New York State Brief

In New York State, things continue to change as the reopening progresses, and while officials grapple with unemployment rates and revenue streams. The governor, in the meantime, continues to extend moratoriums and put in place protections for residents affected by the pandemic.

Earlier this week, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced an Executive Order extending the state’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures an additional month, until Oct. 20. 

According to Governor Cuomo, this measure extends protections already in place for commercial tenants and mortgagors in recognition of the financial toll the pandemic has taken on business owners, including retail establishments and restaurants. 

The governor stated, “The extension of this protection gives commercial tenants and mortgagors additional time to get back on their feet and catch up on rent or their mortgage, or to renegotiate their lease terms to avoid foreclosure moving forward.”

Governor Cuomo also announced last week that the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is expanding online services, making it easier for New Yorkers to do business with the DMV from the comfort of their homes, and allowing the DMV to serve more customers in person who cannot complete their transactions online. 

The DMV has initiated a pilot program to offer the written learner permit tests for passenger cars (Class D) and motorcycles (Class M) online. It is also piloting a process to allow customers who reside in counties served by the state DMV to register their vehicles online. The online tool can be located at

Locally, residents can call the DMV office at (607) 687-8250 to schedule an appointment.

In addition, Governor Cuomo announced on Thursday that New York State will form an independent Clinical Advisory Task Force comprised of leading scientists, doctors, and health experts who will review every COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the federal government, and will advise New York State on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness in fighting the virus. 

In a release, the governor stated, “The federal government’s response to COVID and the White House’s dispute with the FDA raises serious questions about whether or not the vaccine has become politicized.”

He added, “Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion and I wouldn’t recommend to New Yorkers based on the federal government’s opinion. We’re going to put together our own review committee headed by the Department of Health to review the vaccine, and I’m appointing a committee that is going to come up with a vaccine distribution and implementation plan on how we will do it. New York’s response to COVID has been a model for this country, and we should also be the model vaccination program for the country.”

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