5 things to know this Friday, Feb. 19

New York News
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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – This week was a busy one. On Thursday was the most fascinating story with the landing of the newest Mars rover. But, the past few days were mostly important for all things COVID-19.

Here are your top five stories:

1. Cuomo is still under pressure due to nursing home numbers. Now, lawmakers are weighing in.

In response to the original report from New York Attorney General Letitia James regarding nursing home deaths, more information is being revealed, investigations might be underway, and local lawmakers are commenting.

Here is everything that happened these past few days:

Timeline: COVID-19, nursing homes and the Cuomo Administration

Cuomo admits to lack of transparency in nursing home deaths

Lawmakers weigh in on nursing home data investigation

FBI, prosecutors reportedly investigating Cuomo administration, nursing home crisis

Political fallout continues for Cuomo after report of threat

NYS Assemblyman Ron Kim and Gov. Cuomo in war of words

Rep. Reed responds to Gov. calling out Republicans

Democrats have drafted legislation to remove Governor’s emergency powers

2. In response to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 203, local police reform drafts are being released

All across New York State, local police departments have been drafting reform policies regarding their policing practices. Here are the reports we have as of Friday morning:

Police reform: Albany Police Department

Police reform: Gloversville Police Department

Police reform: Pittsfield Police Department

Police reform: Utica Police Department

3. Nurses at a Schenectady center were picketing for ‘reform, transparency and investment in quality care’

1199SEIU nursing home workers in Schenectady are among the hundreds of members of 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East who will be holding demonstrations and vigils at more than 20 nursing homes across New York State. These workers are calling for greater transparency and investment in quality resident care.

“For far too long, nursing homes around New York State have made investment in resident care an afterthought,” said Milly Silva, Executive Vice President of the Nursing Home Division.

Schenectady nursing home workers picket, call for ‘reform, transparency, investment in quality care’

4. Senator Schumer announced a new restaurant relief bill to assist with impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was in Albany Monday for a press conference pushing for COVID relief for the struggling restaurant industry. He held a press conference from TORO Cantina on Wolf Road.

Schumer says the Capital Region’s restaurants and workers need immediate aid, so he’s advocating a bipartisan fund for the struggling hospitality industry. He is unveiling a plan modeled on the popular RESTAURANTS Act that he said gives lifelines to restaurants in the form of flexible grants.

In Albany, Schumer pushes for restaurant industry aid

5. More local vaccination sites are popping up across the region

During a press call Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that four new state/federal pop-up vaccination sites will open across Upstate New York on March 3 in Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Yonkers. The governor said once operational, these sites will administer 1,000 doses per day.

The new mass vaccination site is set for the Downtown Albany arena and convention center, the Washington Avenue Armory.

As for Rensselaer County, Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked for counties to partner with the state to provide vaccines on a larger scale. Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin said he has already renewed his request for more vaccines after the county delivered their full allotment of vaccine at a recent clinic.

Cuomo: New mass vaccine site in Albany

Rensselaer Co. prepared to be state mass vaccination site, county executive says

Looking forward:

Starting tomorrow, the New York PopsUp initiative begins. Over 300 events will happen in 100 days leading up to Labor Day. From theater to dance, from poetry to comedy, from pop music to opera, the performing arts will be brought to New Yorkers’ doorsteps.

The performances start February 20 in New York City, but over the next couple of months, will pop up all across the state.

NYS PopsUp events begin February 20 to revitalize arts

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