COVID-19 Updates

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COVID-19 Latest

 

 

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Want to show your support for New York Agriculture during these uncertain times? Try one of our new Facebook profile frames. They're available under the names:

 

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


Data:

  • Hospitalizations and intubations are down
  • New COVID Cases 431 as of yesterday, up from 420 on May 12.
  • 132 deaths yesterday
  • "We're where we are when this first started."
  • "Our Curve is down, and the curve in the rest of the nation is up."

Reopening:

  • NY on PAUSE is extended to May 28 for regions that do not open today.
  • If a region hits benchmark between now and then, they can reopen.
  • Phase 1 Reopening
    • Residential/Commercial Construction
    • Indoor/outdoor
    • Masks must be worn within 6 feet of another worker.
    • Employer must provide masks.
    • No congregate meetings.
  • Retail Business Owners
    • Curbside pickup
    • In store pickup when curbside is not possible.
    • Masks must be worn by employees and customers (unless under two years of age or for medical reasons)and hand sanitizer will be available.
  • Local Officials/Control Center
    • Enforce Business compliance and social distancing.
    • Daily morning meeting of regional control center to review and monitor infection/testing/hospitalization rates.
  • Beaches for Memorial Day
    • Agreement has been made with New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware to open beaches for Memorial Day.
    • State and local beaches may open Friday before Memorial Day weekend ot he following conditions:
      • No more than 50% capacity with controlled exists/ entrances.
      • No group activities.
      • Keep areas of social gatherings closed.
      • Close concessions
      • Ensure staff levels are adequate for crowd control
      • City/town/county beaches can open under same conditions.
      • Must fully enforce minimum rules and may add additional conditions.

Finances:

  • When asked if 20% cuts would be made to schools and local governments the Governor stated that he "has faith in humanity" and hopes that Washington will do what they can to assist.
  • According to Robert Mujica, the Comptroller report coming out today states revenues are down 14%. He continued noting that the federal government has been working on a bill that will provide funds to the state.
  • The Governor stated that he would continue to put pressure on the federal government to provide state funding.

*Courtesy of Statewatch

 

  • 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.
  • Click here to see the frequently asked questions (FAQ) on New York Forward and the contact information for your regional control center.

 

The Pause Act is scheduled to go to today, 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.

 

Guidelines on Phase 1 Reopening Plan for Agriculture Including Equine and Horticulture

There are guidelines now available on the businesses included in the Phase 1 of the New Forward reopening plan. Eligibility for reopening each region will be determined by certain health metrics. Click here to view the Regional Monitoring Dashboard to see where each region stands. Once a region meets the criteria to reopen, phase 1 businesses are eligible to reopen while following the Interim Guidance for Non-Food Related Agriculture Activities during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency which is applicable to the following activities, including but not limited to: greenhouses, nurseries, sod farms, equine operations, forestry and tree farms, companion animal services and local agricultural demonstrations and exhibitions. These guidelines apply to all non-food related agriculture activities in regions of New York that have been permitted to re-open, as well as to non-food related agriculture activities statewide that were previously permitted to operate as essential. Click here for the document that must be signed to affirm that you have read the guidance document.

Each re-opening business must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. A business may fill out this template to fulfill the requirement or may develop its own Safety Plan. This plan does not need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but must be retained on the premises of the business and must be made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection. Click here for a sample safety plan. There are frequently asked questions (FAQ) posted on this website along with the contact information for each region committee.

 

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

 

 

NYFB Farm Relief Workers Database Now Available

During this time of uncertainty, we understand that our farms may temporarily lose some employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic as they may have to quarantine and convalesce. If you are in need of relief workers on your farm, NYFB launched a database today of willing potential employees. We strongly encourage that the individual farm vet and screen these applicants for needed qualifications.

 

We hope that this database could serve as a resource to allow your farm to have the appropriate needed staff on hand throughout this pandemic. Click here to view the database. Please note that this resource was activated yesterday, so it may take time for potential relief workers to be added to the database. Also, if you are in need of work, are retired from agriculture and are willing to assist, or know of other people who may be interested and willing to work on a farm, please apply or forward the link on to interested parties.

In addition, we have transitioned our COVID-19 resource page on our website to make it easier for you to find guidance and information.

 

Click here to find separate pages for general resources and info, farm labor, financial assistance and insurance, and educational programming. You can continue to find our daily alerts on our news page by clicking here.

 

Extension of Privileges for Craft Beverage Producers

Gov. Cuomo has issues Executive Order 202.28, which will extend the privileges granted under Executive Order 202.3. This means that Any restaurant or bar in the state of New York shall cease serving patrons food or beverage on-premises shall only serve food or beverage for off-premises consumption. Notwithstanding any provision of the alcohol and beverage control law, a retail on-premises licensee shall be authorized for the duration of this Executive Order to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption, which shall include either take-out or delivery, subject to reasonable limitations set by the State Liquor Authority. This Executive Order will last for thirty days, until June 6, 2020.

 

Cornell Offering Call for Spanish Speaking Workers on Health and Safety During Pandemic

The Cornell Farmworker Program and the Finger Lakes Community Health Clinic will be hosting another call with Dr. José Canario for Spanish speaking farmworkers and farmers.

 

Dr. Canario, Medical Director of Finger Lakes Community Health will discuss wil practices to stay healthy during the reopening of NYS and respond to questions.

 

Please ask farmworkers to register as soon as possible and they will receive instructions on how to connect to the call on the May 20. Click here for more information and instructions on how to register.

 

 

USDOT Extends National Emergency Declaration for Commercial Vehicles through June 14, 2020

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended their expanded national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the nationwide coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak through June 14, 2020.

 

This emergency declaration allows motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks emergency relief from certain parts the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Direct assistance means transportation and other relief services provided by a motor carrier or its driver(s) incident to the immediate restoration of essential services (such as medical care) or essential supplies (such as food and fuel) related to COVID-19 outbreaks during the emergency. A copy of the announcement can be found here.

 

USDOT Finalizes New Hours of Service Rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule updating hours of service (HOS) rules to increase safety on America’s roadways by updating existing regulations for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers on May 14.

 

FMCSA’s final rule on hours of service offers four key revisions to the existing HOS rules:

  • The Agency will increase flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by requiring a break after 8 hours of consecutive driving and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty status.
  • The Agency will modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split, or a 7/3 split—with neither period counting against the driver’s 14 hour driving window.
  • The Agency will modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
  • The Agency will change the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

The decision to increase the air-mile radius to 150 miles is particularly important for agricultural products that are ineligible for the agricultural exemption to the hours-of-service rules, such as processed products like soybean meal, distillers grains and flour. The new hours of service rule will have an implementation date of 120 days after publication in the Federal Register.

 

How to Apply for USDA Assistance for Farmers

USDA will soon begin taking applications for CFAP. As part of applying for the program, farmers will need to contact the local Farm Service Agency county office to schedule an appointment. Local FSA staff will work with farmers to apply for the program, and through forms that will ask for this type of information: Contact; Personal including your Tax Identification Number; Farming operating structure; Adjusted Gross Income to ensure eligibility; Direct deposit to enable payment processing. Do not send any personal information to USDA without first initiating contact through a phone call.

 

In addition to the application form, FSA staff will work with farmers to complete portions of the CCC-902 – Farm Operating Plan – if necessary. Additionally, the following forms will be needed for CFAP. If farmers are an existing customer, this information is likely on file at the local Service Center.

  • CCC-901 – Identifies members of a farm or ranch that is a legal entity. Member Information will be completed by legal entities and joint operations to collect the following:
    • member names, addresses, and Tax Identification Numbers
    • citizenship status
  • CCC-941 – Reports your average adjusted gross income for programs where income restrictions apply.
  • CCC-942 – If applicable, this certification reports income from farming, ranching and forestry for those exceeding the adjusted gross income limitation.
  • AD-1026 – Ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed, identified wetland areas are protected, and conservation compliance provisions are met.
  • AD-2047 – Provides basic customer contact information.
  • SF-3881 – Collects your banking information to allow USDA to make payments to you via direct deposit.

While the application process has not started, farmers can start gathering/understanding their farm’s recent sales and inventory. FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of application and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed. USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only. Once the application period opens, please call the FSA county office to schedule an appointment. FSA staff are working with agricultural producers by phone and using email, fax, mail, and online tools like Box to accept applications. To find your office use the service locator 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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