The Wrap Up – June 2, 2020

Updates on Reopening – Western New York Begins Phase 2 Today

Western New York today began Phase 2 of New York State’s reopening process.  The Capital Region officially has been cleared by data experts to begin Phase 2 tomorrow, June 3rd.  New York City still is scheduled to begin Phase 1 on Monday, June 8th.  Governor Cuomo also announced that summer day camps can open on Monday, June 29th; a final decision has not yet been made on sleep-away camps.

New Executive Order

The Governor today issued Executive Order 202.36, allowing low-risk, outdoor recreational activities and businesses providing such activities to open in regions that have met the public health and safety metrics required for Phase 1 (this currently includes all regions in New York State, except New York City).

Civil Unrest

Speaking extensively about the civil unrest that has gripped the State and the nation over the past week, the Governor offered the support of the State Police, National Guard, or both to all city mayors in New York State; 13,000 members of the National Guard currently are on standby.  Cities in the State with curfews (time and durations vary) currently include: New York City, Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse.

New York City Curfew Tonight

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has imposed a citywide curfew through Monday, from 8 p.m. each evening until 5 a.m. the next morning.

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

Thankfully, we are now firmly on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau in New York State. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 58 since yesterday.

The Wrap Up – June 1, 2020

Region Reopening Progress

Currently the regions in Phase Two of the reopening process are the Finger Lakes (including Rochester), Mohawk Valley (including Utica), Central New York (including Syracuse), Southern Tier and North Country. Governor Cuomo announced today that the Western Region (including Buffalo) is expected to join them in Phase Two tomorrow, with the Capital Region to join Phase Two on Wednesday.

Protests

The Governor, acknowledging the protests around the State over the weekend, commended the State Police on their work in helping to deal with them in many upstate regions but remained worried as to what the ramifications of the mass gatherings could mean for the State’s COVID-19 infection rates.

In response to the ongoing unrest, Governor Cuomo proposed a Positive Reform Agenda to begin to help resolve the issues at hand, including:

  • National ban on excessive force and choke-holds
  • Independent investigations of police abuse, suggested AG investigate
  • Disciplinary records disclosed of police officers being investigated
  • Education equity
  • Anti-poverty agenda
  • A real national affordable housing plan

New York City Curfew Tonight

Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have imposed a curfew in New York City beginning tonight at 11 PM running until 5 AM tomorrow morning, at which time they will reevaluate the situation.  

Upcoming Legislative Session

Today, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie released the following statement in regard to the recent protests across the state.

“Today the Senate and Assembly had productive majority conferences to discuss the issues occurring in our communities that have caused so much unrest over the last several days. Members have bills on many topics related to these issues and we will be developing a legislative package based on the ideas put forward. We intend to act on them next week.”

 New York State COVID-19 Numbers

Thankfully, we are now firmly on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau in New York State. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 54 since yesterday.

The Wrap Up – May 30, 2020

Death Benefits for Families of COVID-19 Frontline Workers

Governor Cuomo today signed into law legislation (S.8427/A.10528) providing death benefits to the families of State and local government employees who lost their lives fighting the COVID-19 pandemic on the front lines in New York State.

Preparations for New York City Phase 1 Reopening on June 8th

The Governor today reiterated that New York City is on track to begin Phase 1 of the State’s reopening process on June 8th.   In preparation for this, the State today is adding ten more diagnostic testing sites in predominately low-income and minority communities in the City where new COVID-19 cases remain high.

Brooklyn Protests Aftermath

The Governor today called for New York State Attorney General Letitia James to conduct an independent review of actions and procedures used by law enforcement during Friday evening protests in Brooklyn and other areas of New York City.  The protests, over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, included the pepper spraying of two NYS legislators (Sen. Zellnor Myrie and Assemblywoman Diana Richardson) and the handcuffing of Sen. Myrie. 

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

Thankfully, we are now firmly on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau in New York State. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 67 since yesterday.

The Wrap Up – May 29, 2020

Five Regions Now Entering Phase 2 of Economic Reopening

Governor Cuomo today announced that five upstate regions – the North Country, Finger Lakes, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, and the Southern Tier – have satisfied the required statistical benchmarks to begin Phase 2 of New York State’s reopening process.  Phase 2 guidelines can be found here

Non-essential businesses that now can reopen in these regions include:

  • Office-Based Jobs: including professional services, administrative support, and information technology
  • Real Estate Services: including building and property management; and leasing, rental, and sales services
  • Retail: including in-store shopping; motor vehicle leasing, rental, and sales; barbershops and hair salons (for limited services); and retail rental, repair and cleaning

Businesses that remain closed include:

  • Malls
  • Dine-in and on-premise restaurant or bar service
  • Large gathering/event venues
  • Gyms, fitness centers, and exercise classes (except for remote or streaming services)
  • Video lottery and casino gaming facilities
  • Movie theaters (except drive-ins)
  • Places of public amusement

Additionally, the Governor announced a new early warning dashboard that aggregates the State’s COVID-19 data collection efforts for New Yorkers, government officials and experts to monitor and review how the virus is being contained on an ongoing basis. The early warning system dashboard, developed in consultation with internationally-known experts, can be found here.

New York City on Track to Begin Phase 1 Reopening on June 8th

The Governor and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the City is on track to start Phase 1 of the State’s reopening process on June 8th.   The Governor stated that for NYC to begin Phase 1, which would allow 400,000 workers to return to work, it must work on the following:

  • Hospital capacity must reach 70 percent
  • Establish a sufficient PPE (personal protective equipment) stockpile
  • Satisfy benchmarks for testing/contact tracing
  • MTA preparations
  • Focusing on COVID hotspots, which have already been identified by ZIP code

As part of its preparations for Phase 1 reopening, Mayor de Blasio announced that next week the City will provide small business owners with free facial coverings and create a hotline for business owners who have questions.

Legislative Session

Concluding work early this morning, the NYS Senate and Assembly passed a legislative package to help support New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare the State for future emergencies. The joint press release issued by the Senate and Assembly majority conferences, which also summarizes the bills passed by both houses, can be found here.

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

Thankfully, we are now firmly on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau in New York State. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 67 since yesterday.

The Wrap Up – May 28, 2020

New Executive Order

Governor Cuomo announced that a new Executive Order will be signed and published today that would allow all private business owners to require masks be worn while on their businesses premise. Additionally, the Governor introduced to the dais comedian Chris Rock and actress Rosie Perez and announced a new State advertising campaign with their assistance to help communicate the importance of wearing masks and using proper PPE as part of the people of New York City’s social responsibility. 


The Reopening of New York City

When asked about the status of the reopening of New York City, Governor Cuomo stated that the same rules apply to the City as the rest of the state, the metrics don’t change by region. The City is still three categories away from being able to reopen but they are expected to have one of those categories fulfilled soon by identifying the proper number tracers, leaving them still two categories short. The City now sits at 26% share of the needed available hospital beds and 29% share of the needed ICU beds available and both must reach 30% before it can begin to reopen. 

Legislative Session

Today both the Senate and the Assembly had a legislative session day and worked through a number of COVID-related bills. Negotiations over a few final bills remain ongoing, including legislation to grant death benefits to state and local employees who passed as a result of COVID-19 and a measure to allow NYC to borrow money to cover operating expenses in the short term.  

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

Thankfully, we are now firmly on the far side of the New York State COVID-19 plateau. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 74 again since yesterday.