With New York seeing more than 150 confirmed cases of an inflammatory disease associated with coronavirus and found in children, Governor Andrew Cuomo said it’s changed the picture of what officials knew about the outbreak.
While most local sleepaway camps have already been canceled, many working parents were holding out hope that day camps would stay open when schools let out next month.
Although no final decision has been made, the governor was not optimistic.
"'Should I send my children to day camp? Is it safe?' Until we have an answer on this pediatric syndrome, as a parent, until I know how widespread this is, I would not send my children to day camp," said Cuomo.
Appearing in Manhattan for his daily briefing Thursday, Cuomo also said the state is beginning its contact tracing program. The idea is to track down those who’ve been exposed to the virus based on positive test results in a person.
"A person who tests positive, the tracers will then contact that person and ask who they may have exposed," explained the governor. "Flash. It will come up NYS CONTACT TRACING. You should answer that call. It's not a hoax. It's not a scam. It's not a fraud."
In a big of good news for businesses, Cuomo announced that sales taxes that were due this week are being extended to June 22. Cuomo says he hopes this can help struggling small business owners who were forced to close under the state's directive.
"Small businesses are struggling. The numbers of small businesses that they're projecting may not come back are really staggering," said Cuomo. "We're trying to do everything we can on a state level. I hope the federal government passes an additional small business relief program."
Next week, state legislators are expected to be back in session for the first time since the budget passed on early April. They are expected to take up at least 12 coronavirus-related bills. There have been calls on the progessive left to raise taxes on the rich, but that seems unlikely this time around. Cuomo says he is opening to negotiating with the legislature on the bills they want.