COVID-19 Updates

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COVID-19 Latest

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

 

Statistics:

  • Total numbers of hospitalizations, intubations, and net hospitalizations are down again

Reopening:

  • Governor says some of the more agricultural areas of the state may open sooner, but he says we must be aware people will travel from closed areas with higher infection rates to parts of the state that may be opening.
  • Without social distancing and other mitigation measures all progress made will be lost.
  • Governor reiterated concerns over a second wave of Coronavirus in the fall
  • CDC guidance states that before any state reopens, we need two weeks of a flat or declining curve.

Research Findings:

  • There were likely 28,000 cases in U.S. in February and more than 10,000 in NYS
  • NY strains came from Europe, most likely Italy
  • Between beginning of the spread of virus in January to European closedown in March approximately 13,000 flights came to NY and NJ bringing 2.2M people into the region
  • How long does the virus live?
    • Up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel
    • Up to 24 hours on cardboard
    • Up to four hours on materials like copper
    • Can hang in the air for up to three hours before falling

COVID-19 Economic Impact Analysis:

  • NYS revenues will decline
    • $13.3B shortfall from Executive Budget forecast
    • $61B over the financial plan period of NY 2021 to FY 2024
  • Government spending and tax rates are lower now than in the past
  • In response to suggestion for states to declare bankruptcy, Governor Cuomo dared Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass a bill allowing states to declare bankruptcy

Looking Ahead:

  • Governor says citizens should not have to choose between health and voting rights
    • Executive Order was issued allowing all New Yorkers to vote absentee.
    • Today’s order will ensure every New Yorke automatically receives a postage-paid application to receive a ballot.

*Courtesy of Statewatch

 

Governor Cuomo had extended the Pause Act 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 information.

 

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

 

Cornell Food Industry Virtual Office Hours

Join Cornell CALS Institute for Food Safety for its weekly Q&A and facilitated discussions during its Food Industry Virtual Office Hours. Speak directly to Cornell University food safety experts in dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, and processed foods and beverages. Times are

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 | 12:00 to 1:00 pm (EDT)

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 | 12:30 to 1:30 pm (EDT)

Click here for more information and how to register.

 

Webinar on Dairy Risk Management Concepts for the Current Environment

Farm Credit East and Crop Growers invite Dairy farmers and industry professionals to hear Dr. Marin Bozic and Farm Credit East Business Consultant Gregg McConnell address the current dairy situation during a free webinar at 12:30 on Thursday, April 30. During this time Dr. Bozic will provide a dairy markets update as well as discuss tools available to dairy producers to manage risk on their operation. Gregg McConnell will be educating on how to evaluate your farm's risk profile and the suitability of the risk management tools for different situations. Click here to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

 

New York State Will Provide Childcare Scholarships to Essential Workers

New York State recently announced that childcare costs will be covered for essential staff whose income is less than 300% of the federal poverty level — or $78,600 for a family of four. You kind find the announcement here.

 

Essential workers (including farmers and their employees, health care providers, law enforcement, food delivery workers, grocery store employees and others) can use these scholarships to pay for their existing care arrangement. If an essential worker needs childcare, they can contact their local childcare referral agency to find openings.

 

More details regarding the program will be shared when available.

 

“Stop the Spread” Posters Available in Multiple Languages

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is working with the State Department of Health to provide employers and employees with guidelines to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 at the workplace. Full guidance document can be found here in English and Spanish.

 

And links to signs can be found below:

Farm Bureau Bank

Many members are challenged with accessing PPP funds due to huge backlogs at large national banks and the lack of participation by some local banks. It is expected this round of funding will run out in just a few short days. We encourage members to act quickly and apply if they want access to the program.

 

One option that we want to you to know about is Farm Bureau Bank, which has the capacity and expertise to help. The details of the program, as well as access to the application, can be found here. You can check out Farm Bureau Bank here.

 

PPP/EIDL Replenishment

The President has signed into law the latest $484 billion coronavirus aid package which replenishes two new small business loan programs that had exhausted their funding allocations– the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which allows qualified banks to offer low-interest loans that can later be forgiven, and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), a parallel program operated by the Small Business Administration. The websites for both programs have not been opened yet to allow applications to be submitted, but individuals are encouraged to check the websites as the funding is available on a first-come-first-serve basis and will go quickly. PPP applications will reopen on Monday, April 27 at 10:30am. Farmers should continue consulting with their accountant, tax preparer and/or financial advisor about the PPP and EIDL application for their particular situation.

 

The Economic Injury Disaster Loans have now extended eligibility to agricultural enterprises that have 500 or fewer employees to participate in the EIDL. The term ‘‘agricultural enterprises’’ means those small business concerns engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural-related industries. The EIDL provides an advance of up to $10,000 which does not need to be repaid. The loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other expenses.

 

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a guaranteed loan program for small businesses to keep their employees on the payroll or cover expenses for sole-proprietors/ self-employed. Eligible businesses include agriculture enterprises with 500 or fewer employees whose principle place of residence is in the United States. Loans are capped at $10 million but can include up to eight weeks of the business’s average monthly payroll costs from the last year plus an additional 25 percent for non-payroll costs for businesses that was operational on February 15, 2020. Seasonal and new businesses will use different calculations and require different documentation. The PPP will be available through June 30, 2020.

 

USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Update

The American Farm Bureau Federation has published an updated article regarding the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) which will provide direct support to farmers impacted by the Coronavirus. The USDA has set a goal to distribute payments in May. Payment limits still apply, set at $125,000 per commodity with an overall limit of $250,000 per individual or entity. USDA has indicated that participation in other farm programs such as Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage, Dairy Margin Coverage and Dairy Revenue Protection is complementary to CFAP and will not lower a recipient’s CFAP payments. The article can be found here.

 

USDA CFAP: Food Purchasing and Distribution

Last week, the USDA announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) which will provide assistance to farmers but also includes food purchasing. Under the program, USDA will partner with regional distributors to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat. USDA will purchase an estimated $100 million per month each for dairy products, meat products, and fresh fruits and vegetables. These purchases will then be provided in pre-approved food boxes to food banks, and community and faith-based organizations, as well as other non-profit organizations. The goal is to have the food boxes ready to distribute when they are delivered to the food bank, meaning all packaging sizes must be for households or smaller food service. USDA will award contracts for the purchase of the agricultural products, assembly of commodity boxes and delivery to identified non-profit organizations that can receive, store and distribute food items.

 

USDA is expected to begin soon and interested individuals should check the USDA solicitation page here. Click here and here to learn more about the program.

 

NY FarmNet Webinar: Stress Management & Mental Health Awareness

Stress is inevitable - it's how you respond to and manage the cause, or stressor, that can make a difference in your daily life. Whether the stressor is a medical diagnosis, low milk and commodity prices, weather that impedes crop production, or tensions within the family, there are tools we can use to help manage our emotions during challenging times.

 

Join Kate Downes and Brenda O’Brien of NY FarmNet on April 29 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for a free Zoom webinar as they discuss managing stress and the impact it can have on mental health, building resiliency, suicide prevention, and the importance of breaking down the stigma related to these topics.

 

To register, please click here.

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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.

FarmNet
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

 

 

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If you have concerns about how COVID-19 will affect your agricultural operation, please give New York Farm Bureau a call at 518-436-8495. We can only help those who ask. Who knows, maybe your question will cause us to get ahead of a problem instead of reacting to it after it has become a problem.

 

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  • For previous NYFB COVID-19 alerts and the latest info, click here.
  • Click here for the latest information from New York State on COVID-19.
  • The CDC has created a website for the latest news on the virus.
    Click here to access it.
  • COVID-19 Guidance from NYSDAM is available on its website. The department has also published a general resource guide for the agricultural community.