Coronavirus Update, July 13, 2020

Over the weekend three new cases of COVID-19, and one new case was reported Monday in Tompkins County. According to the county health department, as of Monday 167 of the 176 people infected with the virus in Tompkins County have recovered. According to Tompkins Public Health Director Frank Kruppa, several new positive COVID-19 cases are related to Fourth of July social gatherings and out-of-state travel from states with spikes of the virus. Some of these cases are connected to local gatherings where social distancing and mask-wearing were not followed. In Schuyler County, 15 out of 17 infected with the virus have recovered, according to the Schuyler health department.

New York state is allowing limited and regulated visitors in nursing homes that have been free of the novel coronavirus for at least 28 consecutive days, according to New York Now News. 

Nursing homes must adhere to the following strict guidelines;  residents can only have two visitors at a time and at least one must be an adult. Face coverings and social distancing are mandatory, visitors must undergo temperature checks before entering the facility, and only 10% of residents are allowed to have visitors at a time.

Affordable housing advocates are calling on state lawmakers to pass legislation to prevent an impending eviction crisis, according to the Times Union. The advocates joined a group of democratic legislators on Friday to announce three bills that would prevent tenant evictions, cancel rent and mortgage debt during the crisis, and provide resources to re-house the homeless. Legislators are expected to reconvene later this month to address pandemic-related housing issues. 

Approximately two million new Yorkers lost their jobs during the COVID-19 shutdown, leading housing advocates to stress the importance of financial relief in order to avoid mass evictions and homelessness.

The New York Legislature allotted $100 million in rent relief two months ago, but failed to provide guidance on how to release the money. So far, no one has benefitted from the program, although the money is expected to be released soon.

Contributing writing by WRFI News Susan Fortson