Andrew Cuomo

More Top Stories, Policy, Washington Heights

Map courtesy of the Governor’s Office

Since last week, many New Yorkers have been anticipating an announcement that the entire city will become an orange zone. This has been avoided at least for another day, but Governor Cuomo did announce that Washington Heights will become a precautionary yellow zone, hitting a 3.30% positivity rate. This is the first micro-cluster zone in Manhattan and the fifth and final borough to join this map. The governor also announced a dire situation on Staten Island in which an emergency overflow facility for COVID patients will open at South Beach.

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Policy

Photo by Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

In his press conference this afternoon, Governor Cuomo announced that all of New York City would become an orange zone if its city-wide positivity rate hits 3 percent. Under this micro-cluster strategy, indoor dining and high-risk non-essential businesses like gyms and personal care services would close. Schools would also close, but during the governor’s press conference, New York City Chancellor Richard A. Carranza sent an email to principals that schools would close and go to virtual learning as of tomorrow, as the New York Times first reported.

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Policy

Photo by Eden, Janine and Jim via Flickr cc

With the COVID positivity rate rising across the state, and with neighboring states of Connecticut and New Jersey seeing major spikes, Governor Cuomo today put in place new restrictions to curb the spread. Restaurants and bars will have to close at 10pm; after that time they can offer curbside takeout and delivery for food only. Gyms will also have to close at 1opm. And both indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences will be limited to no more than 10 people. These are the three main spreaders that were identified by state contact-tracers. The rules go into effect at 1opm this Friday, November 13th.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo by Kevin Dellandrea on Unsplash

With the pandemic roaring around the nation and in nearby New Jersey and Connecticut, Governor Cuomo today announced that he’d be deploying additional National Guard and NYPD members to state airports to enforce the state’s COVID entry requirements as the holidays approach. In a conference call this morning with reporters, the governor said, “You should not land if you do not have proof of a negative test,” referring to the new travel rule that he announced on Monday, which says that most travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state.

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Policy

Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

Most travelers to New York must get tested for the coronavirus before and after arriving in the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday. The new rule replaces the travel advisory put in place in June that required a 14-day quarantine for travelers coming to New York from places with significant community spread. Under the new guidelines, which will go into effect on Wednesday, visitors will be able to “test out” of the mandatory quarantine if both COVID-19 tests come back negative.

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Events, Upstate

Home to more than 460 breweries statewide, New York knows beer. To make it easier to find a beer near you, the New York State Brewers Association in 2017 launched an app that allows users to find breweries across the state, check-in digitally, and earn stamps on their “tasting passport.” To encourage support of local beer makers and the use of the under-construction 750-mile Empire State Trail, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday a new passport program specifically targeting 200 craft breweries found along the trail.

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Policy

New “yellow zone” maps for Queens’ clusters; Courtesy of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office

The state will loosen some restrictions in coronavirus clusters in parts of Brooklyn and Queens after positive infection rates decreased, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday. As a way to contain the spread of the virus in hot spots across New York, the state earlier this month divided the clusters into three categories depending on positivity rates, with red, orange, and yellow zones determining the level of restrictions. According to Cuomo, all clusters in Queens can exit the red zone and enter yellow, meaning businesses and schools can reopen and houses of worship can increase capacity to 50 percent. But in Brooklyn, the red zone will remain red, with orange and yellow zones now both yellow.

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Policy

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

Given the many unknowns surrounding a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as skepticism that certain vaccine trials could be politically motivated, Governor Cuomo announced last month that the state would put together a Clinical Advisory Task Force to advise New Yorkers on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. In addition, over the weekend, the NYS Department of Health released a draft COVID-19 Vaccination Administration Program “that serves as an initial framework for ensuring the safe and effective distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine in New York.” According to the preliminary plan, the vaccine would be distributed in five phases, with high-risk populations and essential workers prioritized. 

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Featured Story

City Living, Features, Policy

Image: Michael Kowalczyk via Flickr.

The ban on single-use plastic bags will go into effect on Monday, more than seven months after enforcement was set to begin. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s statewide ban on plastic bags was approved by state lawmakers last year with plans to begin enforcement on March 1, 2020. But a lawsuit from the Bodega and Small Business Association and a delay in a court decision on the lawsuit because of the coronavirus pandemic pushed enforcement of the new law back multiple times until a state judge ruled in August that the ban can begin on October 19. Starting Monday, grocery and retail stores that collect state taxes from customers will no longer be permitted to use plastic bags to contain purchases at checkout. Ahead, learn more about the Bag Waste Reduction Law, the exceptions to the law, and alternatives to single-use plastic.

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Policy, Restaurants

Photo by Eden, Janine and Jim on Flickr

The New York City Council on Thursday voted to make outdoor dining permanent and year-round and lifted the ban on portable propane heaters. The legislation approved by the Council extends the city’s current Open Restaurants program, in which more than 10,500 restaurants have enrolled since June, until September 30, 2021, and requires it to be replaced with a permanent program. Under the program, restaurants will also be able to use portable propane heaters, which were previously banned.

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