Govs On Deck – April 7, 2020
Good Tuesday afternoon and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck.” We’re still here, we’re still daily, and we hope you are all safe and healthy.
Questions or suggestions? Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find us all on Twitter too – @A_Tall_Turner, @CEAmestoy, @JerusalemDemsas, and @andersonkayjay.
A different sort of week:
Because of the quickly evolving situation, we are changing this newsletter to become a daily roundup of how our states are responding to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Every day this week, we will send an overview of the actions our governors have taken the day before. We want this to be helpful, so let me know what other info/what other formats you’d like to see for these updates.
Dem Govs Get It Done:
NOTE: This is an overview of recent actions, not a comprehensive roundup of everything our incredible governors are doing. Want more examples? Send me an email and I can help you track down answers.
Stay at home orders:
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended the state’s stay at home order to April 26th.
- NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM extended the public health emergency order through April 30th and announced the extension of related public health orders to encourage social distancing and preserve safety equipment for health care workers.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that all NYS on Pause functions will be extended for two weeks and directed all schools and nonessential businesses to stay closed through April 29th.
Presidential Major Disaster Declaration:
- DELAWARE announced their requests for a statewide Major Disaster Declaration was approved by President Trump.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the federal government has granted his request to allow COVID-19 patients to be treated on the USNS Comfort. The approval will provide an additional 1,000 beds, staffed by federal personnel, to care for COVID-19 patients in New York.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO increased the maximum fine for violations of the state’s social distancing protocol from $500 to $1,000.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO directed all schools to stay closed through April 29th.
- WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE extended the closure of schools through the rest of the academic year.
- DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY issued a modification to his State of Emergency declaration, banning all short-term rental units – including vacation home rentals, hotels, motels, and condo rentals. Commercial lodging in Delaware will remain closed through May 15, or until the public health threat is eliminated. The order exempts caretakers with family members nearby, health care providers, journalists, victims of domestic violence, and Delawareans with public housing vouchers.
- MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS small business owners to consider applying for assistance with payroll, rent, and other operational expenses through the new federal Paycheck Protection Program. She also applauded Maine’s banks and lending institutions for standing up the program so quickly.
- NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM’s amended public health order requires retail operations that are considered essential businesses – including grocery stores – to limit occupancy in their retail spaces.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO directed all nonessential businesses to stay closed through April 29th.
- CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced the state has secured up to 4,613 additional beds at alternate care sites and shuttered hospitals to care for an anticipated surge in COVID-19 patients, with even more capacity being finalized.
- MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed an executive order authorizing out-of-state mental health providers to treat patients via telehealth services to help ensure that the mental health needs are met during theCOVID-19 pandemic.
- NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK called on retired doctors, medical students and more across the state, to join the fight against COVID-19 through his new Battle Born Medical Corp.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the state is partnering with Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness and meditation, to offer free meditation and mindfulness content for all New Yorkers as a mental health resource for residents coping with the unprecedented public health crisis.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that the Department of General Services’ Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services is one of the first public health labs in the nation to use genetic technology to help public health officials better understand and track the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic to strengthen prevention and response efforts.
- WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS signed an emergency order suspending some administrative rules for the state Department of Health Services including allowing health care providers’ licenses that would have expired to remain valid until 30 days after the public health emergency is over and relaxing criteria to ensure nursing homes can’t discharge those unable to pay.
PPE / equipment supplies:
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF urged Pennsylvania manufacturers that currently are producing or can pivot to producing COVID-19-related supplies to submit their information to the newly developed Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal.
Worker / family support:
- MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ made amendments to a previous executive order to provide an administrative fix to streamline applications for unemployment insurance benefits and to implement a federal notification requirement that will help Minnesota qualify for additional federal UI funds.
- RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that individuals previously ineligible for unemployment benefits like gig economy workers, small business owners, and those who are self-employed will be able to apply for benefits.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that the state upgraded its unemployment benefits website, expanded server capacity, and increased call center staffing by 20 percent to process claims faster.
- WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE joined key nonprofits and local philanthropies today to launch a coordinated, statewide food relief fund that will help reach those in need in every corner of the state.
Public communication efforts:
- MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced the launch of a Discrimination Helpline to reinforce the state’s efforts to protect the civil rights of all Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The hotline was launched amid rising reports of discrimination from the Asian American community,
Response Task Forces / Volunteer efforts:
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the creation of the First Responders Fund to assist COVID-19 health care workers and first responders with expenses and costs, including child care. The State Department of Health is accepting donations for the fund, and Blackstone is making an anchor $10 million contribution to the fund.
- KANSAS has added Connecticut to the state’s quarantine list. Any person returning from Connecticut must now self quarantine for 14 days.
- CONNECTICUT’s Insurance Department Commissioner is calling on insurers to immediately lower personal vehicle premiums and expand commercial hired and non-owned and auto insurance in light of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced the state would begin allowing first responders and front-line health care workers to quarantine in cabins at state parks in five locations across the commonwealth, which would allow them to quarantine away from their families and other loved ones if necessary.
- MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that Minnesota veterans who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for one-time financial relief grants of $1,000 from the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order allowing retirees to return to State and local government employment without impacting their retirement pensions and removing restrictions on law enforcement’s ability to temporarily supplement their ranks. The order also enrolls newly hired State employees in the State Health Benefits Plan immediately upon hire.
Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!