The Wrap Up – May 22, 2020

Long Island and Mid-Hudson Regions on Track for Phase 1 Reopening Next Week

Governor Cuomo today stated that the Long Island and Mid-Hudson regions are on track to begin Phase 1 of New York State’s reopening process next week.  Reopening will be permitted if the number of deaths continues to decrease and the required contact tracing benchmark is reached.  Anticipating this reopening, the Governor announced that construction staging can begin in these regions.

Legislative Session Scheduled for Next Week

According to today’s joint press release, NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced that the Legislature plans to convene session next week “to pass legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”  Although the press release mentions that committee meetings are scheduled, committee agendas have yet to be posted as of Friday afternoon.  All proceedings will be broadcast and will take place using web-based teleconference and video conference.

New York Forward Loan Fund for Small Businesses

The Governor today announced the State’s launch of the New York Forward Loan Fund.  This program will provide more than $100 million in loans to small businesses (particularly minority- and women-owned small businesses) that did not receive federal COVID-19 assistance.  The State will focus this lending on businesses with 20 or fewer employees and less than $3 million in gross revenues.  Interested parties should visit: esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans.

Testing and Tracing Updates

To continue expanding its diagnostic testing capacity, New York State is launching a new pilot program with 52 independent pharmacies to conduct 7,000 tests per week.  Testing locations can be found at the following site: coronavirus.health.ny.gov.

Additionally, the Governor announced that the State will be making its contact tracing training curriculum, developed in partnership with former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, available at no cost to all states through the National Governors Association. 

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 109 since yesterday.