Saturday, May 16, 2020

Mayor de Blasio Helps Distribute Face Coverings in Queens, What About the Bronx Mr. Mayor?

Mayor Bill de Blasio at the introduction of the New York Cares program at Lincoln Hospital.
Does the mayor really care about the Bronx?


On Saturday, Mayor de Blasio will help distribute face coverings in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. 

Approximately 12:00 PM – Distributes Face Coverings
Flushing Meadows Corona Park Aquatic Center
131-04 Meridian Road
Queens, NY 11368

Why Don't you come to the Bronx and do this Mr. Mayor?

MAYOR DE BLASIO on COVID-19 - May 15, 2020

  Mayor Bill de Blasio: Good morning, everybody. You know, we're going to look back on these times and we're going to remember them very, very deeply. And I think there's going to be a story written, a story told of what happened here in New York City and how the people of New York City responded to this unprecedented crisis. And I think it's going to be a story that is filled with a lot of heroism, a lot of selflessness, a lot of compassion, a lot of teamwork and certainly it's going to be a story of people adapting in ways we never could have imagined and with lightning speed, because remember 8.6 million people, all of us together here in one place – and not that big a place, meaning there's not a lot of room, but there's a whole lot of people. We had only days to change our lifestyle, to adapt to a whole set of new realities and New Yorkers did amazing things in those days and continue to.

Now, this is going to be a different summer than any summer we've experienced in the history of New York City. And a lot of the things that we love about summer – we love barbecues, picnics, ballgames, going to the beach, all sorts of things. Those things are going to be different for the foreseeable future and there's a lot of things that we would look forward to doing that we can't yet do. Doesn't mean that's a judgment on the whole summer yet, we're going to take this day by day, week by week, but we know right now the lot of the things that we would look forward to doing, starting right away, we're just not ready for. But what we can guarantee is the heat is coming no matter what. And last year we saw some very sobering reality around the heat. It was the 10th hottest July in recorded history in New York City, and you remember those particularly hot days. It's not only uncomfortable, it's not only going to be a challenge in terms of social distancing and everything else we're dealing with, it can be dangerous unto itself. The heat itself, we've learned more and more of the hard way, can be dangerous. We're seeing this all over the country, all over the world. Obviously, because of global warming, things are changing and we're seeing a kind of heat we haven't seen before so much and we take it seriously. We understand the lives on the line. So, we're putting forward today the beginning of a plan to protect New Yorkers – these are the first steps, more to come – and this is all about protecting New Yorkers and helping them through the summer as comfortably as possible and as safe as possible.

So, we have three goals for our summer heat plan. First, protect the health and safety of the most vulnerable. Second, give New Yorkers safe, positive cooling options, different in many cases than what we've known in the past. Third, prevent power outages and, God forbid, they happen, be able to respond to them quickly. I'll go through each of them now. Protecting the most vulnerable – okay, so in every crisis we work to save everyone, protect everyone, protect the health, protect their safety, but we know some people bear the brunt in the heat. It is those who have the least ability to provide options for themselves who are the most vulnerable. Who is that? Many times that's our seniors, many times that's lower-income New Yorkers who don't have air conditioning. It's people who can't leave their home even if they wanted to because of disability or other challenges. It's folks who have chronic health conditions, certainly mirrors a lot of what we're seeing in terms of the impact of the coronavirus, but the heat has elements that allow us to hone in on those who need help the most and literally know person by person, department by department, who are some of the people that need the most help, and that's guiding us in our strategy to proactively get help to people and protect them against any heat wave that might be ahead. So, I'm going to go over some of the key elements of how we will protect the most vulnerable New Yorkers. First, we're going to be providing more and more a growing initiative to provide free air conditioners to low-income seniors who need them. Again, remember, senior citizens often with the fewest options, sometimes limited mobility, a lot of times lower income. These are the folks who are in the most dangerous situation. Many have major preexisting health conditions. Knowing that low-income seniors are the most vulnerable, we're going to start initiative right away to get them air conditioners. We're going to have 74,000 air conditioners in the first wave of this initiative, 22,000 of which will go to residents of public housing. We're going to identify the individuals need the most working with our colleagues at NYCHA public housing, at the Department for the Aging, our housing department, HPD and the Human resources administration, so we'll identify those who need help the most, we'll reach out to them, confirm that an air conditioner makes sense for them, and then we'll begin installations. Those installations will start next week. This is a $55 million investment and $20 million of it will come from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority – NYSERDA. And we are very, very appreciative to everyone at NYSERDA, everyone at the State government for their participation in this effort. It’s absolutely going to protect our seniors and help save lives no matter what mother nature throws at us. The remainder of the cost is – it’s an area of a public investment that is eligible for federal reimbursement. We want to make sure that we get those federal grants to offset the cost.

Second, we want to help lower income New Yorkers with summer utility bills. Now, look, first of all, summer utility bills go up in general. This summer, they could go up a lot more because more and more people are staying home sheltering in place. On top of that, you have so many people who have lost their livelihood. So, we want to focus on people who are struggling to pay the bills and we want to make sure that it can stay safe and stay cool and have the air conditioning they need. So, right now, there are almost half a million New Yorkers who get a subsidy for their air conditioning needs from the New York State public service commission – that's fantastic and we appreciate that. We are petitioning the public service commission to double its current commitment and that would mean for the average customer $160 more typically to help them defray the costs and help them have the air conditioning they need. So, for so many working people, lower-income people, particularly people who've lost their paycheck, this could be a lot of what helps them get through the summer both safely and in a way that helps them pay the bills. Now, again, some of this involves partnership with the State and we are very, very appreciative for all the things that we're doing together to protect lives. New York State gets a home energy funding from the cares act. We're going to reach out to the State and see if this is another area we can team up to magnify the amount of people we can reach.

So, we've got to keep people cool to protect their lives and their safety, but we also have to have cooling centers that work for this moment in history. So, we're going to be looking at a number of locations, particularly locations that are larger and allow for social distancing and we're going to be making sure they are places where seniors and folks who are vulnerable can go and be comfortable and have some things to do during those hot days. Again, lots of space will be needed. So, some of the traditional cooling centers will work, but some won't. So, we're going to be looking at libraries, we're going to looking at large community centers gyms, sports venues, auditoriums, arenas, you name it – places that will afford us some bigger open spaces that we can turn into cooling centers, of course, with social distancing, with the right use of PPEs and face coverings. And we want to make sure that there's something to do. If people going to be there all day, especially if it's days in a row, we want to make sure there's programming and things for people that do, particularly if it's families coming in with kids, we want good things to keep those kids entertained, but that are also safe. So, that's the cooling centers.

Second, we're going to be focusing on a variety of ways to cool people and keep people hydrated, this is so much, so much a crucial piece of protecting health and safety in a heatwave is hydration. So, first of all, we know that some of the things that people traditionally do, the beaches and the public pools, that's not in the cards right now. Again, we'll see what the future brings, but not right now. But what our Parks Department will do is create misting oasis – I think that's a beautiful phrase – that misting oasis and spray showers. So, new opportunities just to get people some cooling water on them and keep them cool kids in particular in the middle of summer. And there's a plan coming up in the coming days to take a classic New York City option and use it the right way, which is opening up hydrants. There's a way to do that that can provide cooling for a lot of people, a lot of kids in particular on their blocks, but can be done the right way, the safe way and the way that doesn't undermine the work of the FDNY. So, we’ll have more to say on that in the next few days. And we're going to help New Yorkers hydrate in addition to the other types of food we're providing and beverages that we're providing, either by delivery or pickup, we're going to include a lot more of the hydrating kinds of liquids, the Gatorades and the Pedialyte that will help people during this kind of crisis.

Now, I mentioned that we have a real concern as we always do, but we certainly saw it last summer in terms of preventing power outages and being raised respond no matter what. So, this is a crucial piece of the plan and we know that the more people are using electricity, the more strain it puts on the electrical grid and that's a real challenge. Now, this is going to be a strange summer. By every measure, we're going to see a lot less commercial activity. There's obviously not traditional tourism now, which is a big part of what happens in summer the City, there's not a lot of the big events, you know, there's no big events. And so, the things that often took up a lot of energy won't be there, the whole larger commercial reality, even though it may come back in small pieces, nothing like we would normally see in the summer. But on the other hand, a lot more people home, a lot more people using air conditioning. So, we have to be ready and we've been dealing with ConEd on this early to get ready and we've put new protocols in place with ConEd to see the warning signs earlier to predict problems earlier and take appropriate steps. There are a number of steps that can be taken if there is a danger of a blackout, a looming or an outage looming. And we're going to make sure there's tight coordination with ConEd and a lot more communication between ConEd and all of its partners and government, but also with the people. So, we can address these issues early has been a regular series of meetings with ConEd, a new approach to a situation room jointly between ConEd and our emergency management leadership. Our mandate to ConEd is to alert us even the slightest sign of a problem so we can all act together, and we can inform the public. And the public always plays a role here because the public can make adjustments in the way people are using energy and that makes a big, big impact..

Also, we want to focus on our seniors, we want to focus on nursing homes and adult care facilities. We need to make sure, and this is something we'll work closely with the State on, that every facility has a plan in place and is ready if there's ever an outage. And we're going to work with the State and certainly encourage the State to mandate that every one of these adult facilities and nursing homes has generator capacity ready to go in the event of a crisis. So, we'll be working on this every day as we get into the summer to prepare to protect everyone, but particular focus again on our seniors. So, this is the beginning of the plan more to come, it's as usual going to require all of us to think a little differently, do some things differently, watch out for each other, something New Yorkers do really, really well. Watch out for their fellow New Yorkers. If the results of the last weeks are any indication, people are going to make these adjustments to help each other out and help us move forward the same way we have already.

Okay. Now I want to come to a very sober topic and it's one we've been talking about now over the last week or more and it is one that has continuing to cause tremendous concern to all of us, which is pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, P.M.I.S. This is about protecting our kids from something that we are seeing differently than we've seen before. And again, a huge amount of energy is being expended in the medical field, not just here in New York City but all over to understand what's happening here and address it as quickly as possible. So, the numbers continue to concern us, we now have 110 confirmed cases, 54 percent of those cases either the child tested positive for COVID-19 or a tested positive for antibodies. And as I've said, we lost one child and I want us all to work together and parents to do everything you possibly can to make sure we don't lose another child in this crisis.

We have preliminary data on the demographic breakout of the kids affected, but I want to emphasize very preliminary cause it's only 110 cases, that's way too many. But in the sense of trying to understand this challenge, 110 cases is obviously a small number in the scheme of things and that the data is inherently incomplete as you'll see on the ethnic breakout. But we want to give people what we have as we have it. So here you see the age breakout, the number one category has been the youngest kids zero to four. The next category in terms of percentage effected five years old to nine years old. The next category 10 years old to 14 years old. And the category we've seen it the least end is 15 years old and up. So, this is initial information, but we want people to see and be particularly vigilant with our youngest kids. We see as we have seen with the coronavirus itself, more impact on males than females, and that is something that's still obviously being studied. The borough breakout here, the number one impact has been in the Bronx, followed by Queens and then Brooklyn with much less in Manhattan and Staten Island. And then the ethnic racial breakout, which again is incomplete because almost 40 percent of this is still not classified, meaning kids that we're still not getting the details but so far again, sobering – 24 percent African American, 14 percent Latino, 10 percent Asian, 9 percent white. Until we know more about the kids that are not yet identified, we can't give you a fuller picture, but again, very much concerned that this looks like it's tracking the same disparities we've seen throughout this crisis.

Now, there's been a lot we've talked about in recent days about how to make sure as we continue toward that better situation that we hold on tight to what we've achieved with shelter in place with social distancing, with face coverings, the things that have been working, the things that have been driving down and driving back this disease. A lot of talk about how to do it, how to sustain it, and the role that enforcement plays in that equation – the role of the NYPD. So, we've been talking a lot here and had numerous conversations with Commissioner Shea and his team and a whole lot of conversation with elected officials and community leaders who have offered a lot of insight, a lot of concern, but a lot of insight as well - a lot of suggestions, a lot of ideas. And I think what's become clear in recent days is we're balancing a very complex equation here. Health and safety come first – unquestionably. We're dealing with a pandemic; we're dealing with the biggest healthcare crisis in a century. We have to get it right. Enforcement is always a part of protecting people's safety for time immemorial. But at the same time, we have something very precious that we have achieved here in this city in changing relationship between police and community, in reinventing our approach to policing, in reducing crime because there's more of a bond between police and community. And that's also about protecting people's safety and we need to protect that. So, we do not in any way, shape or form want to slide backwards and undermine that precious bond that's been growing and improving between police and community. As we've talked it through and thought about how to apply a neighborhood policing approach – the strategy that's been working – how to apply it in the middle of a pandemic, it became clear that everyone deserves more clarity. And I said, you know, yesterday that Commissioner Shea and I are responsible to inform the people of the city and our officers, what's expected of everyone and we needed to do that in a way that made sort of clearer, sharper sense to people. So, the reset will be this, we start with the fundamental notion – the NYPD is here to protect lives, to save lives, and where we see the greatest danger to lives in terms of the Coronavirus and the area where we can enforce is around gatherings, particularly large gatherings. So, that's where we're going to focus, wanting to give people this clarity. And it's literally the bigger the gathering, the more that needs to be done by the NYPD to make sure that gathering either never get started to begin with or is quickly broken up. We think we can strike a balance when someone says, I don't have a face covering with me; we want NYPD officers and all these other civilian ambassadors and everyone else to be there with a solution. I think that is the right way to move us forward and strike the balance, but it's also comes with a reminder to all of you that it is a responsibility of all of us to keep doing what we're doing; we have been doing on social distancing and to do it even more. You see a lot of people doing social distancing, right; you see some who are not. Let's all work together to remind people to do it right, especially the people we're closest to in our lives. It's the vast majority of people have face coverings, some don't; sometimes someone just forgets it. That's why we're going to have free distribution, but we got to keep reminding people how important it is and every one of us is responsible and we can create more balance the more responsibility everyone shows in this situation.

We'll be limiting access to the Sheep Meadow in Central Park, to areas of Hudson River Park, and Piers 45 & 46, and Domino Park in Williamsburg. We're going to create a monitoring approach; NYPD officers, civilian ambassadors, they'll be there, they'll be there early. They'll set parameters on how many people should go into these areas and always be providing guidance, be providing free face coverings. We want to just get ahead of the problem by limiting the number of people in these areas that become crowded and if our approach continues to work, we'll apply it to any place else we need to. And then our social distancing ambassadors, that number is now gone up to 2,260 – that's a lot of City employees who will be out there educating, giving out face coverings. You'll see a lot of presence this weekend. You'll also see in the beaches, which of course are not open; enhanced patrols to keep people safe and to remind people that beaches are not open and to protect against any danger that people will go in the water. You'll see that in the Rockaways, Coney Island, Orchard Beach, and we're going to make sure in terms of addressing those large gatherings, there'll be a dedicated NYPD car in every police precinct that will focus always on being able to get to wherever a large gathering might be to make sure that situation is addressed.

On Fridays, we look at the big picture and we see some tremendous progress overall. Today's report, not everything we want it to be for just today, but the overall progress – again, I'm going to keep saying so impressive, so consistent and so much because of all that you are doing. So, the turnaround, you look at this chart, it's breathtaking. We've been consistently below in daily indicator number one, number of people admitted to hospitals for suspected COVID-19, consistently below 100 now for a meaningful amount of time. And again, that's 800 fewer people per day being admitted compared to the end of March – that's just breathtaking. So, that's the good news. The less good news is today's update. Unfortunately, we have a situation where things have gone up from a 59 to 78. So, that is not what we're looking for – still a low number overall, but wrong direction. Daily indicator number two, this is the toughest one to move because it is about folks who are the most sick and fighting for their lives. Again, progress unquestionably – you look at that chart over 300 people, fewer in ICUs than at the peak, that's a very good thing, but still a lot of people fighting for their lives. The good news today, the numbers down from 517 to 506. And then percentage of people citywide testing positive for COVID-19 – amazing progress – again, we've seen consistent improvement, but not everything we need. We still have to keep going. And again, today, wrong direction, only by one point, but wrong direction from 11 percent to 12 percent.


City will provide over 74,000 air conditioners to low-income seniors and modify cooling centers for social distancing requirements; City urges Public Service Commission to provide further cooling assistance to vulnerable New Yorkers

  Mayor de Blasio today announced a COVID-19 Heat Wave Plan to keep vulnerable New Yorkers cool and safe at home, create safer summer cooling options and prevent and respond to power outages.

“This summer will be unlike any that New York City has seen before,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As the temperature rises, we must protect our most vulnerable from the dangers of extreme heat. We're providing tens of thousands of free air conditioners to low-income seniors and creating brand new spaces, both indoor and out, for New Yorkers to keep cool and stay safe."

Vulnerable New Yorkers: Cool and Safe At Home

Every year, hot summers cause dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat-stroke – all outcomes that disproportionately impact older adults and vulnerable populations. The City is creating a $55 million program to provide over 74,000 air conditioners to New Yorkers who are 60 years old and older and have income below 60 percent of the state median income, and do not have air conditioning at home. 

Eligible New Yorkers will be identified by NYCHA, DFTA, HRA and HPD, and city case managers will reach out directly to income-eligible seniors. Approximately 22,000 of these air conditioners will go to NYCHA residents, and installations for these air conditioners will begin next week. The City is providing $35 million in funding, including $10 million from NYCHA, and the City thanks NYSERDA for committing another $20 million.

The City is also petitioning the Public Service Commission (PSC) for $72 million to help pay the utility bills for 450,000 vulnerable New Yorkers so they can afford to run their ACs and keep cool. The program would ensure that vulnerable New Yorkers can afford to use their air conditioners and protect families from preventable heat-related illness and death, including relief for COVID-19-discharged patients at greatest risk and NYCHA residents paying their own energy bills. As more families experience economic insecurity due to COVID-19, they may not be able to prioritize an air conditioner purchase or the corresponding utility bills, thereby increasing the risk of heat illness and death and compounding inequitable impacts of COVID-19.

Through the CARES Act, the Federal Government also allocated an additional $900 million in funding for the nationwide Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). The City is advocating for the State to allocate the use of its share in winter heating subsidy funds from the federal CARES Act for summer utility bill relief.

Creating Safe Summer Cooling Options
The City is identifying existing facilities that can be used as key cooling centers in high-risk communities, planning appropriate social distancing and providing personal protective equipment (PPE). The City is also looking to create non-traditional cooling centers in alternative sites, from sports venues and auditoriums to other large venues. During extreme heat waves, special non-congregate cooling centers and transportation will be made available for vulnerable New Yorkers who cannot stay cool at home and who are at high COVID-19 complication risk.

NYC Parks is also mapping spray showers with income inequality data to site alternative spray showers for kids and active New Yorkers, and will use misting equipment in sitting areas to create “oases” during extreme heat events. In addition, DEP is creating a plan for scheduled hydrant openings to ensure fairness and minimize strain on the water system. The GetFood meal program for vulnerable New Yorkers will also be delivering hydrating beverages with meal packages.

Preventing And Responding to Power Outages

Power outages occur most often during the summer months when power usage is at its peak. The City is in frequent communication with utility providers and will pre-stage generators across the city for rapid deployment if needed. 

The City will also use hotels instead of congregate spaces for emergency shelter during prolonged outages and establish buses with proper PPE and social distance for emergency cooling during short outages.

The City is also identifying facilities with vulnerable populations for potential mitigation efforts, including adult care facilities and nursing homes. The City encourages New York State to mandate generator hookups at adult care facilities and communicate with nursing homes on critical preventative maintenance.

“Across the city, we are preparing for an unprecedented summer with a series of smart initiatives and adapted cooling strategies to match the situation we are in. We’ve built a brand new program to give out tens of thousands of air conditioners to the most vulnerable New Yorkers, and we’re making sure our cooling centers and outdoor spaces are ready for the New Yorkers who need them to stay cool - and safe,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Laura Anglin.

“As the COVID-19 response efforts continue, we remain mindful of the risks hazards like extreme heat can pose. The safety of our most vulnerable populations is of the utmost importance, and we are working closely with our local, state, federal, and private partners to adapt our plans to integrate new strategies like in-house cooling and social distancing into our emergency response,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell.
 “This crisis has shone a light on our ability to come together to ensure that those in need are taken care of,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “This heat plan prepares us to equitably address the impacts that climate change will have on us this summer, so that our city’s underserved will have some relief amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Heat-related illness and death inequitably impact Black and Brown New Yorkers and our lowest-income communities," said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. "This initiative will save lives. Using air conditioning, even just for a few hours, can make all the difference. And as more people stay home through the COVID-19 crisis, we encourage New Yorkers to Be a Buddy, remotely check in on older adults and those with chronic medical conditions."

“Older New Yorkers are especially vulnerable to the risk hazards of high temperatures and heat waves. This plan enables us to protect our most vulnerable older adults, from COVID-19 and heat hazards. We thank Mayor de Blasio’s leadership and all city agencies who are working together to protect and help our most vulnerable,” said Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine A. Cortés-Vázquez.

“As we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19, NYCHA and the City of New York are working to protect our most vulnerable residents. NYCHA is investing $10 million to purchase and install air conditioning units for our seniors as a testament to our commitment, and we are grateful to Mayor de Blasio, NYSERDA and Con Edison, who have come forward with resources to ensure our residents remain healthy and safe in the coming months,” said Greg Russ, chairman and CEO of the New York City Housing Authority.

“As the summer months quickly approach, the Human Resources Administration and the City of New York are committed to providing our most vulnerable residents with the resources and services they need to stay cool, safe, and healthy,” said HRA Administrator Grace Bonilla. “This innovative cooling plan highlights the best of local government, bringing together agencies from across the City to ensure that New Yorkers in need have a safe respite from the warmer weather ahead.”

“Combatting climate change is intrinsically connected to combatting social inequality and confronting our recovery from Covid-19 as a community,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “This requires us to be vigilant in ensuring all New Yorkers are protected from climate impacts like extreme heat as we transition out of the pandemic and recommit ourselves to a recovery that confronts the climate emergency.”

Friday, May 15, 2020

Was Rhinelander Avenue closed from Williamsbridge Road to Bronxdale Avenue?

  On Wednesday May 13th Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYCDOT closed twelve miles of NYC streets so people could walk in the streets. One such street that was closed was Rhinelander Avenue in the Bronx from Williamsbridge Road to Bronxdale Avenue for the entire half mile portion of the roadway 

Looking across Rhinelander Avenue from Williamsbridge Road one can see police barriers set up, but not fully across the road as cars and trucks continued to travel on Rhinelander Avenue, while there were no people taking advantage of the closed street to use it to walk

Above - A UPS truck dashes between the barriers blocking off Rhinelander Avenue at the Tomlinson Avenue intersection. 
Below - Small signs were placed on these two barriers at the Tomlinson Avenue intersection of Rhinelander Avenue. 

Above - One has to get right up to the barrier to read that Rhinelander Avenue is part of the NYC Safe Streets Program.
Below - Someone has put this street barrier to use as a parking space holder.

No. 202.31: Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency

No. 202.31
E X E C U T I V E  O R D E R
Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency 

WHEREAS, on March 7, 2020, I issued Executive Order Number 202, declaring a State disaster emergency for the entire State of New York; and
WHEREAS, both travel-related cases and community contact transmission of COVID-19 have been documented in New York State and are expected to continue;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 29-a of Article 2-B of the Executive Law to temporarily suspend or modify any statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation, or parts thereof, of any agency during a State disaster emergency, if compliance with such statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation would prevent, hinder, or delay action necessary to cope with the disaster emergency or if necessary to assist or aid in coping with such disaster, I hereby temporarily suspend or modify, for the period from the date of this Executive Order through June 13, 2020 the following: 

  • Subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of Section 594 of the Labor Law are suspended to the extent necessary to prevent forfeiture of effective benefit days to provide claimants with temporary relief from serving forfeit day penalties during the COVID-19 disaster emergency; and
  • Section 240.35 of the penal law, to the extent it is inconsistent with any directive requiring an individual wear a face covering in public or otherwise.

IN ADDITION, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 29-a of Article 2-B of the Executive Law to issue any directive during a disaster emergency necessary to cope with the disaster, I hereby issue the following directives for the period from the date of this Executive Order through the date so designated below: 

  • Executive Order 202.28, which extended the provisions of Executive Orders 202.3, 202.4, 202.5, 202.6, 202.7, 202.8, 202.10, 202.11, 202.13, and 202.14 which each closed or otherwise restricted public or private businesses or places of public accommodation, and which required postponement or cancellation of all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason (e.g. parties, celebrations, games, meetings or other social events), which together constitute New York On PAUSE, is hereby continued until 11:59 p.m. on May 28, 2020, unless later amended or extended by a future Executive Order;
    • Provided, however, that effective at 12:01 a.m. on May 15, 2020 that the reductions and restrictions on the in-person workforce at non-essential businesses or other entities shall no longer apply to Phase One industries
      • Construction, Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting, Retail - (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off); Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade;
      • Such businesses or entities must be operated subject to the guidance promulgated by the Department of Health;
      • Only those businesses or entities in a region that meets the  prescribed public health and safety metrics, as determined by the Department of Health,  will be eligible for reopening;

  • As of May 14, 2020 the regions are: Finger Lakes, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier and the North Country regions comprising the counties of: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Schoharie, Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence. Any additional regions which meet the criteria after such date will be deemed to be incorporated into this Executive Order without further revision and will be permitted to re-open phase one industries, subject to the same terms and conditions.
  • All enforcement mechanisms by state or local governments shall continue to be in full force an effect until June 13, 2020 unless later extended or amended by a future Executive Order. 
  • The directive contained in Executive Order 202.15 authorizing the Department of Taxation and Finance to accept digital signatures in lieu of handwritten signatures on documents related to the determination or collection of tax liability, is hereby modified to authorize such acceptance for the duration of the disaster emergency. 
  • The directive contained in Executive Order 202.3 which closed movie theaters until further notice and was later extended by Executive Order 202.14 and EO 202.28, is hereby modified to provide that a drive-in movie theater, shall not be required to close, but shall be treated as any other business per Executive Order 202.6, which designated certain businesses as essential or non-essential and subjected such businesses to in-person presence restrictions in the workplace.

G I V E N   under my hand and the Privy Seal of the State in the City of Albany this fourteenth day of May in the year two thousand twenty.


Secretary to the Governor

Governor Cuomo Announces Fifth Region Hits Benchmark to Begin Reopening May 15th

Central New York Joins North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley Regions, Which Have Met the Seven Metrics Required to Begin Reopening After NYS on Pause Orders Expire on May 15th

Business Guidance for Phase One of the State's Reopening Plan is Available Here

Initial $3 Million in Grants Available to Businesses to Manufacture Emergency Medical Supplies and Equipment

Announces President Trump has Expedited $3.9 Billion in Funding for the MTA at the Request of the Governor

Confirms 2,390 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 343,051; New Cases in 45 Counties

Governor Cuomo: "Phased opening does not mean the problem has gone away. It means we have controlled the problem because of what we did and because of our individual responsibility and individual actions and that has to be maintained and I would urge local governments to be diligent about the business compliance and about individual compliance. Then if you see a change in those numbers react immediately. React immediately. If you allow this virus to get ahead of us we will have a problem. So we'll have of the data. React immediately."

Cuomo: "At the same time the states need help from the federal government and that's a topic that's being discussed now. Washington must act. It must be smart. It must be fast. New York State has a $61 billion hole. Well what does the State fund? The State funds local governments, fund schools, funds health care. ... If local governments get cut then you cut police and firefighters. Why would you ever want to cut essential front line personnel at this time makes no sense."

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, earlier today Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that as of today, Central New York has met all seven metrics required to begin phase one of the state's regional phased reopening plan when NYS on PAUSE orders expire on May 15th, joining the North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley Regions. If the trend continues, these five regions can begin opening businesses for phase one, which includes construction; manufacturing and wholesale supply chain; retail for curbside pickup and drop-off or in-store pickup; and agriculture, forestry and fishing. Business guidance for phase one of the state's reopening plan is available here. A guide to the state's "NY Forward Reopening" Plan is available here. The state's regional monitoring dashboard is available here.

The Governor also announced an initial $3 million in grants are available to businesses to manufacture emergency medical supplies and equipment. Companies interested in growing or starting a medical supply business should go to

Governor Cuomo also announced that President Trump has expedited $3.9 billion in funding for the MTA at the request of the Governor.

New York Has Issued First-in-the-Nation Criteria to Healthcare Professionals Defining COVID-Related Inflammatory Illness in Children

Criteria Establishes New Name for Syndrome and Definition of What Symptoms Healthcare Providers Should Look For

State is Investigating 110 Reported Cases & 3 Deaths Related to COVID Illness in Children with Symptoms Similar to an Atypical Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock-Like Syndrome 

New York State is Leading a National Effort to Understand and Combat this New Syndrome

  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced New York has issued first-in-the-nation criteria to healthcare professionals establishing an interim case definition for COVID-related inflammatory illness in children. The criteria establishes a new name for the syndrome - pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome - and a definition of what symptoms healthcare providers should look for. Case definitions also help standardize tracking and reporting and can help ensure a better health outcome. 

The State is currently investigating 110 reported cases in New York where children - predominantly school-aged - are experiencing these symptoms possibly due to COVID-19. The illness has taken the lives of three young New Yorkers, including a 5-year old in New York City, a 7-year old in Westchester County and a teenager in Suffolk County.

"We're still learning a lot about this virus and we must remain vigilant because the situation is changing every day," Governor Cuomo said. "We now have 110 cases of COVID-related inflammatory illness in children and I expect this is only going to grow. We are leading the national effort to better understand and combat this new emerging syndrome, and we want to make sure everyone is informed and is looking out for the symptoms of this illness in children."

New Yorkers should seek immediate care if a child has:

Predominant Symptoms:
  • Prolonged fever (more than five days)
  • Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Skin rash
Other Symptoms:
  • Change in skin color - becoming pale, patchy and/or blue
  • Difficulty feeding (infants) or is too sick to drink fluids
  • Trouble breathing or is breathing very quickly
  • Racing heart or chest pain
  • Lethargy, irritability or confusion

New York State is leading a national effort to understand and combat this illness related to COVID-19 in children. Governor Cuomo has directed hospitals statewide to prioritize COVID-19 testing for children displaying symptoms similar to an atypical Kawasaki disease and toxic shock-like syndrome. Today, the State Department of Health is hosting a statewide webinar tomorrow for all healthcare providers to discuss the symptoms, testing and care of reported inflammatory disease in children related to COVID-19.

The State Department of Health is also partnering with the NY Genome Center and Rockefeller University to conduct a genome and RNA sequencing study to better understand COVID-related illnesses in children and the possible genetic basis of this syndrome.

At the direction of Governor Cuomo, the State Department of Health has issued an advisory about this serious inflammatory disease, called "Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Associated with COVID-19," to inform healthcare providers of the condition, as well as to provide guidance for testing and reporting. Health care providers, including hospitals, are required to report to the Department of Health all cases of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome potentially associated with COVID-19 in those under 21 years of age.

Though most children who get COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms, in the United Kingdom, a possible link has also been reported between pediatric COVID-19 and serious inflammatory disease. The inflammatory syndrome has features which overlap with Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome and may occur days to weeks after acute COVID-19 illness. It can include persistent fever, abdominal symptoms, rash, and even cardiovascular symptoms requiring intensive care.

Early recognition by pediatricians and referral to a specialist including to critical care is essential. Molecular and serological testing for COVID-19 in children exhibiting the above symptoms is recommended. The majority of patients have tested positive for COVID-19, some on molecular testing for SARS-COV-2, others on serological testing.

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MAYOR DE BLASIO on COVID-19 - May 14, 2020

  Mayor Bill de Blasio: Today is the 26th anniversary of my marriage to Chirlane. And Chirlane, I think you're watching right now, so I just want to say – 26 years later, you are my best friend, and I am madly in love with you, and I look forward to celebrating with you this year and many years ahead. So, thank you to all the people in New York City for giving me a moment to send out that anniversary message. We didn't know in those years that horrible things were up ahead like 9/11 or Hurricane Sandy. When you think about the city's history, the strength of New York City, the strength of New Yorkers has been tested so many times, but what has been clear throughout is that what we have here is eternal. What we have built here in this city over generations is much bigger, much stronger than is ever realized, because each time, and you've seen it in recent days, you may have seen different people theorizing, different people starting to talk about New York City's demise after the coronavirus, and I want to say up front, they've got it all wrong. This was predicted even going back to the depression, but certainly predicted after each of the things I mentioned, the fiscal crisis, 9/11, Hurricane Sandy that somehow New York City couldn't come back. Each and every time New York city has come back and come back stronger, literally come back stronger.

So again, what are those symptoms for the coronavirus, cough, fever, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell and again that those symptoms and remember those symptoms that are particularly of concern if someone's older or has those preexisting healthcare conditions or both. But what we're saying is, even if you're not older, even if you don't have those preexisting conditions, if you have the symptoms, we want to see you get tested, and more and more testing will be available to you. Second group, anyone who was in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient. Now, this is the work that the test and trace initiative will be doing systematically as it grows all over the city. But right now, people know in many cases, if someone in your life has tested positive, and you know you've been in close contact with them, well right away. If they're a household member, they're an intimate partner and you know they tested positive, we want you to get tested as well, regardless of whether you have symptoms or not. And number three group, and these are folks who do such important work. They work in congregate residential settings, they take care of others. Folks who work in nursing homes, folks who work in shelters, folks who work in adult care facilities. Again, whether you have symptoms or not, we want to make sure you are tested.

So, the testing is going to be built out more and more. We're welcoming more and more people that take advantage of it as priority groups of people we want to see tested. And that of course is now bringing to your mind the question, how do I get a test? So, we are building out the locations. We now have 23 walk-in sites through our Health and Hospitals facilities. 23 sites that are open, five more through the collaboration of a one medical and local 1199. So that's 28 sites, more sites coming online quickly. You can call 311 to find a testing location or you can go online

I've said our goal was to get to 20,000 tests per day by May 25th. We are now confident in that goal. In fact, we want to beat that goal, and I will be giving you updates as we go along on how we're doing, but we believe that more and more testing capacity can be put into play quickly, and that's going to allow us to then test people, do the follow up tracing, contact tracing, and for those who need to be in a hotel, make that hotel available to them. We welcome more and more people into this. So, sky's the limit so long as we can keep getting more and more lab capacity. But knowing that this month we will get to 20,000 tests a day and I think surpass that number, that is a great start on the road to a truly widespread testing approach for this city.

So, opening the week of May 18th in Manhattan the Highbridge Rec Center in Washington Heights. In Brooklyn, 1223 Coney Island Avenue. Those two sites will bring our overall capacity up to 6,300 tests a day at Health and Hospitals, facilities. And then the following week, week of May, 25th. Two sites in the Bronx in Fordham Manor and Melrose. Three sites in Brooklyn, Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, and Canarsie. A site in Manhattan in East Harlem. A site in Queens in Woodside. Three sites in Staten Island, Princes Bay, Concord, and Port Richmond. Those are the specific addresses and that capacity will bring us up to 10,700 tests a day. It's going to help you, your family, the people in your life, but it's going to help us as well as we fight back to the coronavirus in this City.

We keep learning about this disease, and it is always challenging to be dealing with something new that medical science still doesn't fully understand. We noticed consistently that children seem to have very little effect from this disease until what we've seen in recent days, and this is really troubling and I say it as a parent, it's really troubling to see now after we thought we understood a consistent pattern, something new has been happening and the pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, P.M.I.S this is a deep concern and we're going to throw everything we've got at it. The number of children affected, continues to grow. It is still in the scheme of things a rare condition, but it is something that we take very seriously and we're now on high alert and addressing because the numbers have grown. We now have a hundred confirmed cases in New York City, 55 of those cases again have either tested positive for COVID-19 or tested for the antibodies, tested positive for the antibodies. I told you yesterday we're launching an ad campaign that's up and running and more coming on that quickly. But again, I'm going to keep reminding you of the basics, if the child in your life has persistent fever, rash, abdominal pain, vomiting, or especially any combination of those afflictions, call your doctor immediately. Do not hesitate. If you don't have a doctor that you need to talk to, a clinician, call 3-1-1 and we'll connect you to a Health and Hospitals clinician. It is so important to start that dialogue immediately, if you see these symptoms and then working with a healthcare professional, they can decide with you if the child needs to get to medical care immediately. But the early detection makes all the difference, with early detection, we can save the lives of these children and that's been what we've seen also from the evidence of these cases so far.

We want to welcome as many health care providers to join that tomorrow as possible, particularly obviously focused on pediatricians. And then in the coming days, a special webinar that we put together by the Health Department with all 23 pediatric ICUs across New York City, making sure that the doctors and nurses, everyone in those pediatric ICU has the latest information and all sharing together what they're seeing and what they're experiencing and how best to help our children. And then, every day going forward the Health Department epidemiologists will reach out to all 23 pediatric ICUs on a regular basis following up on literally every case, even new or suspected cases to check on what's happening. 

I keep reporting on the results in terms of homeless outreach, the results continued to be striking. Last night, 328 homeless individuals were approached for help by our outreach workers and by the homeless outreach members of the NYPD. Of the 328 approached, 182 accepted help, so again, a very, very striking number of very positive number. 149 accepted help to shelter, 33 accepted help by way of getting them to a hospital. Well, it's only been a little over a week, but still first we know in the first week, 824 individuals accepted help at one point or another. That's a huge number, when you think that the federal assessment of the number of homeless people in this City is somewhere between 35,000 and 4,000 the street homeless people. If 824 individuals accepted help in one form or another, that's of truly historic figure that says more and more of the homeless individuals are starting to experiment with what it would be like to come in and get off the streets. 201 of them made it to shelter and that might've been for only hours or that might be for a few nights and we'll get more details on that as we do the analysis. But again, 201 staying in shelter for a period of time, that's a big deal because it's the first step towards change. But the number that we should dwell on the most is the 103 who have stayed in shelter. It's not easy, but both the homeless outreach workers and the NYPD officers of this work, they're doing something so important and so meaningful and I thank them all.

It's a tough atmosphere for everyone and we're asking our police officers to figure out how to address all the normal challenges, address quality of life, address crime, assist people in a variety of ways. Every day is different from a police officer, we're asking them to do all that, but also figure out how to play the role we need them to play in making sure the rules are followed so we can beat back this disease. Remember, the rules are to fight this disease, the rules are to reduce the number of people get this disease and the number of people die. There is nothing more sacred than that in terms of thinking of what people in the line of public safety do. So, it's such crucial work and yet there's no playbook we're making up each day. We're trying to figure out better approaches, better ways to figure out how to train officers and how to listen to communities about what's working, what's not working, trying to figure out what that balance should be between what our police do, versus our civilian employees, versus community members, houses of worship, community organizations. We've got to strike that balance and we're not there yet.

So, I want to put this on me and Commissioner Shea that we have to figure out how to strike that balance. We have to figure out a plan and a protocol that works. What we've been doing up to now is trying to address situations as they emerge, particularly the situations that are most dangerous, which are large gatherings, but it's clear we have to improve the supervision, the training, the protocols, the game plan for a very complex situation and not create unnecessary tension between our police and our communities. And you know, some out there raised concerns and I value the concerns and have worried that we might in some way take a step backwards or race so much of the progress we've made over six plus years and bring police and community together. I can tell you I won't let that happen. I can tell you Commissioner Shea won't let that happen. There's more and more mutual respect, more and more communication. But the coronavirus has thrown us a curve ball and created situations that no one's trained for and that are really complex and very emotional. And we have to figure out how to deal with those better. So, certainly for all the folks out there have said, can we make sure that in the first instance, the education and the giving out face coverings and the efforts to try and remind people the right way to do things, that those are first and foremost done by civilians and by community members. Yes, that's what we absolutely want, that’s the direction we’re moving in, and enforcement needs to be with a light touch and overwhelmingly it has been, but we've seen a few situations where that wasn't the case and were deeply troubling. We saw another video last night and like every human situation there are complexities, but what was not complex at all was it shouldn't have gone down that way, period. It does not reflect our values. It's not what we want to see in this city. I know for Commissioner Shea and I, we talked about last night, it's painful for everyone involved. No New Yorkers want to see something like that. For us it is painful because it means something is still not working the way we need it to and to say the least whatever else was going on in that video, whatever else was happening in that moment, we should never have a situation where a mom with her child ends up under arrest for that kind of offense. It's just not right.

Now, if you look at the whole story, unfortunately there are problems in the whole thing including, I want to remind everyone, no one should be disrespectful to police officers. No one should ignore the instructions of police officers, particularly when they're trying to protect people's safety and trying do something for the health and safety of all of us. So, we have to work together in this city to try and get everyone to play their role respectfully of each other. But what we saw there did not reflect our values. It did not reflect our goals of de-escalation and we have to do better, and it's my responsibility and the Commissioner's responsibility to find that path forward and we will, and I feel very confident about that. 

But the point last night that was even more poignant was that people have suffered discrimination while losing their livelihoods, think about this for a moment and let's put ourselves in the eyes and in the shoes of people who worked all their life to create something for their families, created these beautiful small businesses all over New York City then suffered discrimination and then saw their business fall away because of fears that people had. unfortunately fears stoked by misunderstanding and bias that caused everyday New Yorkers not to want to go to a Chinese restaurant. I remember going to Chinese restaurants in Chinatown and in Flushing, Queens to make the point that there was no bias that should be accepted or perceived from one community to another, and what I heard last night was about the pain of a community that has lost his livelihood, not when most others did, but a month earlier, two months earlier than so many other people in the city, many other small businesses in this city.

Okay. It's time for what we do every day, our daily indicators and in terms of getting out of this crisis and moving forward this is the main street right here. This is what matters most and my friends today is a very good day and you deserve the credit because it's because of your hard work that I get to tell you this good news. Every time you stay home, every time you socially distance, every time you use hand sanitizer even, every time you put on a face covering, you're helping to drive these numbers down and get us closer to a better place. Indicator number one, daily number of people admitted to hospitals for suspected COVID-19 is down from 78 to 59 that's wonderful. Number two, daily number of people in ICUs across Health + Hospitals for suspected COVID-19 down, markedly down from 561 to 517 so that's a big movement there. That's a big jump in the right direction, bigger than we've seen most days, even when things go in the right direction so that is really important, and that means you're talking about fewer and fewer people fighting for their lives. More and more people being saved. That is a very powerful number, and number three, percentage of people tested who are positive recovered 19 down from 13 percent to 11 percent three for three, a perfect day, New York City. So, let's now put together a bunch of them and that's what's going to help us take the next big step forward. Okay. A few words in Spanish