Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro announces that Dutchess Community College will serve as an additional care recovery facility in Dutchess County, with Marist and Vassar Colleges to follow as the need arises.
Drive-thru coronavirus collection sites open in Dutchess and Ulster Counties in partnership with Nuvance Health. Locations include Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill and Tech City in Kingston. These sites are open to collect samples from individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. To visit, a person must have a physician’s order in advance. These are not testing sites, and testing of samples at each Hudson Valley collection point will be conducted offsite. Sites are open Monday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
In the Hudson Valley, Pulse-MD Urgent Care offers virtual visits to review symptoms.
All non-essential gatherings of any size are temporarily banned in New York State. Department of Motor Vehicles offices are temporary closed for in-office visits. License renewals and similar online transactions are still available, and license and permit expirations will be extended.
All non-essential businesses must close by 8 p.m.
Governor Cuomo mandates that 100 percent of the workforce must stay home. Excluded essential services in the financial, food services, infrastructure, media, medical, and retail industries, among others, can be found here.
Restaurants and similar food service operations in New York State are allowed to sell grocery items for a two-week period beginning March 20. Requirements for selling packaged foods like flour, pasta, sugar, refrigerated meals, and ready-to-eat dishes can be found here.
All barber shops, nail and hair salons, and tattoo parlors must close by Saturday at 8 p.m. There is a 90-day moratorium on evictions for commercial and residential tenants.
Cuomo announces Matilda’s Law to protect New Yorkers ages 70 and up, as well as those with compromised immune systems. Under it, individuals must remain indoors, pre-screen visitors by taking temperature, instruct visitors to wear masks, and remain six feet apart at all times.
All retail shopping malls, amusement parks, and bowling alleys in the Hudson Valley must close by 8 p.m. on Thursday night. Select mall stores with independent entrances will remain open.
#BREAKING: NY, PA, CT, and NJ will temporarily close all indoor portions of retail shopping malls, amusement parks and bowling alleys effective tomorrow 8PM.
Together we will reduce density and slow the spread of #Coronavirus.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 18, 2020
Governor Cuomo signed a bill to guarantee job protection and pay for any New Yorkers under quarantine due to COVID-19. He also issued an executive order to direct non-essential businesses to implement work-from-home policy beginning Friday, March 20. Any businesses that rely upon in-office employees must decrease their in-office workforce by at least 75 percent. Exemptions include shipping, media, warehouse, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks, and related financial institutions.
New York State mortgage services must provide 90-day mortgage relief to borrowers impacted by COVID-19. Additionally, all New York housing courts are closed, halting all evictions and pending lawsuits. This applies to both residential and commercial evictions, and court functions related to housing, such as code violations, repair orders, and landlord lockouts, will continue to be heard.
Two Rockland County residents have died this March from the novel strand of the coronavirus (COVID-19), totaling six New Yorkers to pass during this pandemic. The first death was of a man who lived in the Village of Suffern and, according to the Rockland County Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Laura Carbone, he suffered from underlying health conditions. Rockland County has a total of 31 positive cases of the novel coronavirus, as of March 17.
In an effort to flatten the curve of cases and mitigate the pressure put on the state’s healthcare system, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a New York State of Emergency as of March 7, which was followed by a declaration of a National Emergency by President Trump on March 13.
On March 16, Gov. Cuomo announced theaters, casinos, dine-in restaurants, gyms, and bars will be closed indefinitely beginning 8 p.m. Monday night. Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut and Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey took the same action in their respective states, all following the precedent Mayor DeBlasio announced in New York City on March 15. All beauty salons, nail salons, and barbershops are also closed and no longer providing services.
Gatherings with more than 50 people have also been banned in the tri-state area. Formerly, crowds of 500 were banned in New York. Cuomo also issued that non-essential state workers will work from home, adding that local governments need to reduce their workforce by 50 percent. Visits to nursing homes remain restricted as they have been since March 13.
Cuomo also announced a new job protection bill for New Yorkers who have been quarantined and unable to go to work. Employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income less than $1 million will provide job protection for the duration of the quarantine order. Employers with less than 100 employees and a net income greater than $1 million will provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave and job protection for the duration of the quarantine order. Employers with more than 100 employees will provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection during the duration of the quarantine.
In both those instances, employers must guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.
Cuomo has also called on the President to deregulate coronavirus testing at the federal level in order to allow local governments to take over and expand testing options. In his recent New York Times Op-Ed, the Governor also called for universal shutdowns of schools and public places, while also asking that the Army Corps of Engineers be tasked with building and organizing temporary medical facilities to expand hospital capacity. In New York State, all park fees at state, local, and county parks are waived, and all public programs and events at parks in the state are suspended indefinitely. Please call individual parks beforehand to confirm whether or not they are open.
We are taking new actions to reduce the density of people across the state.
Starting Friday at 5pm, gatherings with 500 people or more will not be permitted in NYS.
Additionally, for facilities with an occupancy of 500 or fewer, we are reducing the legal capacity by 50%.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 12, 2020
Rockland and Albany Counties currently have the highest amount of coronavirus patients in the Hudson Valley. Rockland’s Commissioner of Health, Dr. Patricia Ruppert, is ensuring residents the county is “well prepared to monitor individuals for COVID-19…considering the recent measles outbreak in Rockland that came to an end.” While Albany’s Commissioner, Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, encourages residents to spend time outside with household members and stay connected to friends and family through technology while practicing social distancing.
Also beginning March 16, all schools in the state are closed for at least the next two weeks. This comes after the Board of Education waived the 180-school-day minimum and the NYS Public High School Athletic Association postponed Winter Sports State Championships.
As for local colleges, Dutchess Community College is closed until March 30, The Culinary Institute of America is closed until April 16, Bard College moves to online classes, Vassar College moves to online classes with the plan to reevaluate on April 8, and Mount Saint Mary’s College moves to online classes with the plan to reevaluate and hopefully move back to face-to-face class on March 30. Marist College extends spring break by a week with the plan to reevaluate at the end of the two-week break following the diagnosis of a commuter student, who is not a Dutchess County resident, with COVID-19.
The symptoms for COVID-19 include cough, fever, and respiratory problems. If you are experiencing symptoms, call your healthcare provider before seeking in-person attention or treatment.
According to the CDC, symptoms can arise anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. According to the New York State Department of Health, “The status for required mandatory quarantine is a person that has been in close contact (6 ft.) with someone who is positive, but is not displaying symptoms for COVID-19; or person has traveled to China, Iran, Japan, South Korea or Italy and is displaying symptoms of COVID-19. The status for required mandatory isolation is a person that has tested positive for COVID-19, whether or not displaying symptoms for COVID-19.”
According to Gov. Cuomo, drive-through testing site, like the one in Glen Island, New Rochelle, is expected to open soon in Rockland County.
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker urges residents to follow the Center for Disease Control’s advice regarding the virus. In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water are not available. In addition, cover your cough, stay home, and avoid face-to-face interactions while continually disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces. Reducing cases reduces hospitalizations and, ultimately, deaths.
According to the Department of Health, as of March 16, there are 950 positive cases in New York. Rockland has 16, Albany: 12, Orange: 11, Dutchess: 10, Ulster: 7, and Putnam: 2.