March 25, 2020
NYSAC Special Bulletin  

Between the Legislature and COVID-19, news is breaking at a pace like we’ve never experienced — and it all directly ties to the work New York’s counties are doing. To help keep you as updated as possible, NYSAC will be sending out daily “Special Bulletins.”
COVID-19 By the Numbers
As of 11:20am today (3/25), NYS has 30,811 total positive test results. This is an increase of 5,146 from yesterday. Of the 30,811 total positive results, 3,805 are hospitalized (12%). Of the 3,805 that are hospitalized, 888 are in the ICU – this means that 3% of the positives are in ICU and 23% of hospitalizations. 

To date, NYS has tested 103,479 individuals. About a 13,000 person increase from yesterday. 

There are 285 deaths from COVID-19 in NYS.
NYSAC Service Updates
Use of a P-Card for Supplies Could Generate Rebate Revenue 

Counties are making a lot of supplies purchases right now, and many of those purchases will be reimbursable by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). If your county has a purchasing card, we encourage you to consider using it to make some or many of the supplies purchases you are making right now. 

Your p-card could do two things for your county right now: first, it will streamline your purchasing process, and second, generate rebate revenue at a time when everyone is seeing a drop in revenue across the board.  
Take 5 NY

NYSAC is working with our communication consultant team to develop a campaign that county officials can deploy locally to encourage residents to take just five minutes out of each day to call, text, Facetime, or skype with a friend, loved one, or acquaintance who may be alone during this period of social distancing.
The stress and loneliness associated with social distancing is real, and this is one way that we can help break down some of that stress and let our friends, neighbors, and loved ones know that they are being remembered and thought of during this time.

We will work with this group to create the messaging and then we will begin deploying this to members tomorrow or Friday and over the weekend.
Counties Innovating in Response to COVID-19
Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan continued his series of Facebook Live Townhalls today with a special appearance of NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to discuss the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on communities in Ulster County and statewide. 
See more unique ways in with counties are working with their communities at our daily COVID-19 blog.

Update from Governor Cuomo

At his daily press conference, Governor Cuomo announced that he has signed off on New York City’s plan to reduce density— reducing density on playgrounds, no contact sports—and they are exploring opening streets to foot traffic.

Evidence suggests the density control plan is working as preliminary data suggest that the number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 may be dropping:

  • Sunday – hospitalizations doubling every 2 days.
  • Monday – every 3.4 days.
  • Tuesday– every 4.7 days.

State officials are still predicting that the apex of need could be in approximately 21 days and that the need to ramp up hospital capacity, beds, staff, equipment (ventilators) remains. 

Must Reads

Dr. John P.A. Ioannidis, an epidemiologist and co-director of Stanford’s Meta-Research Innovation Center, pointed out that we still do not have a firm grasp of the population-wide fatality rate of coronavirus. A look at some of the best available evidence today, though, indicates it may be 1 percent and could even be lower.
Utility Providers Postpone Rate Increases

PSC approved the postponement of rate increases that were supposed to go into effect on April 1. This will impact two million New Yorkers. New York American Water’s rate increases will now go into effect in September. National Grid’s increase will go into effect in July.

NYS Department of Health Formalizes Regulations
Today’s NYS register contains the notice of emergency rulemaking for the emergency regulations adopted by the Public Health and Health Planning Council on March 9, 2020 related to isolation and quarantine. 

These emergency regulations have been in effect since March 9; this is just the formal public notice. 

The regulations: 
  • Further define various terms related to isolation and quarantine; 
  • Expand the State Commissioner of Health’s authority during outbreaks; 
  • Further define roles and responsibilities of local health departments and attending physicians; and 
  • Address civil penalties. 

LHDs have received these regulations and were encouraged to share them with county attorneys as needed.

Again, these emergency regulations have been in effect, and this is just the formal public notice. 

The main thing these regulations do is provide NYSDOH with the authority to take the lead in certain circumstances. Previously, under state statute, local governments had the authority over isolation and quarantine regulations. 
Bi-Partisan Agreement on Economic Stimulus Package 
At 2am this morning, the Senate, and White House reached a bi-partisan agreement on a 3rd stimulus package. This package is a sweeping $1.7 trillion bill to help jump start the economy. 

Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand were able to provide a summary of the legislation. 

Neither the U.S. Senate nor House of Representatives have passed this legislation. At this point, this legislation is a framework for an agreement, not enacted law. We do not know whether the House will pass this legislation as is or if they will seek to modify the bill. The timeline for this legislation to be passed remains unknown at this time. 

Some of the legislative proposals contained within the package, include:

  • $150 billion state and local government stimulus program. Of this allocation, $150 billion dollars will deliver at least $5.8 billion to New York, and with more than a $1.4 billion going to NYC and about half-a-billion to Long Island.
  • $260 billion unemployment insurance expansion program. The plan will deliver at least $15 billion directly to New York. Payments of $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples accounts for another $15.5B to New York.
  • $150 billion for a new program to provide direct aid to health care institutions on the front line of this crisis—hospitals, public entities, not-for profit entities, and Medicare and Medicaid enrolled suppliers and institutional providers—to cover costs related to this public health crisis.
  • $16 billion to replenish the Strategic National Stockpile supplies of pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, and other medical supplies, which are distributed to State and local health agencies, hospitals and other healthcare entities facing shortages during emergencies.
  • $4.3 billion to support federal, state, and local public health agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus, including for the purchase of personal protective equipment; laboratory testing to detect positive cases; infection control and mitigation at the local level to prevent the spread of the virus; and other public health preparedness and response activities.
  • And more.

 Watch for additional analysis from NYSAC as the legislation moves through Congress. 

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