ALBANY – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Thursday signed an executive order mandating businesses that rely on in-office personnel to decrease their in-office workforce by 75 percent.
This follows the Governor’s directive yesterday that all businesses implement work-from-home policies.
Exemptions will be made for essential service industries, including shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions, and other industries critical to the supply chain.
The Governor also announced the Department of Financial Services has issued a new directive to New York State mortgage servicers to provide 90-day mortgage relief to mortgage borrowers impacted by the novel coronavirus. The directive includes:
- Waiving mortgage payments based on financial hardship;
- No negative reporting to credit bureaus;
- Grace period for loan modification;
- No late payment fees or online payment fees; and
- Postponing or suspending foreclosures.
Additionally, the Governor has asked DFS to instruct state chartered banks to waive ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees and fees for credits cards to help lessen the financial hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic on New Yorkers.
“We know what we have to do to contain the spread of this virus – reduce density and person to person contact – and based on new facts we are getting every day, we’re taking further steps to keep more New Yorkers at home while keeping essential services running,” Governor Cuomo said. “At the same time, we know there is going to be an economic impact across the state and we are taking new actions to support the thousands of New Yorkers and small businesses who are suffering. It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be disruptive, but we will get through this together.”
The Governor also announced an executive order allowing the State Department of Health to identify space within existing hospitals to increase bed capacity. This builds on the Governor’s efforts to increase the state’s hospital surge capacity and help ensure our healthcare system can handle an influx of patients due to COVID-19.
Furthermore, Governor announced new measures to free up staff and speed up the admission and discharge process at hospitals for 90 days. The Department of Financial Services will issue a directive to health insurers allowing scheduled surgeries and admissions without insurer preapproval and allowing inpatient hospital services without insurer approval.
Under the measure, insurers will pay inpatient hospital services and emergency services without waiting to review for medical necessity. It will also allow the discharge of patients to a rehabilitation center or nursing after an inpatient hospital stay without insurer preapproval, and encourage self-funded plans to adopt these same provisions.