Five things to know this Friday May 15

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Good Morning! Five regions are set to reopen today; The Mohawk Valley, Central New York, the North County, the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier.

1. Phase One of Reopening for Five Regions

Phase one of reopening will begin by slowly reintroducing construction and manufacturing businesses. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing can also reopen during this phase. In addition, certain retail businesses will be allowed to resume operations for curbside service only.

You can take a look at the state’s detailed, 50-page reopening plan .

The Capital Region is not included because it has not yet met the appropriate benchmarks set by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

2. New York State is hiring contact tracers

n order to help contain the virus, New York State is looking to hire thousands of contact tracers.

The contact tracers will be tasked with tracking down people who came in contact with those infected with the virus and present information on quarantine procedures, testing referrals and directing people to community support specialists.

Find out if you qualify and how you can apply.

3. The CDC released limited coronavirus reopening guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted six one-page “decision tool” documents that use traffic signs and other graphics to tell organizations what they should consider before reopening.

The tools are for schools, workplaces, camps, childcare centers, mass transit systems, and bars and restaurants. The CDC originally also authored a document for churches and other religious facilities, but that wasn’t posted Thursday. The agency declined to say why.

Senator Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer announced Thursday, a unanimous consent request was made to release the full CDC report.

He said the Senate should unanimously support the uncensored release of the CDC document by offering a unanimous consent request that Senators will support.

4. Lawmakers are urging governor to roll back parts of nursing home executive order

Lawmakers are receiving calls from nursing home operators worried they won’t be able to comply with Governor Cuomo’s latest executive order.

The governor has ordered that all nursing homes test their staff for coronavirus twice a week and submit the results to the state. Nursing homes unsure if they’ll be able to take on the financial burden.

“St. Peter’s, which has seven nursing homes, has given us an estimate that to comply with this requirement it’s going to cost them $2 million per month,” said Assemblyman John McDonald. “We know the intent is good. It’s the logic I’m trying to understand.”

If nursing homes are unable to comply, they’ll face $2,000 fines per day and possibly lose their license. Laboratory tests can cost a nursing home upwards of $100 per test.

5. ‘HEROES ACT’ vote happening today

Federal Lawmakers are set to vote on a new relief bill aimed at providing funds to state and local government. Some say the House plan has no chance of passing the Senate.

If passed the new package would offer:

  • Another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, increased to up to $6,000 per household
  • $175 billion housing assistance for rents and mortgages
  • $75 billion for virus testing
  • $600-per-week boost to unemployment benefits extended through January
  • 15% increase for food stamps
  • New help for paying employer-backed health coverage
  • An employee retention tax credit for businesses
  • $200 billion in “hazard pay” for essential workers the front lines of the crisis
  • $25 billion for the Postal Service
  • Help for the 2020 Census
  • $3.6 billion to help local officials prepare for the challenges of voting during the pandemic on November 4
  • $10 billion for the popular Payroll Protection Program to ensure under-served businesses and nonprofit organizations have access to grants through a disaster loan program
  • $100 billion for hospitals serving low-income communities
  • $600 million to tackle the virus in state and federal prisons
  • $600 million to local police departments for salaries and equipment

Check back later this afternoon for updates on this new package.


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