COVID infection rates dropping steadily in Capital Region

COVID infection rates dropping steadily in Capital Region

ALBANY — The rate of confirmed new COVID infections has been diminishing for more than a week in the Capital Region, state data show.The rolling average of new infections had steadily increased from mid-March to mid-May then leveled off at 57 new infections per day per 100,000 residents on May 16. It decreased every day to hit 38.5 on May 26.A similar decline has been seen in many of New York's 10 regions and in the state as a whole.Gov. Kathy Hochul noted the decrease in the statewide average in an update Friday, and also suggested that people take precautions…
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Capital Region legislators respond to gun control proposals

Capital Region legislators respond to gun control proposals

ALBANY — With the latest in a long line of mass shootings coming just days apart, the latest in a long line of legislative efforts to limit future mass shootings is being mounted.The difference is that in New York, they have a better chance at passage.One day after the slaughter of 19 children in a Texas classroom, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday called for raising the minimum age for purchasing assault-style firearms from 18 to 21.Last week, after 10 people were shot to death in a Buffalo supermarket, she called for a requirement that semiautomatic pistols sold in this state…
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State moves to rein in prescription drug management firms

State moves to rein in prescription drug management firms

ALBANY — More oversight is coming to prescription drug plans in New York.The state, a latecomer to regulating prescription benefit managers, put a PBM reform package in place four months ago and last week announced formation of a watchdog bureau to oversee the PBM industry.Also last week, Albany-based health insurer CDPHP announced it would end its contract with Caremark, the nation's largest PBM, and retain Capital Rx, a much smaller PBM with a very different business model, to manage its prescription drug plans.Most of the pharmacies that CDPHP members now use will remain in the network. There will just be a…
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Light impact so far as COVID variant BA.2 spreads in NY

Light impact so far as COVID variant BA.2 spreads in NY

ALBANY — Gov. Kathy Hochul and state Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett say BA.2 is becoming the dominant strain of COVID-19 in New York but they do not expect it to create another big wave of infections here. BA.2, a subvariant of omicron, has been gradually increasing as a percentage of positive tests statewide even as the overall number of daily new infections has plummeted in the last two months. It now accounts for 42% of new infections in New York, Bassett said Monday at a news conference with the governor. BA.2 is blamed for a recent, sharp increase of…
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New craft beverage producers can get fast-track permit

New craft beverage producers can get fast-track permit

ALBANY — Budding craft beverage producers now have a way around the long wait for their state production licenses. State officials announced that applications are available for interim permits that will allow them to start production even as they await approval of their liquor license. The permit application is expected to take less than 30 days to process, Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a news release Monday, while the full license takes an average of six months. -More News - The Leader-Herald- A measure allowing this bypass to take place was approved by the Assembly and Senate in 2021. Gov.…
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First marijuana retail shops could open in late 2022, be operated by former offenders

First marijuana retail shops could open in late 2022, be operated by former offenders

ALBANY — New York’s first marijuana retailers could open their doors later this year, with licenses initially reserved for merchants who have been arrested on marijuana offenses, or who are closely related to people who have.The state announced the decision Thursday, along with a plan to license hemp farmers to grow marijuana for recreational use starting this season. Applications for cultivation licenses can be submitted starting March 15.Gov. Kathy Hochul said the details of the farm-to-retail Seeding Opportunity Initiative are unique among states that have legalized marijuana sales for non-medical use."The regulations advanced by the Cannabis Control Board today will prioritize…
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