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COVID-19 Latest

The Latest from Gov. Cuomo’s Daily Briefings on COVID-19*


  • Governor was in Rochester and was thankful to be able to conduct antibody testing at Wegmans.
  • Number of new cases daily down (717). Gov says to "take this with a grain of salt" as weekends tend to report lower numbers to begin with.
  • Deaths since May 3: 226. 193 in hospitals, 33 in nursing homes.
  • According to the CDC, strains seen in NY originated in Europe and other U.S. regions. Most flights from Europe landed in NY and NJ.



  • The Governor acknowledged urgency to want to reopen but again said we must focus on doing so in a way that protects public health, even if it takes longer.
  • Regions will be able to consider re-opening when the current NY-PAUSE order expires (May 15). They must meet state criteria and present a plan on how to re-open.
  • Governor says we need to learn lessons from crisis and make smart decisions going forward.
  • Quantifiable formula based on % and rate of hospitalizations + diagnostic testing rate + contact tracing of people who may have been exposed = R/T - 1.1.
  • If R/T is manageable, we can reopen businesses in phases. This will increase activity level while keeping an eye on transmission rates.
  • Core factors determining when certain regions can reopen include: monitoring new infections, healthcare capacity, diagnostic testing capacity, and contact tracing capacity.
  • CDC guidelines for reopening:
    • Regions must have at least 14 days of decline in total hospitalizations/deaths on three-day rolling basis.
    • Cannot have 15 new total cases or five deaths on a three-day rolling basis.
    • Fewer than two new cases per 100,000 residents.
    • Regions must have at least 30% total hospital and ICU beds available.
    • Hospitals must have at least 90 days of PPE stockpiled.
    • PHASE I: construction/manufacturing/some retailers with curbside pick-up.
    • PHASE II: professional services, finance/insurance, real estate, etc.
    • PHASE III: restaurants and hotels.
    • PHASE IV: arts/entertainment/recreation, education.
  • Businesses must develop their own safety precautions in compliance with new social distancing standards.
  • Regions must put together a "control room" to make decisions on reopening based on data.
  • If R/T goes above 1.1, Gov says to stop or slow reopening.



  • Governor thinks it's disrespectful of people not to wear masks. Saying 'thank you' to essential workers includes wearing masks to protect public health.
  • Believe local governments should be enforcing the statewide order; they can impose their own penalties for non-compliance.
  • Governor says he wears a mask outside of briefings and in situations where it may be difficult to socially distance.


*Courtesy of Statewatch


The Pause Act scheduled to go to May 15, which mandates non-essential workers to work from home and a six-foot social distancing space be observed in public places. Click here for more: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home


For the latest number of infection cases, including a breakdown by county, click here.


Please Join NYFB President Fisher and Commissioner Ball this Wednesday, May 6

NYFB President David Fisher will host a “fireside chat” with NYSDAM Commissioner and fellow farmer, Richard Ball on Zoom on Wednesday, May 6 at 7 p.m. Please join us for the opportunity to listen to the conversation about the response to the pandemic and life on their farms. If you have a topic or question that you would like them to address, please email NYFB at info@nyfb.org. Wednesday’s call will be limited to the first 500 guests but will be recorded for later viewings.



Nourish NY to Begin Helping Regional Food Banks purchase NY Farm Products

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and Department of Health have provided additional details on the distribution of the $25 million Nourish New York initiative. Funding will be allocated regionally and based on need, from the State’s special public health emergency fund, for food banks and emergency food providers across the state. The Nourish New York initiative, launched by the Governor last Monday, is working to quickly reroute New York’s surplus agricultural products to the populations who need them most through New York’s network of food banks.


Click here to read more about the plan and the statement from NYFB President David Fisher.


SBA Reopening EIDL for Agricultural Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic

Today, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that agricultural businesses are now eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. SBA’s EIDL portal will reopen on May 4, 2020 as a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. The legislation provided additional funding for farmers and certain other agricultural businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


Agricultural businesses include businesses engaged in the legal production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)). Eligible agricultural businesses must have 500 or fewer employees.


The SBA will begin accepting new EIDL applications on a limited basis only, in order to provide unprecedented relief to agricultural businesses. For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL loan application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will move forward and process these applications without the need for re-applying. All other EIDL loan applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis. For more information, please visit: www.sba.gov/Disaster.


Arriving H-2A Workers: Reconciling Isolation and Essential Status

Much confusion exists about the availability for work of H-2A workers who are newly arriving from a foreign country. Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development Specialist, Dr. Richard Stup, aims to clarify the issue for farmers and offers suggested guidance on workforce procedures for guest workers arriving on farms in the pandemic. Click here to read the post.


Tractors and Machinery Operated by Multiple Users: How to Clean and Disinfect during COVID-19

Often more than one person operates the same tractor or piece of machinery on a farm operation in the course of a day’s or week’s work. Driving shared tractors and machinery may put operators at risk of contracting COVID-19 if care is not taken to clean and disinfect them thoroughly between operators. NYCAMH Agricultural Safety Specialist Jim Carrabba has written guidance and a safety checklist to help keep everyone on your farm safe. Click here to read.


Food Industry Virtual Field Office to Address Covid-19 Issues

The Cornell Food Safety Extension Team will host two special sessions of Food Industry Virtual Office Hours. The first session will focus on the dairy foods industry and the second will be a general food industry session.


Special Dairy Foods Industry Virtual Office Hours

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 | 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm (EDT)

Registration for this free event is required. Please register here.


General Food Industry Virtual Office Hours

Thursday, May 7, 2020 | 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm (EDT)

Food Industry Virtual Office Hours are free and open to anyone in the food industry from farm to fork. Registration for this event is required. Please register here.

Click here to visit the website to find out more about the upcoming sessions.

Virtual NYS Cheese and Wine Pairing Event

The Cornell Milk Quality Improvement Program in collaboration with the Cornell Grad Wine Society are hosting a series of interactive virtual tastings featuring New York State cheese and wine.


Every Friday during the month of May, experts will discuss a cheese and wine pairing highlighting our great New York State products. They will provide brief introductions to the wine and cheese selection, what to look for when tasting the products and guide participants through tasting their own selections.


This is a free event and open to all! Simply purchase a New York wine and cheese product in the featured category to taste in your own home. The first event is this Friday, May 8 at 5:30 p.m. and features NYS Cheddar, aged six to nine months, and NYS Late Harvest Riesling or Gewurztraminer. Click here for more info and to join the event.

Participants can find a list of New York State cheese makers and mongers who offer direct-to-consumer sales in preparation for this event by clicking here.




NY FarmNet is Open

Please keep these numbers and websites available to call or share should you, a family member or friends need someone to speak with in these uncertain times. Support is available at 1-800-547-3276 and www.nyfarmnet.org.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255 (TALK), www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org


Crisis Text Line Text

“GOT 5” to 741-741, www.crisistextline.org