NY governor signs bill granting front-line worker death benefits in coronavirus fight

NEW YORK (AP/Gray News) - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill granting death benefits to the families of police officers, public health workers and other front-line workers who have died of the coronavirus.

The governor signed the bill at his daily briefing on Saturday. It was passed by state lawmakers and provides an accidental death benefit that is more substantial than the regular death benefit that public workers’ families receive.

“It is the least we can do to say thank you, and we honor you and we remember you. You gave your lives for us. We will be there to support your families going forward," said Cuomo at the signing. “We say to their families, ‘We thank you, we grieve for your loss and we will always be there for you the way you were there for us.’”

Dozens of police officers, public health workers, transit workers and paramedics have died of COVID-19 in the months since New York became the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States.

Cuomo also announced Saturday that the state will open 10 additional testing sites in New York City COVID hotspots, which are located in predominately low income and minority communities, according to the governor’s office.

The statewide total of confirmed coronavirus cases was 369,660, including 23,848 deaths, as of Saturday.

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