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WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. From Governor Cuomo’s Press Office. April 18, 2020:

Dear New Yorker

As a result of our collective actions we are starting to see the total hospitalization numbers go down as the curve begins to steadily flatten. Everything we have done so far in response to this crisis has shown that together, we can control the beast that is this virus — but it’s not over yet.

We had approximately 2,000 new COVID hospitalizations Thursday.

That is a harsh reality check for anyone who thinks that the pandemic is passing. This is still a very serious health crisis — and so we need to stay the course until the time we can move forward in safety and with protections to the public health while beginning to reopen the economy. 

  Here’s what else you need to know this morning: 

1. Starting last night at 8 PM, if you are in a public space where social distancing is not possible, you MUST cover your mouth and nose. This week I issued an Executive Order requiring all people in New York to wear a mask or a face covering when out in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained, such as on public transportation.

 2. I will issue an Executive Order directing all public and private labs in New York to coordinate with the State Department of Health to prioritize Coronavirus diagnostic testing. 

A key component to “un-pause” New York is ramping up the state’s testing capacity. The Executive Order will help ensure the 301 laboratories and hospitals in the state that are licensed to perform virology testing operate in a coordinated way to help get us to the testing capacity we need.

 3. In order for states to reopen, we need federal help. 

I reiterate my call for the federal government to provide unrestricted funding to the states to help stabilize the economy and allow the states to perform reopening functions. The federal government has passed three bills to address this crisis, including the federal CARES Act, all of which contained no funding to offset drastic state revenue shortfalls related to this pandemic.

 4. NYS is launching an awareness campaign to help ensure that New Yorkers who need it most claim their Economic Impact Payments under the CARES Act. 

The CARES Act provides $1,200 payments to individuals making below $75,000 and $2,400 payments to married couples making below $150,000. Many taxpayers who filed 2018 or 2019 federal tax returns will receive them automatically into their bank account. Learn more on the Tax Department’s Economic Impact Payment information webpage. The Tax Department will also partner with other state agencies and local community organizations to do direct outreach to make sure New Yorkers in need can access their payments. 

Today’s “Deep Breath Moment”: Because the COVID-19 pandemic has closed restaurants across the country, food providers are dealing with excess crops. To make sure their crops don’t go to waste, Cranney Farms in Idaho is giving away 2 million potatoes on a first-come, first-served basis.

Individuals are stopping by the farm on behalf of food banks and soup kitchens to load up on potatoes. If you were forwarded this email, you can subscribe to New York State’s Coronavirus Updates here. 

Ever Upward, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

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