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Frequently Asked Questions

I do not have a doctor or health insurance and am experiencing flu-like symptoms. What should I do?
  • If your symptoms are manageable (low-grade fever, cough, headache, sore throat, and mild fatigue) we recommend that you stay home and continue to remedy and monitor your condition. If you are living with family or housemates, practice safe distancing or stay in a separate room as much as possible. Disinfect frequently touched and shared surfaces.
  • If your symptoms worsen (difficulty breathing, persistent high fever or severe weakness), please call us. We will assess your situation over the phone and share the best course of action.
  • If you do not have health insurance, we have health insurance enrollment counselors available to help you enroll under the New York State of Health or government benefits, including Medicaid, Child Health Plus & Qualified Health Plan. For more information, call (646) 899-0444 (Manhattan/Flushing) or (646) 906-3747 (Jamaica). We also have a sliding fee discount based on your household income and family size. Read more at http://www.cbwchc.org/payment.asp
  • A health care provider will be available if you need to be seen for an urgent health matter.
Am I allowed to go out in public?
  • As of March 22, 2020, all New Yorkers must stay home, as mandated by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. There is widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in New York City and staying home is the best way to slow the spread and protect essential workers and vulnerable populations.
  • You are allowed to go outside for essential tasks like seeking urgent medical care or getting groceries. We suggest you buy groceries once a week and keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others when you are shopping and in public.
  • Exercising outside your home is allowed. Physical activities that require close or shared contact are not recommended. Exercise by yourself if possible, like going for a solo walk, run, or a bike ride.
Do I need to wear a mask in public?
  • In light of the new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Maintaining 6 feet physical distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus.
  • The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
What should I do to prevent the spread of germs when caring someone with COVID-19?
  • Have the sick person stay in one room, away from other people, including you, as much as possible.
    • If possible, have them use a separate bathroom.
    • Avoid sharing personal household items, like dishes, towels, and bedding.
    • Have them wear a cloth face covering (that covers their nose and mouth) when they are around people, whether at home, in a vehicle, or doctor’s office.
    • If the sick person can’t wear a cloth face covering, you should wear one while in the same room with them.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after interacting with the sick person. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Every day, clean all surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs.
  • Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instruction.
  • Wash laundry thoroughly.
    • If laundry is soiled, wear disposable gloves and keep the soiled items away from your body while laundering. Wash your hands immediately after removing gloves.
  • Avoid having any unnecessary visitors.
  • For any additional questions about their care, contact their health care provider or state or local health department.
When should I seek medical attention?
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face
    • *This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

    Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the operator that you have or think you might have COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering that covers your nose and mouth to protect other people.
What should I do if I am feeling overwhelmed?
  • Fear and anxiety about COVID-19, in addition to stress of caring for your family or financial burdens, can be overwhelming. If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, try the following:
  • If you at risk of domestic violence,
    • Tell supportive family and friends.
    • Make a plan to protect yourself and your children.
    • Identify a place to go; and if you need to, leave the house immediately.
    • Call NYC's 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 621-4673; or
      Visit the NYC HOPE Resource Directory online at www.nyc.gov/NYCHOPE.
    • For emergencies, call 911
How do I take care and support my children?
  • Talking with Children about COVID-19.
    • Remain calm and reassuring.
    • Make yourself available to listen and to talk.
    • Avoid language that might blame others.
    • Pay attention to what children see or hear in television, radio, or online.
    • Provide information that is honest and true.
    • Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.

  • Keep children healthy
    • Watch your child for any signs of illness or stress.
    • Children below 18 months should still get their vaccines, per recommended schedule.
    • Teach and reinforce thorough hand washing and physical distancing.

  • Create a flexible schedule and consistent routine
    • Schedule and mimic a regular school day—with changing activities at predictable intervals, alternating periods of study and play.
    • Print out a schedule and go over each morning as a family.
    • Set a timer and regular reminders to know the when it is time to transition from one activity to the next.
    • Include daily family walks and exercises at home.

  • Be creative about new activities to make learning fun
    • Incorporate new activities, such as family games, arts and crafts, imaginary play, musical activities, and household projects.
    • Start a journal with your child to document this time and discuss the shared experience.
    • Use audio books or check if your local library is hosting virtual live-streamed experience.

  • Stay in touch virtually
    • Keep your support network strong.
    • Call, text, and use social media to stay connected with friends and family (remember to monitor your child’s social media use).

  • Consider the needs and adjustment required for your children
    • Keep it positive: Validate kids’ excitement that school is closed and set up expectations, “It’s so cool to have everyone home together, we are going to have a good time. Remember though, we still need to do work and stick to a regular schedule.”
    • Keeps kids informed but can avoid worrying details, “We won’t see grandma and grandpa this week but we will see them soon!” or “We are staying away from grandpa and grandma because we can get them sick.”
    • Kids who are tantruming more than usual may actually be feeling anxious. Respond to outbursts in a calm, consistent, comforting way.
    • Avoid physical punishment.

  • For more information, please visit CDC’s Caring for Children:

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