Meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service.

Health & Safety

Volunteers wearing protective gear and smiling at camera

The health and safety of our volunteers remains a top priority. In partnership with the city's Volunteer Coordination Task Force, we are actively enforcing the following safety requirements on our projects:

If any of the following conditions apply to you, stay home and do not sign up to volunteer:

  • You are sick or recently tested positive for COVID-19, even if you are vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • You are required to quarantine due to a recent COVID-19 exposure.

New York Cares requires that volunteers provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to serving on-site. Proof of vaccination should be presented to Team Leaders when arriving on-site, and includes: 

  • Excelsior Pass  
  • NYC COVID Safe App
  • New Jersey's Docket App
  • CDC Vaccination Card 
  • Photo of CDC Vaccination Card 
  • NY Vaccination Record 
  • An official immunization record from outside NYC or the U.S.

We recommend all volunteers become familiar with the Health Commissioner's Advisory on COVID-19 prevention now that the omicron variant is spreading throughout NYC. As new restrictions are rolled out, we know that this can remind us of the early days of the pandemic. Fortunately, we now have many new ways of combating the virus that we did not have before. Our most important tools in fighting COVID-19 remain vaccination (including a booster dose), masking, and testing.

As of Monday, May 16, the New York City Commisioner on Health and Mental Hygiene recommends all New Yorkers should wear a mask at all times when indoors.  This includes all volunteer activities that occur inside. 

As COVID-19 requirements shift within the city and at partner sites, we encourage all volunteers to monitor project descriptions for the most up-to-date project requirements and confirm project details with your Team Leader. For a full list of conditions that increase risk for severe COVID-19, visit the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene's COVID-19 Prevention and Care webpage. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit 

When You Volunteer

  • If you feel sick or recently tested positive for COVID-19, do not volunteer outside the home, even if you have been vaccinated.
  • Wear a face covering on projects and maintain physical distancing while volunteering.
  • Practice healthy hand hygiene, including washing hands often with soap and water and using hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Hand hygiene is good public health practice whether or not you have been vaccinated.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Do not use your hands.

For Team Leaders

In addition to the above safety guidelines, Team Leaders are asked to keep the following in mind:

  • Stay informed on the latest guidelines from NYC Health to slow the spread of coronavirus.
  • Contact your Leadership Coordinator with questions or concerns about your project.
  • Share with your Leadership Coordinator if you are unwell or uncomfortable leading a project so we can find a replacement Team Leader.