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ROC COVID-19: What’s Going On This Month?

June 24th, 2020

Clearly, the coronavirus has changed the world. There isn’t a person in the United States that has not been drastically affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Thousands of people have lost their lives, millions of people have lost their jobs, and virtually every single person is riddled with severe anxiety over the last few months.

Hopefully things are starting to return to at least somewhat normal, especially as phases one through four begin opening. But it’s imperative that every Rochester citizen remains vigilant and focusing on preventing the spread of this deadly virus.

Here are some important aspects to pay attention to as we reach the later months of the COVID-19 pandemic…

Rochester Farmers Battling Back

The farming industry is struggling just like every other sector across Rochester and the rest of the country.

The Family Farmer Relief Act was signed into law in August 2019, which helped farmers all across the United States. Since COVID-19, though, additional relief has been requested. Thankfully, New York State Senator Chuck Schumer sent a release in early April pushing for federal emergency dollars to be allocated toward NYS Farmers representing the over 33,000 farms across the state. The bipartisian $2 trillion CARES ACT also included a Schumer-negotiated $9.5 billion in emergency funding for the agricultural sector.

“New York’s farmers and the New York agricultural industry is the lifeblood of the nation,” added Senator Schumer. “n good times, New York farmers work long hours on tight margins but in the midst of a global pandemic, they are losing revenue streams, suffering huge financial losses and being forced to discard their products during a time when we need a reliable food supply. I fought to make $9.5 billion accessible to help them out during this crisis, and it is imperative that we immediately put those dollars to use. I will not rest until New York farmers have the resources they need to help Americans get food on the table.”

New COVID-19-Related Changes to Workers’ Compensation Claims

In the past, if you were granted Temporary Disability (TD) benefits, you would be entitled to two-thirds of your average weekly earnings. During the last few months, however, due to the coronavirus, millions of Americans have been out of work. Many of those workers still relied on TD benefits and other workers’ compensation benefits.

Due to social-distancing requirements, the Workers’ Compensation Board relaxed the mandate that injured workers need to receive ongoing medical treatment every 90 days. Also, the Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Board adopted an emergency amendment allowing telemedicine appointments instead of in-person visits for certain workers’ comp cases.

Though many Rochester workers have still been employed throughout the pandemic, a lot of construction jobs have halted. Since between 60% and 90% of prefabricated construction occurs inside of a warehouse or a factory, projects typically can be completed quickly — but not when these factories are deemed “unessential.” However, because many of these warehouses have been shut down over the last few months, there have been far less manufacturing-related injuries in Rochester.

Rochester Entertainment is Almost Back

Although there are plenty of fun activities that have yet to open, including movie theaters, malls, and festivals — there are plenty of entertainment options opening up! One of the most family-fun things to do in Rochester for years has been the Seneca Park Zoo — and it’s reopening this weekend!

“We are excited to announce that the Seneca Park Zoo is reopening just in time for the start of summer, bringing back a special place for so many people and families in our community,” said Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. “While we know everyone is excited to come back to see all their favorite animals, my family included, there will be new policies and procedures in place to make sure all guests, employees, volunteers and animals are safe.”

As we head into a COVID-19 summer, hopefully, Rochester — and the rest of the U.S. and world — can start opening up everything and the economy will start bouncing back!

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 24th, 2020 at 12:58 pm and is filed under Rochester News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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