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NYS Department of Health

December 9, 2021 - 11:35pm
posted by Press Release in state, news, COVID-19, NYS Department of Health.

Press Release:

The letter states, “Without question, no one cares about the health and well-being of our region’s children more than parents and local school administrators, faculty, and staff. In addition, it is undeniable that students benefit from in-person instruction and that every effort should be madeto keep kids in school. As such, we believe that we should respect the parents & school administrator’s opinions, guidance, and data regarding the viability, effectiveness, and safety of developing a “Test to Stay” program for schools.”

The letter:

Dear Governor Hochul:
We are writing to request that the New York State Department of Health work with local school districts to develop “Test to Stay” guidelines for students. It is our understanding that several districts from across the Erie- Niagara region have already contacted you as well as the Department of Health with this request, and as elected officials representing this area, we urge you to consider their request. Without question, no one cares about the health and well-being of our region’s children more than parents and local school administrators, faculty, and staff. In addition, it is undeniable that students benefit from in-person instruction and that every effort should be made to keep kids in school. As such, we believe that we should respect the parents & school administrator’s opinions, guidance, and data regarding the viability, effectiveness, and safety of developing a “Test to Stay” program for schools. According to the Erie-Niagara School Superintendents Association (ENSSA), in a regional survey of 30 districts between September 1st and October 14th of this year, approximately 2500 students have been quarantined, and fewer than 2% ever tested positive for COVID-19 during their quarantine period. Meaning nearly 2,450 healthy students missed significant learning time in the classroom because the State does not allow local districts to establish guidelines for students who have proven to be healthy, to return to school. As you recently noted, the current surge in COVID-19 cases is different, and as a society and government, we are much more knowledgeable and better equipped to confront ongoing challenges. We respectfully ask that you honor the ENSSA’s request and “require the Department of Health to: 1. Help keep healthy children in school by providing technical, financial, and other necessary support to facilitate statewide implementation of a “Test to Stay” strategy. 2. Replace open-ended COVID-19 related mandates and restrictions with data and science-based metrics for implementation and de-implementation of mitigation strategies.” While not perfect, we believe that a robust “Test to Stay” program is the best option to keep our children safe and ensure that healthy children can reenter the classroom as quickly and safely as possible. Serial testing has proven successful in other states across the nation, and we would encourage New York State to develop, adopt, and support a “Test to Stay” program for local schools.

Thank you for your consideration of this critical matter. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

EDWARD A. RATH III
State Senator – 61st District             

Robert G. Ortt                                           Patrick M. Gallivan
State Senator – 62nd District             State Senator – 59th District

George M. Borrello                                     Michael J. Norris
State Senator – 57th District                  State Assemblyman – 144th District

Angelo J. Morinello                                      David DiPietro
State Assemblyman – 145th District      State Assemblyman – 147th District

Joseph M. Giglio
State Assemblyman – 148th District

 

    

 

February 11, 2021 - 11:44am

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley joined his colleagues in the Assembly Minority in a press conference calling on members of the Assembly Oversight, Health and Aging committees to sign a petition that would trigger the delivery of a subpoena to New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard A. Zucker to testify and provide all data on nursing home deaths occurring during the coronavirus pandemic.

The subpoena would also request all communications from the Department of Health (DOH) and other parties that led to the decision to develop, implement and override its March 25 directive, and allow Zucker to provide answers as to why this information was kept from the Legislature and public for such a long period of time.

According to Section 62-A of Legislative Law, if a majority of members on a given committee sign a petition, they then have the authority to issue a subpoena for the individual in question to appear before the committee to answer questions.

Hawley has sought for months to hold legislative hearings in which Dr. Zucker would be compelled to answer questions regarding the thousands of deaths in New York nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic and about the attempts that followed to cover up the severity of the tragedy.

“Given the sheer tragedy of this situation, I am hopeful my colleagues in the Majority on this committee will do what’s right as human beings and compel Commissioner Zucker to provide the answers grieving families have waited far too long for,” Hawley said.

“If our governor’s own attorney general was able to put aside their partisanship for the sake of truth and justice, I can only hope those in the Majority on these committees will also put their humanity before their politics.”

May 26, 2020 - 2:33pm

The City of Batavia has tapped into a New York State program designed to help municipalities “get the lead out.”

Batavia City Council members, at their Conference Meeting via Zoom tonight, are expected to hear from Public Works Director Matt Worth about a $554,112 grant the City has received from the NYS Department of Health’s Lead Service Line Replacement Plan.

Worth said he and his staff have developed a work plan that is designed to replace 75 lead service lines on Swan, Hutchins and Otis streets on the City’s Southside.

“We suspect that 20 to 30 percent of our residential services may still be lead -- from the water main to the curb shut-off,” Worth said. “We have never observed it from the curb shut-off into the house.”

He said that City crews will be conducting vacuum excavations this summer in anticipation of construction starting as early as this fall and no later than next spring. The City awarded the engineering contract to GHD of Buffalo.

Worth said about $500,000 will be available after subtracting engineering costs.

“We’ll try to preserve as much as we can because every dollar we save on that side is maybe one more service we can do,” Worth said. “The vacuum excavation on the front end is being done all out of City costs – we’re not trying to use the grant money – so we can preserve as much of that grant money as possible to do as many services as we can.”

Lead was commonly used in the 1940s and ‘50s, Worth said, before giving way to galvanized pipe, copper, plastic and lead-free brass.

“Nothing that we use now contains any lead in it in the water industry,” he advised.

Worth said lead isn’t a significant health issue in water systems because the “water system creates a coating on the inside of the lead service, so the water does not come into contact with the lead. So, we don’t typically see concentrations of lead in people’s water when we test it.”

He said the City’s treated water is a little higher on the pH scale, and that tends to make it less corrosive.

“If you have water that is on the lower side of the pH scale, it can be more acidic and corrosive, and that’s where you will have a bigger issue with lead coming into people’s homes through the water,” he explained.

The NYS Lead Service Line Replacement Plan identifies grant recipients based on criteria included in the state’s Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017.

According to the DOH website, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that drinking water contaminated with lead can contribute to 20 percent or more of a person’s total exposure to lead, and infants who consume mostly mixed formula can receive 40 percent to 60 percent of their total exposure to lead from drinking water.

Funds from the grant can cover engineering fees (planning, design and construction), legal fees, municipal administration fees, construction (materials, equipment, workforce) and site/property restoration.

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