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Coronavirus Information

Updated Friday, April 3, 9:00 am

Keep visiting this page for updates, or email covid@gmhc.org for information about how to receive GMHC services, connecting with GMHC staff, which agencies are open, general questions, and referrals.

As the Coronavirus pandemic evolves, we at GMHC are actively working to support our clients. While our building may be closed, many of GMHC’s core programs and services remain active. We are continuously working to enhance and expand our services to make sure that our community members are well cared for, stable and staying safe. We know that our meals and pantry program is often a life-saving service, which is why we are excited to announce “GMHC on The Go” to make sure that our clients don’t have to choose between having a meal and risking their health. If you are a current GMHC client in need of food, please email MealsHelp@gmhc.org, so we can assess the best way we can help you.

 

Active Services
Note from CEO
Facts on Coronavirus
Helpful Links
A Message of Thanks from GMHC

 

Active Services and Contacts:

As the Coronavirus pandemic evolves, GMHC is actively working to support its clients. Many of GMHC’s core programs and services remain active. We are working on ways to continue to enhance and expand our services. The list below provides active client services and contact information for those services. For general questions related to services please email COVID@gmhc.org.  

ACRIA: 

Staff are conducting virtual workshops and continually updating the HIV & Aging website with information on COVID-19: aginghiv.org 

 Action Center: 

25 Action Center/PatientsLeadNY clients will be participating in AIDSWatch 2020 to be held virtually on March 30, 2020 

  • Contact: Brian Romero, Policy Associate and 2020 Census Manager, brianr@gmhc.org  

Advocacy: 

Staff are taking calls, advocating for clients with HASA, making referrals for services such as food, assisting clients to complete ADAP applications, and doing health insurance enrollments through the marketplace 

  • Contact: Olivia Gaillard, Senior Health Navigator, oliviag@gmhc.org; 917-402-3251 

Community Health: 

Staff are checking in with clients who receive 1:1 services 

Virtual group meetings will begin soon 

Financial Management: 

Staff are working 1:1 with clients over the phone 

Checks will be administered to clients by mail, TD Bank card, or in person on pay dates 

  • Contact: Dayana Flores, Senior Financial Management Case Worker, dayanaf@gmhc.org  

Healthy Aging: 

Staff are checking in with enrolled clients 

HOPWA Supportive Housing, HUD COC Housing and Safety in Housing: 

Supportive Housing is providing 1:1 phone or webchat services to all housing clients 

  • Contact: Daisy Guzman, Housing Case Manager, Daisyg@gmhc.org; 917-669-5499 

Hotline: 

Staff are taking calls and answering emails providing information, referrals, and support to those in need 

  • Contact: Susan Rowley, Director of Hotline and Buddy Program, susanr@gmhc.org  

Intake: 

Staff are contacting clients in need of reassessments and conducting reassessments via phone 

Staff will assess client needs and make referrals as appropriate both internally and externally  

  • Contact: Laverne Hayes, Director of Coordinated Care, laverneh@gmhc.org; 470-422-2249

Legal Services: 

Staff are providing legal services remotely through email and telephone 

Civil Legal is able to conduct intakes, advise and counsel clients on most legal issues (housing, benefits, and entitlements) with the exception of estate planning (will, etc.) as documents need to be signed and there must be a witness. For clients in need of estate planning, please contact Jonathan for referrals 

  • Contact: Jonathan Russo, Director of Civil Legal, legal@gmhc.org; 212-367-1326 

Immigration: Immigration staff are taking calls and scheduling appointments for May 

Meals & Nutrition: 

Nutrition counseling is continuing for clients by telephone 

GMHC has launched "GMHC on The Go" to make sure that our clients don’t have to choose between having a meal and risking their health. If you are a current GMHC client in need of food, please email MealsHelp@gmhc.org, so we can assess the best way we can help you.

Mental Health and Substance Use Services: 

Staff are conducting phone sessions with clients 

  • Contact: Kipper Sanchez, Managing Director of Mental Health and Substance Use Services, kristobals@gmhc.org

PatientLeadNY: 

The team is working on conducting a virtual town hall, details to follow 

  • Contact: Brian Romero, Policy Associate and 2020 Census Manager, brianr@gmhc.org 

Project Health: 

Staff are reaching out to Project Health clients to check in on them. Only clients enrolled in Project Health are eligible for follow-up 

  • Contact: Angelo Trinidad, Transitional Benefits Counselor, angelot@gmhc.org  

Terry Brenneis Hub for Long-Term Survivors: 

Staff are connecting with the long-term survivor clients through phone and email 

 

Testing: 

Staff are calling clients in need of STI results and following up with clients who call the Testing Center and/or email staff 

Trans Equity: 

Staff are reaching out to clients as well as completing service plans and providing emotional support.  

  • Contact: Laverne Hayes, Director of Coordinated Care, laverneh@gmhc.org; 470-422-2249

Wellness: 

A Resource Library will be maintained and updated of Wellness website and apps that clients can use to occupy their time and utilize Wellness activities options during this time  

  • Contact: Donna Pine, Director of Client Wellness Services, donnap@gmhc.org 

Workforce Development: 

Case management and retention services will continue with allowable “essential” Workforce Development clients based on the guidance from the City and State 

Staff will travel to clients to collect pay stubs and distribute MetroCards 

  • Contact: April Watkins, Managing Director of Workforce Development, aprilw@gmhc.org  
     


Note from CEO:

Dear GMHC Community:

As you know, the COVID-19 health issue that was identified as a pandemic, as well as City and State responses, continue to evolve rapidly. More and more health officials are encouraging social distancing, isolating, and even self-quarantining in order to prevent possible transmission and to “flatten the curve” so that our healthcare system is not overburdened.

Once the City stepped up its efforts to promote social distancing by closing NYC public schools, restaurants (for sit-in meals), bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, gyms, concert venues, and entertainment venues, and the CDC’s recommendation that gatherings of at least 50 people be canceled, we came to the conclusion that the best way to keep everyone safe and healthy was to close building operations. This is especially prudent given the fact that so many of our clients are over age 50 and/or have compromised immune systems.

At GMHC, we hold the responsibility of caring for our clients, staff, volunteers, and the community as a top priority in all of our decisions. Please know that this was not an easy decision to make, but we did so in the interest of the health, wellness, and safety of the GMHC community, as well as the community at large.

We have made arrangements to provide services remotely via phone and video conferencing when appropriate. We have also developed a list of alternative resources for our clients for services that we cannot deliver remotely.

We are currently trying to develop plans to be able to offer meals on an ongoing basis. As of Tuesday, March 17, we've given out nearly 1,600 meals!

At GMHC, we are also committed to caring for our staff. Fortunately, prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we had been preparing work from home options. We armed staff with accurate information about the Coronavirus and the means to prevent its spread from the very beginning, and we encouraged them to stay home if they were not feeling well. This included giving all of our employees (full- and part-time) as much paid sick leave as necessary. Here, we believe that you can’t take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself.

We will continue to monitor guidance from city and state departments of health, elected officials, the CDC, and the World Health Organization, and we will keep the community updated with our plans.

Thank you and stay healthy,

Kelsey Louie
CEO

P.S.: A heartfelt THANK-YOU to service providers, healthcare workers, and first responders from all of us at GMHC.


Please help us continue to provide life-saving services!

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What You Need to Know:

As the Coronavrius outbreak evolves, GMHC has remained in close contact with the NYS Department of Health, and other state and local health agencies to get the most up-to-date nformation. Our priority is to ensure that our staff, volunteers and clients are aware of this information as we receive it.

Here’s what we know:
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory (chest/lung) disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first found in China and which has now been found in many places around the world including in the United States. The disease has been named “Coronavirus Disease 2019” (also called “COVID-19”). It is important to prepare and protect yourself and others.

Symptoms

The 2019 novel coronavirus may cause mild (light) to severe (serious) respiratory symptoms like:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Trouble breathing

These symptoms may show in as few as two days or as many as 14 days after. The majority of people who contract the virus will not experience severe symptoms; however, people with chronic health conditions or weakened immune systems may be at an increased risk. This underscores the importance of wearing a mask if you are experiencing symptoms so as not to spread the virus to others who may be a greater risk.

If you are experiencing symptoms, call the NYC Coronavirus hotline at 888-364-3065 or the New Jersey Coronavirus hotline at 800-222-1222. IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING SEVERE SYMPTOMS, CALL 911.

How Does Coronavirus Spread?

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) via respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Since this virus is very new, health officials continue to watch how this virus spreads. Read more about methods of disease transmission here.

Prevention

While there is currently no vaccine, these simple steps can help stop the spread of this and other chest/lung viruses.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick if you are able to do so.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • If you are healthy or not experiencing symptoms, you do not need to wear a mask.
    • If you are coughing, sneezing, or experiencing symptoms, you should wear a mask.
    • If you are caring for someone with the illness, you should wear a mask.
    • If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
    • Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • If you need to seek medical care for a respiratory illness, please call ahead to your health care provider and put on a face mask upon arriving at the facility.

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for the Coronavirus other than supportive care (fluids, medicine to reduce fever, and, in severe cases, oxygen). In most cases, people with COVID-19 will recover on their own, but will need to be isolated at home to avoid passing the virus to others.

GMHC is in regular contact with NYS Department of Health and other state, local, and federal health agencies to get the most up-to-date information as the situation evolves. Please check this page for updates.

Text COVID to 692-692 to get real-time updates.

 

Helpful Links:

 

Benefits Available for New Yorkers

COVID-19 Information for People Living with HIV

Free Meals for Any New Yorker

LGBTQ Older Adults and COVID-19: What Providers Need to Know

People Living with HIV Need Coronavirus Protections

Resources for COVID-19 Mental/Emotional Support