EMPIRE STATE
ENERGY ASSOCIATION

COVID-19 Resources

FREE WEBINARS & IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Courtesy of ESEA's lobbying firm, Harter Secrest & Emery ...

Harter Secrest & Emery on demand webinars & videos

Past Webinars:


Click here to view past webinars.

 

News Links

 

COVID-19 National Disaster Relief Declaration Paves Way for Tax-Advantaged Way for Employers to Provide Relief to Employees

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are looking for ways to help their employees cope with the ongoing crisis. For example, many employers have offered free coverage of COVID-19 testing and treatment under their group health plans and are enhancing employee assistance program benefits to deal with the psychological toll. Of course, in these uncertain times, many employees are worried about the financial impact of the pandemic, not only with respect to potential lost wages, but also from the ancillary expenses, such as caring for impacted loved ones and daycare expenses now that many schools have closed. When President Trump declared that the COVID-19 pandemic constituted a national emergency on March 13, he opened the door for employers to take advantage of an often-overlooked provision in the tax code that would allow employers to make tax-free "qualified disaster relief payments" to employees.

Please click the button below to review this LEGALcurrents®.

Learn More

 

Protocol For Testing

May 4, 2020

New York State DOH Issues Guidance Regarding Testing For Essential Workers!

As New York State aggressively expands COVID-19 diagnostic testing capacity, the Department of Health has revised guidance to increase testing for frontline workers, including all first responders, health care workers, and essential employees who interact with the public, while continuing to prioritize resources. Testing for COVID-19 shall be authorized by a health care provider for individuals who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • An individual is symptomatic or has a history of symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, and/or trouble breathing), particularly if the individual is 70 years of age or older, the individual has a compromised immune system, or the individual has an underlying health condition; or
  • An individual has had close (i.e. within six feet) or proximate contact with a person known to be positive with COVID-19; or
  • An individual is subject to a precautionary or mandatory quarantine; or
  • An individual is employed as a health care worker, first responder, or other essential worker who directly interacts with the public while working; or
  • An individual presents with a case where the facts and circumstances – as determined by the treating clinician in consultation with state or local department of health officials – warrant testing.

For additional details, please refer to the NYSDOH website: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-testing.

 

Waivers

  • PHMSA Issues Enforcement Waiver For CDL Hazmat Driver Reoccurring Training
    Please click here to read more.

  • FMCSA Drivers Hours Of Service Waiver Ends June 14, 2020
    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) driver hours of service (HOS) emergency waiver that petroleum marketers and heating fuel dealers have been operating under during the COVID-19 emergency ends on June 14, 2020 at 11:59 PM. The HOS emergency waiver was first issued on March 13, 2020 and subsequently extended through June 14, 2020.

    Click here to read the full EMA Compliance Bulletin.

     

NYS Resources

REMINDER: To help keep up with the quickly changing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, below are some important resources related to the economic impacts for businesses and workers ...

  • Governors Executive Orders: https://www.governor.ny.gov/executiveorders

  • ESD has set up a web portal and FAQ page for individuals and businesses with business-related COVID-19 issues and questions on this website with all COVID-19 info: https://esd.ny.gov/esd-covid-19-related-resources

  • NYS page for all COVID-19 information: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

  • NEW: SBA has approved a statewide disaster declaration for New York. Eligible small businesses may now apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) online at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

  • Many businesses and organizations have expressed a desire to support New York State as it responds to the virus outbreak. Individuals or groups looking to volunteer or contribute to the State’s effort should contact the Governor’s Office at covid19assistance@exec.ny.gov.

  • DOL has been working hard to keep up with the new demand for Unemployment Insurance and has institute new rules that include extended ours and restrictions about when to file based on your last name: https://labor.ny.gov/pressreleases/2020/march-17-2020-1.shtm

  • DOL is also reminding businesses of its Shared Work Program that can provide an alternative to laying off employees during business downturns by allowing workers to work a reduced work schedule and collect partial unemployment insurance benefits for up to 26 weeks. Instead of cutting staff, you able to reduce the number of hours of all employees or just a certain group: https://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/employerinfo/shared-work-program.shtm

  • The NY State of Health insurance marketplace is reopening enrollment in Qualified Health Plans in response to the outbreak of Covid-19, so that more people might seek out testing and medical care. People can purchase coverage on the exchange or directly from insurers through April 15 with policies effective April 1.

  • The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs has published an Emergency Rule on price gouging. The rule prohibits price gouging with regard to personal and household goods and services that either: (a) consumers reasonably believe aid in diagnosing or monitoring disease symptoms, prevent the spread of disease, or treat disease, under certain circumstances; or (b) merchants market as aiding in diagnosing or monitoring disease symptoms, preventing the spread of disease, or treating disease, under certain circumstances.

  • New York City: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/sbs/businesses/covid19-business-outreach.page

 

Information for Businesses:

Related Organization Resources

Government Resources

Personal Protective Equipment Resources

ESEA emailed a notice to members regarding the ordering of cloth face masks through EMA/FEMA/DOE offer. Forty companies took advantage of this offer and a total 3,400 masks were ordered. Orders to be shipped today. From what we know, there should be another ordering period - Date Still To Be Determined. We will update you once we know more.

ESEA has been able to locate a few other sources for face coverings. Please see below:

Personal Protection Equipment of Texas - can handle orders of any size, for both 3 ply surgical masks, as well as KN95 respirator masks (recently FDA approved). https://ppetexas.com/order-ppe

SC Health SPV - Contact Lance Brown at lance@schealthspv.com or 803-297-799 https://www.schealthspv.com

Click here to download the SC Health Personal Protective Equipment Brochure.

Orange Packaging - a family owned and operated business in Newburgh, NY. are currently producing between 30,000 to 50,000 face shields per week. You can order by contacting Mike Esposito at 845-742-9766 or through the order link.

NARFA N95-Compliant Masks - Contact Josie Gelfin - josie@narfa.com for all orders.

Click here to download the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Order Form.

Fuel Management Services is now offering FDA/CDC-compliant Kwik-Kleenz Hand Sanitizer and Multi-Purpose Cleaner in addition to PPE face masks, shields, wipes and gloves.

For more information on PPE resources, click the links above, see the write up below or call 732-929-1964 or email markstellar@verizon.net for price quotes or other inquiries.

If you or your company can offer PPE equipment or has contacts that can help, please contact ESEA.

 

Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 website for latest information: HERE

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus 2019 Map: (here)