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Update on New York: Gov. Cuomo press conference

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced during a press conference on Friday, March 20, 2020, that he was once again changing the workforce reduction percentage. As of Sunday, March 22, 2020, 100% of all nonessential business employees must stay home and/or work from home whenever possible. New York Empire State Development released guidance on March 19, detailing which businesses were essential. Insurance-related businesses—including insurance agencies—have been identified as an essential function, and are excluded from the in-office workforce reduction mandate.

The governor made this decision in order to flatten the curve and to prevent the continued rapid increase in COVID-19 cases. Cuomo explained that as more people in the state are testing positive for COVID-19, the number of positive cases can be slowed by limiting interactions and social distancing. This practice should help slow the continued overwhelming pressure that is being placed on New York state’s health care system.

The governor also made it clear that these provisions are not voluntary. They will be enforced, and the businesses that do not comply with the rules will incur civil penalties and fines. Those businesses that are found to be operating will be forcibly shut down. At this point, there are no fines or penalties for individuals who are violating the gathering rules that have been put into place. People were advised—that unless they need to leave their houses to buy groceries, get medicine, talk a walk, walk their dogs, or engage in other essential activities—to stay home and to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.

The governor also announced that there is a 90-day moratorium on residential and commercial evictions, and he has asked internet and phone providers to increase data limits for customers without charge.

During the press conference, Budget Director Robert Mujica clarified that the state tax deadline is tied to the federal deadline, so the deadline is pushed back until Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

 

Gov. Cuomo continues to work with other governors in the region—Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey—on a regional response to this pandemic.

PIA will continue to monitor this situation and will continually update members. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact PIA’s Industry Resource Center at resourcecenter@pia.org

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