City Issues New Coronavirus Guidelines, Including Don’t Get on Too-Crowded Trains

The city has changed some of its guidelines for how to go about your life as the coronavirus continues to spread in New York City.

Many of the recommendations are the same — continue washing your hands, only sneeze or cough into your elbow, and stay home if you’re sick. But others are new.

Among the new guidelines is a recommendation for elderly people or people with certain conditions not to attend gatherings “If you have chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease or a weakened immune system, avoid unnecessary events and gatherings,” Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter. If you don’t feel weel, don’t visit your elderly relatives.

In addition, the city is now telling people not to get on trains if they’re too crowded. Instead, wait for the next train or use another method of transportation.

“Plan to have some extra travel time in your commute,” de Blasio wrote. “If the train that pulls up is too packed, move to a different car or wait to take the next one. Bike or walk to work if you can.”

People should also consider heading to work at less-crowded times (maybe send those first emails from home and then go in?) or telecommuting.

One way to get Coronavirus alerts from the city is to text Covid to the number 692-692.

(And it’s worth noting: While sick and elderly people are most vulnerable to the disease, otherwise-healthy adults have also become very ill from it.)

The city guidelines are included in the poster images below:

NEWS | 35 comments | permalink
    1. Scott says:

      There is a very reasonable op-ed piece in the NYT titled “Coronavirus School Closing: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late”. It provides some very sane reasons based on historical outbreaks and responses as to why communities should close schools sooner rather than later when outbreak starts within a community. There is also a petition on that is calling for the immediate closure of NYC schools. As of the time of this post, it already had 33,000+ signatures. Link below for those who may be interested in signing.

    2. TH says:

      Relax, it’s OK:

      “We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus.
      We moved VERY early to close borders to certain areas, which was a Godsend. V.P. is doing a great job.
      The Fake News Media is doing everything possible to make us look bad. Sad!”

      • Orin says:

        TH must be joking, right ? He /she could not be serious.
        His/Her comment was ………:
        March 8, 2020 at 9:55 pm
        Relax, it’s OK:
        “We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus.
        We moved VERY early to close borders to certain areas, which was a Godsend. V.P. is doing a great job.
        The Fake News Media is doing everything possible to make us look bad. Sad!”

    3. Ro alberts says:

      Oy oy

    4. mamajoan says:

      Isn’t a classroom in a school a “gathering”? If a child has a compromised immune system and is supposed to avoid a “gathering” what guidelines are in place to protect this vulnerable population? Schools need to have methods in place now to protect these children and allow them to keep learning if the NYC DOE is planning on keeping schools open. The mayor and chancellor do not address this specific and very real concern.

      • lynn says:

        My niece and nephew are in another part of the country, with one in lower school and one in middle school, and they are quite adept at working electronically, so I just assume it’s not going to be a problem for any kids who grew up with the new technology to adapt easily to the new way of learning.Now the problem is do they stay at home on their own. I suppose there are many people who have nannys or housekeepers so it won’t be a problem for most of them, but I hope the kids who have no choice but to work on their own will be given some kind of supervision, at the very least having the teachers check in on them via Face Time.

        • EM says:

          Roughly 100k NYC students are homeless. There would be no one to be with them during the day, they do not have home computers, many rely on schools to receive two meals a day. In a system as diverse as ours, there are a lot of different truths to consider when weighing closing the school system.

        • dc says:

          A big problem is many students get two, even three, meals a day at school here in NYC. Also, many do not have wifi at home. I believe those are a couple of the primary reasons that the city does not want to close the schools.

    5. ben says:

      ‘don’t get on too-crowded trains’ is literally the most useless piece of advice to give regarding using public transit in NYC during when you gotta get to/from work.

    6. Suzan McGovern says:

      These new posters make me proud to be a New Yorker. They are very informative in a clear and concise manner. They say we take care of all no matter immigration status or ability to pay. 😎👍

    7. West side is the best side says:

      closing schools is much more complicated as there are issues with a parent having to stay home (and losing income and at worst their job) A lot of students rely on schools for food, and for kids living in shelters school is more than just a place to learn. If you are able to keep your kid home and want to, work it out with the school.

    8. Pearl says:

      “One way to get Coronavirus alerts from the city is to text Covid to the number 692-692” I am a senior – I know how to text and I’m pretty good with my phone but I tried and wasn’t able to do this. Can anyone tell me how? Thanks.

      • Lori Terrizzi says:

        Hi Pearl, to receive text alerts:

        1) Type the following numbers where you’d ordinarily enter a phone number: 692-692

        2) Where you’d ordinarily enter a message, type only: Covid

        Then send! 🙂

      • Ellen says:

        This is a great starting point to get current info for both healthcare providers and concerned citizens and patients. There will be a webinar on March 12.

        Can’t help you with the text number, found nothing on it although you could try googling it. but the page above provides comprehensive and current info, probably everything you’ll need if you look at it regularly.

      • Meghan says:

        Where you would normally enter a phone number, enter 692-692. Then enter the word Covid as the text message and hit send. You should get a response within a few seconds. Hope that helps.

      • Vionette Torres says:

        Add the name covid to your contacts and in phone type 692-692 and save. Then go to covid on contacts touch text and in the bottom where u text write 692-692 and send. That’s it.

    9. Scott says:

      Seems like this would be a good time to suspend alternate side parking rules for a couple of weeks.

      We have a state of emergency declared by Cuomo and sick people shouldn’t leave their buildings. There’s a tradition of suspending parking rules during states of emergency.

      • Amy Rosenfeld-Kass says:

        I agree that if people are sick they should suspend alternate parking.

      • Ladybug says:

        Great idea! I second the motion.

        • Dan says:

          Please suspend alternate side parking! I work in Westchester and drive up from the UWS every day. My company has instructed everyone to work from home so now I have to deal with moving my car every day and if I get sick I will not be able to.

    10. mlg says:

      Many people who feel a little bit sick will be torn between being model citizens and staying home or going to work so they can afford to eat and pay rent.

      I’m thinking there needs to be a way to apply for something like unemployment insurance or temporary welfare payments to start immediately for those without the means to sustain themselves. And additionally, application should be made available online so they do not have to go out to do it.

      This would be our thank-you to those who are protecting us. It would also make it possible to ensure greater compliance.

    11. Westside neighbor says:

      A VERY WORRISOME ANGLE on the spread of this disease:

      It seems to me there is a HUGE GAP in our government’s airport /airlines’ corona virus prevention strategy. It appears highly likely from my understanding of the situation below that hundreds of people are still able to fly from Rome to Kennedy airport with just a minimal precautionary effort. (The example I give is just one flight arriving at one airport but I highly doubt it is a lone highly risky example.)

      I believe we need to make radical changes immediately. I put these thoughts out there for others’ feedback

      I just learned from relatives who returned to Kennedy airport on a flight from Rome Italy this past Thursday evening, March 5th, on Norweigan Alrlines. They advised their “health scanning” for their plane-full of passengers involved NO screening by temperature taking or other health check for all, but was limited to an airport staff questionnaire for passengers, and that any further check made occurred only in cases of concern for something written on the forms, or in case of a passenger obviously appearing to present symptoms of illness. I feel this is an extremely risky system to say the least, for airline passengers flying out of the second highest risk country in the world for this illness.

      I researched a good while online, but saw only more contradictions and concerns that the right things are not being done. (A few links are below.)
      (Note especially the comments from the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security)

      In summary, since the reach of the virus in Italy the past few days is only worsening daily, isn’t it way past time that ––at the very least—we need to demand from our government assurance of far more in depth testing of all passengers –including on arrivals into the U.S.– from the
      highest risk countries—or a far better plan—seriously limit NOW these airplane “petrie dishes” from daily arrivals into our cities’ airports.

      • Peter says:

        It’s too late for that. It’s basically pointless. Virus is already around, in enough asymptomatic people who will keep spreading it. Lean on best personal practices, depending on your age, condition etc., to lower your individual risk.

    12. HM says:

      Hi Pearl, I signed up for the alerts. Make sure you include the dash mark in the number.

      Hope this helps!

      Looks like I’ll be walking today.

    13. xiang Li says:

      how about karate schools? There are over hundred people including kids and parents in a closed area. Kids’ bare feet and hands on the matt, close contacts. Concerned parents request to take a break from the classes due to corona virus concern, but were told to pay 2 months cancellation fee which is $400!

    14. Paul Davidson says:

      As far as school closings, why is it an either or proposition? I understand that some kids cannot stay home, but for those that can, why not let them? Let them learn via computer. It would limit their exposure an less kids n the classroom & on the trains would benefit everyone.

      Also, why is it just recently that the DOE is polling principals on what telelearning apps/programs in place? Shouldn’t this have been in place for a long time already? And not a collection of piecemeal solilutions, but a citywide solution!

    15. Scooter Commuter says:

      Feeling pretty happy about the scooter commute these days!

    16. Emily A Willen says:

      Many private universities are closing temporarily, but all of the CUNY (poor) schools are still open. Our president at my school wrote in an email “it would be unfair for students who do not have computers at home if instruction was switch to online”…

    17. sheila uphohn says:

      Thank you for getting the information out.