Wednesday evening, Governor Andrew Cuomo posted his sixty-third Executive Order during this state of emergency. Executive Order 202.61, issued on September 9, 2020, modifies and suspends certain laws as well as sets forth directives, all of which are designed to address matters related to the COVID-19 crisis. Executive Order 202.61 is effective from September 9, 2020 through October 9, 2020. A copy of Executive Order 202.61 can be found here.
Expediting COVID-19 and influenza test reporting.
- Every licensed professional authorized by the Department of Health Physician Office Laboratory Evaluation Program to administer a test for COVID-19 or influenza, whether alone or in conjunction with any other test, shall report such results immediately (not more than 3 hours) to the Department of Health through the Electronic Clinical Laboratory Reporting System (ECLRS) when a result is received.
- Every professional authorized to administer a test for COVID-19 shall not take such sample or administer such test without inquiring, if such individual attends school, and if so, as to where such individual attends school and to report such data to ECLRS; and as to place of employment, and whether the individual works or volunteers in an elementary, secondary school, or post-secondary school, and if so, to report such data to ECLRS
- Additionally, every professional authorized to administer a test for COVID-19 shall not take such sample or administer such test without inquiring as to the individual’s local address, if such address differs from the individual’s permanent address, and such local address must be reported to ECLRS.
COVID-19 test reporting by schools
- Every licensed laboratory in the state of New York shall require that, prior to processing any specimen for a COVID-19 test, alone or in conjunction with a test for any other communicable disease, information related to school of attendance, or place of employment or volunteer work for any adult, be transmitted to such laboratory along with such sample. Such information must be reported to the State Department of Health via ECLRS.
- Every local health department in the state of New York shall report to the Department of Health, on a daily basis, in a form and manner to be determined by the Department, all COVID-19 testing and diagnoses for any individual who is a student, teacher, and any other individual who is a school employee or volunteer, for both higher and lower education institutions and districts. Such daily report shall include any other data elements as the Commissioner of Health determines to be appropriate to track outbreaks of COVID-19 within higher and lower education institutions, schools and school districts.
- Every school and school district shall report to the Department of Health, on a daily basis, in a form and manner to be determined by the Department, all COVID-19 testing and diagnoses among students, teaching staff, and any other employees or volunteers. Such daily report shall include any other data elements as the Commissioner of Health determines to be appropriate to track outbreaks of COVID-19 within such schools and school districts.
- Every higher education institution, including but not limited to community and junior colleges, universities, graduate and professional schools, medical schools, and technical schools, shall report to the Department of Health, on a daily basis, in a form and manner to be determined by the Department, all COVID-19 testing and diagnoses among any on-campus students, teaching staff, and any other employees or volunteers. Such daily report shall include any other data elements as the Commissioner of Health determines to be appropriate to track outbreaks of COVID-19 within such higher education institutions, and provided further, that additional notification to the Department of Health is required once an institution reaches 100 positive cases.
- Any directive, modification or suspension heretofore issued to authorize individuals to administer or process any COVID-19 test shall apply to any FDA approved method to test for COVID-19 in conjunction with any other communicable disease.
Don’t want to mail your absentee ballot? We will have a drop box for that!
- Executive Order 202.61 mandates all boards of elections to develop a plan to allow a registered voter to drop off a completed absentee ballot at a board of election, early voting location, or election day voting location, without requiring they wait in line with in-person voters, to help minimize delays during in-person voting and promote contactless voting. Plans must be submitted to the State Board of Elections by September 21, 2020, and made publicly available in the county board of elections office and on their website when submitted.
- For any absentee ballot issued pursuant to Chapter 91 and Chapter 138 of the Laws of 2020 and/or the provisions of Executive Order 202.58 for which a paper application need not be returned by the voter because the voter applied for an absentee ballot by letter, email, facsimile, phone, internet or electronically, the board of elections shall not send such voter a paper absentee ballot application with their ballot, and such voter shall not be required to complete a paper application either prior to or simultaneously to receiving the ballot.
Coming soon to a NYC restaurant near you … indoor dining!
- The directive in Executive Order 202.48, which modified the directive contained in Executive Order 202.41, that prohibited indoor food services and dining as part of Phase Three in New York City, is hereby modified to allow indoor food services and dining in New York City beginning September 30, 2020, so long as Department of Health and any other applicable State-issued guidance is strictly adhered to.
SUSPENDED OR MODIFIED LAWS, REGULATIONS OR CODES
As with many of prior issued executive orders, Executive Order 202.61 also suspends or modifies certain laws, codes, rules and regulations to aid in New York’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis, this time through October 4, 2020. Executive Order 202.61, by modifying or suspending the applicable laws, codes, rules and regulations, to the extent necessary:
- Requires immediate reporting (not more than 3 hours) of results of COVID-19 and influenza testing by additional clinical laboratories, including those operated by a licensed physician, osteopath, dentist, midwife, nurse practitioner or optometrist who is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Department of Health to administer a point of care COVID-19 test and registered with the Department of Health as a physician office laboratory, in accordance with section 576-c of the Public Health Law and Section 58-1.14 of Title 10 of the NYCRR; provided further as it relates to COVID-19 testing, containing information pertaining to attendance and employment in school as required by the directives set forth above.