Gov. Cuomo signs bill giving death benefits to families of frontline COVID-19 workers


NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — During his daily COVID-19 briefing on Saturday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that gives death benefits to the families of frontline workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

As hospitalizations continue to decline throughout the state, and the data shows New York may be getting out of the COVID-19 crisis, Governor Cuomo could not thank the frontline workers enough for the work and sacrifices they have made throughout the pandemic.

The governor said while he was telling everyone to stay home to avoid the possibility of getting infected, the frontline workers stepped up and went to work everyday to help keep people safe.

Because of this, Governor Cuomo signed a bill into law during his press conference Saturday giving death benefits to the families of frontline workers.

“This new law will provide death benefits to the families of state and local government frontline workers who died from COVID-19 and gave their lives for us,” Governor Cuomo said. “It is the least we can do to say thank you, and we honor you, and we remember you. We will be there to support your families going forward. And we say to their families, we thank you, we grieve for your loss, and we will always be there for you the way your loved one was there for us.”

The bill only applies to people who reported to a worksite at the direction of their employer on or after March 1 and contracted COVID-19 within 45 days after reporting to work. If that individual dies before December 31, 2020 their family is eligible for the death benefits.

COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state continue to decline, and the number of new hospitalizations each day continues to be below 200.

However, despite the numbers trending in the right direction, 67 more New Yorkers lost their lives to COVID-19 on Friday. This is the same number of deaths that were reported on Thursday, and Governor Cuomo said it is an all-time low number for the state.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families we lost,” Governor Cuomo said. “And I want to thank the hospital workers, the nurses, the doctors who have saved literally thousands of lives all through this, and I want to thank all of them from the bottom of my heart.”

The full press conference from Saturday can be seen in its entirety below.

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