The Wrap Up – July 23, 2020

Bars and Restaurants

Today Governor Cuomo continued his push for vigilance by local governments in enforcing the proper guidance for patrons and operators of all bars and restaurants when dealing with the State’s social distancing standards.

Additionally the Governor announced that the New York State Police (NYSP) will lead a task force with the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to investigate and shut down establishments not complying with the proper safety standards. Governor Cuomo indicated that the NYSP and the SLA will need to work in conjunction with local officials and police departments to have the best chance of a successful outcome.

Federal Status

Governor Cuomo referenced a discussion from Tuesday he had with President Trump about the possibility of the President sending federal troops into New York City in response to the recent increase in crime. The Governor stated that they had a good conversation on the topic which ended with the President agreeing to speak with the Governor prior to any possible federal intervention.

New York City

The Governor indicated that to help improve New York City’s quality of life there are three areas that need to be improved upon: crime, homelessness and graffiti.

Additionally, Governor Cuomo pointed to the need for people to be able to work remotely as the pandemic has progressed and has caused many businesses to reevaluate how they operate. The ability to work remotely has contributed to a lack of need for commercial space that could become a bigger issue moving forward.

Legislative Session

Both houses of the legislature are wrapping up a weeks’ worth of legislative activity this week, with a number of local and member priority bills passing over the past four days. With the State’s finances continuing to deteriorate, there is the potential for the legislature to return again prior to the November elections. Much of this will be determined by what actions are taken on the federal level to assist financially struggling state and local governments.

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

New York State continues to maintain the lowest number of hospitalizations and deaths since the pandemic began with 706 current total hospitalizations and 13 COVID-19 deaths yesterday. 

The Wrap Up – July 13, 2020

New Guidance on Reopening Schools in New York State

New York State today released new guidance and guiding principles for reopening schools in the State, available here.  According to the guidance, schools in a region may be permitted to reopen if that region is in Phase 4 of the New York Forward reopening process and if the region’s daily infection rate remains below 5 percent using a 14-day average. Schools will close if the regional infection rate rises above 9 percent, using a 7-day average, after August 1st.

Schools’ reopening plans are due to the State on July 31st.  The State will make final determinations on school reopenings during the first week of August.

Topics addressed by the State guidance include:

  • Masks/PPE (personal protective equipment)
  • Social Distancing
  • Cohort Structures
  • Restructuring Space to Maximize In-Class Instruction
  • Transportation
  • Food Service
  • Aftercare and Extracurriculars
  • Screening
  • Tracing
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting

Travel and Quarantine Guidance

Governor Cuomo today announced a travel enforcement operation will commence tomorrow, July 14th, at airports across the State to help ensure travelers are following the State’s quarantine restrictions.  Enforcement teams will be stationed at airports throughout the State to meet arriving aircrafts at gates and greet disembarking passengers to request proof of completion of the NYS Department of Health (DOH) traveler form, which is being distributed to passengers by airlines prior to, and upon boarding or disembarking, flights to New York State.  A new electronic version of the DOH traveler form also has been made available.

DOH also has issued an emergency health order mandating that all out-of-state travelers from designated states complete the DOH traveler form upon entering New York. Travelers who leave the airport without completing the form will be subject to a $2,000 fine and may be brought to a hearing and ordered to complete mandatory quarantine.  Additionally, travelers coming to New York from designated states through other means of transport, including trains and cars, must fill out the DOH traveler form online.

Joint Legislative Hearings on COVID-19 Impact

NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie today announced a series of joint legislative hearings to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted New York State, with specific focuses on higher education, residential health care facilities, hospitals, primary elections, workers, veterans, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).  The full schedule for these hearings, which will begin on July 28th and occur during the ensuing weeks, can be found here.

New York City Face Covering Guidance

New York City Mayor de Blasio today announced that all New Yorkers should wear a face covering indoors when they are around other people in a setting that is not their home. With cases rising among New Yorkers between the ages of 20-29, the City will launch a public outreach campaign geared towards younger New Yorkers, including additional mobile testing sites. Through a “Night of Action,” the City will conduct outreach through popular bars, outdoors restaurants, and waterfront locations, offering nearby mobile van testing and mask giveaways. The City also will partner with digital influencers to reach younger New Yorkers across social platforms and share guidance on how to prevent COVID-19.

New Testing Sites in New York City

Through partnerships with Federally Qualified Health Centers, the City will open 10 additional diagnostic testing sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.  Please click here to find more information about testing sites throughout the City.

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

New York State is maintaining low numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.  With that in mind, there still were 10 COVID-related deaths yesterday.

The Wrap Up, July 8, 2020

Surrounding States

Governor Cuomo announced that there are now 36 States that are seeing a COVID-19 infection rate increase with three new states being added to the tri-state travel advisory group. With the addition of Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma, the total number of states in the advisory is now 19.

School Reopening

The Governor announced that he does not plan to make a decision on schools reopening in the fall until the first week in August. He has laid out a time line for that process:

It’s of note that during the questions and answer portion of the press conference the Governor hinted there may not be a statewide standard on school reopening, and used as an example that areas with a lower infection rate/density may be able to have more “in school days”.

Regional Reopening Update

Governor Cuomo announced that the Long Island Region enters phase 4 today. In addition, the Governor stated all malls in regions in phase 4 are eligible to open but only if they meet the following new air filtration standards: 

  • MERV-13 or the highest rating compatible with the system, but no less than MERV-11 rating
  • Ventilation protocols – increased outdoor air, reduced air recirculation, longer system run times and frequent filter checks.

State and County Fairs Canceled

In addition to the State Fair, the Governor has also stated that until further notice all county fairs are canceled as well.

Legislative Session 

According to multiple press reports, the State legislature intends to come back the week of July 20th for a possible four day legislative week.

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

New York State still is maintaining the lowest number of hospitalizations and deaths since the pandemic began with 841 current total hospitalizations and 11 COVID-19 deaths yesterday. 

The Wrap Up – July 6, 2020

Reopening Updates

New York City today began Phase 3 of the New York Forward reopening process, without indoor dining.  The Mid-Hudson region (which includes Westchester and Rockland counties) will enter Phase 4 of reopening tomorrow, July 7th, and Long Island is on track to enter Phase 4 on Wednesday, July 8th.

Casinos and movie theaters currently remain closed throughout New York State as State government continues to determine how they can reopen safely.

Update on Reopening of Schools

Governor Cuomo today said that the NYS Department of Health, in consultation with the Reimagine Education Advisory Council and others, is finalizing guidance on the potential reopening of schools in September.  Meanwhile, State officials have not yet decided whether schools will be permitted to reopen in September.

New York State Fair Cancelled

The Governor today announced that the New York State Fair will be cancelled this summer due to the ongoing uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Industry Recommendations on Air Conditioning Systems

New York State will make industry recommendations on the use of air filtration technology to potentially eliminate the spread of COVID-19 through air conditioning systems.  The Governor announced this in response to growing evidence that COVID-19 spread is linked more to airborne transmission than to surface area transmission.

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

New York State still is maintaining the lowest number of hospitalizations and deaths since the pandemic began.  With that in mind, there still were 9 COVID-19 deaths yesterday.

The Wrap Up – July 1, 2020

New York City Indoor Dining Postponed

Governor Cuomo today announced that the inclusion of indoor dining as part of New York City’s anticipated Phase 3 reopening on July 6th  will be postponed given that states across the country that previously reopened indoor dining are experiencing increases in COVID-19 cases.  The duration of the postponement will depend upon several factors, including local government enforcement of social distancing, as well as business and citizen compliance with social distancing.  The Governor also will look for the spread of COVID-19 around the country to stabilize before permitting indoor dining in the City.

New York City Announcements

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced NYC beaches are open today, and 15 outdoor public pools will open beginning on July 24th.  Mayor de Blasio also announced the Summer Youth Employment Program Summer Bridge 2020, a $51 million public-private partnership that will provide constructive engagement and enrichment activities to keep 35,000 New York City youth active and productive this summer.

Reopening Updates

The Capital Region today began Phase 4 of the New York Forward reopening process.

The Governor also announced that the State will create an enforcement department to supplement the local enforcement of COVID-19 guidance and restrictions.

Diagnostic Testing Criteria Expanded

The Governor today announced that New York State will expand its diagnostic testing criteria to all New Yorkers statewide, since the State now has the capacity to increase testing.

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

New York State is still maintaining the lowest number of hospitalizations and deaths since the pandemic began.  With that in mind, there still were 11 deaths yesterday.