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Governor Cuomo's April 20 COVID-19 Update: Hazard Pay for Essential Workers - Aid to Public Housing Residents - Reimagine NY Task Force

Apr 20, 2020

From Governor Cuomo @ 7:29 PM on April 20:

As we consider how to reopen New York, we need to set the bar higher. Rather than asking only when and what do we open, we need to learn from this crisis and consider what we want society to be. We should take this opportunity to work on a future that reimagines New York. When we are finally through this hell, I want people to say, we did so at great cost but we learned lessons and we built a better society because of it. To build a better transportation system, a better health system, better housing, better public safety, better use of technology, and more social equality. Let's gather the best experts and make sure we use the lessons from this crisis and don't waste the opportunity to build back better.

Staff at Glen Island COVID testing site spell out New York Tough with their bodies.
Photo of the Day: The staff at the Glen Island COVID testing site show that they're #NewYorkTough.(Photo by the New York State Police)
Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. Our essential public workers on the frontlines deserve hazard pay. Essential public workers are the ones on the frontlines every day carrying us through this crisis, and we must ensure their efforts and sacrifice are appropriately recognized. This crisis is not over yet, and as long as these workers continue to work and expose themselves to the virus, they should be properly compensated. I am calling on the federal government to provide hazard pay to these frontline workers and give them a 50 percent bonus because they are the true heroes in this crisis.

2. New York is launching a new partnership with the company Ready Responders to bring healthcare services, including COVID-19 diagnostic testing, to residents of public housing in NYC. The state will partner with Representative Greg Meeks, Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Attorney General Letitia James, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Bronx President Ruben Diaz Jr. on this effort. An initial pilot program will begin this week at locations across New York City.

3. We need to protect our vulnerable communities. The state will deliver 500,000 cloth masks — at least one for every resident — and 10,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to public housing communities. It is now mandatory for all New Yorkers to wear face coverings in public settings, where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain and when using public transportation.

4. I announced the creation of the Reimagine NY Task Force to improve systems in downstate New York once the state is no longer on PAUSE. The Task Force will be led by the state and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and will comprise other local elected officials and housing and transportation experts.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment"
: To fulfill technology needs while remote learning continues, SUNY is distributing more than 8,800 laptops to students in need who are currently completing their spring semester coursework online amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Ever Upward,
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo