As Coronavirus Cases Rise, Focus Turns to the Power NY Has to Contain It

By Brendan Kennedy

As Coronavirus Cases Rise, Focus Turns to the Power NY Has to Contain It


Hermes Fernandez, chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Health Law Section, says health authorities have the power to tell businesses to close, order residents to stay in their homes and publicly identify the residences of infected citizens.

In a special edition of the Miranda Warnings podcast, Fernandez, a health law attorney at Bond, Schoeneck & King in Albany, explains the authority state and local health officials have to quarantine, isolate or keep residents away from one another. These powers, which predate the modern medical era, haven’t been needed in nearly a century.

The show’s host, David Miranda, and Fernandez also discuss Executive Order 202, the state of emergency declaration signed by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on March 7. The order allows the governor to speed the delivery of testing supplies, gives him the ability to have patients transported to quarantine locations and lets him expand who’s allowed to test for the virus.

The podcast also focuses on what to expect next. Will law firms close? Will courthouses be off-limits to visitors? Will businesses shut down?  Fernandez advises that decision-makers should rely on guidance from county health departments.

On Monday, March 16, NYSBA will be hosting a one-hour webinar for attorneys, policymakers and health authorities looking for assistance in developing or revisiting disaster recovery plans. The CLE will cover what steps businesses can take to prepare and minimize disruption due to the COVID-19 virus.

This program will be free of charge to NYSBA members and will cost $100 for the general public.

Click here to reserve your spot.

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