Tuesday February 9, 2021
NYers with Comorbidities and Underlying Conditions Can Make Appointments at State - Run Mass Vaccination Sites Beginning Sunday, 2/14
Excess vaccine supply meant for hospital workers can be used to open eligibility for New Yorkers with comorbidities and underlying conditions. Local health departments will determine how, where and when to schedule appointments in their jurisdictions, and those appointments will begin as early as February 15. No local jurisdiction should accept appointments until the allocations are known, and no earlier than February 14.
"As the state's effort to vaccinate health care workers nears completion this week, we are now shifting those doses to prioritize those New Yorkers with comorbidities and pre-existing conditions - a group which has felt the brunt of COVID's destructiveness first-hand," Governor Cuomo said. "While this is a great step forward in ensuring the most vulnerable among us have access to this life-saving vaccine, it's no secret that any time you're dealing with a resource this scarce, there are going to be attempts to commit fraud and game the system. That's why it's been critically important that we put safeguards in place to prevent bad actors from slowing the distribution process and we have done just that. Again, I want to remind newly eligible New Yorkers to please be patient when beginning to schedule appointments - we can only administer as many doses as the federal supply allows and we're continuing to fight for more every day."
To show they have comorbidities or underlying conditions, New Yorkers must provide documentation as required by the facility where they are getting vaccinated which must be either:
  • Doctor's Letter, or
  • Medical Information Evidencing Comorbidity, or
  • Signed Certification 
New York State will audit local systems. The New York State Department of Health will host a call with county executives and local health departments to discuss strategies and compliance associated with vaccinating New Yorkers with comorbidities and underlying conditions.
The full list of comorbidities and underlying conditions is available below.
  • Cancer (current or in remission, including 9/11-related cancers)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Pulmonary Disease, including but not limited to, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and 9/11 related pulmonary diseases
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities including Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, or hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) including but not limited to solid organ transplant or from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, use of other immune weakening medicines, or other causes
  • Severe Obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2), Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or Thalassemia
  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Neurologic conditions including but not limited to Alzheimer's Disease or dementia
  • Liver disease
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli recently released the sales tax numbers for 2020, and they show that our area counties outperformed the state and finished the year far better than projected last spring when monthly receipts initially plummeted. 

Local sales tax receipts statewide were down 10% in 2020 compared to 2019. In the North Country, Clinton County was down just 3.2% despite facing the greatest impact from the loss of Canadian visitors and shoppers. Hamilton County and Warren County were down just 1.8% and 1.2% respectively. Two of our counties were up for 2020 compared to 2019. Essex County sales tax receipts were up 1.0% and Franklin County was up 6.9%.

   Factors certainly included stronger than once expected employment following the initial shut-down period; a strong commitment by our residents to spend locally; substantial growth in some retail categories such as building supplies and home improvements; the collection of county sales taxes on most on-line purchases now; and the increase in downstate visitors coming to our mountains and lakes.
February 26, 2021 - 7:30am
Join the North Country Chamber of Commerce for our annual State Legislative Forum - going virtual this year. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear from our North Country representatives about their agendas for the coming year and their strategies for economic growth moving through 2021. 

Speakers include:
  • State Senator Dan Stec
  • Assemblyman Billy Jones
  • Assemblyman Matt Simpson

  • Date: February 26th
  • Time: 7:30
  • Where: Virtually at your computer or on your smartphone
  • Registration:
  • $10/person for members & partner members
  • $15/person for not-yet-members
  • Proceeds will support the continued work of your Chamber during this time

Call Adriana at 518.563.1000 or email her with any questions. 
We look forward to "seeing" you!
North Country Chamber President Garry Douglas and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer held a webinar conversation Friday, focusing on issues in Washington highlighted in our recent Issue Survey. These include key elements of a new COVID relief bill, acceleration of COVID vaccine deployment, the planning process for eventual reopening of the border to travel, federal funding to close broadband gaps, supporting our region's Transportation Equipment producers, and help in bringing future service to Plattsburgh International Airport post-pandemic. The conversation was timely and useful, and we thank Leader Schumer for his time and attention.
Featuring MC Matt Boire and a crazy cast of Irish characters, the Luck of the Irish will "socially distance" celebrate a Chamber member at the Annual St. Patrick's Day event!

This special event is held each year to honor the Irishman of the Year, a tradition based on dedication of volunteerism, whether in business, the community, through civic activities or a combination of any of these.

This year might look a bit different, but we can promise you that this will not be your typical virtual event. No standing at a podium, lots of entertainment abound and fun surprises!

Join us to honor this year's Irishperson of the Year:
  • Date: Wednesday, March 17, 2021
  • Time: 8:00AM - 9:30AM
  • Location: Virtual (link will be sent once registration is received)
  • Registration Fees: $15 per members and partner members / $30 for not yet members
  • Proceeds will support the continued work of your Chamber during this time (Space is limited)
Fed’s Bullard Says Unemployment May Continue to Fall Rapidly
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said the U.S. economy is recovering faster from the Covid-19 slump than during previous downturns, and the unemployment rate may continue to fall rapidly.

“The U.S. labor-market recovery is about four years ahead of where it was following the 2007-09 recession,” Bullard said Wednesday in remarks prepared for delivery to CFA Society St. Louis.

Employment losses from the pandemic have been concentrated in temporary furloughs, and these workers may be called back faster than those who permanently lost jobs, Bullard said. A recall of those on temporary layoffs would bring the unemployment rate down to as low as 4.8% from 6.7%, he said.
February Artisan Market
Bundle up and come shop from local artists on our front lawn!

The perfect chance to get something unique and handmade for your sweetheart or just for you!
To help the North Country reopen safely and meet the state and local mandates, The North Country Chamber of Commerce has created a comprehensive list of resources to navigate state and local requirements. Check out the home page for details. There is also a series of webinars available for businesses to help educate and provide answers to common questions.
Today's Dose is Generously Supported By:
  • NYS Vaccination Updates: Official Site for making an appointment to get the COVID-19 Vaccine.
  • Forward NY: Official State Website for opening procedures and guidelines.
  • NYS Travel Advisory: Stay up to date on the latest NYS Travel Advisory Updates.
  • Looking for Supplies: If your business is looking for hard to find protective products, we have created a list of businesses offering hand sanitizer, gloves, wipes, masks and other items.
  • SCORE: Small business owners are resilient and can power through this challenging time, with SCORE by their side.
Have Questions? We're here to help!

North Country Chamber of Commerce