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NYS Coronavirus Update: Contact Tracing Program Launching in Coming Weeks -- MTA to Disinfect Subways and Railroads Daily -- Find Your Local Food Bank Provider

Apr 30, 2020

From Governor Cuomo @ 6:52 PM on April 30:

Our playbook to tackle COVID-19 operates on three premises: Test — Trace — Isolate. As we steadily ramp up our testing capabilities, we also need to expand contact tracing. Contact tracing is the art (and hard work) of tracking down close contacts of those who have tested positive for the virus. The new, nation-leading tracing program that Mike Bloomberg and I announced last week is expected to expand to 6,400 to 17,000 tracers statewide.

To build this army of tracers, former Mayor Bloomberg and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, along with the NYS Department of Health, will lead the recruitment, hiring and training of our tracers. Johns Hopkins will develop an online curriculum and exam that is required in order to become a contact tracer. The great challenge is to ramp this program up to scale as quickly as possible. We have never done anything like this before, but we will now because we need to meet this challenge.

Glen Island Park, Westchester.
Photo of the Day: A socially distant group hug to the nurses and essential workers on the front lines from the COVID testing site at Glen Island Park in Westchester County (Photo by New York State Police)
Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. The MTA will disinfect the New York City Transit system, as well as the Metro-North and Long Island Railroad, every 24 hours. To achieve this, subway service will stop nightly from 1:00 AM to 5:00 AM, beginning on Wednesday, May 6. The MTA will provide free alternative transportation options to essential workers including buses, "dollar vans" and for-hire vehicles. The entire fleet of Metro-North Railroad and LIRR will also be cleaned daily (with no service disruptions). This is an unprecedented undertaking and requires a full MTA/State/City partnership.


2. All New York hospitals must allow partners to stay with women as they recover from giving birth. A previously signed Executive Order allowed one person to be present (in addition to the patient) during both labor and delivery. Following the recommendation of the COVID-19 Maternity Task Force, hospitals must now allow partners to stay with women during labor, delivery and the postpartum period, which includes recovery.


3. No New Yorker should go to bed hungry. One of the greatest concerns of the pandemic is food accessibility and hunger. New Yorkers should have access to food regardless of where they are in the state. To find a food pantry that services your county, visit ny.gov/foodbanks.


4. Even though New York is still on PAUSE, New York State Parks remain open for solitary walks or hikes. To help beat cabin fever, all fees for state, local and county parks are waived — but you must keep six feet of distance from others and where a mask where social distancing is not possible. (You don't need to stay six feet away from someone in your own household who is joining you.)


Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment"
: Every day at 6:30 PM you can enjoy virtual happy hour at breweries around New York State. Organized by the New York State Brewers Association, you can "visit" a different brewery through their Facebook page and meet in-house brewers while safely social distancing at home. Visit https://thinknydrinkny.com/ny-virtual-happy-hour/ for the virtual happy hour schedule. (And "virtually" drink responsibly.)

andrew-cuomo-news-conference.jpgIf you were forwarded this email, you can subscribe to New York State's Coronavirus Updates here.
Ever Upward,
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo