Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Metro Creative Connection
Metro Creative Connection

Cuomo signs legislation requiring plans to protect public workers in future health emergencies

Submitted

Tue, Sep 8th 2020 09:45 am

Law requires state & local governments, school districts to plan for future state disaster emergency involving a communicable disease

Includes protections for essential workers and protocols for securing PPE

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed legislation (S8617B/A10832) requiring all public employers to create plans to adequately protect workers in the event of another state disaster emergency involving a communicable disease. The plans would apply to both the state and localities, including school districts. Plans must be submitted to unions and labor management committees within 150 days, and need to be finalized on April 1, 2021.

"Thanks to personal sacrifice and hard work, New Yorkers have bent the curve of coronavirus, and we all owe a debt of gratitude to the frontline workers who helped carry our state through some of its darkest days," Cuomo said. "The federal government's failure to plan for or respond to this emergency put our state in harm's way, and we can never let that happen again. That's why this Labor Day we are honoring public employees' efforts over the last six months by planning for the next emergency – and ensuring all levels of government in New York protect public workers from a future pandemic."

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes said, "Requiring public employers to draft and publish a contingency plan for the next global health crisis is integral to save lives and rebuild trust. We lost too many public employees to COVID. This bill will protect those who keep our city running. I want to thank the governor for signing this and the many partners in labor who helped make this bill a reality."

Assembly member Peter Abbate said, "I'm glad to see this legislation enacted. I think it will go a long way to protecting our state's valuable public workforce."

Mario Cilento, president of the NYS AFL-CIO, said, "Today, in his Labor Day message, Gov. Cuomo noted that this pandemic has laid bare to the entire state and our country the heroism and bravery of essential workers. By signing this bill, the governor backs up those words with tangible actions that will make workplaces safer for those courageous men and women who continue to sacrifice so much. We thank the governor for his heartfelt message and for recognizing the essential workers who have delivered us through this challenging time. We look forward to working with the governor to ensure we continue to make the safety and health of New York's essential workforce a priority."

Operation plans must include:

List and description of positions considered essential

Descriptions of protocols to follow to enable all nonessential employees to work remotely

Description of how employers would stagger work shifts to reduce overcrowding

Protocols for PPE

Protocol for when an employee is exposed to disease

Protocol for documenting hours and work locations for essential workers

Protocol for working with essential employees' localities for identifying emergency housing if needed

Any other requirement determined by the New York State Department of Health, such as testing and contact tracing

Plans must be submitted to public unions for review. The Department of Labor will also create an online portal for public employees to report violations of health and safety rules for communicable diseases, including COVID-19.

Cuomo also announced that, for one month, or 31 days, New York state's COVID-19 infection rate has remained below 1%. On Sunday, 0.88% of tests reported to the state were positive. The number of new cases, percentage of tests that were positive and other data points are available at forward.ny.gov.

"Thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers, our state has now gone a full month with our COVID infection rate remaining below 1%," Cuomo said. "Our numbers have continued to remain stable even as we reach new milestones in our phased, data-driven reopening. As we close out this Labor Day weekend, I urge everyone to remain smart so we can continue to celebrate our progress in the weeks and months ahead. It took the work of all of us to get here, and to protect this progress we will need to all continue to wash our hands, wear our masks, remain socially distant and above all, stay New York tough."

Monday’s data is summarized briefly below:

  • Patient hospitalization – 413 (up 3)
  • Patients newly admitted – 49
  • Hospital counties – 33
  • Number ICU – 115 (down 4)
  • Number ICU with intubation – 57 (up 1)
  • Total discharges – 75,471 (up 46)
  •  – 2
  • Total deaths – 25,361

Of the 58,865 test results reported to New York on Sunday, 520 (0.88%) were positive. Each region's percentage of positive test results reported over the past three days is as follows:

 

REGION

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

Capital Region

0.5%

0.9%

0.5%

Central New York

0.7%

0.8%

1.1%

Finger Lakes

0.6%

0.7%

0.7%

Long Island

1.5%

1.1%

1.0%

Mid-Hudson

1.1%

0.9%

1.2%

Mohawk Valley

0.7%

0.9%

1.1%

New York City

0.7%

0.7%

0.8%

North Country

0.2%

0.2%

0.3%

Southern Tier

0.2%

0.5%

0.4%

Western New York

1.2%

2.0%

1.9%

comments powered by Disqus

Hometown News

View All News