Senator Borrello Co-Sponsors Legislation To Strengthen COVID-19 Privacy

first_imgNew York State Senator George Borrello. Image elements via NYS Senate.ALBANY – New York Senator George Borrello is co-sponsoring legislation that would help safeguard the privacy rights of affected individuals as regions around New York State ramp up their contact tracing capabilities to help contain and prevent new cases of COVID-19. Key provisions of the measure would establish criminal penalties for misuse of contact tracing data and protect individuals who are the subject of contact tracing efforts by requiring their explicit consent to utilize any digital tracing program.A fundamental disease control measure employed by local and state health departments for decades, contact tracing entails working with an infected patient to help them recall individuals they may have exposed to the illness. Public health staff then warn these exposed contacts and urge them to quarantine/isolate for 14 days to prevent wider exposure. Contact tracers employ a range of methods in their tracing efforts, from simple phone calls and in-person visits, to the use of sophisticated technologies that track the “digital footprint” of the patient.“As our state moves forward with reopening our economy and taking steps to prevent new COVID-19 infection spikes, contact tracing will be a core strategy for containing spread of the virus. This time-tested public health practice has been used to help contain infectious diseases for decades,” said Borrello. “Today there are an array of high-tech tools that contact tracers can use to track the movements and interactions of infected individuals, from smartphone apps to surveillance footage and GPS data. As helpful as these technologies can be, they also raise a host of privacy concerns. This legislation is intended to address those issues while recognizing the important role of contact tracing as a vital public health strategy in our continuing fight against this virus,” he added.A central provision of the measure would require that usage of any technology for the purpose of contact tracing would be voluntary and require an “opt-in” from the infected person. Users would also be able to revoke their consent at any time. The measure would also make the misuse or unauthorized dissemination of contact tracing data a class E felony as well as the unlawful use of a surveillance drone.“The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic and actions taken to control its spread have forced us to endure some unprecedented limits on our freedoms in the name of public health. However, affected individuals can and should be protected from the personal privacy violations that can result from intrusive tracing technologies as well as the misuse of tracing data. The controls and criminal sanctions in this bill offer those needed protections,” said Borrello. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Governor Wolf Announces Federal Aid Availability Following Severe Storms in South-Central Pennsylvania

first_img October 19, 2018 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Press Release,  PSA,  Weather Safety Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved his request to declare a disaster in Lancaster and York Counties after significant flood damage to homes and businesses was sustained due to severe storms on Aug. 31, 2018.“Residents throughout the commonwealth are still recovering from the record-shattering storms that disrupted their lives this summer,” said Governor Wolf. “Loan programs like these provide a low-cost and accessible lifeline to individuals starting the rebuilding and recovery process.”Homeowners, renters and businesses impacted by the storms in Lancaster and York Counties, as well as neighboring counties Adams, Berks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin and Lebanon may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans through the SBA Disaster Loan Programs.Low-interest loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. SBA regulations permit loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Businesses and nonprofits can borrow up to $2 million to restore damaged or destroyed buildings, inventory, equipment and assets. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial qualifications.The SBA will establish Disaster Loan Outreach Centers (DLOC) to assist anyone who wishes to apply for a loan. The DLOC’s will be open at the following locations and times:York County Department ofEmergency ServicesTraining Room120 Davies Dr. York, PA 17402Lancaster County Public SafetyTraining CenterConference Room101 Champ Blvd. Manheim, PA 17545Opening: Monday, Oct. 22, 10 a.m.Closed: Sunday, Oct. 28Days: Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.Saturday, Oct. 27: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.Closing: Monday, Oct. 29: 6p.m.SBA customer service representatives will be on hand at the disaster loan outreach centers to issue loan applications, answer questions about the disaster loan program, explain the application process and help individuals to complete their applications.Individuals and businesses unable to visit the centers in person may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or by e-mailing [email protected] applications can also be downloaded at Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at Completed applications should be returned to the local DLOC or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 17, 2018. The deadline to return economic injury disaster loan applications is July 18, 2019.center_img Governor Wolf Announces Federal Aid Availability Following Severe Storms in South-Central Pennsylvanialast_img read more

Mersch’s magic propels Wisconsin to victory over Michigan

first_imgIt was the first time Wisconsin and Michigan were facing off in a game since 2010, but the Badgers wasted no time in welcoming the Wolverines back to Madison.After a two-goal outburst in the first period and a dominant performance most of the way, Wisconsin somehow let Michigan back into the game in the late going leading 3-2 with 2:02 remaining. But, Michael Mersch soothed the nerves of the 9,499 in attendance with two goals in 38 seconds — the final one giving him a hat trick — as Wisconsin triumphed 5-2 in the return to Big Ten play.It was a night that got off to a bit of an unconventional start for the Badgers (12-6-1 overall, 3-2-0-0 Big Ten), which included abysmal weather outside that led Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves to thank the fans for making the trek during his opening statement.“I think it was amazing crowd that we had tonight. For the number of people to get here through the weather, it’s just a tribute to the Wisconsin hockey fan and the athletic fan in general (to get that win). So for the people to come out tonight, I really think that’s a tribute to them and the boys really appreciate it,” Eaves said.As far as the game was concerned, the unconventional, or rather odd start was the first goal. Mersch fired a soft wrister 4:07 into the first period that look like an easy glove save for Michigan goaltender Zach Nagelvoort, but the puck ended up deflecting off his glove in behind him, finding the back of the net.Then Wisconsin opened up a two-goal lead midway through that first frame when freshman Grant Besse circled around behind the cage from left to right and fired a shot from the near the left post that ricocheted off Nagelvoort and squeaked over the line.From that point on there was little action and few quality scoring chances until over halfway through the third period when the flood gates opened for both teams.Jefferson Dahl put Wisconsin up 3-0 with 8:13 to go and it looked like Wisconsin had all but sealed the deal.However, Michigan answered just three minutes later to cut the lead to 3-1 on Andrew Copp’s score. Another three minutes later the Wolverines struck again after Joe Faust took a costly high-sticking penalty. Wisconsin had held Michigan scoreless on four previous powerplays, but the Wolverines finally hit twine on their fifth chance when Luke Moffatt beat Rumpel near-side with a blast from the slot to trim the lead to 3-2.On the verge of an improbable comeback, Michigan made one last ditch effort to tie the game with just over a minute and a half left, pulling Nagelvoort for an extra attacker. But the Badgers stood tall to the task, worked the puck out of the zone, and Jefferson Dahl, who had a career-best 4 points on the night, found Mersch in the slot for an empty netter with 1:18 to go.Then with 40 seconds left Dahl and Mersch found themselves on a two-on-one, and Mersch made it count, firing a wrister past Nagelvoort to secure the first hat trick by a Badger player since Justin Schultz Nov. 27, 2010.“The last goal was a goal scorer’s goal. Goal-scorers love to score goals and when they get on a roll that’s a good thing. Ride that wave as long as you can,” Eaves said of Mersch who leads the Big Ten with 14 goals. “I think he hadn’t scored in three or four games, so maybe he’s back on that roll again.”Although Wisconsin responded well in the late going, powering through to only its third win over a ranked opponent in nine tries, there is still one more game left in the series and more work to be done, according to Mersch.“This was a good game for us, but you got to build on it and keep moving forward. So, yeah, signature win for a night, but you got to make it a weekend,” Mersch said.Joel Rumpel came up with 27 saves in the win, improving to 9-1-0 overall, while Nagelvoort stopped 25 shots for Michigan and fell to 6-4-1 this season.[Photos by Chris Lotten]last_img read more