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New York Capital Brief: October 1, 2020

Cuomo Announces New COVID Smartphone App

Governor Cuomo announced today the launch of a new mobile contact tracing app called COVID Alert NY. The app will notify users if they’ve been potentially exposed to a COVID-19 positive person.

Ballot Printing Error in NYC Confuses Voters

The week, nearly 100,000 Brooklyn residents received mail-in ballot envelopes – which voters must sign after enclosing their ballot – with the wrong name and address printed on them. The signature must match the printed name, or the vote gets invalidated. The NYC Board of Elections assures that the outside printing vendor is responsible for the error and that it was an isolated incident.

The solution: Despite Governor Cuomo’s recommendation to only send new envelopes to these voters, the NYC Board of Elections plans to move forward with their original plan to mail new absentee ballot packages.

COVID Cases Rise in Parts of NYC

This week, Governor Cuomo announced that there are emerging COVID-hotspots in 20 ZIP codes in areas of Rockland, Queens, Kings, Orange, and parts of Nassau counties.

Within the 20 hotspot ZIP codes, the average rate of positive tests is 5.5 percent, with some as high at 17%. Governor Cuomo said that his administration is using best practices to handle the clusters by aggressively testing and monitoring infection rates and encouraging law enforcement compliance of limits on gatherings and mandatory mask wearing.

Corey Johnson Drops Out of NYC Mayoral Race

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who was considered a potential front-runner in the NYC mayoral race, announced that he is no longer considering declaring his candidacy. The Speaker claimed that he could no longer run a campaign and be an effective speaker all while monitoring his mental well-being.

COVID & Travel Advisory Update

On September 28, Governor Cuomo Signed an Executive Order reminding international travelers coming from Level 2 & 3 countries to quarantine & fill out NY health travel form.

On June 25, Governor Cuomo, along with CT Governor Lamont and NJ Governor Murphy, implemented a tri-state travel advisory which requires anyone who is returning from a “restricted state” to quarantine for 14 days.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has lifted its directive recommending travelers coming from states with a high rate of coronavirus cases self-quarantine for 14 days to stem the spread of COVID, Governor Cuomo indicated that New York’s travel advisory won’t be lifted any time soon.