COVID-19: New York State and New York City Press Conference Weekly Highlights

NY State Government: Week in Review

Governor Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio provide daily press briefings on the status of New York State and New York City’s COVID-19 response. The Manatt team provides daily updates of these briefings, and going forward we will provide the highlights of important weekly actions being taken in New York State and New York City.

Please contact Laura Manley at LManley@manatt.com with any questions.

Governor Andrew Cuomo Press Conference Highlights

Top Line Items From Saturday, May 2, to Friday, May 8, 2020:

Friday, May 8

  • Governor Cuomo announced that he would be extending the statute of limitations for individuals to file claims under the Child Victims Act, moving the deadline from August 2020 to January 2021.
  • The Governor announced that while rare, New York is seeing evidence that COVID-19 can cause pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, with symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and or a toxic shock-like syndrome.
  • Governor Cuomo provided updated data showing racial disparities among those being infected with COVID-19 and experiencing higher fatality rates.

Thursday, May 7

  • Governor Cuomo announced antibody test results from 25 downstate healthcare facilities, which showed healthcare workers were infected at a slightly lower rate than the general population—demonstrating the effectiveness of and the need for continued use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Governor Cuomo said he will be extending through June his Executive Order which prohibits evictions of tenants who cannot pay their rent due to coronavirus.

Wednesday, May 6

  • Governor Cuomo announced “surprising” initial findings based on three days of data provided by New York’s hospitals regarding new COVID-19 patients coming to their facilities. Initial results show that many of the new patients are unemployed, not using public transportation, are staying home, and are predominantly downstate and minorities.
  • The Governor announced that Michael Dowling of Northwell Health will be leading the effort to reimagine New York’s healthcare system so that hospitals can operate as one system in a public health emergency.
  • According to the Governor, Eric Schmidt, former CEO and executive chairman of Google, and founder of Schmidt Futures, has agreed to serve as chair of the state’s 15-member blue-ribbon commission to reimagine New York to use new technologies in our future economy.

Tuesday, May 5

  • The Governor announced that the state will work with the Gates Foundation to convene experts to develop a “blueprint” to reimagine education in the new normal.
  • The Governor will be extending his executive order which allows out-of-state licensed practitioners to practice in New York State, without a New York license, past the current May 15, 2020 deadline.

Monday, May 4

  • The Governor announced further details today regarding how we will know New York is ready to reopen. The core factors to determining when a region is ready include:
    • Monitoring new infections
    • Healthcare capacity
    • Diagnostic testing capacity
    • Contact tracing capacity
  • Governor Cuomo also provided information related to the phased reopening of businesses across the state once a region is determined to be ready to reopen. There are four phases. The first phase will include:
    • Construction
    • Manufacturing and wholesale supply chain
    • Select retail—curbside pickup
  • In order for businesses to reopen, they must “reimagine” their operations to be safe—in compliance with new standards addressing people, places and processes.

Sunday, May 3

  • The Governor announced a northeastern states purchasing consortium will be formed to purchase roughly $5 billion in supplies for these states.
    • NY, PA, NJ, DE, CT, MA and RI have agreed to join the consortium at this point.
  • The Governor announced that hospitals will be directed to acquire and maintain a 90-day supply of PPE, assuming a COVID-19-level burn rate, in advance of the fall.

Saturday, May 2

  • The Governor announced that New York has completed the country’s largest antibody survey of 15,000 people to develop a baseline of infection rate, which now stands at 12.3%, down from 14.9% as of April 27.
  • Governor Cuomo, Pat Foye and Sarah Feinberg were in Queens to tour an MTA facility, where they announced further details of the plan to close NYC subways each day from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. for cleaning, including information on the organizations that the MTA had reached out to in order to coordinate, the number of cleaners in place to get the job done, and the need to remove the homeless from these trains each day.
  • New York State is distributing $25 million to food banks across the state while continuing to ask for philanthropic donations to be made to help New York’s most vulnerable.

Mayor DeBlasio Press Conference Highlights

Top Line Items From Saturday, May 2, to Friday, May 8, 2020:

Friday, May 8

  • The Mayor announced the launch of New York City’s Test & Trace Corps, which will focus on preventing infection, with a goal to deploy 2,500 public health foot soldiers by June while also conducting thousands of tests daily, with a goal of 50,000 tests per day.
  • The City will be approaching enforcement of social distancing a bit differently this weekend by getting NYPD and other agency employees out to parks early to limit the number of people and the time allowed in tight spaces.

Thursday, May 7

  • The Mayor announced a new antibody testing initiative for everyday New Yorkers through a partnership with BioReference Labs.
  • Mayor De Blasio announced a free telehealth hotline, Phone-a-Clinician Hotline: 844-NYC-4NYC.

Wednesday, May 6

  • The Mayor announced six of ten Sector Advisory Councils to help the Mayor and his team as they work toward reopening New York City.
  • Mayor DeBlasio announced that additional Open Streets throughout the City would come online May 7.

Tuesday, May 5

  • Mayor DeBlasio announced improvements to the City’s 311 system to include additional call-takers and call centers, including the addition of “express lanes” for COVID-19-related questions and those who are looking for food.
  • The Mayor announced a new health alert for uncommon symptoms children may have that are presenting coronavirus atypically; these symptoms include fever, rash, abdominal pain and vomiting.
  • New York City, in partnership with the CDC, will offer 140,000 antibody tests to healthcare workers and first responders.

Monday, May 4

  • The Mayor announced that there will be 7.5 million face coverings distributed throughout the City free of charge, in addition to those that were distributed last weekend.
  • New York City will be providing iPads to students with disabilities in nonpublic schools.

Sunday, May 3

  • Mayor DeBlasio announced that New York City is actively producing test kits through local partnerships.
  • The GetFood Delivery Assistance Program is seeking nonprofit providers to help build capacity to provide 1 million meals a day.
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