On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he would sign an executive order to extend the requirement that death benefits be paid out to families of frontline government workers for an additional 30 days.
The legislation providing these benefits, signed by the Governor in May (Chapter 89 of the Laws of 2020), would otherwise expire on December 31st.
The Governor also announced that more than 200,000 New Yorkers have now been vaccinated with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and beginning next week, New York will open vaccination criteria to ambulatory care health workers and public-facing public health workers, including those administering COVID-19 tests.
“The vaccine is the weapon that will win the war, but it can’t be done overnight and our actions will determine how fast we can reach the light at the end of the tunnel,” Governor Cuomo said. “Yes, we are getting the vaccine out as quickly as possible, and yes, we’re doing everything we can to slow the spread, but we also need to find ways to start reopening businesses through the use of testing. That is the smartest way forward and that’s what we’re trying to explore. In the meantime, there is one message New Yorkers should remember as we approach the close of the holiday season – celebrating smart stops shutdowns. If we stay smart, stay tough and take the steps we know help stop the spread, we will get through this.”