Links to recent issues


Downtown Post NYC is emailed to subscribers, however, if you missed a recent emailed issue, here are some links:

May 31, 2020, Volume 6, No. 21  

* Letter from the editor: The Fourth Estate
* 'Violence is not the answer' says Cuomo  
* Revisiting 'LA92' which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017   
* Downtown Alliance expands small business grant program
* Bits & Bytes: Le Pain Quotidien files for bankruptcy; A virtual tour of FIDI
* NYC Ferry alters schedules and routes
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Dental offices can reopen in New York State

May 22, 2020, Volume 6, No. 20

* Letter from the editor: The View from Here
* Record number of unemployment claims creates check-processing backlog  
* 'Wear a Mask New York' contest promotes crucial tool in slowing COVID-19 spread   
* Beaches in four neighboring states will open on Memorial Day weekend  
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Voting by mail; Contact tracing phone calls

May 17, 2020. Volume 6, No. 19

* Letter from the editor: Get Tested    
* Five of New York State's ten regions reopen for business
* Beaches in four neighboring states will open on Memorial Day weekend
* Bits & Bytes: Paris Cafe has closed: Covid-19 causing a deadly disease in children  
* NYC Ferry alters schedules and routes
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Voting by mail in New York State; USCGC Lilac closed
* Calendar: Manhattan art museums online


March 5, 2020, Volume 6, No. 18   

* Letter from the editor: Cosmic Perspective  
* Beginner's Ear marries music and meditation  
* Bits & Bytes: South Street Seaport history; New Italian restaurant; Ninja closes
* Downtown Bulletin Board: BPC resiliency plan; Downtown Alliance summer job
* Letter to the Editor: Death of a gentleman
* Calendar: Women's History Month

Feb. 10, 2020, Volume 6, No. 17
 


* Letter from the editor: Jury duty   
* Show of artwork created in Battery Park City's free art classes  
* Bits & Bytes: Sales plummet at Chinatown restaurants; Sea wall debate  
* In Memoriam: Vernon Hendrix
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Jane's Walk seeks walk leaders; Aging survey
* Calendar: Presidents' Day and Black History

Dec. 23, 2019, Volume 6, No. 16


* Letter from the editor: The Longest Night  
* A bewitching production of 'The Sorceress' is at the Museum of Jewish Heritage 
* Bits & Bytes: Pioneer in Albany boatyard; Tribeca art scene; 125 Greenwich St. rises
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Holiday hours at Poets House; Annual diaper drive
* Calendar: Battery Park City's winter calendar

Nov. 5, 2019, Volume 6, No. 15  

* Letter from the editor: Ballot questions
* The eloquent story of a shofar at the Museum of Jewish Heritage   
* Liz Berger Plaza groundbreaking
* Bits & Bytes: Bubby's is back; Commerce on Governors Island
* Downtown Bulletin Board: New ferry schedules; Release of the fishes
* Calendar: Fall foliage cruises

Aug. 18, 2019, Volume 6, No. 14 

* Letter from the editor: Rooftop Summer  
* Bayonne Bridge is rededicated after years of complex design and construction work
* Bits & Bytes: Trump fundraiser blowback; Where to find affordable housing
* Downtown Bulletin Board: River Project seeks interns, Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish
* Letter to the Editor: In memory of Marilyn Gaull Howard
* Calendar: Coming attractions

Aug. 9, 2019,
Volume 6, No. 13 
   
* Letter from the editor: The Guns of New York  
* South Street Seaport Museum's schooner Pioneer sidelined for the rest of the season
* The courageous life of Israeli heroine, Hannah Senesh, is evoked in a play with music  
* Bits & Bytes: iPic Entertainment files for bankruptcy; Gansevoort Peninsula Park plans
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Squirrel bites; Equifax settlement and how to apply
* Calendar: Battery Dance Festival

July 25, 2019, Volume 6, No. 12 
 

* Letter from the editor: I was there (Zadroga revisited)
* Bits & Bytes: Cesar Pelli dead at 92; Vongerichten on Pier 17;
Help in Housing Court
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Summer restaurant week; Applications open for arts grants
* Calendar: Native American art, music and history

July 13, 2019,
Volume 6, No. 11
   
* Letter from the editor: Remembering Alexander Hamilton
* Calendar: City of Water Day
* The 2020 census is a battleground  
* Bits & Bytes: Aggressive ticket sellers on Battery Place accost lawmaker
* Letter to the editor: See New York City by ferry
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Essex Crossing affordable housing lottery; Warner retires

July 4, 2019, Volume 6, No. 10  

* Letter from the editor: July 4, 2019  
* Calendar: July 4 in Lower Manhattan  
* Downtown Post Dining: Get Low offers restaurant discounts
* Bits & Bytes: Melville Gallery renovations announced; 125 Greenwich St. foreclosure
* Letter to the editor: Locals petition de Blasio to use Deutsche Bank site for housing
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Free summer meals for kids; Hovitz resigns from CB1 

June 20, 2019,
Volume 6, No. 9 

* Letter from the editor: Peaceful New York City
* Howard Hughes Corp. hires Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to create Seaport master plan
* Bits & Bytes: Oculus skylight still broken; WTC contractors and officials indicted  
* Letter to the editor: Deutsche Bank site to be sold
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Battery Park City Authority holds resiliency meetings
* Calendar: River to River Festival and 'Night at the Museums'

May 21, 2019, Volume 6, No. 8 

* Letter from the editor: Flamingo on the Hudson  
* Dine Around Downtown and Get Low offer discounted dining options
* Bits & Bytes: Storm surge barrier proposal; Vongerichten opens Seaport restaurant
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Connection bus service changes; New ferry schedules
* Calendar: South Street Seaport Museum

April 17, 2019,
Volume 6, No. 7 

* Letter from the editor: Day of Mourning 
* Death on Battery Park City's South End Avenue 
* LMHQ inspires downtown's nomadic workforce 
* Bits & Bytes: Fidi loses comic book store; Former Trump Soho hit with tax lien 
* Elise Ensler documents the news, one morning at a time 
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Victim Compensation Fund Information Session
* Calendar: Governors Island summer plans


April 2, 2019,
Volume 6, No. 6 

* Letter from the editor: Binders of Women  
*
Holocaust freight car is installed at the Museum of Jewish Heritage
* Downtown Post Politics: Nadler confronts A.G. Barr over Mueller report
* Bits & Bytes: City Winery Moving to Pier 57; State to review contaminated Seaport lot  
* Downtown Bulletin Board: River Project Wetlab opens for the 2019 season
* Calendar: Lower Manhattan History


March 16, 2019,
Volume 6, No. 5

* Letter from the editor: Tom Goodkind
* Congestion pricing debate continues as a way to help fund MTA repairs
* Bits & Bytes: Pied-a-Terre tax proposed; Dining in Manhattan's Chinatown
* City Lore exhibition honors New York's 'Waterfront Heroes"
* Downtown Post Arts: 'Fiddler on the Roof' continues to get standing ovations
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Chili Party to benefit John J. Harvey; Women in Prison panel
* Calendar: March - Past, Present and Future

Feb. 26, 2019, Volume 6, No. 4 
    

* Letter from the editor: Public Advocate Election Day   
* Bill to create an African Burial Ground Museum and Educational Center resurfaces
* Bits & Bytes: Jon Stewart pleads for 9/11 medical funding; Trinity's $6B portfolio
* Tribeca Film Festival: Some 2018 Tribeca Film Festival offerings are back in town
* Downtown Post Arts: New Shanghai Circus astonishes at the Schimmel Center
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Whitney Museum open daily; Digital Innovation Grants
* Letter to the Editor: Port Authority and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
* Calendar: February - A day of events in Lower Manhattan

Feb. 7, 2019,
Volume 6, No. 3 

* Letter from the editor: Public Advocate Election, Part 1  
* Hudson River Park Trust says park can withstand flooding
* Bits & Bytes: Beach planned for Hudson River Park; Memorial for first responders
* Downtown Post Political Report: Trump attacks New York State Reproductive Health Act
* Downtown Post Museums: Fraunces Tavern Museum book club
* Non-profits can apply for free meeting space at LMHQ
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Pace University's Active Retirement Center
* Calendar: February - Chinese Lunar New Year


Jan. 26, 2019,
Volume 6, No. 2 
   
* Letter from the editor: A Week's Work   
* Reproductive Health Act passes NY State legislature and Cuomo signs it into law
* Bits & Bytes: Fidi condo sales down; Cuomo pledges $23M to Hudson River Park
* Downtown Post Political Report: Nadler begins investigations of Whitaker and Nielsen
* Downtown Post Arts: 'Soul to Soul' honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
* Downtown Bulletin Board: SOL and Ellis Island remained open; Battery bird walks
* Calendar: January - Silent Films/Live Music at Brookfield Place

Jan. 9, 2019,
Volume 6, No. 1 

* Letter from the editor: Shutdown  
* Julie Menin appointed to direct preparations for New York City's 2020 census count
* Tribeca Film Festival's 'Roll Red Roll' explores a rape and cover-up in an Ohio townÂ
* Bits & Bytes: Saks shuts BPC store; Mayor taps Julie Menin for census count  
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Connection bus ridership survey; Caregiver support group
* Downtown Post Arts: ' p r i s m' at the 7th annual Prototype Festival
* Calendar: January - Hamilton's Birthday

Dec. 22, 2018, Volume 5, No. 19    

* Letter from the editor: Migrant Families  
* Julian Wachner puts Trinity Wall Street's musical programming on the map  
* Bits & Bytes: Dead Rabbit expands; Tribeca penthouse sells for $55 million  
* Downtown Post Politics: Nadler takes helm of House Judiciary Committee  
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Lower Manhattan 'Staycation' contest
* Fraunces Tavern Book Club focuses on new books about the American Revolution
* Calendar: December - Battery Park City's winter calendar

Dec. 9, 2018, Volume 5, No. 18 

* Letter from the editor: Giving Wednesdays  
* Bicycle parking pod debuts in Lower Manhattan
* During December, outdoor food and crafts markets at the South Street Seaport    * Bits & Bytes: Moving Lady Liberty's torch; SEC seeks new digs
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Community Board applications; Holiday diaper drive
* Calendar: December - Lower Manhattan lights


Nov. 6, 2018, Volume 5, No. 17 

* Letter from the editor: Election Day Hotline
* Flip the Ballot: Three NYC charter revision proposals are on the back of the ballot
* Bits & Bytes: African Burial Ground Monument defaced; Tiny townhouses on Water St.
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Medicare enrollment information; Jack Putnam memorial
* Letter to the Editor: Vote 'no' on Charter Revision Proposals 2 and 3
* Calendar: November - Kristallnacht and 'Messiah'

May 6, Volume 5, No. 8

* Letter from the editor: A Tale of Two Piers
* Newly formed Seaport Advisory Group hopes to end Seaport 'surprises'
* Governors Island opens for the 2018 season   
* Bits & Bytes: Pier 40 piling repairs begin; Recommended Tribeca dining
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Community Convention; Brooklyn Bridge Poetry Walk
* Calendar: May - Summer in Battery Park City

May 23, Volume 5, No. 9

* Letter from the editor: How to Read the News
* Howard Hughes announces summer concert series and puts tickets on sale
* Bits & Bytes: Landlords win affordability case; Canal Street gentrifies
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Meet the Fishes; Free Fridays at South St. Seaport Museum
* Calendar: May - New York Harbor beckons

July 17, Volume 5, No. 10

* Letter from the editor: What happened at Federal Hall  
* 'Fiddler on the Roof' in Yiddish at the Museum of Jewish Heritage
* Bits & Bytes: Record prices for Lower Manhattan penthouses
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Governors Island now open late on Fridays and Saturdays
* Calendar: July - Poetry

Aug. 3, Volume 5, No. 11

* Letter from the editor: Preventable Loss
* Kayakers and waders enjoy Brooklyn Bridge Beach on City of Water Day    
* Pier 17 rooftop concert venue opens in the South Street Seaport
* Bits & Bytes: The River Project's humongous oyster; Massive jail for 80 Centre St.
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Culture Pass debuts; Free community paddle
* Letter to the editor: Pier 17 concerts create an audio nightmare
* Calendar: August - Battery Dance Festival

Aug. 18, Volume 5, No. 12

* Letter from the editor: New York's State Primary   
* Battery Dance Festival concludes a week of free performances in Battery Park City
* Ticket hawkers cause Connection bus route change  
* Tribeca Film Festival: 'Time for Ilhan' shows the political rise of a Muslim immigrant
* Bits & Bytes: El Chapo causes Brooklyn Bridge gridlock; Wigstock coming to Pier 17
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Mentoring for at-risk youth; adult ceramics classes
* Calendar: August - Museum of Jewish Heritage - 'Memory Unearthed'

Sept. 7, 2018, Volume 5, No. 13 

* Letter from the editor: New York's State Primary   
* New York State leads lawsuit to protect migrating birds
* September 11 commemorations in Lower Manhattan  
* Bits & Bytes: Charter revision proposals; Downtown hotel developer sues neighbor  
* Downtown Bulletin Board: Open House New York seeks volunteers; New ferry service
* Calendar: September - Battery Park City Authority fall calendar

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News and events in lower Manhattan

Welcome

 

Downtown Post NYC is a free newsletter about lower Manhattan that is emailed to subscribers. 


It covers history, architecture, politics, parks, real estate, museums, the marine environment, restaurants, shops and the people of lower Manhattan.  

Sign up hereand it will be emailed to you. If you are already a subscriber to Downtown Post NYC, please share it and ask those you know to subscribe.

If you have comments or questions, email editor@downtownpostnyc.com.

Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Editor, Downtown Post NYC



Read about Downtown Post NYC

in the Alliance for Downtown New York's blog. Click here.

Downtown Post NYC

STAMINA AND THE MEANING OF COURAGE


On May 23, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his daily COVID-19 report from the Governor's Mansion in Albany where three men had formerly lived who went on to become U.S. presidents. Among them was Teddy Roosevelt, born a sickly kid who fought in the Spanish-American War as a Rough Rider — a nickname that was given to a volunteer cavalry that was on the front lines of the combat.

Cuomo mentioned that when he was New York State governor, Teddy Roosevelt had a boxing ring built on the third floor of the Governor's Mansion and that he would invite Albany legislators to visit and go a few rounds with him. "I think that's how they got the budget done at the end of the budget session," Cuomo said wryly.

He also quoted something that Teddy Roosevelt had once said: “Courage is not having the strength to go on. It is going on when you don’t have the strength.” Then Cuomo continued, “Day 84. “‘I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do this anymore.’ We have to do it more. We have to continue to do it. There’s no normal. We’re going to have to do it for a long time.”

During the COVID-19 shutdown, the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene presents Folksbiene LIVE!, an online celebration of Yiddish culture, featuring livestreamed theater, American Jewish performers, concerts, lectures, talks, and other events. The programming can be viewed at http://www.nytf.org.

Register to Vote

June 23, 2020 is the date for the New York State primary election.
In order to vote for a candidate in the primary election, you must be registered to the political party for whose candidate you wish to vote. People who are registered as Independents can't vote in the primary election. Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order to ensure New Yorkers can vote by absentee ballot in the June 23rd elections. Click here to find your poll site and to register to vote by mail. Click here to register to vote.
For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.
VOTING BY MAIL in New York State. To apply for an absentee ballot, click on the link below and type in your name, address and date of birth. Check the “temporary illness” box to indicate that the coronavirus is the reason you’re applying. The early voting period begins on June 13 and ends on June 21.https://tinyurl.com/ybhmy5eq

Fireworks on the East River. July 4, 2019.

For more fireworks photos, go to Downtown Post NYC's Facebook page. Click here. (Photos: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer 2019)

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-New York’s 10th Congressional District) and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer entering the NYU Kimmel Center for a Town Hall meeting on Feb. 12, 2018.  In January 2019, Nadler became the chair of the House Judiciary Committee and there has been a great deal of news as a result. Check the Downtown Post NYC Politics page for up-to-date information about this news and other news affecting Lower Manhattan and its representatives. To go to the Downtown Post NYC Politics page,  click here.  (Photo: © Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

FOR THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE DOWNTOWN POST NYC NEWSLETTER, CLICK HERE

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Weather and Public Safety


Weather Information: For the latest weather information, go to www.weather.gov/nyc.

AlliedBarton patrols Battery Park City
. To reach AlliedBarton,  call (212) 945-SAFE (7233). The Battery Park City Command Center is located at the Verdesian, 211 North End Ave. In case of emergencies, call 911.

Connection Bus Service

The Connection bus service makes 36 stops on its route between the South Street Seaport and Broadway near City Hall. Daily service starts at 10 a.m. with a last run at 7:30 p.m. Real-time bus information can be found on NextRide. Click here.

Spencer Tax

Assistance with the following:
SBA Disaster Loans & Grants 

Unemployment Assistance - available for W2 and Schedule C clients
Mandated additional sick pay and associated tax credit
Paycheck Protection Program;  Extended tax loss carry-backs

Phone: (212) 858-9855

Click here for more information

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​​Links


June 2: In response to looting and other violence in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the city will be under curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the remainder of the week.


May 6: Until further notice, all New York City subway stations will be closed between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. for disinfection and cleaning. The MTA is expanding overnight bus service on 61 routes, Overnight buses will not charge a fare while the subway is closed.


The Board of Directors of the Battery Park City Authority met on May 27. A video recording of the meeting is available on the Battery Park City Authority website. For more information go to: bpca.ny.gov/about/board-committees/. The BPCA board of directors will next meet on June 10 at 2 p.m.
 

As of Monday, March 16: The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) has canceled all programming until further notice.
In addition, the Community Center at Stuyvesant High School is closed until further notice.
All Battery Park City parks and BPCA offices remain otherwise open for business.

As of Monday, March 16, the Fraunces Tavern Museum at 54 Pearl St. is closed to the public. All public programs have been postponed. For more information, click here.

As of Monday, March 16, LMHQ, the co-working space sponsored by the Downtown Alliance, is closed until further notice. For more information, click here.

The National Museum of the American Indian at 1 Bowling Green is closed to the public. Updates as to when the museum will reopen will be posted on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. In the meantime, the public can explore the Smithsonian’s online resources by visiting www.si.edu and museum websites for more information on virtual exhibitions, online collections and educational resources.

All New York Public Library locations are closed and will remain closed until further notice. All late fees are suspended and due dates extended during the closure period. All in-person public programs and events have been canceled through the end of May. Patrons can access the Library's Census resources online. Ask NYPL virtual reference is available. For more information about the NYPL's online offerings, click here.

The library of Poets House at 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City is closed until further notice. Master classes and poetry readings have been postponed.

The South Street Seaport Museum has closed to the public until further notice. This affects public access to the Museum's locations at 12 Fulton St., Bowne & Co. on Water Street and the ships Ambrose and Wavertree on Pier 16.

The Morgan Library & Museum at 225 Madison Ave. is closed temporarily. All events and programs have been canceled.  Virtual tours and exhibition photos are online at The Morgan Connected. For more information, click here.

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum is closed until further notice.  For more information, click here.

The historic lighthouse tender, Lilac, docked at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park, will not open to the public this summer.


The 19th Tribeca Film Festival, previously scheduled to run from April 15 to April 26, was postponed. Go to www.tribecafilm.com for the latest information on ticket refunds and plans for moving forward.









































COVID-19 NEWS FROM

NEW YORK STATE GOVERNOR

ANDREW CUOMO


May 29: Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York City is on track to embark on Phase 1 of reopening on June 8. Around 400,000 people who work in construction, wholesale, manufacturing and curbside retail industries will be able to return to their jobs.


May 22: Gov. Cuomo announced that New York State is launching a $100+ million loan program for small businesses. The loan program will focus on supporting small businesses that were less likely to receive federal loans, especially women and minority-owned businesses, and very small businesses with 20 or fewer employees. For more information, go to https://esd.ny.gov/economic-recovery-covid-19-loans-small-businesses


May 21: Gov. Cuomo announced that summer school will only take place via distance learning, not by inclass teaching. He also said that meal programs and child care services for essential employees will continue.


May 17: Gov. Cuomo announced a new website that will help New Yorkers to find sites where they can be tested for COVID-19.  The URL is https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-testing


May 10: Gov. Cuomo announced that New York State was investigating 85 cases of a COVID-related illness in children that presented as an inflammation of the blood vessels and sometimes of the heart. He said that three New York children had died of this previously undiagnosed disease.


May 7: Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that no commercial or residential tenant can be evicted for non-payment of rent through Aug. 20, 2020 and that renters may use their security deposits to pay their rent and may repay their security deposits over time. He also said that fees for late rent payments would be banned during the eviction moratorium.


May 4: Gov. Cuomo announced that New York State will monitor four core factors to determine if a region of the state can safely re-open: Number of new infections, health care capacity, diagnostic testing capacity and contact tracing capacity.


April 29: Gov. Cuomo announced that elective outpatient treatments and surgeries could resume in 35 New York counties that have no significant risk of a COVID-19 surge in the near term.


April 15: Gov. Cuomo directed schools and nonessential businesses to stay closed through May 15th. On May 1, Cuomo announced that New York State schools and colleges will remain closed for the rest of this academic year.


March 27: 1. The first 1,000-bed temporary hospital was completed at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The facility opened on Monday, March 30.


New Yorkers without health insurance can apply for a health plan through NY State of Health. Those who recently lost employer coverage, must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan or Child Health Plus.


For a 90-day period, New Yorkers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying life insurance premiums. Late payments will be payable over a one-year period. Additionally, consumers and small businesses experiencing Coronavirus-related financial hardship may defer paying premiums for property and casualty insurance for a 60-day period. This includes auto, homeowners, renters and other kinds of insurance. (No late fees will be assessed and there will be no negative impact to your credit.)
 
The USNS Comfort, a U.S. Navy hospital ship, arrived in New York Harbor on Monday, March 30. It is a massive facility with 1,000 beds, 12 operating rooms, a pharmacy and a laboratory. It left New York City on April 30.
 

March 20: On March 20 at 8:40 a.m., the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania released a statement that said that beginning March 21 at 8 p.m., all barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors, nail salons, hair removal services and related personal care services in their respective states would be closed to the public "as these services cannot be provided while maintaining social distance."

New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo, said "We know how the novel coronavirus spreads, and we are making data-driven decisions as the situation evolves to continue to reduce density and slow the spread of the virus. We remain in constant communication with our neighboring states to ensure we are establishing a set of uniform rules and regulations for the entire region. These temporary closures are not going to be easy, but they are necessary to protecting the health and safety of New Yorkers and all Americans."


March 19: Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order mandating that businesses that rely on in-office personnel decrease their in-office workforce by 75 percent. Essential service industries are exempted. These include shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, health care providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions and other industries critical to the supply chain.


March 17: Gov. Cuomo announced a three-way agreement with the New York State legislature on a bill guaranteeing job protection and pay for New Yorkers who have been quarantined as a result of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The program bill also includes the permanent comprehensive paid sick leave policy first advanced in the Governor's FY 2021 Executive Budget proposal.
 
This follows the Governor's announcement last week that the state will guarantee two full weeks of paid leave for all state workers who are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine as a result of the novel coronavirus.
 
The Governor also announced that the state is reaching out to qualified former doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to supplement the personnel at hospitals. The State Department of Health and the State Education Department have sent letters to retired health care professionals and all schools of nursing, public health and medicine encouraging qualified health care personnel to sign up for on-call work during the COVID-19 crisis. Healthcare professionals who wish to sign up can contact the State Department of Health at health.ny.gov/assistance.
 
Gov. Cuomo also directed the Greater New York Hospital Association and the Healthcare Association of New York State to work with 1199 SEIU to develop a plan to create drop-in child care opportunities and to expand child care facilities at their hospitals to ensure child care for hospital workforce. They will submit a joint plan to the state by Friday.


Gov. Cuomo and Attorney General Letitia James announced that effective immediately the state will temporarily halt the collection of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection. The reprieve will be for at least 30 days.

March 16: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued an Executive Order allowing the state to increase hospital capacity to prepare the state's healthcare system to handle the potential influx of patients suffering from COVID-19. The State organized the National Guard and worked with building unions and private developers to find existing facilities -- such as dormitories and former nursing homes -- that could most easily be converted to medical facilities, with the goal of creating an additional 9,000 beds. The Governor also asked local governments, especially those in the most impacted areas, to help identify available facilities for this purpose. The State Department of Health suspended regulations to allow existing hospitals to increase space and capacity.

The Governor directed nonessential state employees statewide to work from home starting March 17. The Governor also directed local governments to reduce their overall workforce by 50 percent and allow nonessential employees to work from home.
 
Following the Governor's directive to close schools in Westchester, New York City, Nassau and Suffolk yesterday, Governor Cuomo said that the counties are required to submit their childcare and meal plans to the state for approval by midnight tonight.
 
The Governor also announced New York State will waive all fees for state, local and county parks.