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May 22, 2020 - 3:35pm

Video: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's briefing for May 22, 2020

posted by Howard B. Owens in Andrew Cuomo, news, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

  • Long Island and Mid-Hudson Valley Rregions will be permitted to begin construction staging in anticipation of Phase One of reopening.
  • Launches new pilot program with 52 independent pharmacies to conduct 7,000 tests per week.
  • New York State now has more than 750 testing sites. 
  • State is making contact tracing training program curriculum available at no cost to all states through the National Governors Association.
  • Reminds New Yorkers to vote in the Wear a Mask New York Ad Contest by Monday, May 25th; 92,000 people have already voted.
  • Confirms 1,696 additional coronavirus cases in New York State -- bringing statewide total to 358,154; new cases in 48 counties.

Governor Cuomo: "New York State is starting its own small business relief program, working with private banks. We have over $100 million available to make loans to small businesses. We're going to focus on MWBEs that did not receive federal assistance and focus on really small businesses.

"The federal definition of small business is what many could consider large businesses, but we're going to focus on true small businesses -- 20 or fewer employees, less than $3 million in gross revenues. People who are interested in participating in this program can go to the website."

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo today announced the launch of the $100 million New York Forward Loan Fund to provide flexible and affordable loans to help small businesses, focusing on minority and women-owned small businesses, that did not receive federal COVID-19 assistance.

The state will take a smart, targeted approach for distributing these loans, focusing on businesses with 20 or fewer employees and less than $3 million in gross revenues. Businesses interested in receiving a loan should visit esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans.

Governor Cuomo also announced the Long Island and Mid-Hudson Valley regions will be permitted to begin construction staging in anticipation of phase one of reopening. If the number of deaths continues to decrease and the tracing is online, both regions could reopen next week.

The Governor also announced the launch of a new pilot program with 52 independent pharmacies to conduct 7,000 tests per week. New York State now has more than 750 testing sites across the state. The Governor also encouraged eligible New Yorkers to visit coronavirus.health.ny.gov to find a nearby testing site and get tested.

The Governor also announced that the state is making its contact tracing training curriculum available at no cost to all states through the National Governors Association to speed the process of creating contact tracing programs.

The state partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, to develop this comprehensive online curriculum to train potential contact tracers. Contact tracing is currently underway in seven regions of the state -- the Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, the North Country, the Southern Tier and Western New York.

The Governor also reminded New Yorkers to vote in the state's Wear a Mask New York Ad Contest, which was launched by the Governor on May 5th and is being overseen by his daughter Mariah Kennedy Cuomo. New Yorkers can vote for the winning ad until Monday May 25th at WearAMask.ny.gov, and 92,000 people have voted to date. The winning ad will be announced on Tuesday, May 26th, and that ad will be used as a public service announcement.

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