On April 25, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.24 invoking new powers from a law passed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic to temporarily suspend or modify laws necessary to assist or aid in coping with a declared State disaster emergency. On March 3, 2020, the Governor signed into law legislation that expanded his authority to temporarily suspend, modify, or issue directives in response to a declared State disaster emergency. That legislation also accompanied a $40 million appropriation to the Governor to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Section 6801 of the Education Law was suspended and modified to authorize licensed pharmacists to order and administer FDA approved COVID-19 tests to patients suspected of having or recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection. Such authorization is subject to the completion of appropriate training by the Department of Health.
Section 571 of the Public Health Law was suspended or modified to permit the designation of licensed pharmacists as qualified healthcare professionals for the purposes of directing a limited service laboratory for the purposes of administering FDA approved COVID-19 tests to patients suspected of a COVID-19 infection.
The Governor directed the cancellation of the special election for the office of City Council for the 37th district. The office will be filled at the general election.
Under the newly enacted law, the Governor has the power to suspend, modify, or issue directives during a declared emergency for 30 days which may be extended for an unlimited number of 30 day periods with consent of the legislature after each subsequent period. Unless the Governor elects to extend the suspension or directives, they will expire on May 25, 2020.