Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

City Services

As of Monday, June 15, 2020, Schenectady City Hall is open for in-person service by APPOINTMENT ONLY. Masks are required within the building. We strongly encourage members of the public access city services online, by email, by phone, or by mail whenever possible. 

In-person appointments may be scheduled with specific departments. Any City department can be reached by email through the Online Department Contact Form on the City’s website: www.cityofschenectady.com/contact.

The main phone line for City Hall is (518) 382-5199. The full Phone Directory can be found here: www.cityofschenectady.com/directory.

Non-emergency issues may also be reported through the Citizen Request Tracker feature on the City website: www.cityofschenectady.com/RequestTracker.aspx.

City Council Meetings

City-sponsored public meetings have resumed via teleconference. Additional information will be included as part of each meeting’s public notice.

All City Council meetings and Committee meetings are being held via teleconference on Mondays at 5:30pm until further notice. The meeting agendas will be posted every Friday afternoon at www.cityofschenectady.com/AgendaCenter and include access information.

The Council and Committee meetings are also broadcast LIVE to:
Spectrum CHANNEL 1303
Verizon FiOS CHANNEL 38

You can also view the meeting LIVE at: www.openstagemedia.org (On the home page, select Government from the play window.) Recordings of each meeting are also available on YouTube at www.youtube.com/SchenectadyCouncil.

Public comments may be submitted to the City Clerk at SMykoo@schenectadyny.gov by 12pm prior to meeting to be included.

For additional information on City Council meetings, City Clerk Samanta Mykoo may also be reached at (518) 382-5195.

NY FORWARD 

Overview
Governor Cuomo outlined a plan to reopen New York State on a regional basis as each region meets the criteria necessary to protect public health as businesses reopen: forward.ny.gov

The plan focuses on getting people back to work and easing social isolation without triggering renewed spread of the virus or overwhelming the hospital system.

Eligibility for reopening is determined by health metrics for each region. The Capital Region is in Phase Four of the state’s regional phased reopening plan.

Our entire region must continue to meet all seven metrics for a period of at least two weeks in order to advance to the next phase.

Phased Reopening of Business
Businesses may reopen in phases to allow state and local leaders to monitor the effects of the reopening and ensure hospitalization and infection rates are not increasing before moving to the next phase and permitting more economic activity.

Business owners should refer to the State’s industry-specific guidance for more information on how to safely operate. Detailed guidance for each sector can be found at: forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase

Business Reopening Safety Plan
Each reopening business must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19: NY Forward Business Re-Opening Safety Plan Template

File a Complaint
The New York State PAUSE Enforcement Assistance Task Force assists local authorities with enforcement of Executive Orders and restrictions on business operations and activities, as well as gatherings, during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Individuals can file complaints regarding the operation of businesses or gatherings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through an online form or by calling 1-833-789-0470.

(Note: Specific complaints from employees against their employers should be directed to the Department of Labor through their online form.)

Frequently Asked Questions
Visit Empire State Development’s website for frequently asked questions on how the New York Forward re-opening plan impacts your business: esd.ny.gov/nyforward

Schenectady County Public Health Services (SCPHS)

Please visit the Schenectady County Public Health Services (SCPHS) website for the latest updates from our local health department: www.schenectadycounty.com/publichealth 

Call Before You Go
If you are concerned that you may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or feel that you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider before going to a clinic, hospital, or other healthcare facility. For anyone feeling more severely ill, particularly, with trouble breathing, seek medical care without delay, but always with a call before you go.

SCPHS Communicable Disease Department: (518) 386-2824, option 2 (8:30am - 4:30pm Monday to Friday)
After Hours: (518) 437-7878

Seniors
The Schenectady Senior Center has been closed until further notice. Schenectady County seniors may call NYConnects at 518-382-8481 x1. 

NYS Unemployment Insurance Benefits

For step by step instructions on how to file an application for Unemployment Insurance, please visit: https://labor.ny.gov/ui/how_to_file_claim.shtm

The CARES Act was enacted on Friday, March 27, 2020. Please see the CARES Act web page for information about how the Act may affect UI benefits.

New York State is waiving the 7-day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance Benefits for people who are out of work due to COVID-19 closures or quarantines. Any claim you file will be backdated to the date you became unemployed. If you are eligible, you will be paid for all benefits due.

If you are filing a new Unemployment Insurance claim, the day you should apply is based on the first letter of your last name.

A – F: Monday
G – N: Tuesday
O – Z: Wednesday

If you missed your filing day, you may file on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware that the New York State Department of Labor has experienced a significant surge in call and web volume.

Frequently Asked Questions on Unemployment Insurance During COVID-19.

Support for Small Businesses

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

As of April 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced that eligible small businesses may apply to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Independent contractors and those who are self-employed may apply starting on April 10.

The SBA’s PPP is a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

More information about the SBA PPP can be found here:
www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

An application can be found here:
home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Application-3-30-2020v3.pdf  

Borrower information fact sheet can be found here: home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP%20Borrower%20Information%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf  

SBA Disaster Recovery Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides disaster recovery loans and assistance to small businesses. A disaster declaration for New York State was approved in March and makes SBA assistance available throughout the state.

Please visit www.sba.gov for more information, or contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center by phone at 1-800-659-2955 or by email: disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Eligible small businesses may also apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) online at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. A fact sheet with important information about the declaration and EIDL requirements is available here.

Symptoms

According to the CDC, symptoms of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) may include coughing, fever, or trouble breathing. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. If you believe you have been exposed or have symptoms of COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider.

The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) has a coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065. Information is also available on the NYS DOH website at coronavirus.health.ny.gov as well as the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/COVID19.

Additional information from NYS DOH on Viral Pandemic EMS triage protocol and informational handout for patients not transported by EMS.

Prevention

The CDC and the NYS DOH recommend these simple steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water, especially before eating
  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home if you feel sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Members of the public must practice social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19. These precautions include:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Keep six feet distance from others in public
  • Avoid large gatherings
  • Shop for groceries at off-hours or consider having them delivered
  • Don’t visit those most at risk