COVID-19 Updates

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COVID-19 Latest

 

 

LIFB Honors Health Care Workers with Tractor Parade

At shift change yesterday, Long Island farmers lined up for a salute to the health care workers at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead who are on the front lines of one of the areas most effected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The parade, which consisted of over 90 tractors and farm vehicles adorned with signs and flags, honked and cheered for those health heroes, some of which are their own family members. East End farmers have a rich tradition of community involvement, in fact local farmer Henry Talmage was part of the group that established the hospital in the 1950s; today many local farmers also work as firefighters, EMTs and police in the town. These farmers recognize the sacrifice and demand placed on these health workers and wanted to show their support and appreciation for their hard work and perseverance in the face of these unprecedented times.

 

 

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

 

  • The State Fair and Saratoga Race Track cannot open at this point
  • Hospitalization rate and net change is down.
  • The number of intubations is down.
  • The number of new cases slightly rose yesterday.
  • 330 new deaths yesterday - 314 in hospitals / 16 in nursing homes.
  • Gov. unveiled a wall with masks from across America.
  • The masks were sent, unsolicited, from across the country.
  • "This is what this country is about," he said.

 

NATIONAL:

  • Singapore reported a potential second wave of new cases.
  • Germany has seen an increase in their infection rate after reopening.

 

REOPENING:

  • Gov. stressed decisions based on facts.
    • Follow the numbers and avoid increases in numbers.
    • There must be 30% of hospital beds available at all times.
    • 30% of ICU beds must be available.
    • Rate of transmission must be less than 1.1
  • Elective surgeries will begin again, in select areas.
    • Primarily in upstate counties.
    • Gov will issue an executive order allowing surgeries again.
  • Gov. hopes to double NYS testing from 20,000 tests per day.
    • We are now at 30,000 tests per day.
  • The number of positive tests upstate is more similar to other states than it is to downstate.
  • We must prioritize testing symptomatic individuals.
  • Testing must be accessible; we need enough testing sites. Regions must fully advertise these locations.

*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.

 

Save the Date for Conversation with NYSDAM Commissioner Ball

NYFB President David Fisher will host a “fireside chat” with NYSDAM Commissioner Richard Ball on Wednesday, May 6 at 7 p.m. Stay tuned for more information on how to watch and your opportunity to submit questions.

 

NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets Requesting Information to Connect Impacted Producers to Purchasing Opportunities

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, in coordination with its partners, is reaching out to New York producers that have surplus agricultural products as a result of COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions. The Department is working to connect affected farmers to potential new purchasing opportunities through various institutions, such as food banks, retailers and more. Governor Cuomo has made a commitment to using local foods to support the emergency food system, and we are looking to connect producers to food banks and those in need. This information will be provided to the Department’s partners and posted on its website.

 

If you are a producer with surplus product, the Department asks that you send your name, contact information, and the type of product(s) you have in surplus to Lindsey McMahon at lindsey.mcmahon@agriculture.ny.gov. Please provide this information by Monday, May 4th, 2020, if possible.

 

Cloth Face Coverings vs. Respirators: What’s the difference and when should we use them?

Respirators and cloth face coverings provide different types of protection and prevent exposures in different ways. NYCAMH & NEC safety educator Christina Hall provides a breakdown on different options and when to use them. Click here to read.

 

Managing U-Pick Operations During Pandemic

Cornell CALS’s Small Farms Programs is issuing recommendations for U-Pick farms. U-Pick offers a critical direct marketing approach for many of farms and provides customers with a unique connection to fresh produce grown close to home. In light of the spread of COVID-19, new management practices will be needed to protect your farm team and your customers. Click here for the document that provides recommended practices and communication strategies for U-Pick operations for the 2020 season.

 

SBA Not Currently Accepting New EIDL Applications

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has currently not reopened the application for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), and SBA has indicated that they are working through the applications they have already received in their queue. Because the loans are authorized directly through SBA, SBA was able to set-up a waiting line for the program, unlike the Paycheck Protection Program, which did not have a waiting line set-up when it was reopened on Monday.

 

If businesses received an application number for their EID, their application has been received, and SBA is processing the applications in the queue. If and when the EIDL opens up for new application, NYFB will send out a notice.

 

Resource Reminder:

USDA has published a FAQ website pertaining to a multitude of COVID19 related concerns for farmers and ranchers including a section on PPP. Here is the USDA website.

 

The SBA and Treasury Department released the following resources. Please review these links for specific information:

 

Reopen Plans for Nurseries and Landscapers Hoped For From Governor

New York Farm Bureau has sent a letter to the Governor on behalf of the landscape industry. The Governor has begun developing plans to reopen New York. Phase one of these plans focuses on low risk construction and manufacturing. We have requested nursery and landscape operations to be considered low risk construction for the purposes of reopening as this work is similar to construction work done outside where workers would be able to socially distance. To view this letter, 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. 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.