Consumers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying life insurance premiums for 90 days
Consumers and small businesses may defer paying premiums for property and casualty insurance for 60 days
New Yorkers without health insurance can apply now through NY State of Health; if you lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage; because of loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan or Child Health Plus
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday announced all schools in New York state must remain closed for an additional two weeks, until April 15, to ensure consistency and uniformity across the state in instructional time for this extraordinary school year. Schools will be required to continue child care, meal and distance learning programs, and the state will extend the 180-day waiver to April 15.
The directive contained in Executive Order 202.4 related to the closure of schools statewide shall hereafter be modified to provide that all schools shall remain closed until April 15, 2020, at which time the continued closure shall be re-evaluated. No school shall be subject to a diminution in school aid due to failure to meet the 180-day in session requirement as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, provided their closure does not extend beyond the term set forth herein. School districts must continue plans for alternative instructional options, distribution and availability of meals, and child care, with an emphasis on serving children of essential workers, and continue to first use any vacation or snow days remaining.
•Cuomo announced the first 1,000-bed temporary hospital is now complete at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. This temporary hospital site is part of the governor's goal of having a 1,000-plus patient overflow facility in each NYC borough as well as Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Cuomo also announced the state and Army Corp of Engineers have toured and identified four new sites for temporary hospitals for construction by the Army Corps of Engineers: the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the Aqueduct Racetrack facility in Queens, CUNY Staten Island and the New York Expo Center in the Bronx – adding an additional 4,000 beds to the state's capacity. The governor is asking President Donald Trump to approve these sites immediately so construction can begin.
These new temporary hospital sites – together with the site at the Javits Center and the temporary hospitals that are being built at locations at SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Old Westbury and the Westchester Convention Center – are part of the governor's plan to create thousands of new beds to bolster existing hospital capacity, with the goal of being open to patients in early- to mid-April. The state is also preparing college dormitories and hotels across the downstate region, and identifying nursing homes and other facilities to serve as a place for emergency beds.
•The governor also announced that, for a 90-day period, consumers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying life insurance premiums. No late fees will be assessed and no negative data will be reported to credit bureaus during this time, and late payments will be payable over a one-year period. LICONY, or the Life Insurance Council of New York, which represents over 80% of the life insurance industry, has agreed to these measures.
For a 60-day period, consumers and small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying premiums for property and casualty insurance, including auto, homeowners, renters, workers comp, medical malpractice, livery and taxi. No late fees will be assessed and no negative data will be reported to credit bureaus during this time, and late payments will be payable over a one-year period.
•New Yorkers who are without health insurance are encouraged to apply now through NY State of Health. If they lost employer coverage, they must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of a loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan or Child Health Plus.
•Cuomo also announced that, since yesterday, an additional 10,000 health care workers, including retirees and students, have signed up to volunteer to work as part of the state's surge health care force during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the total number of volunteers to more than 62,000. Additionally, more than 10,000 mental health professionals, including individuals from other states, have now signed up to provide free online mental health services, with 1,400 volunteers signing up in the last day. New Yorkers can call the state's hotline at 1-844-863-9314 to schedule a free appointment.
"Our strategy from the beginning has been to flatten the curve and increase hospital capacity," Cuomo said. "We are doing things we have never done before to find more hospital beds and obtain supplies from all around the globe to ensure our health care system is not overwhelmed when the apex hits. We have a plan in place to get all of these new facilities and beds online in the next three to four weeks, which is the same timeline the apex is expected to hit our state, so when it does eventually hit our hospital capacity will be as high as it can possibly be. We are on a rescue mission to save lives, and I am proud to be on this mission with all the brave men and women of the National Guard, health care workers and first responders who are truly doing God's work."
The governor confirmed 7,377 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 44,635 confirmed cases.
At a press briefing Friday, Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton confirmed nine new positive cases Niagara County.
“This brings our cases up to 28 positives,” he said. “We have 25 people in isolation, either in the hospital or their home, most of them at their home. And then we have three people that have recovered after being positive, so that's good news.”
He added, “We currently have 55 people that are in quarantine, and 54 who have completed quarantine.”