Covid-19 Information

(6/12/20) Press release and ‘The Safe Way Forward Joint Report from the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, and Teamsters on COVID-19 Safety Guidelines to Provide Safe Workplaces in a Pre-Vaccine World. 

(6/1/20) The Industry Wide Labor Management Safety Committee has submitted  “White Paper” document to U.S. governors in order to begin the process of restarting our industry in a way that will allow our members to safely return to work.  Read it here. Please be aware that this is the first step in the process; this paper will be the foundation for upcoming discussions by our Union with the AMPTP regarding the specific, comprehensive applications of these safe return to work protocols.  

From NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and COVID-19 Financial Survival Toolkit for New Yorkers. Please click here.

In addition, here is the National Employment Law Project factsheet on the unemployment provisions in the “CARES” Act:

(3/26/20)  Make A Difference – Volunteer for IATSE C.A.R.E.S.

IATSE C.A.R.E.S. (Coronavirus Active Response and Engagement Service) is a new initiative designed to provide support to our most at-risk, elderly, and/or disabled members during the COVID-19 crisis. This website will also be used to provide information about future Mutual Aid efforts from the IATSE. For example, IATSE CARES creates a buddy system where members in need may sign up to have a volunteer check in with them as often as they choose. We have also created a safe and free delivery system which connects trained and healthy IATSE Young Worker volunteers with older IATSE members in need. Members in need may request supplies, groceries, or whatever else they may need, and another IATSE member will bring it to their doorstep through our volunteer database. Sign-Up Here:

Here is an update on the IATSE’s legislative efforts and the current state of play in Washington, DC:

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) was passed into law yesterday evening. It will provide relief to workers in other industries, but the expanded paid leave benefits won’t apply to many displaced entertainment workers because of the requirements for days worked on a job to qualify. This was the second coronavirus relief bill passed into law, and work has immediately begun on a third relief package.
  • Congress has heard us and is beginning to respond. A congressional sign-on letter was organized by Rep. Adam Schiff and sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy with 37 signatories. The letter calls for Congress to provide economic support for arts and entertainment workers in a tailored policy that fits creative professionals’ unique employment arrangements.
  • If you are a participant in Union Plus Mortgage, their Credit Card, Personal Loan, or supplemental insurance programs, you may be eligible for additional hardship assistance. Please see their Hardship Help section for eligibility requirements.


Social Security offices are now closed to the public. Their secure online services remain available at If you cannot complete your Social Security business online, please call them at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

Justice Policies (New York)
Advocates have continued fighting for justice during this pandemic. Their efforts bear fruit that gives us hope. Here are some highlights:

  • Governor Cuomo and Attorney General James temporarily suspended state debt collection in response to coronavirus. The state will temporarily halt the collection of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection, for at least a 30-day period, in response to growing financial impairments resulting from the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Apply here.
  • Evictions in NYC are suspended indefinitely. Housing Court will also be closed indefinitely, except for emergency cases (such as illegal lock-out, post eviction, emergency repair cases). Tenants will receive a postcard with a new date to go to court. People with emergencies should call the court. Questions can be addressed with the Housing Court Answers hotline at 212.962.4795 that is open M-F 9am-5pm. NYCHA hearings are also cancelled. Con Edison has temporarily suspended any electric and gas shutoffs for customers that are having payment difficulties related to COVID-19 coronavirus.
  • The Governor, Senate, and Assembly have reached an agreement on Paid Leave for New York State workers. Consider applying for a Coronavirus Financial Impact Loan from the Hebrew Free Loan Society.

NYC Schools Account
Please sign up for a NYC Schools Account. You must have a New York City Schools Account for your children to access remote learning programs. You can sign up for your account HERE [].

DOE “Learn at Home” Resources
In addition to “remote learning,” the Department of Education is providing supplementary learning resources to students and parents for use during the school closure. The DOE has shared resources for students in all grades. These materials should not replace “remote learning” plans, but during this unusual time, it is important that students supplement their course work.

New York Public Library (NYPL)
You can find a comprehensive list of NYPL’s digital resources on their website. This includes access to e-books, research e-journals, online newspapers, and resources for young learners. If you have any questions, please refer to their reference service, Ask NYPL.

Sign up here to receive COVID-19 updates from NYC Small Business Services
NYC will provide relief for small businesses across the city that are experiencing a reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak. If your business has fewer than 100 employees, and has seen a decrease in sales of 25% or more, you will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. The City will also offer a grant for those businesses with less than 5 employees to cover 40% of payroll costs.

In the event that the novel coronavirus crisis worsens, the State needs the help of qualified retired health and related professionals AND students to supplement our hospital capacity on a temporary basis to treat seriously ill coronavirus patients including those who may need to be intubated. The NYS Dept. of Health will recertify individuals for the purpose. Please sign up here.

The city is also mobilizing a Medical Reserve Corps of retired and licensed medical workers, and is also seeking help from all healthcare workers right now.

Information + Resources (New York)
Up-to-date information is available at the State and Local levels:

  • NYC is providing updates on the coronavirus situation locally that you can subscribe to receive by texting COVID to 692-692.
  • If you have questions about coronavirus, please call the NYS hotline at 888.364.3065. This hotline is staffed 24/7 and in multiple languages by public health workers.
  • If you see price gouging of soap, wipes, masks, or other important health products, call the NYS toll-free hotline at 800.697.1220 so the Attorney General’s office can step in.

3/24/20 An Update on COVID-19 Resourcesfor the NYWIFT Community. Please click here.

How to Build an Emergency Fund in the Middle of an Emergency

This is a crowdsourced list of resources to help freelance workers in the arts stay afloat financially and otherwise during this pandemic.