Sunday, May 31
NEW SUNDAY: Earlier this week, I was proud to help pass a bill in the Senate to provide death benefits to the families of state and local government workers on the front lines who died from Covid-19 and gave their lives for us. I’m pleased to share with you that Governor Cuomo has now signed that bill into law. The bill, S.8427/A.10528, is a small consolation to grieving families grappling with the tragic loss of a loved one, but it’s the least we can do as a state to honor the sacrifice of these heroes, and to show support for their families in their time of need.
As we proceed with a safe and measured resumption of government services, the DMV has announced it will begin to resume service by mail and transactions by drop box.
Transactions by Mail/Drop Box: beginning Monday, June 1st, DMV offices in Nassau and Suffolk County will start processing vehicle registrations and other transactions by mail. As of June 4th they will begin accepting transactions through secure drop boxes located at each office available Monday through Saturday during regular offices hours.
The following transactions can be mailed or deposited in a drop box:
- Original vehicle registrations and license plate transfers
- If you are registering a vehicle, use the online registration checklist before mailing or dropping off your documents
- License plate surrenders: Instructions for returning license plates by mail can be found on at https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/how-surrender-return-or-turn-your-plates-dmv.
- Sales tax only transactions
- License and registration renewals (online option also available)
- Replacement of lost documents (online option also available)
- Address change (online option also available)
Important things to remember before visiting the DMV office to use the drop box:
- Face Coverings must be worn
- Only two customers will be allowed in the DMV office at a time to access the drop box
- Make sure all your documents are properly completed
- Customer service representatives will not be available to assist you with these services on site
- Completed transactions will be returned to you by mail
For instructions on mail transactions visit: https://dmv.ny.gov/dmv/dmv-office-locations
Drivers licenses, non-driver ID cards, and vehicle registrations that expired March 1, 2020 or after, and vehicle inspections that expired March 31 or after, continue to be extended and valid.
Commercial Driver License (CDL) road tests will resume in each region throughout the state that has reached Phase 1 of reopening and will be conducted under strict safety measures. Customers taking a road test will have their temperature taken and be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and any known contacts with positive COVID-19 patients prior to beginning the test. Road tests will be rescheduled if a customer has a fever (temperature of 100 degrees or higher), is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or has had recent, close contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Customers should not report for their road test if they:
- Have been directed to quarantine, isolate or self-monitor at home for the COVID-19 by any doctor, hospital, or health agency; or
- Have been diagnosed with, or have had close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19; or
- Have flu-like symptoms or symptoms of the coronavirus.
Customers that had previously scheduled road tests that were cancelled because of COVID-19 are being given priority rescheduling. To schedule new CDL road tests visit: https://dmv.ny.gov/schedule-road-test.
Passenger Vehicle (Class D) road tests and reservations are not currently available.
More than 60 different DMV transactions remain available online https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/all-online-transactions and include renewal or replacement of a license, renewing or replacing vehicle registrations, requests for DMV records including crash reports, handling fines and fees.
In the last 24 hours, 61,256 people statewide were tested for coronavirus, with 1,376 new positive results. In Nassau, 4,710 people were tested with 81 new positive results.
As of today, 40,307 Nassau County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus. Statewide, 369,660 New Yorkers have tested positive, with 3,619 currently hospitalized, 1,124 in the ICU, 857 intubated, and 320 new discharges. In the last 24 hours, 178 New Yorkers were admitted to the hospital as new patients.
In that last 24 hours we lost 67 New Yorkers to the coronavirus, including residents of Nassau County. This brings the total number of our friends and neighbors lost to 23,848 statewide, and 2,121 in Nassau.
Small Business Support
If you’re a small business owner who offers paid family leave and medical leave to your employees, and you have an employee unable to work due to the coronavirus, you may be entitled to receive a credit in the full amount of the required sick leave and family leave. Learn more at go.usa.gov/xVwTS
The state has launched the New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF), a $100 million fund to provide flexible and affordable loans to help our small businesses, especially MWBEs (Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises) that did not receive federal Covid-19 assistance. The program will take a smart, targeted approach for distributing these loans, focusing on truly small businesses, with 20 or fewer employees and less than $3 million in gross revenues. If you’re a small business who didn’t get federal assistance, check out esd.ny.gov/nyforwardloans for more information and to pre-apply.
Nassau County has launched a website to help small businesses in our community to navigate the reopening process and ensure a safe and smooth reopening. Visit https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/reopen to check out the current status of reopening in Nassau and see what you need to do as a small business owner.
There was some confusion in the last few days over a plan announced by Nassau County to facilitate more outdoor dining in Nassau County this summer as a way of promoting safe dining experiences at Nassau restaurants. To clarify, what the county executive announced was the creation of a “process to streamline the permit application for municipalities to close county roads” to create socially-distanced dining areas, with a commitment to return applications within a week of receiving them. Tables and benches must be provided by the municipality, not the restaurant, otherwise the practice would fall into Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan
My Coronavirus Community Resource Page is now live at coronavirus.senatorkaplan.com! There's lots of great information including what restaurants are open in our community for delivery, what government services have changed, and where to go if you need help with something during this difficult time. Check it out!
This is only a snapshot of the full resources available to our community during this difficult time. To see the full resource guide, visit coronavirus.senatorkaplan.com
Antibody testing is now available at county health clinics in Westbury, Elmont, Freeport and Hempstead. Testing will be by appointment only in an outdoor facility, and will take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 1pm. For more information, and to schedule an appointment, call 516-396-7500. All are welcome to call, regardless of insurance or immigration status.
The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) has launched an effort to match volunteer lawyers with economically disadvantaged families who have lost loved ones to the virus and need help settling uncontested small estates. To match clients with volunteer attorneys, NYSBA has developed an easy-to-use online portal https://nysba.org/surrogatescourt/ for the Surrogate’s Court pro bono effort.
For most, drinking alcohol in moderation is not inherently harmful, but if you find yourself drinking too much in quarantine and slowing down or stopping seem impossible, NYS can help. The NYS HOPEline is available 24/7. Call: 877-8-HOPENY(467369) or text HOPENY (467369) for assistance. Toll-free and confidential. For more information about what supports and services are available, check out the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports at oasas.ny.gov
The Cow Neck Historical Society of Port Washington is offering a virtual history tour featuring their current exhibit of “Costumes and Culture: Our Heritage, Our Fashion” featuring vintage clothing and costumes from the early 1800s through World War II. The exhibition is available May 26-31 at cowneck.org
As we begin to slowly reopen our communities, its important that no New Yorker feel unsafe at work or be put into harms way unnecessarily. If your employer doesn’t make appropriate accommodations for your safety, for the safety of the public, or fails to provide you with PPE to do your job safely, you’re urged to call the state coronavirus hotline at 888-364-3065
NYU Winthrop Hospital Department of Urology is holding a free Men’s Health Webinar Lecture Series, and the next virtual live event is on “Advances in Prostate Cancer & Prostate Cancer Screenings: From Conventional to Holistic Approaches.” It will be taking place on Tuesday, June 4, 2020 at 7pm, and you can register here: https://nyumc.webex.com/nyumc/onstage/g.php?MTID=e4e87cc169c390180b23037551029bd53
Uninsured New Yorkers can get a free diagnostic COVID-19 test at any CityMD urgent care facility. All CityMD locations are offering nasal swab tests seven days a week, and walk-ins are accepted. Also a reminder that New York health insurers have been directed to waive all costs associated with COVID-19 testing. If you believe you have COVID symptoms, don't wait — get tested. Visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you to find a location near you.
CVS is offering self-administered testing at their drive through locations in Floral Park, New Hyde Park, Mineola, and Westbury. Schedule an appointment at https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing?icid=covid_testing_dt_banner
Cancer Services Program of Nassau County provides breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screenings at no cost to men and women who do not have health insurance, and people whose health insurance doesn’t cover the cost of these screenings, regardless of immigration status. Staying healthy right now doesn’t just mean from coronavirus: please consider getting a cancer screening today in a safe environment with all necessary precautions being taken to protect your health. For more information, call 516-470-4165, email [email protected], or check “Cancer Services Program of Nassau County” on Facebook.
Port Washington residents Dr. Lauren Block and Adam Block PhD created a beautifully illustrated e-book for kids aged 4-11 to help them make sense of the coronavirus and the world we’re living in today. The book is called “Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus” and its available FREE for download to anyone who is interested. If you have children in your family, visit https://www.kellystayshome.com/ and check it out!
There are now over 770 locations statewide where New Yorkers can get diagnostic testing, and in order to make sure more New Yorkers are getting tested, Governor Cuomo has further relaxed the criteria for who can get a test and created some helpful online resources.
- If you are concerned you might need a test, but you’re not sure if you meet the criteria, take the online self-assessment at https://covid19screening.health.ny.gov/
- *Note: In Nassau County, all workers interacting with the public are now eligible to receive diagnostic testing, whether you have symptoms or not.*
- To locate a testing site near you, visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you and enter your address to view a list and a map view of the nearest testing sites. The state has also partnered with Google Maps to display testing site results when you search "COVID testing near me" on Google Maps.
- Please remember you must always schedule an appointment to get a COVID-19 diagnostic test by calling 1-888-364-3065 or your healthcare provider.
Amid an uptick in domestic violence incidents, NYS has launched a new 24/7 texting program and confidential online service to help abuse victims safely interact with the Domestic Violence hotline without being overheard by their abuser. If you’re in an unsafe situation, know that you’re not alone, and you’re not trapped. There is help—text 844-997-2121 or visit opdv.ny.gov. You can also call the Safe Center here in Nassau County 24/7 at (516) 542-0404
How You Can Help
There are many more ways to help-visit coronavirus.senatorkaplan.com for the full list.
Right now, Sunday 5/31 from 12-2pm, the Sid Jacobsen JCC is hosting “Curb Your Mitzvah,” a contact-free, curbside clothing drive benefiting the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Long Island. Donations will only be accepted from 12-2pm at the JCC’s Anex at 200 Forest Drive, Suite 11, East Hills.
Attorneys interested in volunteering for the New York State Bar Association’s volunteer effort to help settle uncontested small estates free of charge for economically disadvantaged families can register at https://nysba.joinpaladin.com/nysba/opportunities/coming-soon-probate-matters-for-new-yorkers-in-nee/
New York State is seeking highly trained technologists to assist with our Covid-19 Technology SWAT team. Individuals from leading global technology companies are being deployed across high-impact and urgent coronavirus response activities across a range of functions, including Web/Mobile Development, Data Science/Analytics, End User Support and Digital Content Strategy. Individuals, technology companies, universities, nonprofits, research labs, and other organizations with technology expertise are invited to submit an expression of interest. Learn more at https://www.ny.gov/programs/new-york-state-covid-19-technology-swat-team
Supplies of donated blood continue to be critically low, and anyone who can donate should do so. If you are interested in donating blood, please contact New York Blood Center at 800-688-0900.
In order to help research effective treatments for Coronavirus, plasma donations are needed from people who tested positive for coronavirus but have since resolved and gotten better. Your plasma will be used to help save lives of ill patients using the convalescent plasma method, and you can learn more and donate by visiting https://www.nybc.org/donate-blood/convalescent-plasma/
Please, take a few minutes today and fill out the census right away if you haven’t yet done so. Visit my2020census.gov or call 844-330-2020 and do your part to help NY get its fair share.
To help support our First Responders, New York created the First Responders Fund. The fund will 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 received an anchor $10 million contribution from Blackstone. Donations can be made electronically at www.healthresearch.org/donation-form
We're All In This Together
As always, if there’s any way I can be of assistance to you and your family as we navigate these difficult times, please contact me at 516-746-5924 or [email protected].
If you don’t already get this newsletter delivered straight to your inbox each day, but would like to, you may sign up at https://www.nysenate.gov/questionnaires/anna-m-kaplan/sign-receive-nassau-coronavirus-email-updates
Thank you for allowing me the privilege of being your Senator.