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 today (3/21), New York State has 10,356 total positive test results. This is an increase of 3,254 from yesterday. Of the 10,356 total positive results, 1,603 are hospitalized (15%).
To date, New York State has tested 45,437 individuals, a 12,000 person increase from yesterday. 
Governor Announces Potential Hospital Sites and Increases Non-Essential Work from Home Order to 100%
Today Governor Cuomo announced he has identified 1 million N95 masks and will be purchasing them and sending them to NYC, Long Island, and the hardest hit areas.

The Governor is also ending elective surgeries at hospitals (executive order pending) and is requesting the federal government (Army Corps of Engineers) to build 4 field hospitals.

Yesterday, the Governor announced he signed a new Executive Order requiring 100% of non-essential private sector employees to work from home, effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22. This order excludes pharmacies, grocery stores, and food delivery services. Additionally, the order temporarily bans all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason.

Governor Cuomo also announced "Matilda's Law" to protect New York's vulnerable senior populations, including individuals age 70 and older, those with compromised immune systems and those with underlying illnesses. The measure requires this group of New Yorkers to stay home and limit home visitation to immediate family members or close friends in need of emergency assistance. Learn more about these actions here.

Since March 7, the Governor has issued 8 executive orders (EO 202.0 - 202.7). You can find them all on our website and www.nysac.org/health
Looking for More Info on Essential vs. Non-Essential?

State Budget Negotiations Grind to a Halt

DOB staff has informed us that the legislature has not reached out to talk since Tuesday, so in short, negotiations have stalled. 

Lobbyists are speculating a bare bones budget to be voted on Monday or Tuesday. 
We can now state that the final state budget will include a 10% cut to local county mental health admin funds and while we tried to collectively advocate on a restoration to a 50/50 cost share with state on 730 competency, we can now project that the final budget will include a 100% cost shift to counties. 

The state is looking at doing an omnibus provision within the state budget to extend all outstanding local home rule bills - sales tax, mortgage recording tax, etc. We now anticipate the budget being enacted next week.

Send Your Questions, Share Your Successes

NYSAC has created special email address to help us assist counties with responding to the pandemic - coronavirus@nysac.org

Send your questions, best practices, or coronavirus response plans. This can serve as a clearinghouse for information that will be turned into an invaluable tool for other counties as we share it to our website or otherwise disseminate to counties.  
States Ask Federal Government for Emergency Medicaid Funding

National Governor’s Association sent a letter to Senate and House leaders urging them to increase FMAP reimbursement by 12%. For New York State, this would increase the FMAP federal match from 50% to 62%. Note that H.R. 6201 increased FMAP federal match from 50% to 56.2%. 

NYSAC along with our federal partners and in partnership with several counties across the state and country are advocating to maintain the statutory language to preserve the FMAP sharing arrangement so counties will obtain fiscal relief through this legislation.  

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)
It’s been an unbelievably busy week as counties have been forced to respond to this global pandemic. Here are some things published by NYSAC that you may have missed:

A conversation with Westchester County Executive George Latimer and staff in which they discuss emergency response that has taken place over the past two weeks.

NYSAC teamed up with Summers Strategies to publish a report on how to effectively communicate with your constituents during a crisis.

Check out the latest articles on our COVID-19 blog. 

Procedures for Review of Executive Orders

The State has exercised its authority to direct and coordinate all emergency response operations and activities to respond to COVID-19 and requires every local government (e.g. county, city, town, and village) to obtain the approval of the New York State Department of Health prior to issuing any emergency order pursuant to Executive Law §24. (See EO 202.5). 

In accordance with Executive Orders 202.3 and 202.5, approval shall not be granted for any order or portion thereof that is different, inconsistent with, conflicts with, or supersedes any state orders or directives. 

No local emergency order shall be effective, valid, or with legal effect without compliance with the procedures set forth herein. The procedures provided below set forth the mandatory process that every local government must comply with to submit a request to the Department of Health.

This process does not apply to and does not create a new state approval process for: the issuance of quarantine or isolation orders to specified individuals; local State of Emergency Declarations; renewal of existing emergency orders; or orders that do not affect the public.

A copy of the full guidance is on the NYSAC website, www.nysac.org/health   
California Joins New York in Ordering People to Stay Home

This week, Governor Newsom of California instituted a sweeping new executive order requiring all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction. See the California Executive Order here: https://covid19.ca.gov/img/Executive-Order-N-33-20.pdf  

Suffolk County Best Practices - Senior Meal Sites

This week, Suffolk County held a briefing with county food suppliers and industry. The County has instituted senior shopping hours (earlier hours), and limits on certain purchases. Here in Albany County, grocery stores have taken it upon themselves to institute similar initiatives for older Americans. 
School District Guidance

The State Education Department has released guidance to school districts, principals, superintendents and school district leaders on statewide school closures. NYSAC has provided guidance on our website for review. The guidance includes procedures and advice for feeding school children during the COVID-19 school closures, continuity of learning, childcare plans, emotional and mental health resources, student medication, and COVID-19 school district plans. Learn more here.

Federal Government Moves to Provide Essential Medical Supplies

The President issued an Executive Order invoking the Defense Production Act. Under the Defense Production Act, the President has the authority to determine that certain supplies are essential for the national defense during emergencies. The President’s action allows the Administration, if it becomes necessary, to order the distribution of health and medical supplies to where they are most needed. You can find the Executive Order  here

The President signed a memorandum directing his Administration to make general-use face masks available to healthcare workers (more   here ). The President also signed legislation removing restrictions that prevented manufacturers from selling industrial masks – which can readily protect healthcare workers – directly to hospitals. 
HHS announced it will be purchasing 500 million N95 respirators for the Strategic National Stockpile (more  here ). 

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