New York state Senate chamber New York state Senate chamber. Photo Credit: Westpoint/CC

The state Senate greenlighted a bill Wednesday that would provide paid sick leave to New York workers who are in isolation or under quarantine due to the coronavirus.

Under the bill, employees at companies with more than 100 employees would be provided at least two weeks of paid sick leave during any isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19. That same standard will apply for public employers as well, like school districts, counties and cities, according to the legislation.

Workers for a company that employ between 11 and 99 people would be given at least five days of paid sick leave and afforded unpaid leave until the end of a quarantine or isolation period, according to the measure.

The bill comes as New York is moving at a rapid clip to stem the tide of the virus that has infected more than 2,300 people across the state, according to state officials.

State officials report that New York is home to the most number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the nation. The pandemic forced sweeping crowd capacity rules statewide that closed businesses and canceled or postponed gatherings of more than 50 people.

“The single most effective way to contain the spread of this virus is to ensure people who may have come into contact with it do not interact with others,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a statement.

Meanwhile, in another dramatic move aimed at curtailing the virus’ spread, Cuomo announced Wednesday that no business in the state will be allowed to have more than half of their employees report to work outside of their home.

The rule is mandatory and will be codified through an executive order, he said. Exemptions to the order will include essential service, like companies related to food, shipping and health care.

Cuomo acknowledged the burden the rule will have on businesses and the economy, but said the nation must first deal with the public health crisis.

“I understand the impact on the economy,” Cuomo said. “But in truth, we’re past that point as a nation. There is going to be an impact.”

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Tuesday issued a revenue projection for the state’s 2020-2021 fiscal year budget that factored in the volatility tied to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a letter to Cuomo, DiNapoli said the “most optimistic” revenue scenario shows that tax revenues for the upcoming fiscal year will be down at least $4 billion compared to the executive budget forecast of almost $88 billion.

DiNapoli wrote there is a “potential likelihood of a deep recession” in the upcoming fiscal year and another scenario suggests tax revenue could be down more than $7 billion compared to the executive budget projections.

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