New York’s eviction moratorium will not be extended after it expires this weekend, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday. In the meantime, the state’s rent-relief portal will be reopened to give aid to New Yorkers facing eviction. The freeze on evictions was established at the beginning of the Covid pandemic by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo to give relief to struggling New Yorkers. Over the past two years, it has been extended multiple times, with Hochul extending it to January 15 during her first week in office.
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday plans to introduce legislation permanently allowing the sale of to-go alcoholic beverages. First permitted at the start of the coronavirus pandemic to support the restaurant industry during the lockdown, the state ended takeout cocktails last June, coinciding with the lift of Covid-related restrictions. Legalizing the sale of to-go drinks will help local restaurants and bars recover from the pandemic, according to Hochul’s proposal. “Cheers, New York,” Hochul said Wednesday during her State of the State address.
Photo of Gov. Kathy Hochul announcing the Winter Surge Plan 2.0 by Don Pollard/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul on Flickr
On Friday, the state of New York recorded over 85,000 new cases of the coronavirus, the highest daily total since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 50,000 of those cases were reported in New York City alone. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced over the holiday weekend a “winter surge plan 2.0,” an attempt to strengthen the state’s fight against Covid with more testing, additional testing sites, and an increase in access to vaccines.
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit on Flickr
Pop-up coronavirus testing sites are now open at seven subway stations across New York City. After opening two walk-in PCR testing sites at Grand Central and Times Square stations last week, Gov. Kathy Hochul and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority opened additional sites at five subway stations, including Penn Station, Broadway Junction in Brooklyn, East 180th Street in the Bronx, and Roosevelt Avenue and Jamaica-179th Street in Queens. The state is currently experiencing a record surge in new Covid cases, which officials are attributing to the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Image courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
Despite a surge in new coronavirus cases, New York City officials said classrooms will reopen after winter break and stay open. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mayor-elect Eric Adams announced on Tuesday public schools will reopen as scheduled on January 3 with new health and safety measures in place, moving away from the remote learning model which many schools across the country have shifted to due to the recent surge in cases. Put together by the de Blasio administration and incoming Adams administration, the “Stay Safe and Stay Open” plan utilizes a massive increase in testing that will allow classrooms to stay open even if students test positive.
Photo courtesy of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office on Flickr
As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations rise statewide, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday announced a new mask requirement for all indoor public places in New York that don’t require proof of vaccination for entry. The new measure comes as the state experiences a “winter surge.” Since Thanksgiving, the statewide seven-day average case rate has jumped by 43 percent and hospitalizations have increased by 29 percent. “I have warned for weeks that additional steps could be necessary, and now we are at that point based upon three metrics: Increasing cases, reduced hospital capacity, and insufficient vaccination rates in certain areas,” Hochul said in a statement.
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday that New York will be the first state to receive the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s approval for its Homeowner Assistance Fund. The program offers up to $539 million to help low- and moderate-income homeowners affected by the Covid-19 pandemic avoid mortgage delinquency, default, foreclosure, and displacement.
Photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul on Flickr
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday declared a state of emergency for the state of New York to prepare for the new omicron variant of the coronavirus. The order allows the Department of Health to stop non-urgent surgeries at hospitals with less than 10 percent of beds available. While the new variant has not yet been detected in New York, “it’s coming,” according to Hochul, who in her order said the state is now experiencing Covid transmission rates not seen since April 2020.
All renderings courtesy of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office
Would Penn Station still be as much fun to mock if it wasn’t named after the commonwealth of Pennslyvania? Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday unveiled a revised redevelopment plan of the cramped transit hub, a pet project of her predecessor. In addition to redesigning and upgrading the existing facility and adding public space to the surrounding area, Hochul is also calling for the notorious train hall to be renamed.
Governor Kathy Hochul rode a test train from Jamaica to the East Side Access complex at Grand Central Terminal on Sun., October 31, 2021. (Marc A. Hermann / MTA) Flickr
The project that will bring direct Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Terminal hit a major milestone this weekend. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Sunday rode the first passenger LIRR train into the new concourse at the Midtown East transit hub and gave the public a first look at the terminal. Expected to officially open in December 2022, the East Side Access project will provide direct service to Manhattan’s east side for Long Island and Queens commuters, while also reducing crowds at Penn Station.