April 24, 2020

In This Issue
Fast Facts
Congress Passes Another COVID-19 Aid Bill, Increasing Funding for PPP
Federal Agencies Continue Releasing COVID-19 Guidance and Resources
State Spotlight: Millions of New Yorkers May Have Been Infected as Governor Calls for Regional Reopening
Healthcare Happy Hour: Congress Passes Another Billion-Dollar COVID-19 Bill
Donít Miss the Next Installment in the Compliance Corner COVID-19 Webinar Series
Did You Miss NAHUís Latest Running Your Business Webinar?
NAHUís Affinity Partners Offer COVID-19 Resources
Applications Are Being Accepted for NAHU's Legislative Council
HUPAC Roundup: House Democrats and Senate Challengers Come out on Top in First-Quarter Fundraising Reports
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State Spotlight: Millions of New Yorkers May Have Been Infected as Governor Calls for Regional Reopening

New York has been in the national spotlight since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, gaining infamy as the center of the pandemic in the United States. The Empire State has confirmed nearly 260,000 COVID-19 cases and over 15,000 coronavirus-related deaths while results from New York's first coronavirus antibody study show almost 2.7 million tested positive. Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo is looking at ways to reopen the state, claiming that the number of cases has peaked.

The aforementioned study, part of the state’s aggressive antibody testing launched earlier this week, is based on 3,000 random samples from 40 locations in 19 counties. While the preliminary data suggests much more widespread infection, it means New York's mortality rate is actually far lower than previously believed. New York City, unsurprisingly, had a higher rate of antibodies than anywhere else in the state and accounted for 43 percent of the total tested. Long Island, which is also densely populated, had a 16.7 percent positivity rate. "[This study] means a lot of us in NYC have been infected. But that's not surprising news -- we've seen high levels of cases for over a month,” Manhattan emergency room physician and Ebola survivor Craig Spencer tweeted. “It means the virus is STILL spreading in NYC. It means that the MAJORITY of us are still very susceptible.

Despite these disturbing statistics, the state is reporting that new cases of COVID-19 have peaked. In a press conference on Tuesday, Governor Cuomo discusses opening rural swaths of the state based on a “data-driven” approach. While New York City and the surrounding counties are densely populated, the populations of western and northern New York are far more scattered. “When you say New York, people think New York City -- one of the densest places on the globe,” Cuomo said. “You also have upstate New York where, in some counties, you have more cows than people.” New York will base its regional approach on the 10 economic zones that divvy up the state. A regional template will be used to track infection rates, hospitalizations and bed capacity, and more.

The regional reopening will begin with allowing elective outpatient surgeries to resume at certain upstate medical centers next week. If the hospital capacity is over 25 percent for the county and there have been fewer than 10 new hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients in the county over the past 10 days, then elective outpatient treatments can resume. In regards to the statewide stay-at-home order, however, the governor remained rigid. The state argues that it would be “logistically impossible” to stop residents in areas with high infection rates from traveling to reopened regions. This stance prompted a protest in front of the state capitol building in Albany, similar toprotests against stay-at-home orders across the country.

Be sure to check the coronavirus information section of the NAHU website, where we have COVID-19 State Fact sheets that provide info on adopted social distancing measures, health-policy action to reduce barriers to testing and treatment, and legislation that has been introduced in response to COVID-19 at the state level. We also have the COVID-19 State Reopening Tracker which lists the latest information on how each state is preparing to reopen.

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