Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday that the state will withhold funds for localities and schools in COVID-19 cluster zones that fail to enforce public health laws.
The state Department of Health will send a letter warning local governments in cluster zones that they will lose state funding if they fail to enforce state limits on gatherings and the closure of schools. The letter will be sent to New York City, Orange County, Rockland County, the Town of Ramapo and the Village of Spring Valley.
In Huntington, where the rate of infection has been relatively high in Huntington Station, Supervisor Chad Lupinacci said, “We are confident the Town of Huntington is not at risk of having State funding withheld due to failure to enforce public health regulations.
“Before the state started issuing social distancing and other mandates, the Town of Huntington implemented early prevention measures and ongoing public safety precautions, using various methods to communicate the public health and safety mandates issued by the governor to ensure our residents and employees were not put at unnecessary risk of contracting COVID-19. We did so throughout the entire span of this public health crisis with the invaluable advice of Dr. Fitterman from Huntington Hospital.”
Cuomo said that DOH will send an additional letter warning public and private schools in cluster zones that they will lose state funding if they do not comply with state requirements on closure and testing.
“We know that public and private schools in the red zones are supposed to be closed. We know that there were violations where yeshivas were operating. We know there were violations where religious gatherings were happening that exceeded the guidelines. This is especially a problem in Brooklyn and Orange and Rockland Counties,” Cuomo said.