Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sunday announced he will issue an executive order directing employers to provide essential workers with cloth or surgical masks free of charge to wear when directly interacting with the public.
Cuomo also announced he will issue an executive order to expand eligibility of individuals to conduct antibody tests to help ensure as many New Yorkers as possible have access to antibody testing as the state continues to bring this critical testing to scale. The state previously provided labs with the flexibility to allow more workers to do testing for COVID-19; this executive order expands that authority so the same workers can perform antibody tests.
•The governor joined National Governors Association Chairman Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in a bipartisan effort calling for $500 billion in aid to states. He said the federal CARES Act contained zero funding to offset drastic state revenue shortfalls. Cuomo reiterated his call for the federal government to repeal SALT.
"The big question for everyone right now is when do we reopen the economy, but first we need to make sure we have a smart, safe and coordinated plan in place to do it without risking public health," Cuomo said. "The keys to reopening the economy are continuing to limit the spread of the virus and ramping up antibody testing. I am going to issue two executive orders – one directing employers to provide essential workers with a mask to wear when they are interacting with the public, and one to expand the number of people who are eligible to conduct the antibody test. These measures will be key to getting people back to work and making sure they are protected when they do go back."
Cuomo Announces Partnership with NYS Court System to Provide Pro Bono Legal Assistance to New Yorkers
On Saturday, Cuomo announced a new partnership with the New York State Court System to create a pro bono network of volunteer lawyers to provide New Yorkers with free legal assistance. Volunteers will begin to receive training and start offering assistance this week. Lawyers interested in volunteering can sign up at www.nysba.org/covidvolunteer.
"I understand the need to bring back the economy as quickly as possible and that people need to work, but more importantly we need to save lives," Cuomo said. "I want to make sure any decision we make to open the economy is based on what we've learned from our own experience and from other places around the globe. In the meantime, we have to make sure we're helping the many people and businesses who are struggling and we're partnering with the New York State Court System to organize lawyers statewide to provide pro bono legal assistance to help people with issues that they may have."