State Will Add 10 Additional Testing Sites in NYC Hotspots — Covering Predominantly Low Income and Minority Communities — as City Prepares for Phase 1 Reopening on June 8
Confirms 1,376 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State – Bringing Statewide Total to 369,660; New Cases in 45 Counties
THE WHOLE STORY
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed into law a new measure providing death benefits to the families of frontline workers who lost their lives fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in New York. The bill, S.8427/A.10528, establishes a COVID-19 death benefit for the families of state and local government employees who have been on the front lines of response to this public health emergency.
The Governor also announced that New York State will open 10 additional testing sites—one for each zip code—in New York City COVID hotspots. Controlling the virus’ spread in the city’s hotspots, which are located in predominately low income and minority communities, is a top priority as it moves toward Phase 1 of reopening on June 8. Six testing sites will be in the Bronx, three will be in Brooklyn and one will be in Queens.
Governor Cuomo also said that New York State continues to monitor progress fighting the virus in the Capital Region and Western New York, which will reach two weeks of Phase 1 reopening next week.
“This new law will provide death benefits to the families of state and local government frontline workers who died from COVID-19 and gave their lives for us,” Governor Cuomo said. “It is the least we can do to say thank you, and we honor you, and we remember you. We will be there to support your families going forward. And we say to their families, we thank you, we grieve for your loss, and we will always be there for you the way your loved one was there for us.”
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “I want to thank Senator Gounardes for his dedication and hard work to help get this crucial bill passed. So many brave men and the women paid the ultimate sacrifice while protecting all of us from this horrific disease. This bill honors their memory and ensures their family members are cared for in the future.”
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “Throughout the course of this pandemic, our municipal frontline workers have gone to work day after day so that their fellow New Yorkers could stay safely in their homes. They risked their health and well-being to serve others, and we will honor their service by ensuring that their families receive the benefits they so rightly deserve. I would like to thank my colleague Assemblymember Abbate for fighting tirelessly to ensure these fallen heroes are treated with respect and dignity.”
Senator Andrew Gounardes said, “It is fitting that we passed this legislation just after Memorial Day, a day we honor those who have given their lives for their country. Those essential workers we lost to covid-19 gave their lives in a different kind of war – a war against a vicious virus. Their families have suffered a horrific loss and thanks to our actions they will not have to wait in limbo to get the benefits they are owed. I’d like to thank Governor Cuomo for his support on this issue and for moving so swiftly to sign it into law to give relief for the families of these everyday heroes.”
Assemblymember Peter Abbate said, “While many employers are making arrangements for workers to telecommute rather than risking illness, workers like emergency medical personnel, firefighters, police officers, sanitation workers, transit workers and many others have continued to show up every day. And for their service, many have paid the ultimate price. This legislation ensures that their families are afforded the benefits they deserve for their unimaginable loss.”