofits and see what programs they may have to help you navigate this difficult period, whether that’s additional guidance on what you do to financial assistance programs you can apply for.
- You can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) along with Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if you qualify. According to the Social Security office, to qualify for disability, you must be at least 18 years old, can’t already be receiving Social Security benefits and must have a medical condition that will last at least 12 months and prevents you from working.
- Being a caregiver during this time can be especially stressful. It’s important to take time for self-care too. You can try engaging respite care, which offers caregivers a short-term break to take care of themselves at low or no cost to qualifying families. ARCH offers a national respite network locator tool as well as special resources for COVID-19.
- The Family Caregiver Alliance offers a tool to locate what assistance may be available in your state for caregivers, which range from government to nonprofit programs. You can check out that tool here.
Parents of Kids With Disabilities
- If your family is struggling to make ends meet right now, several programs may be able to provide support. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program offer grants to families in need due to loss of income to pay for essentials like rent, food and medical care for a fixed period of time. You can learn more about TANF and see if you qualify on the website here.
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offers health insurance and dental coverage for kids under age 19 if you earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to pay for private insurance. Each state’s requirements are different, so visit the website to learn more.
- Not everyone will be able to afford this option, but if you are still working and want to take unpaid time off from your job to care for your children while they’re out of school, know your job may be protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This law allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave within a 12-month calendar to care for a child or family member while protecting their position.
Utilities, Food and Other Bills
- There are many other bills you’re responsible for that are just out of reach right now. From auto loans to credit card payments and utility bills. Check with each company to see if you can defer payment, pay on a fraction of your bill or qualify for special assistance programs.
- For help getting food, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly called food stamps) provides benefits to low-income people to purchase groceries. There are limits on the types of food you can purchase with SNAP benefits, and you can find out if you’re eligible on the website here.
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offers those who are having a hard time paying their phone bill and who qualify as low-income financial assistance through the Lifeline Program. You can find out if you qualify here.
- If you’re having trouble paying your credit card bill or auto loan, check with the bank that holds your card. Many banks have said they’re willing to work with customers facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Bankrate offers a list of major banks with assistance programs.
- Many cities and states have told utility companies to pause shutting off service to those who can’t pay their bills right now due to COVID-19. If you’re struggling, call the utility company to see if you can work out a plan. You can also investigate Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which offers assistance for energy bills.
- The federal government has a benefit finder on its website that may also be useful in pointing you toward other available resources.
- If you lost your job because of COVID-19-related cuts, you may be eligible to file for unemployment. The federal stimulus package passed by Congress makes it easier for workers to file for unemployment and waived the typical 10-waiting period while allowing you to file for an additional $600 a week in unemployment. Each state handles unemployment claims separately, and you can use this tool to find out what you need to know in your state.
- While many companies are facing uncertainty because of the economic fall out of COVID-19, there are companies still hiring workers. Large retailers like Amazon and Walmart are hiring many new workers as they work to meet the uptick in online shopping. Some companies may also be hiring remote workers. For an ongoing list of available jobs that allow you to work from home, visit The Mighty’s #NowHiring page or sign up for a profile on Chronically Capable.
If you’re struggling to make ends meet right now due to COVID-19, know you’re not alone. For many people with a disability, chronic illness or mental health issue, life was already pretty unaffordable. COVID-19 just made that more uncertain for everyone.
Are you a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one?
Did you know that VA offers same day services in Primary Care and Mental Health at 172 VA Medical Centers across the country? Make the Connection Resource Locator
Talk with other Veterans who have walked in your shoes on RallyPoint.
2020 Apr 3 – Orange County COVID-19 Interactive Map link:
Please know that only one positive can adversely affect hundreds if not thousands of others. Please “Stay at Home” whenever possible but when you have to get out. Maintain Social Distance and be observant not to touch surface and wash you hands frequently. Gloves and Masks help for personal protection but cross contamination in removing them is a high possibility.
2020 Apr 3 – Port Jervis Birthday Parade – During this COVID-19 State of Emergency, many young boys and girls will be missing their birthday party. In order to cheer them up the Port Jervis Police Department, Fire Department, Department of Public Works and Ambulance has created a Birthday Parade. Mom’s and Dad’s you can call the Mayor’s Office at 845-858-4017 or message the police department on Facebook to get a parade for your son or daughter. Please, we ask that this be for young boys and girls who will miss the experience of their birthday celebration this year.
2020 Apr 2 – Business Payment Protection Program
2020 Apr 1 – Small Business CARES
2020 Mar 30 – Businesses – Small Business Association Forms
2020 Mar 30 – Businesses – Small and Large – Here is the FEMA slide show for registering and requesting
2020 Mar 30 – Get up to date information from Orange County here: https://www.orangecountygov.com/1936/Coronavirus
2020 Mar 26 – Small Business Help? Click here: https://www.portjervisny.org/news/city-news/small-business-help/ The City of Port Jervis Limited State of Emergency has been extended until April 30, 2020. This may be lifted before this time but appears to be the threshold at which the state is looking to see things go back to normal. 2020 Mar 26 Mayor Decker Limited State of Emergency Extension RE COVID19 FINAL
2020 Mar 25 – Small businesses, here is a link to hopefully help you get the help you need. https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
2020 March 24 – Parks are OPEN as is the Watershed Park for Hiking and Biking. Please be mindful of your social distancing (6′ is best). “Shared Work” program in which private employers can keep all of their employees working, if they are essential, but limit their hours. They would then be eligible for partial unemployment.
The City of Port Jervis has waived penalties for taxes due on April 30th for 45 days. Additionally, the city has waived penalties for water/sewer due on April 30th for 30 days. While we hope you can pay these bills in a timely manner, we understand that this is a unprecedented occurrence out everyone’s control.
2020 March 23 – Do you have a temperature? The threshold being used as one symptom of COVID-19 is 100.4 degrees.
2020 March 19 – If you observe price gouging in Orange County call 845-360-6070
Businesses with questions for Orange County can talk to Bill Fiorvanti at 845-360-0231. Leave a message and he will get back to you. BUT… you still want to register your business by calling 845-802-9150 for disaster relief. That must be done NOW!
2020 March 18 – If you need assistance with Food, Prescriptions, Depression or anything else please call 800-832-1200
If you are a small business affected by executive orders, you MUST register your business by calling 845-802-9150 to help for relief later
If you need unemployment, the 7 days are waived, go to https://labor.ny.gov/unemploymentassistance.shtm for more information.
If you feel ill – contact your regular physician. They will ask you a series of questions. If they feel you might have COVID-19 they can register an appointment for you at the tent located in front of WMC/BonSecour’s hospital at 160 East Main Street. They will give you a date and time. They will NOT accommodate walk-ins.
If you need something picked up at the market or prescription medication. Please call 845-341-3135 and I will arrange to do it for you.