Sunday, June 14, 2020

Governor Cuomo Announces Western New York Expected to Enter Phase 3 of Reopening June 16 and Capital Region Expected to Enter Phase 3 of Reopening on June 17

Announces Lowest Number of Hospitalizations and Deaths Since Pandemic Began

Governor Signs Legislation Suspending the Forfeiture of Unemployment Benefits During the COVID-19 State of Emergency

Governor Signs Legislation Repealing Criminalization of Wearing a Mask in Public

Only 1.29 Percent of Yesterday's COVID Tests Were Positive

Confirms 916 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 382,630; New Cases in 37 Counties

Governor Cuomo: "The New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative is a major step forward, and I believe it's a moment to turn the page on this entire issue. We've seen the protests, we've seen the demonstrations. The people of this nation have made their voice heard. They are outraged after Mr. Floyd's murder. The formula that works is demonstration, protest, make your case, then make change, legislation, institutionalize the point that you were making, and then reconciliation. Demonstration, legislation, reconciliation. Reverend Sharpton was here yesterday, and those were his words. He's exactly right."

Cuomo: "Western New York is expected to move to Phase Three on this Tuesday. Capital Region should move to Phase Three on Wednesday. But as usual, we have to stay smart. Look around the nation and look at what is going on. We're not in a vacuum. This virus spreads. We learned the hard way through cases in California for weeks when this started before they came here. Look at the signs across the country and the signs across the country are frightening. The COVID virus is increasing in just about half the states. Half the states, it's going up. You have 14 states that have seen a 25% increase in the past week. Think about that. This is a frightening time. We thought that we were past it. Well, the beast is rearing its ugly head."

Cuomo: "Wear a mask... I say that to the protesters -- I also say to the police, wear a mask. It is the law, and the law is the law for the police, right? So, wear a mask. It is the state law. It's not an option."

  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Western New York is expected to enter Phase 3 of reopening June 16 and the Capital Region is expected to enter Phase 3 of reopening on June 17 following a review of regional data by global public health experts. Business guidance for phase three of the state's reopening plan is available here.

The Governor also announced the state has reached the lowest number of hospitalizations and deaths since the pandemic began. The number of total hospitalizations was down yesterday to lowest level since March 20 to 1,734. Thirty-two people in New York passed away due to COVID-19, down from a record-high of 800 just nine weeks ago.  

The Governor also signed legislation (S.8275-A/A.10348) suspending the forfeiture of unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 state of emergency, aligning with the Executive Order issued by the Governor on May 14, 2020. Over 44 million Americans across the United States have applied for unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this number is expected to grow as the pandemic continues. Individuals who have had forfeit penalties levied against them from past claims are currently unable to collect their unemployment benefits. This new law will allow those individuals to collect these critical benefits in their time of greatest need even if forfeit penalties have been enacted against them.

The Governor also signed legislation (S.8415/A.10446-A) repealing criminalization of wearing a mask in public. The Governor previously issued an Executive Order requiring that New Yorkers wear face coverings while in public to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and this new law will remove any legal conflicts with the outdated provision banning the wearing of masks in public and the Governor's Executive Order.

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