As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in New York and around the world, New York State Bar Association Health Law Section Chair Hermes Fernandez discusses the power New York has to contain the virus in a special edition of the Miranda Warnings podcast released today.
Fernandez, a health law attorney at Bond, Schoeneck & King in Albany, says that in the event that the virus continues to spread, health authorities would have the power to tell businesses to close, order residents to stay in their homes and publicly identify the residences of infected citizens.
“The Public Health and Health Planning Council’s recent adoption of regulations on ’emergency authorities’ reasserted their power,” said Fernandez. “They can tell you to go home, or tell a business to close and actually put up a sign on someone’s house that says ‘quarantined, don’t go in.”
In the podcast, Fernandez also discusses Executive Order 202, the state of emergency declaration signed by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on March 7.
“The most significant thing the Governor has done is he’s waived professional licensing rules,” Fernandez said. “Previously testing would have had to been done by a nurse or physician, now testing can be done under the supervision of a nurse.”
Fernandez focuses on what to expect next in terms of the closing of law firms, courthouses limiting visitors and where decision-makers should turn to when deciding to close businesses.
“I’ve been telling anyone who will listen, don’t make decisions on your own,” Fernandez said. “Check with county health departments because they have experience dealing with communicable diseases.”
Click here to listen to the episode.
About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, the Association has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.
Contact: Brendan Kennedy