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New York Capital Brief: November 25, 2020

NYS Senate Dems Declare Historic Supermajority

This morning, nearly three weeks after Election Day with a record number of absentee ballots counted, Hudson Valley incumbent Senator Pete Harckham declared victory.  The conclusion of this year’s most costly NYS legislative race ensures the Senate Democrats a minimum of 42 of 63 seats, the largest majority and the first Democratic supermajority in State history.

NY COVID Update

Although COVID numbers in New York continue to be among the lowest in the country, an upward tick in cases has resulted in public school closures in NYC. Mayor de Blasio says additional closures and restrictions will likely follow.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, Governor Cuomo has been issuing daily warnings that an increased frequency in socialization and gatherings will result in rapidly increased infections rates and necessitate further restrictions on businesses and schools throughout New York.

Governor Cuomo said projections show that if activity during the holiday season increases, and the current positivity rate (2.93% statewide) rises by only 20%, NYS could reach a positivity rate of over 12% by January.

Holiday Travel Restrictions for Senior Living Residents

Per Executive Order 202.77, issued late on Monday night, the Department of Health has released a Health Advisory outlining holiday-specific visitation requirement for nursing home, adult care facility, and assisted living residents who choose to leave their communities to visit family over the upcoming holidays.

The Advisory requires all residents to produce a negative COVID test within 24 hours prior to returning to the community, quarantine for 14 consecutive days upon return to the community, and produce at least 3 negative COVID tests during the quarantine period. Screening and increased monitoring systems are also required.

NY’s Travel Advisory Changes

Under Executive Order, New York has implemented a COVID testing requirement for those entering/re-entering NY from other states and from countries at Level 2 and 3 COVID-risk.

According to the Order, instead of a mandatory 14-day quarantine, all people* entering NY will have to bring proof of a negative COVID test. The results must be from a test taken within three days of coming into NY from a non-contiguous state.** Upon arrival, all travelers must quarantine for three days. On the fourth day, the traveler must get another test. Once the second test comes back negative, the person is no longer required to quarantine.

*Essential workers will continue to be exempt from this mandate.
**These new rules do not apply to PA, NJ, VA, MA, or CT, although non-essential travel is highly discouraged.