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NYS Coronavirus Update: Schools to Stay Closed for the Rest of Academic Year -- Mental Health Awareness Month -- New Drive-Thru Testing Sites

May 1, 2020

From Governor Cuomo @ 7:34 PM on May 1:

While the number of hospitalizations is declining, we are still seeing about 1,000 new people being hospitalized for COVID-19 per day, a number that remains stubbornly high. To better access trends, we will look closely at these patients. We'll gather additional information and data from hospitals about those hospitalized for COVID-19, and look at factors including if they are essential workers, where they work, how they commute, where they live and other demographics. We will then use this data to create a tailored strategy aimed at reducing these numbers. The more data we collect the better we can address the problem.

Walkway Over the Hudson.
Photo of the Day: The Walkway Over the Hudson spelling out a message of gratitude to our frontline heroes (Photo by Scott Snell/Zero Point Aerial)

Here's what else you need to know tonight:


1. All K-12 schools and college facilities statewide will remain closed for the rest of the academic year. Schools will continue to provide distance learning during that time and be required to continue meal programs and child care services for essential workers. The state will make a decision about summer school programming by the end of May.


2. Schools and colleges must create reopening plans that re-imagine school facilities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. These plans should consider how schools can monitor the spread of Coronavirus, how to reinforce student safety, when and how to resume extracurricular activities and other considerations. All plans will be reviewed and approved by the state.


3. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. COVID-19 has been a crisis for mental health, too. Remember: You are never alone. For free emotional support, consultations and referrals to a provider, call 1-844-863-9314. For free meditation and mindfulness exercises, visit headspace.com/ny.


4. We are launching a new emotional support texting program for frontline workers. The state is partnering with the Kate Spade New York Foundation and Crisis Text Line to provide a 24/7 emotional support service for frontline health care workers. Workers can text NYFRONTLINE to 741-741 for support.


5. Cost should not be a barrier for essential workers to access mental health services. The State Department of Financial Services is directing state-regulated health insurers to waive all cost sharing/copays/deductibles for mental health services for essential workers through this crisis.


6. Five new drive-thru COVID testing facilities have opened in Monroe, Erie, Broome, Niagara and Oneida Counties. Residents who would like to be tested at these facilities must make an appointment by calling 888-364-3065 or online at covid19screening.health.ny.gov. Information about the specific locations of these new drive-thru centers is available here.


7. New York State is accepting applications for contact tracers. Serve your state and help slow the spread. Applicants are being sought for the role of contact tracer, team supervisor and community support specialist.


Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment"
: The Getty Museum in Los Angeles launched an online challenge encouraging people to use household items to recreate iconic works of art — and the entries are impressive.

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