The number of positive COVID cases in Cortland County has remained at 32 for the fourth consecutive day, with nine currently active and 23 people recovered.
County health officials continue to monitor 43 others in quarantine and have received 851 negative test results.
Two people are in the hospital out of a total of six to-date.
The other four were released once their health improved enough to do so.
Meanwhile, State DOL officials have made it faster and easier for New Yorkers to apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, included in the federal CARES Act to provide financial assistance for those unable to work but who do not qualify for traditional unemployment.
Previously, those individuals were required to apply for regular benefits and be rejected, before applying for the correct benefits, which has now been condensed into one application.
So far more than $2 billion in Unemployment benefits have gone out to more than a million New Yorkers during the pandemic.
At the end of last month the state saw its largest drop in private sector jobs since 2009.
Governor Cuomo is calling on the federal government to provide hazard pay for essential public workers on the front lines fighting the virus.
He’s proposing a 50 percent bonus for healthcare, public transit and building cleaning workers across New York State.
“Essential public workers are the ones on the front lines every day carrying us through this crisis, and we must ensure their efforts and sacrifice are appropriately recognized,” Governor Cuomo said. “This crisis is not over yet, and as long as these workers continue to work and expose themselves to the virus, they should be properly compensated. I am calling on the federal government to provide hazard pay to these front-line workers and give them a 50 percent bonus because they are the true heroes in this crisis.”
Data from the approximately one third of front-line workers are members of low-income households.
Cuomo also announced that SUNY will distribute just under 9,000 laptops and Chromebooks to students in need to complete their spring semester online.
Stimulus checks exempt from debt collection
Attorney General Letitia James says debt collectors have been blocked from accessing the billions of dollars in emergency stimulus payments sent to New Yorkers by way of the federal CARES Act.
James issued official guidance to all banks, creditors, and debt collectors, making it clear that financial relief provided through stimulus payments are exempt from garnishment under state law.
“As the coronavirus crisis continues to wreak havoc on our society, I will do everything in my power to protect the wallets of every New Yorker,” said Attorney General James. “Today, we are taking concrete action to ensure debt collectors keep their hands off New Yorkers’ stimulus payments. This official guidance makes clear that banks and debt collectors cannot freeze or seize stimulus funds that are on their way to New York families, and any institution that violates this guidance will face swift legal action from my office.”
USDA relief for rural communities
USDA and its federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
These programs can support recovery efforts for rural residents, businesses and communities through:
• technical, training, and management assistance;
• financial assistance; and
• state and local assistance.
This resource matrix organizes funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America.
Opportunities are categorized by customer and assistance type.
For more information on the immediate actions USDA is taking to respond to COVID-19, visit usda.gov/coronavirus.