DHS Code Blue Letter and Resources

November 4, 2020

GNYHA has been asked to share the attached letter and procedure from NYC’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) regarding its Code Blue plan for homeless individuals living on the street.  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, DHS is not asking hospitals to shelter homeless individuals this winter. Instead, hospitals are asked to coordinate with the DHS Joint Command Center at 212-607-6040 or email for assistance moving certain homeless individuals to appropriate sheltered facilities.

Activation Procedure and Outreach Resources

DHS will issue a Code Blue alert when Central Park temperatures are forecast to reach 32˚ Fahrenheit or below, including windchill, between the hours of 4:00 pm and 8:00 am. A Winter Weather Emergency will be activated upon forecast of any of the following conditions in Central Park:

  • Forecast of steady/consistent precipitation between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.; or
  • Snowfall greater than six inches; or
  • Temperatures below 15˚ F for a 48-hour period; or
  • Wind chills below 0˚ F; or
  • Sustained winds of more than 40 miles per hour; or
  • Ice storms and/or freezing rain.

DHS will conduct enhanced outreach during Code Blue and Winter Weather Emergency activations.

GNYHA members should review their emergency management plans, specifically those related to Code Blue and share this information with appropriate staff. Please contact Shane Cox with any DHS Code Blue questions.

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