See our Businesses page for health and safety guidelines for the workplace.

See our City Life page for information about closures, business reopening, and social distancing.

The coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, has been detected in thousands of people worldwide. There is evidence the infection can be spread person-to-person.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause a range of illnesses from the common cold to pneumonia. A "novel coronavirus" is a strain that has not been previously found in humans.


Learn more about COVID-19. (Information in other languages available here)

Get the COVID-19 factsheet.

Get the latest coronavirus case count in New York State.

By Text

Text COVID to 692-692 to get the latest updates from Notify NYC.

Text COVIDESP to 692-692 to get the same updates in Spanish.


The virus is most likely to spread to people who are within about 6 feet of an infected person. The virus is in droplets that are sprayed when a person coughs or sneezes, and possibly when they talk. Staying 6 feet away helps protect you from that spray.

Scientists disagree on how long COVID-19 lives on surfaces, but it can live on surfaces that people frequently touch. The virus can then be spread if someone touches their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands that have virus on them.

Scientists now believe that people who have no symptoms can spread the virus. However, people who are experiencing symptoms like coughing or sore throat are probably more likely to transmit the virus to others.


There are no specific vaccines or treatments available for this coronavirus yet.

To prevent coronavirus, you should take the same precautions that you would during cold and flu season:


  • Stay home at all times if you are sick. If you’re not feeling any better after 3 to 4 days, contact your health care provider.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Do not use your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Consider telecommuting, biking, or walking to work if possible.
  • Consider staggering working hours. For example, instead of 9 AM to 5 PM, change some work hours to 10 AM to 6 PM or 8 AM to 4 PM.


  • Touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Shake hands. Instead, wave.
  • Go to the emergency room or other places to seek health care if you are not severely ill.

If you have family or friends who are elderly or have compromised immune systems or chronic respiratory or coronary issues, do not visit them if you feel sick. Stay home and keep your loved ones safe.

Face Coverings

Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order requiring all people in New York to wear a mask or a face covering when out in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained, such as on public transportation.

The City also strongly recommends that you wear a face covering indoors when you are around other people and you are not in your home, even if 6 feet of distance can be maintained.

  • Wearing a face covering prevents you from unintentionally spreading COVID-19 to other people.
  • Wearing a face covering does not make you invincible. It is mainly about protecting other people from possible spread.
  • Do not use health care worker masks. The limited supply of these masks must be preserved for frontline health care workers.
  • Continue to stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact with others.
  • Maintain physical distance and stay six feet apart when you must go outside for work, essentials needs, or to get medical care.

To report a lack of social distancing or face coverings, visit the Social Distancing or Face Covering Complaint page.

Face Covering Care

You can use a dust mask, scarf, bandana, cloth mask, or anything that covers your nose and mouth as a face covering.

  • Cloth face coverings should be washed once a day by hand or machine using detergent. Wear only when dry.
  • Paper face coverings are reusable until they become damaged, dirty, or wet.

Cleaning and Disinfection Tips

  • If a surface is dirty, first clean it using a detergent or soap and water before disinfecting.
  • To disinfect a surface, use a diluted household bleach solution or an alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
  • Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation.
  • Check that the product is not past its expiration date. Unexpired household bleach is effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
  • Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.

COVID-19 Worker Symptoms Screening

New York State (NYS) requires employers to screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms before the employee can enter the workplace each day and maintain documentation of health screenings. 

To learn more, go to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Worker Symptoms Screening page.


People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Some people do not have any symptoms. Most people will have mild to moderate symptoms and recover on their own.

Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus and can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath (trouble breathing)
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 

Older adults may show confusion or disorientation and experience falls.

This list does not include all possible symptoms.

If you have any of these symptoms, and they are not due to a preexisting health condition like asthma or emphysema, you may have COVID-19 and you must stay home.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get a diagnostic test now – regardless of age, chronic conditions or occupation – and then stay home.

Chronic Health Risks

People who are at most risk for severe illness are those who have health conditions including:

  • Chronic lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • A weakened immune system
  • Moderate to severe asthma
  • Obesity
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease

An infection can result in death, but that is a rare outcome.

Exposure and Close Contact

Close contact for exposure is defined as either:

  • Being within approximately 6 feet of a person with coronavirus for a prolonged period. For example, sitting within 6 feet of the patient in a healthcare waiting area.
  • Having direct contact with bodily fluids of someone infected. For example, being coughed on or touching used tissues with a bare hand.

Call 311 for assistance.




If your symptoms are mild, you should stay home and monitor your condition.

Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms and they do not improve in 3 to 4 days:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms

You should try to contact your health care provider by phone rather than going to them in person.

If you can't get in contact with or don't have a health care provider, you can speak with a NYC Health + Hospitals clinician.

Call 311 for assistance.




Transportation to Medical Appointments

If you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus (fever, coughing, or shortness of breath) and have an appointment with your doctor but do not have transportation options, you may be eligible for free transportation to and from your appointment.

Your appointment must be within the five boroughs of New York City.

Call 311 for assistance.




New York State Residents Outside New York City

If you live in New York State but not in New York City and are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus or have been around someone experiencing symptoms, you can get help by phone.

  • Agency: NYS Novel Coronavirus Hotline
  • Phone Number: (888) 364-3065
  • Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a health condition that has appeared in children in New York City. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now confirmed there is a link to COVID-19.

Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to preventing long-term complications from MIS-C.

Most children have a fever lasting several days, along with other symptoms.

Common symptoms include:

  • Irritability or sluggishness
  • Abdominal pain without another explanation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Conjunctivitis, or red or pink eyes
  • Enlarged gland on one side of the neck
  • Red, cracked lips or red tongue that looks like a strawberry
  • Swollen hands and feet, which might also be red

If your child becomes ill and has had a continued fever, call your doctor immediately.

If you do not have a doctor, go to the Find a Doctor page to speak to an NYC Health + Hospitals clinician.

Learn more about MIS-C.

Early Childhood Mental Health Network 

The Early Childhood Mental Health Network provides mental health support for young children and their families, helping to address challenges early. Mental health professionals consult with early childhood programs partnered with the Department of Education (DOE) to address program, classroom, and child-level challenges in order to strengthen the capacity of teachers and caregivers to support children.

Seven early childhood therapeutic centers, open to all New York residents, located throughout the City offer specialized mental health treatment for children from birth to age five and their families, as well as access to family peer advocates and connection to ongoing support.

Additionally, mental health professionals are able to receive specialized training in evidence-based practices and early childhood development through the Early Childhood Mental Health Training and Technical Assistance Center in order to increase the capacity and competencies of professionals working to identify and address the mental health needs of young children.

Services Provided

Individual and family counseling that utilizes evidence-based approaches for clients with trauma, including:

  • Play therapy and Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)
  • Parent groups
  • Assessments and screenings
  • Staff and teacher training 

You can contact a clinic in your borough:

Bronx North

The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services 
(844) 663-2255

Bronx South

Association to Benefit Children
(929) 288-4320


Northside Center for Child Development
(212) 426-3400


The Child Center of New York
(718) 530-6892

Brooklyn Central and South

OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services
(800) 603-6435

Brooklyn North and East

The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services 
(844) 663-2255

Staten Island

Staten Island Mental Health Society
(718) 448-9775 ext. 551

Diagnostic Testing

COVID-19 diagnostic tests are used to determine if you currently have COVID-19. Diagnostic tests don’t test for immunity or tell you if you had the virus in the past. 

If you were sick and have now recovered and want to be tested, you should take an antibody test instead.

To learn more about the COVID-19 diagnostic test, including testing sites, go to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Diagnostic Testing page.

Antibody Testing

COVID-19 antibody tests are used to determine if you’ve had COVID-19 in the past. 

These tests can’t be used to determine whether you are currently infected with COVID-19; if you are currently sick, you should get a diagnostic test instead.

To learn more about the COVID-19 antibody test, including testing sites, go to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Antibody Testing page.

While at home, you should monitor your health. Self-monitoring means you check yourself for fever and remain alert for COVID-19 symptoms which include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and sore throat.

You can leave your home when all of the following is true:

  • It has been seven days after your symptoms started.
  • You have not had a fever for three days without the use of fever-reducing drugs.
  • Your cough or sore throat symptoms have improved.

Learn about the best practices for self-isolation and quarantine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Call 311 for assistance.




COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is extremely contagious, meaning that it is easily transmitted from one person to another.

If you tested positive for COVID-19 or think you might have it because of your symptoms, it is very important that you do not come in close contact with others, including people you may live with. This is called “self-isolation.” 

You may qualify to self-isolate in a hotel, free of charge, for up to 14 days if you do not have a safe place to self-isolate.

This can mean:

  • Your home does not have space for you to stay six feet away from others
  • You share rooms or a bathroom
  • You live with someone who is vulnerable

Hotel rooms are also available for New Yorkers without COVID-19 but who live with someone who has COVID-19.

This program, including food, linens, and local phone service, is free for eligible New Yorkers.

If you are currently at your home and think you may have COVID-19, call your health provider and they can refer you to the Health + Hospitals Take Care Hotel Program.

If you are experiencing symptoms and don't have a health care provider, you can call H +H. A medical provider will assess your situation and then refer you to a hotel if appropriate.

Call 311 for assistance.




Test and Trace Corps is a program run by the City of New York through Health + Hospitals and in collaboration with DOHMH, DOITT, TLC and many more. 

The Corps helps New Yorkers receive free and easy testing for COVID-19 and ensures that anyone with the virus receives care and can safely isolate to prevent the spread. A specialized group of Contact Tracers have been created to provide resources and support.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you'll receive a call from a Contact Tracer within 24 hours.

The Tracer will:

  • Ask about your symptoms
  • Determine if you need more medical attention
  • Create a list of everyone you had contact with since shortly before the onset of symptoms
  • Help you isolate at home or at a free hotel
  • Give you instructions on how to safely separate for up to 14 days

Contact Tracers will also call those who were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 to help them get tested and connect them with any services they might need.

Learn more about Contact Tracing.


If you're a business owner, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Businesses page to learn about:

  • What you need to know as you prepare to reopen your business
  • How to comply with mandatory health and safety guidelines
  • Protecting your employees and customers
  • Financial resources and supplies


If you're a worker, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Workers page to learn about:

  • What you need to know about businesses reopening
  • Workers' rights and workplace rules
  • Health and safety guidelines
  • Documentation needed to return to work
  • Financial resources and essential worker benefits

COVID-19 Worker Symptoms Screening

New York State (NYS) requires employers to screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms before the employee can enter the workplace each day and maintain documentation of health screenings. 

To learn more, go to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Worker Symptoms Screening page.

You can get assistance if you are a doctor or other health care provider who needs to report the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to the Department of Health.

Call 311 for assistance.




You can get information about the effects of COVID-19 on pregnancy, newborn babies, and breastfeeding.


Get the "Guidance for People Who Are Pregnant, Breastfeeding or Caring for Newborns" sheet.

By Phone

Call 311 for assistance.




Transmission from Animals

At this time there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, play a significant role in spreading COVID-19. The virus that causes COVID-19 appears to be transmitted exclusively from person to person.

Transmission to Animals

The CDC is aware of a small number of pets becoming sick with COVID-19, including both cats and dogs. Only a few of the animals who tested positive showed signs of illness, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. Until more is known about transmission, the CDC recommends that people with symptoms restrict contact with their pets.

If you are sick, restrict contact with your pets and have another member of your household care for your animals.

Have a plan for your pets in case of a medical emergency.


Learn more about COVID-19 and animals.

Get answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and animals.

Learn how to create a pet emergency plan.

By Phone

The Pet Hotline helps with questions and concerns about keeping pets during the COVID-19 crisis. It also connects callers to pet-relief resources such as subsidized emergency veterinary care and food and supply distribution services.

For New York City residents with pets requiring a higher level of care, cases will be escalated for coordination of temporary placement or supplemental care of animals.

  • Agency: NYC Emergency Management
  • Division: COVID-19 Pet Helpline
  • Phone Number: (877) 204-8821
  • Business Hours: Daily: 8 AM - 8 PM
  • Staff is available during business hours. Leave a message after hours and you'll get a call back.

The City of New York is seeking businesses with the ability to quickly source and/or make medical supplies, including ventilators, face shields, gowns, and masks, test kits, and other products needed to support the City’s COVID-19 response.