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Govs On Deck – June 9, 2020

Govs on Deck

Good Tuesday afternoon and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck.” We’re still here and we’re still daily. We hope you are all still safe and healthy.
Questions or suggestions? Send me a note at amestoy@dga.net. You can find us all on Twitter too – @A_Tall_Turner@CEAmestoy@JerusalemDemsas, and @andersonkayjay.
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 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Want more examples? Send me an email and I can help you track down answers.
Federal requests: 

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS sent a letter to the Director of the CDC requesting assistance in ensuring Colorado is prepared to respond during flu season and can prevent the combined impact of flu and COVID-19 from overwhelming the health care system. 

Reopening efforts:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS’ administration unveiled an alternative to the state’s 14-day quarantine requirement for people entering Maine. The multilayered plan, called Keep Maine Healthy, aims to protect the health of Maine people and visitors while allowing the opportunity for people to visit Maine and support Maine small businesses during the summer months.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the Mid-Hudson region has been cleared to begin Phase 2 of reopening. 

Public gatherings:

  • HAWAII’s Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks is lessening restrictions and reopening park areas in conjunction with various county-specific rules and guidelines. 

Business support:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced a $225 million statewide grant program to support small businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis and subsequent business closure order. The funding was developed in partnership with state lawmakers and allocated through the recently enacted state budget, which included $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds through the CARES Act.

Schools/students:

  • NORTH CAROLINA’s Department of Health and Human Services released new health guidelines, representing a first step to help North Carolina K-12 public schools find a safe way to open to in-person instruction for the 2020-21 academic year.

Health care:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced a partnership with Kinsa, a public health company, to strengthen the state’s early detection of and response to COVID19. The partnership will begin with a pilot program in three communities across the state, chosen based on demographic diversity, density, location, and illness spread, and will distribute 15,000 Kinsa smart thermometers to families of first responders and essential workers in Aurora, Montrose, and Edwards.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced the launching of a new effort that aims to provide health care coverage for 100 percent of black and African-American people in the commonwealth.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York City is now eligible to resume elective surgeries and ambulatory care.

Testing and tracing:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS’ administration announced that it will quadruple COVID-19 testing capacity at the state lab, develop testing sites throughout Maine, and allow more people in Maine with an elevated risk of exposure to get tested for the virus.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the state is opening 14 new temporary testing sites at churches located in communities particularly impacted by COVID-19, in partnership with Northwell Health and SOMOS Community Care. The state is continuing to focus efforts on reducing the infection rate of COVID-19 in New York City hotspot neighborhoods that have been impacted the most by the virus.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO provided details today on Rhode Island’s Early Warning Testing System, which will inform the state’s immediate response efforts and inform data modeling and forecasting. As part of the Early Warning Testing System, specific groups of high-contact workers who are asymptomatic can now be tested at no cost at a Rhode Island National Guard testing site. The asymptomatic workers who can schedule tests are hair professionals, nail artists, gym employees, tattoo artists, massage therapists, and child care workers. Additionally, any Rhode Islander who attended a large protest or demonstration this weekend can (and should) get tested, even if they do not have symptoms. 

PPE/medical supplies:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that California-based BYD North America has received certification from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to produce N95 respirators for the state. BYD will produce and ship 150 million N95 masks to the state for distribution to health care workers and those identified by health officials as requiring respirator-style masks. The first shipment of N95 masks produced as part of this contract is expected to arrive in the coming days. The contract will ensure that the state has a sufficient supply of masks going forward should there be a need for them in the future.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER’s administration announced that the state has distributed more than 450,000 cloth face masks to private sector businesses that support critical infrastructure sectors. In the coming days, the state will distribute more than 18,000 thermometers to licensed daycares in Illinois. This move will help facilitate temperature checks and health screenings, as recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

Family support:

  • KENTUCKY’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services announced they’ve extended the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program to 359,330 kids who already receive other DCBS benefits and to an additional 99,000 kids who did not previously receive other DCBS benefits. 

Child care/summer programs:

  • NEW JERSEY’s Department of Health today issued COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for summer youth camps following Governor Murphy’s executive order allowing operations beginning July 6th. The guidelines provide procedures for camp operators to implement health and safety standards for staff and campers such as screening, hygiene, social distancing, and staff/camper ratios.

Homeowner/renter support:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed legislation authorizing local governments to extend the deadline for filing property tax abatements to July 15th in recognition of the hardships many families and businesses continue to face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced a temporary statewide moratorium on all eviction proceedings. The governor requested this moratorium in a letter sent to Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice. The chief justice’s order remains in effect through June 28 and modifies the Court’s earlier Declaration of Judicial Emergency in response to COVID-19. The temporary moratorium will halt all eviction proceedings for a period of nearly three weeks, as the Northam administration implements a comprehensive rent relief program for the thousands of Virginians facing housing insecurity in the midst of this public health crisis.

Task forces:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY’s Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce held the first joint meeting between Executive and Steering Committees to create the framework for the distribution of up to $525 million for Kansans, businesses, and communities to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.

Public communications:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the launch of the ‘It’s Up to Us, New York’ Campaign on MTA buses and trains and billboards across the region as well as on billboards throughout the state and through an integrated social media campaign to remind New Yorkers to do their part to continue fighting the COVID-19 virus. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that his administration launched an enhanced dashboard to pull Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 data and information together to inform Pennsylvanians. The dashboard further enhances data on demographics of cases, demographics of deaths, and the reopening status.

Other efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he is ordering an independent, third-party review to be conducted of the preparation and response to the COVID-19 pandemic inside of Connecticut’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The review will incorporate a top-to-bottom analysis of all elements of the pandemic and how it was addressed in these facilities, which were disproportionately impacted by the virus.
  • CONNECTICUT‘s Department of Transportation announced that the state’s two ferries that provide service across the Connecticut River will resume operations beginning Saturday, June 20th.
  • HAWAII’s  Department of Health is disbursing a total of $30,000 to 23 skilled nursing facilities in the state for communications devices that will allow seniors at these facilities to stay in touch with their family and friends during the current pandemic.

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!