What is a novel coronavirus or Covid-19? Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that are common throughout the world. They cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious illnesses like pneumonia. A novel coronavirus is a type of coronavirus that has not been previously seen in humans. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19) has been detected in thousands of people worldwide, including NYC.

Symptoms of COVID-19 commonly include fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath. Some people also report the loss of a sense of taste or smell, feeling achy, headache and diarrhea.


Most people with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms and fully recover without complications. Less commonly, COVID-19 may lead to pneumonia, hospitalization or death.


People who are at most risk for severe illness are adults ages 50 or older, or those who have chronic health conditions, such as:

  • Lung disease

  • Moderate to severe asthma

  • Heart disease

  • A weakened immune system

  • Obesity

  • Diabetes

  • Kidney disease

  • Liver disease

  • Cancer


If you are an older adult or have any of the chronic health conditions listed above, it is especially important for you to avoid all unnecessary gatherings and events.


If you are an HSI tenant, and you are experiencing Covid-19 like symptoms, please tell your case manager or another staff member immediately. We are here to help! 

You can find guidance below tailored for specific groups of people, including children and people with health conditions that could put them at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 at: