Governor Cuomo today continued to push the COVID-19 response as an opportunity to create public/private partnerships to improve the State’s transportation, public safety, housing, economic, education and healthcare systems. He announced that Michael Dowling, CEO of Northwell Health will work with the Department of Health to coordinate with hospitals across the state a seamless healthcare response to future public health emergencies. Further, the Governor announced that Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google will lead a 15-member advisory commission to guide the State’s rebuilding efforts toward the “economy of tomorrow” that focuses on distance learning, telemedicine and working remotely thru the accelerated use of advanced technologies and expanded broadband.
Regional Approach to Reopening
Governor Cuomo, when asked about the regional approach to reopening the State again pointed to businesses that are the most essential while still being able to follow the proper social distancing procedures would be the ones to open first, such as construction (“especially exterior” work) and manufacturing where you can still socially distance.
Thankfully, we remain on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 232 since yesterday to 19,877 in total.
Governor Cuomo today announced that New York State will partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other experts to create a blueprint that redesigns education in the months and years ahead. Among other tasks, this partnership will explore how technology can be used to enhance educational opportunities and minimize longstanding socioeconomic inequities in learning.
The Governor spent a large portion of his daily press conference lobbying for federal assistance to State and local governments and pleading for Congress and the White House to overcome partisan gridlock on this issue.
Wear a Mask Contest
Urging the public to continue wearing masks in public areas, the Governor announced a contest in which New Yorkers can submit 30-second videos demonstrating the importance of masks. The winning video will be used as a public service announcement. Interested parties can visit www.wearamask.ny.gov for more information.
Thankfully, we remain on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 230 since yesterday to 19,645 in total.
At a press conference near Rochester, NY, Governor Cuomo announced some further details on the state’s business re-opening plan. The region-by-region approach will consist of four phases to re-opening New York State:
PHASE I: Construction/Manufacturing/some Retailers with curbside pick-up
PHASE II: Professional Services, Finance/Insurance, Real Estate, Administrative Support
PHASE III: Restaurants/Food service and Hotels/Accommodations
PHASE IV: Arts/Entertainment/Recreation and Education
As part of this process the State will monitor four “core factors” to determine if a region can re-open:
New Infections: Based on guidelines from the CDC, regions must have at least 14 days of decline in total net hospitalizations and deaths on a 3-day rolling average. In regions with few COVID cases, the region cannot exceed 15 net new total hospitalizations or 5 new deaths on a 3-day rolling average. In order to monitor the potential spread of infection in a region, a region must have fewer than two new COVID patients admitted per 100,000 residents per day.
Health Care Capacity: Every region must have the health care capacity to handle a potential surge in cases. Regions must have at least 30 percent of total hospital and ICU beds available. This is coupled with the new requirement that hospitals have at least 90 days of PPE stockpiled.
Diagnostic Testing Capacity: Each region must have the capacity to conduct 30 diagnostic tests for every 1,000 residents per month.
Contact Tracing Capacity: Regions must have a baseline of 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 residents, and additional tracers based on the projected number of cases in the region.
The Governor provided a listing of where each region stands currently:
A link to the Governor’s press release and press conference can be found here.
Additional Business Guidelines
The Governor also outlined new safety precautions that each business must put in place upon re-opening. Businesses will be required to:
Adjust workplace hours and shift design as necessary to reduce density in the workplace;
Enact social distancing protocols;
Restrict non-essential travel for employees;
Require all employees and customers to wear masks if in frequent contact with others;
Implement strict cleaning and sanitation standards;
Enact a continuous health screening process for individuals to enter the workplace;
Continue tracing, tracking and reporting of cases; and
Develop liability processes. (No additional details provided here.)
Health Plan Marketplace Special Enrollment
The special enrollment period of the NY State of Health, Health Plan Marketplace will remain open through June 15, 2020.
School Re-Opening Guidance
It was also announced today that the State is working on drafting the “difficult” guidance needed for the eventual re-opening of schools. Governor Cuomo acknowledged that focusing on social distancing in classrooms and other gatherings will be a tall order.
To date, 1 million New Yorkers have been tested for COVID-19, and thankfully we remain on the far side of the plateau. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 226 since yesterday to 19,415 in total.
Governor Cuomo today announced the formation of a seven-state Regional State Purchasing Consortium to increase market power and bring down prices. This partnership, which includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, will jointly procure PPE (personal protective equipment), tests, ventilators, and other medical equipment. Additionally, the Consortium will seek to identify and avoid irresponsible vendors, identify American suppliers of required equipment, and develop new in-State and regional suppliers to minimize supply chain risk and drive regional economic development.
PPE Requirement in Hospitals
To prepare for potential subsequent waves of COVID-19, the NYS Department of Health will require hospitals to build up a supply of PPE that could last at least 90 days during a surge in hospitalizations.
Thankfully, we are remaining on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 280 since yesterday to 19,189 total.
Governor Cuomo today highlighted several public health initiatives to combat COVID-19 and its impact on New Yorkers:
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will begin disinfecting all of its trains every 24 hours. To accomplish this, the entire system will close to riders every night from 1:00AM to 5:00AM beginning Wednesday, May 6.
To develop a better understanding of where infections are originating, New York State has begun asking hospitals to collect more specific demographic information from patients, including place of residence, occupation, and method of travel to work.
The State will distribute an additional 7 million cloth masks across the State to the most vulnerable New Yorkers, including those in nursing homes, poorer communities, and New York City residents.
The State will conduct antibody testing of transit workers in the New York City region.
The State is distributing $25 million to foodbanks throughout the State, using New York-sourced products. The Governor also called on philanthropies to help fund foodbanks, asking interested entities to contact Fran Barrett, Director of Nonprofits, at [email protected]
Thankfully, we are remaining on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 299 since yesterday to 18,909 total.