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Saturday and Sunday COVID-19 updates: More positive cases in Niagara County, hospitals receive shipment of 20,000 gowns

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Sun, Mar 29th 2020 01:30 pm

•On Sunday, Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said, “As of today, March 29, Niagara County has 38 positive test results for COVID-19. This is 10 more than our last report and continues the upward trend. Our public health nurses have been working with these individuals all weekend. The heat map that shows test results by municipality with be updated with these new cases on Monday.”

•Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Majority Leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes on Sunday announced the Assembly will pass a resolution providing for special temporary procedures during a declared state of emergency (E.854, Peoples-Stokes). The change “will preserve the integrity of the legislative process, while keeping members, staff and others safe during the current COVID-19 outbreak and future declared states of emergency.”

The Assembly will return to session at 1 p.m. Monday to vote on the rules change. 

“During these extraordinary circumstances, it is critical that the ‘People’s House’ is able to continue to do the people’s work,” Heastie said. “These changes will preserve the integrity of New York's legislative process in a way that will also protect our members, our staff, the hardworking staff of the capitol and the families we all go home to. This is a historic step that will help save lives and support New Yorkers.”

“It is paramount that we work together to protect the health and safety of our communities, and that includes our assembly members, staff and families,” Peoples-Stokes said. “This resolution gives us the ability to adapt to a new reality during this pandemic and potential future emergencies, while protecting both the Assembly's democratic process and the health and wellbeing of New Yorkers.”

The resolution would temporarily change the current rules of the Assembly to allow for expedited voting and to establish the future possibility of voting remotely during declared states of emergency. The change will immediately allow for fast roll calls to be recorded during this time of emergency. Members in attendance in Albany who wish to vote in the negative would record their votes directly in the chamber. This “allows the Assembly to adapt to extraordinary times and circumstances while ensuring all of its members have the ability to participate, debate and vote in a safe manner.”

The resolution would also provide a framework for the future possibility of members to participate in a session remotely through teleconferencing or videoconferencing. The legislative process will continue to be open to all New Yorkers. 

On Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “The Senate majority will be in Albany tomorrow for conference and will begin the process of passing budget bills this week as bills are ready. During these unprecedented times, our state government requires continuity, and New Yorkers deserve leadership and action. Throughout the week, our process will establish appropriate protocols involving social distancing, and tomorrow we will pass a resolution authorizing limited remote voting as necessary. Obviously, this is a fluid situation, and we will let everyone know if there are any changes.

•Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued an executive order to move the presidential primary election from April 28 to June 23, aligning it with the congressional and legislative primaries in New York.

This also applies to special election to fill the seat formerly filled by Congressman Chris Collins.

•Kaleida Health received a shipment of isolation gowns.

Committed to taking care of its providers and staff, Kaleida Health continues to do all that it can to acquire/procure personal protective equipment (PPE). Saturday morning, Kaleida Health received a shipment of more than 20,000 isolation gowns. They were purchased from Cardinal Health. See example here: https://www.google.com/search?q=cardinal+%23+AT4488-BD&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi0p7nKub7oAhUUgnIEHZAqC8wQ_AUoAnoECAsQBA&biw=1366&bih=660#imgrc=sfbn3E38l3mNrM

“Best summed up, the coronavirus has slammed hospital supply chains across the state and the nation,” said Jody Lomeo, president and CEO of Kaleida Health. “We remain undaunted, knowing that our workforce needs the tools and protection as we face this pandemic.

“Our teams are leveraging all of our supply chain channels and relationships with various vendors to ensure the organization maintains the appropriate supply of PPE moving forward.”

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen sent along a special video to express his gratitude and support for the entire Kaleida Health family during this challenging and uncertain time. See the video here: https://vimeo.com/401622439.

•Ellen DeGeneres, Lady Gaga, Ken Jeong, Ryan Seacrest, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone will join “FOX Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America,” hosted by Elton John. The event airs at 9 p.m. ET Tonight on FOX.

Viewers can donate to support two charitable organizations helping victims and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic: Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation.

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