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Senate Update on Coronavirus From Senator Skoufis

Senate Update on Coronavirus From Senator

James Skoufis

Key in this update is Bill S5092 – IF PASSED ..

  • S5092– would give pharmacists the ability to test for the flu and help rule out Coronavirus. This will expand our healthcare capacity and ensure everyone gets proper medical atteention.

Dear Friends:

I know the emergence of Coronavirus has generated some anxiety; please know I will continue to provide you with the most up to date information.

Here are some local updates:

As of today, there are 325 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in NYS with 1 new case in Orange County, 7 in Rockland County and 4 in Ulster County. These numbers are expected to change rapidly. The state has been approved to conduct lab testing in 28 different labs, increasing the number of test sites available.

This past weekend, New York State declared a State of Emergency which will allow for increased hiring of staff, expedited purchasing of supplies and equipment, and the power to address price gouging that many consumers have reported. If you know or suspect someone despicably price gouging, please report it by calling 1-800-697-1220.


Legislative Updates: 

  • The Governor banned large gatherings over 500 people. At this time, this does NOT apply to schools, nursing homes, hospitals, or mass transit.
  • Last week, the Legislature acted swiftly and approved $40 million in emergency funds for the Department of Health to hire additional staff, purchase equipment, and obtain additional resources to combat COVID-19.
  • I signed onto two key bills:
    • S5092– would give pharmacists the ability to test for the flu and help rule out Coronavirus. This will expand our healthcare capacity and ensure everyone gets proper medical atteention.
    •  S7932– would penalize retailers, manufacturers, and distributors who raise prices on consumer medical supplies by more than 10% during a public health emergency.

Important FAQ’s:

What are the symptoms?

Current symptoms include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.

How is the virus spread?

This virus most commonly spreads from an infected person to others through:

  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands

How do I protect myself?

While there is currently no vaccine to prevent this virus, these simple steps can help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses:

  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Who can I contact for more information?

The New York State Department of Health has set up a 24 Hour Hotline Number: 1-888-364-3065 and website.

The CDC has recently recommended that vulnerable populations, such as seniors and those with compromised immune systems, take special precautions to minimize their risks. Those recommendations can be found here.

I urge everyone to listen to healthcare providers and take reasonable precautions, depending upon your age and health. If you are experiencing symptoms, please call your doctor before proceeding to a health care facility to minimize potential spread. I’m here to support you all and be a resource for information, so please reach out if you have questions or concerns. Most importantly, take care.





Albany Office:
815 Legislative Office Bldg
Albany, NY 12247
District Office:
47 Grand St
Newburgh, NY 12550
Satellite Office:
55 W Railroad Ave, Suite 24A2
Garnerville, NY 10923
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