Assemblyman Otis Announces Actions to Combat COVID-19 Threat

Assemblyman Steve Otis (D-Rye) today announced the actions this week to address the growing health threat presented by the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

On Monday the Assembly voted to approve $40 million in emergency funding to deal with the emerging coronavirus (COVID-19) threat. The money will be used to purchase medical equipment and supplies as well as hire and train additional health care workers to ensure New York State is fully prepared in the event this virus spreads.

Earlier on Monday NYS Health Commissioner briefed the Assembly on actions being taken by the health department as well as recommendations that all individuals can take to protect themselves from this contagious virus.

Also on Monday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced agency-wide sanitizing protocols that will include increasing the frequency and intensity of sanitizing procedures at each of its stations and on its full fleet of rolling stock including Metro-North. Trains, cars and buses will experience daily cleanings with the MTA’s full fleet undergoing sanitization every 72 hours. Frequently used surfaces in stations, such as turnstiles, MetroCard and ticket vending machines, and handrails, will be disinfected daily using EPA-approved and CDC-endorsed disinfectants.

New York State has confirmed a handful of coronavirus cases, including several in Westchester County.

You should treat this as a serious public health issue but be assured that most individuals who have contracted the virus have not become seriously ill. There are steps we can all take to minimize risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 including the following common-sense practices we should take to protect ourselves generally:

o Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
o Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes
o Cover your cough or sneeze
o Try to avoid coming in contact with someone who is sick
o Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
o If you are feeling sick, stay home from work

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe respiratory issues, including a cough, fever and shortness of breath, which can appear two to 14 days after exposure. If you develop these symptoms please contact your doctor or visit an emergency room or clinic.

You can call 211 for more information, or the state hotline at 1-888-364-3065, where experts can answer questions regarding the novel coronavirus. For more information, you can also visit:

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

New York State Department of Health: