The Latest from Governor Cuomo’s Daily Briefing on COVID-19*
- State working to develop new “moderate model” to better track and predict illness.
- McKinsey Model with minimal social distancing says the apex will happen at end of April.
- Projected need 110,000 COVID beds
- Projected need 37,000 ventilators
- Governor says "We don't have a chance at meeting" the capacity needs.
- McKinsey Model with high social distancing also predicts apex at end of April but with fewer cases
- Projected need 75,000 COVID beds
- Projected need 25,000 ventilators
- A separate model projects 16,000 New York deaths, and that the virus' intensity could last through July.
- Regeneron created 500,000 tests at no expense, first batch delivered to NYS Monday.
- Corning donated 100,000 tubes used in testing and provided 500,000 at reduced cost.
- Governor will close all NYC playgrounds, but leaving parks (open spaces) open. No basketball, or close contact games.
- Governor again thanks the hospitals for their cooperation, and mention shifting of patients among hospitals. He says they are coordinating care and resources amongst the system like never before. Albany Medical Center has received COVID-19 patients already from NYC hospitals.
- State made populations of volunteer health care workers available to hospitals. Three NYC hospitals are currently looking at and vetting 1,500 personnel.
- NYPD and NYFD members are getting sick. Any backfill will come from State Police. State working on that. If needed, State could also deputize officers from other areas of the state to operate in NYC.
- The Governor says this pandemic will change much of how we operate into the future. Some questions to explore going forward:
- Intergovernmental coordination?
- Tele-medicine & tele-education?
- Medical supply availability and why do we rely on other countries to produce medical supplies?
- Medical research?
- First responder capacity?
- Societal stability and engagement in crises?
- Governor Cuomo also expressed that he felt fear and worry when he learned his brother Chris had tested positive. He says to take solace in the statistics that he will likely be ok, but no one knows what will happen or who will contract the coronavirus.
*Courtesy NY StateWatch
Governor Cuomo had extended the Pause Act to April 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.
Agricultural Funding Still in Question in the Final 2020-2021 State Budget
As the state legislature works to finalize the state budget for the coming year, questions still remain about funding for agricultural programs. While the Aid to Localities bill (which is the main vehicle for farm budget funding) has begun the process of passing both houses, we are hearing that additional farm programmatic budget funding may be coming as part of the budget process. Of course, there are no guarantees of this happening, but New York Farm Bureau is pushing for additional agricultural spending. Once New York Farm Bureau has the complete budget picture, we will share the final information.
NYS Ag and Markets NYC Trucking Guidance
Please note the CDC guidance for truck drivers going into NYC does not apply to critical transportation and delivery workers moving goods, products and services - related to the food industry - into or out of New York State. The guidance the CDC shared is available here.
Social Distancing for Livestock Sales
As we are all navigating this new world we are living in, it is important that we all practice “social distancing” to ensure continued operation. This document developed by the Livestock Markets Association of Canada, Canadian Beef Breeds Council and Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, and then adapted and approved by the Indiana Board of Animal Health, Purdue Veterinary Medicine, Purdue Animal Science, and the Indiana Beef Cattle Association; provides some good tips on how to mitigate exposure during livestock sales.
Farm Credit East to Host Webinar on Recently Passed Federal Legislation Regarding FFCRA
Join Farm Credit East on Thursday, April 2 at noon for a free, educational webinar regarding new payroll and tax provisions outlined in the newly passed Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Senior Tax Consultant, Dario Arezzo, will review some of the provisions outlined in FFCRA, including emergency leave and payroll tax credits. In addition, key tax provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act – including filing deadline changes, rebates, retirement accounts and more – will be covered. Click here to register.
Economic Impact Payments
The IRS has announced how economic impact payments will be distributed. The CARES Act provides economic impact payments of $1,200/individual or $2,400/couple for those making less than $75,000/individual or $150,000/couple. Families will receive an extra $500 per child. When income exceeds the threshold, the payments begin to phase down until there is no payment when a person makes more than $99,000 or a couple makes more than $198,000.
Eligible taxpayers who filed income tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive the payment. Payments will begin in the next three weeks. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file tax returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment. More information can be found in IRS Notice IR-2020-61 here.
Small Businesses, Including Farms, May Apply for Paycheck Protection Program Starting Friday, April 3
The Department of Treasury has announced that eligible small businesses will be able to apply to the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) starting this Friday, April 3, 2020. Independent contractors and the self-employed may apply starting on April 10, 2020. The PPP will be available through June 30, 2020. The PPP is a new guaranteed loan program, which includes $349 billion, for small businesses to keep their employees on the payroll. Eligible businesses include farms, nonprofits, veterans' organizations, Tribal business concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors – with 500 or fewer employees. Applications are available directly through the Department of Treasury at this link. Businesses should review the Borrowers Information Sheet issued by the Department of Treasury. The Small Business Association (SBA) has also issued guidance, available here.
Businesses may apply for the PPP through any existing SBA lender or any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is currently participating. Businesses should contact their lenders to discuss the information contained in the Lenders Information Sheet and to verify that their local lender intends to participate in and support the PPP. Further information regarding this program and others in the CARES Act can be found here.
PSA Temporary Remote Training Policy
The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) is temporarily amending policy to allow for remote training options for PSA Grower Trainings due to COVID-19. It is important that these courses be available to ensure growers can meet the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule requirements. This change is in effect until May 31, 2020, with the potential for extending this date pending updates on COVID-19. Here is the policy update and the Policy FAQ. Click here for more information and scheduled training courses.
NYCAMH Offering Virtual Safety Training
Virtual safety trainings, including information about COVID-19 prevention, are now being offered via videoconferencing to farm businesses throughout the Northeast. The trainings are available in English and Spanish. Educators from the New York Center for Agricultural Health and Medicine (NYCAMH) and the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety (NEC) are providing these services at no cost.
Trainings can include information for agricultural workers about COVID-19 safety and health, including illness symptoms, prevention measures, biosecurity, and recommended resources for information. Educators are also able to offer a range of traditional safety training topics, including animal handling, food safety, chemicals, and equipment. Farms work with the educators to determine which training topics are needed. Multiple sessions to smaller groups of workers can be provided to ensure proper social distancing. For more information on virtual trainings, or to schedule a session, contact NYCAMH/NEC at 800-343-7527 or email@example.com To learn more about safety trainings, click here.
NYS COVID-19 Resource Info
New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has converted the “STOP THE SPREAD” poster into multiple languages, to access this information click here. Please print these posters and post them at your business, store or farm. It is important we continue to adhere to the requirements outlined in this poster.
In an effort to keep the agricultural industry informed on the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation and New York State’s response, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) is providing this document to help connect you with industry-relevant resources. Below, you will find information on small businesses, food safety, companion animals, mental health, and more. This document will be updated frequently as new information arises. Additionally, please continue to check agriculture.ny.gov/coronavirus regularly for the latest resources.
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.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255 (TALK), www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Crisis Text Line
Text “GOT 5” to 741-741, www.crisistextline.org
Social Media Requests
New York Farm Bureau is looking to share more positive stories on social media about what is happening on your farm. Show us preparations and fieldwork for spring planting. We’d love to see how the greenhouses are looking. What are you doing to promote safe and healthy working conditions for your employees? Share a story with consumers as you talk to the camera. Please send videos and pictures to Steve Ammerman, NYFB’s public affairs manager at firstname.lastname@example.org and help us spread the message that New York agriculture is #StillFarming.
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.