Businesses in New York state that collect sales tax are getting a small break, as announced today by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo during a new conference in Manhattan.
The deadline for filing annual sales tax returns has been extended for a second time. The returns now will be due on June 22. The original filing date had been March 20. That was previously extended to May 19. When that action was taken, the state decided to waive penalties and interest for late payment of sales taxes that businesses had collected.
“Small businesses are struggling,” Cuomo said. “The numbers of small businesses that they’re projecting may not come back are really staggering. We’re trying to do everything we can at a state level. I hope the federal government passes an additional small business loan program.”
Cuomo said that while he has not made a decision on whether schools will be allowed to reopen for the fall, he does want each college, public school district and private school to prepare a plan indicating how they would implement social distancing and other safety measures in their facilities.
He said the state would be issuing guidelines next month for schools to use in their planning. The schools’ plans would be submitted to the state in July and Cuomo said a decision on opening for the school year would be forthcoming in enough time to permit proper planning.
Cuomo said that summer school would have to be conducted remotely in the coming weeks, with no classroom teaching permitted. The state has yet to determine whether summer camps will be permitted to open.
Cuomo said of great concern is the growing number of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome cases being seen in children. He noted that a week ago today he reported that cases were found in seven countries and 17 states in the U.S. plus Washington, D.C. Today, Cuomo said, there are cases being reported in 13 countries and 25 states in the U.S. plus Washington, D.C. He said that the New York State Department of Health now is investigating 157 cases among children in New York.
“The facts have changed from the ‘experts’ because there are no experts on this COVID virus,” Cuomo said. “I’ve learned that the hard way. ‘Children are not affected.’ ‘Well, now maybe children are affected.’ And, when you’re talking about schools then you’re talking about children and you’re talking about density, exploring the situation and making sure this is not a widespread situation affecting children. They’re not even sure the duration after the COVID exposure that this might occur,” Cuomo said.
“This inflammatory syndrome is more frightening than COVID respiratory illness in some ways, because it inflames the heart.“ Cuomo said. “I want to send my children to day camp. Should I send my children to day camp? Is it safe? Until we have this answer on this pediatric syndrome as a parent, until I know how widespread this is, I would not send my children to day camp. And if I won’t send my children to day camp I wouldn’t ask anybody else to send their children to day camp. It’s that simple.”
Cuomo said that for Memorial Day weekend, the Lake Welch Beach at Harriman State Park will be open and swimming will be permitted from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Harriman State Park covers about 11,000 acres in Rockland and Orange counties.
The Jones Beach, Sunken Meadow, Hither Hills and Robert Moses beaches will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. with swimming permitted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Beaches will be limited to 50% capacity and Cuomo said he expected the limits will be reached early in the day, perhaps by 10 a.m. He said there would be no group activities including sports such as volleyball. Areas where social gathering normally would occur are going to be closed. These include designated picnic areas, playgrounds and pavilions. Masks will be required for employees and visitors when social distancing is not possible. Concession stands will not be open.
Cuomo pointed out that this week is National EMS Week, and he offered special thanks to the frontline workers who have worked tirelessly throughout the outbreak, sometimes at the cost of their own lives.
Cuomo said there were 105 deaths reported yesterday in the state, 27 in nursing homes and 78 in hospitals. Statewide there have been a total of 23,083 COVID-19 deaths according to statistics obtained this afternoon from the state Department of Health.
Deaths in Westchester total 1,438. Rockland saw 485 of its residents fall victim to the virus. There were no new deaths in Putnam again yesterday, with the total remaining at 59. There have been 360 Orange County residents lost to the virus and 135 deaths in Dutchess County.
New York has had 356,458 people test positive for the virus. There were 32,673 cases identified in Westchester, 12,877 in Rockland, 1,175 in Putnam, 10,092 in Orange and 3,745 in Dutchess.