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 11:00am yesterday (3/23), NYS has 20,875 total positive test results. This is an increase of 5,707 from yesterday. Of the 20,875 total positive results, 2,635 are hospitalized (13%). Of the 2,635 that are hospitalized, 621 are in the ICU – this means that 24% of the hospitalizations are in ICU.  

To date, NYS has tested 78,289 individuals. About a 16,000 person increase from yesterday. 25% of all tests in the United States are being administered in New York State.
New York State Update
At his daily press conference yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced that he had accepted the Army Corps of Engineers’ recommendation for four temporary hospital sites in New York State; Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Old Westbury and the Westchester Convention Center. Hospitals at the SUNY campus sites will be constructed indoors with outdoor tent support and the dormitories on the campuses will be used for healthcare staff to stay while working at the sites.

He also announced that New York State has secured 339,760 N-95 masks; 861,700 surgical masks; 353,500 gloves; 145,122 gowns; and 197,085 face shields. 

Additionally, the Governor announced that FDA has given NYS DOH approval to begin testing a new drug that is being developed in New York State. This drug takes the plasma from an infected person, processes it and injects the antibodies into a person who is sick. When a person is injected with the antibodies, this stimulates and promotes immune system with disease. 

The Governor stressed that this is only a trial and will be tested on serious COVID-19 cases.
Looking for More Info on Essential vs. Non-Essential?

State Budget Remains in a Holding Pattern

Activity at the Capitol remains minimal. The budget is now being negotiated at the secretary level (Robert Mujica- DOB; Todd Scheurmann- Senate; Blake Washington- Assembly).

We will keep you posted throughout this week, as we expect there to be progress on some form of a state budget this week, now that we are less than 10 days from the beginning of the new fiscal year.

Lawmakers are only going to return to Albany this week to pass a budget. As of today, they have not been given a return date. We anticipate a budget will be voted on towards the end of the week.  
Content, Content, Content!

Every day we are posting new content to our COVID-19 Blog! Right now we have three new posts:

Keep checking our COVID-19 section of our website where we’re constantly posting new guidance from the state other helpful information, including:

And as always, send us questions or ideas to coronavirus@nysac.org.
Spotlight on County Clerks

County Clerks hold two main functions throughout our State. They operate local DMV’s and in a separate office they perform more commonly thought of Clerk functions- accepting and recording court filings and property transactions. 

Executive Order 202.8 requires all DMV related transactions to be online. This effectively closed the doors to local DMV’s, however even with the doors closed we have heard many Country DMV’s are still working either from home or are closed to the pubic with proper spacing capacity. Here employees are catching up on back work and some have provided a drop box if any car dealer work is outstanding and needs processing. 

As for the County Clerks Office, on Sunday Judge Marks sent a memo to all Clerks (you can find the memo on our website here ) stating that while Courts are limited during this order they are still filing certain essential documents that the Clerk must process during this time. Many of these can be handled through the e-filing process. Not listed in the memo is real property transfers, however most Clerks we have spoken to have a process to still accept and record real property transaction through either e-recording or a drop box.  
Public Utility Resources

Yesterday, public broadcasting stations throughout the state begin providing "Learn-at-Home" programming  that has been endorsed by the State Education Department (SED). Check the website of your local PBS station for details. 

SED has a website listing continuity of learning resources.

Charter-Spectrum is offering free Spectrum broadband access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. Installation fees are waived for student households. To enroll, call (844) 488-8395. 
Required Reading
New York received $4.5 billion in stimulus (ARRA) funding in federal fiscal year 2009, $5.4 billion in FY 2010 and $3.6 billion in 2011 (an amount that was lower because the aid increase expired on December 31, 2010).

New York’s experience under that law suggests that the language about “eligibility standards, methodologies or procedures” was interpreted to cover eligibility restrictions only. Under this interpretation, states could not, for example, lower the income cut-off for Medicaid enrollment or impose work requirements, but they would be free to change other aspects of Medicaid, such as benefit design and reimbursement rates.

Under that interpretation, some of the Medicaid Redesign Team’s proposals would be temporarily prohibited during the emergency period, while others could move forward.

A visual guide to the cost of Congress plans for coronavirus stimulus package to send cash to Americans and help distressed industries, in graphics.
Governor Launches Site to Facilitate Volunteerism

The Governor’s office has created a special dedicated page for all offers of assistance – selling supplies, donating supplies, nurses wishing to recertify, etc. Counties should contact the Director of Regional Affairs, Kara Grippen with questions kara.grippen@exec.ny.gov and counties should encourage their residents to visit:
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Doubtful School Will Return This Year

In an interview yesterday morning with PIX11, Mayor de Blasio stated that while the goal is to re-open NYC schools by April 20th, he can’t see that happening. “We're going to make that judgment as we get closer. But at the trajectory we're on now, I can't see it. I do, unfortunately, believe the likelihood right now is that we lose the whole school year, which is really, really deeply unfortunate.” 
Upcoming Webinar

On Thursday at 3pm, NYSAC will be joined by Karlee Bolanos, attorney in Monroe County to provide counties with a synopsis of the following:

  • Governor’s Executive Orders Overview
  • New York Paid Sick Leave Bill
  • Federal – Emergency Paid Sick leave
  • Federal – Emergency FMLA Expansion
  • Normal FMLA/ADA/NYSHRL Interplay as it may apply to COVID-19
  • Examples to teach how this will work

Watch for an invitation to register for this webinar in the near future!
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