Gov. Cuomo says new COVID-19 testing sites are coming to NY airports, issues guidance on youth sports
Gov. Andrew Cuomo discussed new testing sites at New York's major airports and issued guidance on youth sports at a press briefing on Monday.
-Numbers continue to trend positively across much of NY, the governor says. Seven New Yorkers lost their lives yesterday.
-Western New York has seen several clusters, with an increase in COVID cases and in the infection rate, and the state is closely monitoring cases there, Cuomo says.
-Testing sites will be set up at JFK and LaGuardia airports to detect COVID-19 in incoming travelers, Cuomo says. The testing sites will be set up by the Port Authority and NYC Health + Hospitals.
-Cuomo says 34 violations were issued for bars and restaurants over the weekend.
-A concert series drive-in was held in the village of Westhampton over the weekend. Cuomo says he wants to thank local officials there, because the village police force was there to enforce compliance, along with county personnel.
-The governor spoke about the MTA and its response to the virus, and about progress on the Third Track project on the LIRR. He says his office is announcing that another LIRR grade crossing has been eliminated and New Hyde Park Road is opened to vehicular traffic two months ahead of schedule.
-The governor spoke about what he called utility companies' "unacceptable" response to Tropical Storm Isaias. He says some of the utility companies have the attitude of "too big to fail," and says, "If they're not providing the service, then fire them." He says New York's laws are "too protective of the utility companies," and says, "that has to change."
-He announces that he is proposing legislation to increase the current legal limits of penalties for utility companies that fail to effectively respond to power outages -- "so that the penalty is actually a penalty," Cuomo says. He says he also wants to make it easier to revoke the franchise of utility companies so that they can be replaced if they don't provide effective service.
-On youth sports, Gov. Cuomo says schools must follow guidance issued by the Dept. of Health. He announces no travel practice or play will be permitted outside of a school's region or contiguous regions/counties until Oct. 19.
-Cuomo says low-risk sports including tennis, soccer, cross-country, swimming and field hockey may begin practice and play on Sept. 21 in all regions. He says higher-risk sports with full physical contact, including tackle football, wrestling, rugby, and ice hockey may continue to practice -- but are not authorized to play at this time.
-The governor also announced a series of executive orders concerning absentee ballots ahead of the upcoming election. He will extend the "temporary illness" option to elections not administered by the Board of Elections this November; he will mandate county boards send a mailing to all would-be voters notifying them of deadlines and methods to request an absentee ballot; and he will direct the Board of Elections to promulgate a new envelope to eliminate confusion about where to sign for a ballot to be counted.
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