Topic: Wrap Up

The Wrap Up – June 17, 2020

End of Governor Cuomo Daily Press Briefing

Today Governor Cuomo announced that with the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic and continuously dropping infection rate in the State that he would be holding his last routine daily press briefing this Friday, June 19th. This will bring an end to a now routine press briefing and availability that has occurred for more than 100 consecutive days for the Governor.

Reopening Continues

The Governor announced today that the Hudson Valley region comprised of Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester Counties would be eligible to move to phase 3 next week Tuesday, June 23rd with the Long Island region following to phase 3 the next day. The Governor also announced that New York City is currently on track to enter phase 2 this coming Monday, June 22nd

Police Reform

During today’s press briefing from Governor Cuomo, he proposed questions that could help local governments in the reshaping of their local police force that must be done by April 1, 2021. The initial questions that he put forth that local governments could use to reshape their police forces included:

  • What is their current use of force policies and how can they be re-envisioned?
  • How could they better address staffing needs and uses locally?
  • What would a demilitarized department look like?
  • What would it mean to defund the police? Identify and scrutinize their local police budgets.
  • How can they make the disciplinary process more transparent?

New Executive Order

The Governor signed a new Executive Order 204 that commemorates the emancipation of slavery in the U.S. on June 19th as a holiday for state employees and stated that next year he will advance legislation that would make it a full statewide holiday.

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

The State yesterday recorded the lowest percentage of positive COVID-19 tests since the pandemic began. Out of the 59,341 tests conducted yesterday, only 567, or less than one percent, were positive with the lowest number of hospitalizations since the pandemic began.  That said, there still were 17 deaths yesterday from COVID-19. 

The Wrap Up – June 16, 2020

Phase 3 Reopenings

Western New York today began Phase 3 of the New York Forward reopening process.  The Capital Region officially has been cleared by data experts to begin Phase 3 tomorrow, June 17th.

Hospitals and Group Homes Permitted to Accept Visitors

New York State is permitting hospitals and group homes statewide to accept visitors at their discretion.  Any facility that chooses to allow visitors must follow State guidelines, including time-limited visits and requiring visitors to wear PPE (personal protective equipment) and be subject to symptom and temperature checks. 

Hospitals statewide can provide visitation immediately.  Group homes certified by the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) will be allowed to accept visitors beginning Friday, June 19th, provided they adhere to State guidance and certify compliance to OPWDD prior to commencing visitation.

The prohibition on nursing home visitors remains in place as the NYS Department of Health continues to review that situation.

NYS Senate Republican Leader Flanagan Retiring

NYS Senate Republican Leader John Flanagan is retiring from the Senate effective June 28th, to “pursue an opportunity in the private sector.”  We wish Leader Flanagan good luck in his future endeavors.

Law Enforcement Legislation Enacted

Governor Cuomo today signed two law enforcement bills:

  • Requiring all New York State Police officers to wear body cameras while on patrol (S.8493/A.8674)
  • Creating the Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office (S.3595-C/A.10002)

U.S Open Tennis Tournament Occurring in September

The Governor today announced the U.S. Open tennis tournament will be held in Queens, without fans, from August 31st to September 13th. The U.S. Tennis Association will take precautions to protect players and staff, including robust testing, additional cleaning, extra locker room space, and dedicated housing and transportation.

New York City

Mayor de Blasio stated New York City should be ready to move into Phase 2 next week, but only if the COVID indicators/thresholds are met. The City will work with the State and make a decision about the City entering Phase 2.

NYC Pools / Beaches: The City is training 600 lifeguards now, but the Mayor is not ready to announce the reopening of city pools and beaches.

Macy’s Fireworks: The 4th of July fireworks plan is being discussed and an announcement should be made in the coming days.

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

New York State is maintaining the lowest number of hospitalizations and deaths since the pandemic began.  That said, there still were 25 deaths yesterday from COVID-19. 

The Wrap Up – June 15, 2020

Reopening

Today Governor Cuomo announced regions in Phase 3 or higher would be allowed to increase the maximum size of gathers from 10 people to 25 people. The Governor also announced that as of tomorrow the Western Region (Buffalo) would be eligible for Phase 3 with the Capital Region (Albany) following on to Phase 3 on Wednesday.

Police Reform

The Governor signed three bills today dealing with police reform that include:

Pedestrian Walkway opened on the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge

Today Governor Cuomo cut the ribbon for the opening of the shared bicycle and pedestrian path on the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. The 3.6 mile long pathway now has “updated amenities and a unique, interactive experience to enjoy while taking in the scenic views of the Hudson River Valley.”

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

New York State has reached the lowest number three day average of hospitalizations and deaths since the pandemic began.  That said, there still were 25 deaths yesterday from COVID-19.  While highlighting again the surging COVID-19 rates in 22 other states and Puerto Rico. 

The Wrap Up – June 14, 2020

Low-Risk Youth Sports Permitted in Phase 3 Regions Beginning July 6th

Low-risk youth sports can begin on July 6th in regions that have begun Phase 3 of reopening.  Up to two spectators per child will be allowed.  Permitted sports include: baseball, softball, gymnastics, field hockey, cross country, and crew.

Governor Warns Bars and Restaurants to Follow Reopening Guidelines

In the wake of many reported social distancing violations, Governor Cuomo reminded bars and restaurants that any violations of reopening rules and guidelines can result in the loss of that establishment’s liquor license. Additionally, individuals can be fined for open container and social distancing violations. The Governor also reminded local governments to enforce all reopening rules and guidelines and that any failure to enforce these rules can result in the closure of businesses.

Extended Special Enrollment in the Health Plan Marketplace

Governor Cuomo today announced that New York State is extending the special open enrollment period in the New York State of Health Health Plan Marketplace for an additional 30 days, through July 15, 2020.

COVID-19-Related Legislation Enacted

The Governor signed legislation (S.8245-A/A.10517) requiring the NYS Department of Health to conduct a study on the health impacts of COVID-19 on minorities in New York State. The State previously conducted an antibody testing survey at churches in lower-income New York City communities and communities of color, which showed higher infection rates among individuals in these communities compared to the overall population. 

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

New York State has reached the lowest number of hospitalizations and deaths since the pandemic began.  That said, there still were 23 deaths yesterday from COVID-19.  While highlighting surging COVID-19 rates in 22 other states and Puerto Rico, the Governor stressed that New Yorkers must remain vigilant to continue the State’s recent progress.

The Wrap Up – June 13, 2020

Western New York and Capital Region on Track for Phase 3 Reopening Next Week

Western New York and the Capital Region are on track to begin Phase 3 of the New York Forward reopening process next week.  Western New York could begin Phase 3 on Tuesday, June 16th, while the Capital Region could begin on Wednesday, June 17th.  Both regions must have their COVID-19 data cleared by international experts before officially beginning Phase 3. 

COVID-19-Related Legislation Enacted

Governor Cuomo has signed legislation (S.8275-A/A.10348) suspending the forfeiture of unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 state of emergency.  Individuals who have had forfeit penalties levied against them from past claims currently are unable to collect their unemployment benefits. This new law will protect individuals’ ability to collect benefits in this situation.

The Governor also signed legislation (S.8415/A.10446-A) repealing criminalization of wearing a mask in public.  This new law removes any legal conflicts with a previous Executive Order requiring New Yorkers to wear face coverings while in public to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

New York State has reached the lowest number of hospitalizations and deaths since the pandemic began.  That said, there still were 32 deaths yesterday from COVID-19.  While highlighting surging COVID-19 rates in 22 other states and Puerto Rico, the Governor stressed that New Yorkers must remain vigilant to continue the State’s recent progress.