The Latest from Gov. Cuomo’s Daily Briefings on COVID-19*
- Total hospitalizations 7,226 as of yesterday
- Net intubations are down
- Lives lost 161 (112 in hospitals, 49 in nursing homes)
- New hospitalizations 488 as of yesterday
- We are where we were on March 19 "Before the abyss"
- Local officials in each region should prepare
- Regions can reopen when numbers show decline in accordance with CDC guidelines and there is testing/tracing plan in place
- Regions must meet seven metrics
- Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, and Finger Lakes Regions currently meet metrics to begin reopening May 15.
Phased Reopening of Businesses:
- Businesses will reopen on a risk vs. reward basis and in four phases.
- Phase 1 of reopening includes:
- Manufacturing and wholesale supply chain
- Retail with curbside pickup
- Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
- Businesses will have to consider:
- Adjusted workplace hours and shift design
- Social distancing
- Non-essential travel restrictions
- Wearing masks if in frequent contact with others
- Strict cleaning and sanitation standards
- Continuous health screenings
- Continuous tracing, tracking, and reporting
- Liability for maintaining processes
- Retail Reopening:
- All retail will be authorized to do curbside pickup and drop-off or in-store pickup
- Essential workers will continue operating under current protocols
- New York will also reopen statewide certain low-risk businesses and recreational activities as of May 15 including landscaping and gardening, outdoor, low-risk recreational activities (tennis), and drive-in movie theaters.•
- Click here to see all four phases of projected industry reopening.
- Click here to view a Regional Monitoring Dashboard to see where each region stands.
*Courtesy of Statewatch
The Pause Act is 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.
For the latest number of infection cases, including a breakdown by county, click here.
NYFB President on NBC Nightly News
In case you missed the NBC Nightly News on Friday, President Fisher was interviewed for a piece on food bank donations that also featured Nourish NY’s efforts on Long Island. The clip can be found here.
Farmers Donate in Time of Need
A big thank you to the NYFB members who continue to donate food in their communities and across the state. Last week, a second truckload of product that included food from Torrey Farms, Crist Bros Orchards, Upstate Farms and Dairy Farmers of America was delivered to Queens. Previously, Kelder Farms, Deer Run Farms and La Casa De Leche have donated to this effort too. Click here to read Sen. Jessica Ramos’ statement on the donations.
Commissioner Ball's Conversation with NYFB
NYFB President David Fisher hosted NYSDAM Commissioner Richard Ball for a Zoom “Fireside Chat” last week to discuss pressing issues facing agriculture and life on their farms during this time. He also answered some questions submitted by members. Click here to view the conversation.
Please Do Not Cut Agriculture Program Funding! E-Lobby Letter
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic New York State is facing a major economic hurdle. Many of the agriculture programs that received funding through the FY 2020/2021 final state budget are at risk of seeing cuts to that funding. The programs funded through the state budget are critical for our agriculture community. If we were to lose this funding it would be detrimental to the entire state’s food systems. Click here to send a letter the Governor and ask him not to cut funding for essential agricultural programs.
Send Letter to Governor Cuomo Requesting that all Agribusinesses and Farm Activities are Included in Reopening Plan
Write to the Governor today requesting that all non-food production agricultural operations and agribusinesses are included in the first phases of reopening in New York. Farms and agribusinesses that produce food and care for animals have been considered essential during PAUSE NY, but other businesses have been considered non-essential. These include farms and agribusinesses that engage in landscaping, nurseries that grow and sell ornamental plants, and equestrian facilities that provide riding lessons and other “non-essential” activities. These farms and businesses have been financially affected and have not been able to make any income to support their employees and their business during PAUSE NY. It is important to take precautions to protect the health and safety of employees and the public during COVID-19, but as NY reopens, it is also imperative to allow the opening of these agribusinesses and permit these farm activities while still taking steps to reduce the safety risks. You can edit this letter if you would like to add any specifics regarding your farm or business. Click here to send your letter to Gov. Cuomo.
USDA Approves $1.2 billion in Contracts for Farmers to Families Food Box Program
The USDA has approved $1.2 billion in contracts to support American producers and communities in need through the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. Through this program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is partnering with national, regional and local suppliers, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products. The program will purchase $461 million in fresh fruits and vegetables, $317 million in a variety of dairy products, $258 million in meat products and $175 million in a combination box of fresh produce, dairy or meat products. Suppliers will package these products into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need from May 15 through June 30, 2020. Additional information on the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, including webinars and an FAQs, is available on the AMS website here.
Join the Cornell University Department of Food Science's Extension Team for this Week's Food Industry Virtual Office Hours
Join Cornell University CALS for their weekly Q&A and facilitated discussions during our Food Industry Virtual Office Hours. Cornell University food safety experts in dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, and processed foods and beverages can be spoken to directly. See below for dates/times and information to join this week's sessions.
Special Meat & Poultry Industry Virtual Office Hours
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 | 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Special Produce Industry Virtual Office Hours
Thursday, May 14, 2020 | 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Food Industry Virtual Office Hours
Thursday, May 21, 2020 | 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
For more information on how to register and submit questions, click here.
Stress Management Tools for Farmers during the COVID-19 Crisis
A live webinar will be available for farmers and ranchers Tuesday, May 12, at 1 p.m. titled “Behavioral Health Planning: A Key to Farming in the Era of COVID-19.” Register for this free event at www.agrisafe.org
Dr. Michael R. Rosmann, a farmer and psychologist at the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa, will talk about how to develop behavior plans, what the signs of physical and emotional distress are, daily ways to look out for one another while maintaining physical distance and other tools for coping. A question and comment period for listeners will be included.
Can’t make it? A recording will be available at agrisafe.org
Free Technical Assistance for Farms on Workplace COVID-19 Prevention
If you are a farm owner rattled by news of COVID-19 outbreaks on NY farm operations, you may be wondering, "How did this happen? Could this happen to me? What more can I do to protect my staff?"
Why not call and talk to one of NYCAMH's ag safety specialists? They can review your business' prevention procedures over the phone, provide health and safety advice and identify any free resources and services that might help.
NYCAMH is a non-regulatory, not-for-profit agency equipped to provide free technical assistance on workplace health and safety issues, including COVID-19 prevention.
This is what we do. In unprecedented times like these, why wouldn't you call? Open Mon.-Fri., 8:30-4:30. Call: 800-343-7527
Safely Transporting Farmworkers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Farmworkers often travel together in crowded pickup trucks, vans and buses, making social distancing a challenge. The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) has developed the guidance to help keep workers safer while traveling. For more information, click here. Click here for disinfecting farm surfaces poster.
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
- 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.
- COVID-19 Guidance from NYSDAM is available on its website. The department has also published a general resource guide for the agricultural community.