During today’s press conference, Governor Cuomo announced summer school would be conducted via distance learning. He further added the State will issue guidelines in early June requiring schools to come up with a plan to prepare to open for the Fall semester. District plans will have to submitted to the State in July for approval to open in September.
Sales Tax Deadline Moved
Governor Cuomo announced the New York State sales tax filing deadline, which was moved to May 19, had been extended to June 22.
Employees and Employers
The Governor announced a new toll free hotline (1-888-364-3065) for employees to report employers who they believe are not in compliance with the proper PPE, hygiene or social distancing guidelines.
Downstate beaches will begin opening tomorrow including swimming at 6:00 AM and close at 9:00 PM. The beaches that would be open are as follows:
- Jones Beach
- Sunken Meadow
- Hither Hills
- Robert Moses
- Lake Welch Beach (Harriman State Park)
The rules for operation would be:
- All open beaches are limited to 50% capacity.
- Social distancing must be followed.
- Concessions will remain closed.
- No contact sports are allowed.
New York State COVID-19 Numbers
Thankfully, we continue to remain on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 105 since yesterday which is the lowest total since the initial spike at the beginning of the COVID-19 spread in New York State.
Preliminary Regional Testing Results
Today Governor Cuomo announced that the first round of the preliminary regional antibody test results have been delivered and they are showing an increasing amount in the average number of individuals positive in lower income and minority communities. Of the 8,000 total tests performed across all five boroughs as well as Long Island, 27% of the individuals tested positive for the COVID-19 antibody with the Bronx showing the highest positive rate of 34%, and specifically the Morrisania neighborhood show a positive rate of 43%.
Wear a Mask New York Ad Contest
Governor Cuomo announced on May 5th with the help of his daughter Mariah Kennedy Cuomo the initiation of the Wear a Mask contest asking New Yorkers to create and share videos on why they wear masks with the winning video being used as a public service announcement. Starting today you can go to www.wearamask.ny.gov to view and vote on the five finalists entries until the conclusion of the contest on May 25 with the winner to be announced the following day.
The Governor also announced that on Thursday religious gatherings would be allowed to begin again, but only in groups of ten or less. The State plans to convene an Interfaith Advisory Council to further discuss proposals to further bring back religious gatherings
New York State COVID-19 Numbers
Thankfully, we continue to remain on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 112 since yesterday.
Capital Region to Begin Phase 1 Reopening Tomorrow
Governor Cuomo announced that tomorrow, May 20th, the Capital Region will become the seventh region in New York State to begin Phase 1 of the State’s reopening process. The final hurdle was cleared when the region identified a sufficient number of contact tracers.
Memorial Day Celebrations
The Governor announced that the State will allow Memorial Day ceremonies that have 10 people or less. Local governments will have the final decision on whether ceremonies can occur. Additionally, vehicle parades honoring veterans will be permitted.
Update on Elective Surgeries
Nassau County now is eligible to conduct elective surgeries and ambulatory care. The State has been allowing elective outpatient treatments to resume in counties and hospitals without significant risk of COVID-19 surge in the near term.
Hospital Visitation Pilot
The Governor announced that the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) and the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) are implementing a two-week pilot program in 16 hospitals across the State, allowing increased visitations for family and friends. Visits will be time-limited, visitors will be provided and required to wear PPE (personal protective equipment), and visitors also will be subject to symptom and temperature checks. The list of participating hospitals is below:
- Albany Medical Center – Albany County
- Bassett Medical Center – Otsego County
- Westchester Medical Center – Westchester County
- St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center – Onondaga County
- Roswell Park Cancer Institute – Erie County
- Mount Sinai Queens – Queens
- Maimonides Medical Center – Brooklyn
- Coney Island Hospital – Brooklyn
- Montefiore – Henry and Lucy Moses – Bronx
- Jacobi Medical Center – Bronx
- Mount Sinai Hospital – Manhattan
- NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital – Manhattan
- New York Presbyterian – Lower Manhattan – Manhattan
- Northwell – Lenox Hill Hospital – Manhattan
- Northwell – Huntington Hospital – Suffolk County
- Northwell – Plainview Hospital – Nassau County
New York State COVID-19 Numbers
Thankfully, we continue to remain on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 105 since yesterday.
Western New York Region to Begin Phase 1
Governor Cuomo announced today that tomorrow, May 19th, the Western New York region will become the sixth region in the State to begin with phase one of the reopening process. The region had originally been over 300 people shy of the needed 521 tracers, but they have been able to identify enough tracers to pass that last benchmark over the last 24 hours.
The Governor revisited his recent priority of mandating twice a week testing of all staff at nursing homes by stating that the Department of Health will be providing 320,000 additional tests to assists with this mandate as well as reserving nursing homes with a combined 35,000 test kit slots to be performed per day.
Additionally Governor Cuomo stressed the importance and offering of State assistance “in any way possible” for professional sports teams to help them begin operation if they have the financial ability to hold events with no fans present in the stands.
Gathering and Analyzing Data
Governor Cuomo announced that it will begin working in collaboration with two new experts to advise New York on its data analyzation. It has begun working with the Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Michael Osterholm, as well as Dr. Samir Bhatt, an expert in Geostatistics and senior lecturer at Imperial College London.
These additional advisors will look deeper into to the information being gathered in New York and look to paint a more complete picture of what is happening now and what may be to come.
NYC Alternate Side Parking in Effect This Week
Alternate Side Parking resumes this week with the exception of Thursday due to the religious holiday, Solemnity of the Ascension. Alternate Side Parking will again be suspended next week.
Made in NYC Test Kits Now Available
As of Monday, testing sites will be using “Made in NYC” testing kits, overseen by the Economic Development Corporation. The city will have 60,000 test kits per week by June 1.
NYC Antibody Testing
Voluntary antibody testing began today for 140,000 first responders and health care workers in NYC. The general public can also sign up to get test at www.firstserosurveynyc.com or text TESTNYC to 783-78.
New York State COVID-19 Numbers
Thankfully, we continue to remain on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 106 since yesterday.
Western New York and Capital Region Closer to Phase 1 Reopening
Western New York and the Capital Region currently have satisfied 6 of 7 metrics to qualify for Phase 1 of New York State’s reopening process. In both regions, contact tracing capacities must be increased. Governor Cuomo today said that the State is working with those regions to meet the required benchmark and he is optimistic that reopening can begin in both locations soon.
Facilitating Diagnostic Testing for New Yorkers
The Governor announced that the State is partnering with CVS Pharmacy to bring COVID-19 diagnostic testing to more than 60 CVS pharmacies across the State, with each site capable of conducting approximately 50 tests per day. Furthermore, the State is expanding the eligibility criteria for diagnostic testing to include any individual who would return to the workplace in Phase 1. Finally, the State today is launching a new website to help individuals find testing sites near them: coronavirus.health.ny.gov.
Available Mental Health Services
The Governor today promoted several services to help individuals struggling with their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York State Emotional Support Hotline can be reached at: 1-844-863-9314. The Mental Health Coalition provides support at: howareyoureally.org/. Additional resources are available at: headspace.com/ny.
New York City
Mayor de Blasio today maintained that he will not open the beaches for Memorial Day. People will be able to walk on the beach as long as they maintain social distancing, but they will not be able swim or gather/play games on the beach. Fencing will be brought to city beaches and erected to close off beaches completely if needed.
The Mayor also announced CityMD Urgent Care will be partnering with New York City to provide coronavirus diagnostic testing at 123 sites across the city, adding up to 6,000 tests per day for a total capacity to perform 20,000 tests per day.
Lastly, 1,000 Contact Tracers are being trained at Johns Hopkins and will start working at the end of the month with 100 deployed on May 24th.
Thankfully, we continue to remain on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 139 since yesterday.