Federal administration has deployed hundreds of thousands of masks, gloves, gowns & face shields to New York
Former secretaries to the governor Steve Cohen, Bill Mulrow & Larry Schwartz join Cuomo’s COVID-19 task force
FDA has approved use of new experimental drug in New York on a compassionate care basis
Launches 'New York Stronger Together' campaign; celebrities sending videos of themselves at home to reinforce governor's message that young people need to stay home to help stop the spread
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced an initial delivery of hospital supplies to the Jacob K. Javits Center where FEMA has started to build a 1,000-bed temporary hospital that will help increase New York's hospital capacity to combat COVID-19. It will open next week. This is in addition to the four sites selected by the Army Corps of Engineers that will create temporary hospitals in downstate New York with total capacity up to 4,000. The federal administration has deployed 339,760 N-95 masks, 861,700 surgical masks, 353,300 gloves, 145,122 gowns and 197,085 face shields to New York state, with many state supplies already located at the Javits Center.
The governor also announced three former secretaries to the governor – Steve Cohen, Bill Mulrow and Larry Schwartz – are joining the governor's COVID-19 task force. Mulrow and Cohen will be tasked with developing a state “forward plan” – a strategy to restart the economy following the “New York State on PAUSE” executive order. Schwartz is tasked with helping the state acquire health care equipment and supplies and increasing New York's hospital surge capacity.
Cuomo signed an executive order Monday requiring all hospitals to increase capacity by a minimum of 50%, with a goal of increasing capacity by 100%.
To support hospital surge capacity, the governor announced the State Department of Financial Services is requesting health insurers disclose the number of nurses, doctors and other health professionals they employ so the state can reach out to those employees and ask them to temporarily serve in the medical field during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Cuomo announced the FDA approved the use of a new experimental drug in New York on a compassionate care basis to help treat patients with COVID-19. The trial will use antibody injections to help stimulate and promote individuals' immune systems against the virus.
Cuomo said the federal government has agreed to cover 100% of the cost for the National Guard. Separately, the governor has also requested 100% federal cost share under New York's major disaster declaration that was approved on Friday, March 20.
Additionally, the governor announced the state is opening a drive-thru COVID-19 mobile testing facility in the Bronx. This follows the success of the mobile testing centers in New Rochelle, Rockland County, Staten Island and Long Island. Drive-thru mobile testing facilities help keep people who are sick or at risk of having contracted coronavirus out of health care facilities where they could infect other people. New York is currently testing more than 16,000 people per day, more than any other state.
•Cuomo launched the “NY Stronger Together” campaign urging New Yorkers to stay home, stop the spread and save lives. As part of the campaign, celebrities including Robert De Niro, Danny DeVito, Ben Stiller and La La Anthony have sent videos of themselves at home to reinforce the governor's message that young people must stay home not for themselves, but to help protect older and more vulnerable New Yorkers. The campaign will also aim to highlight donations from major corporations, celebrities and philanthropic organizations to help increase the state's supply capacity.
"We know that the most effective way to reduce the rate of spread of the virus is to reduce density and increase testing, and we have a plan in place to do just that," Cuomo said. "We've taken every action that government can take to reduce density and we are testing more than any other state in country, and now we must focus on increasing our hospital capacity and our supply stockpile as quickly as we can to ensure our health care system is prepared to handle the apex of the wave. We also still have issues with density control, especially in New York City, and we are continuing to encourage all New Yorkers to think of others and stay inside as much as possible to protect our most vulnerable populations."
Finally, the governor confirmed 5,707 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 20,875 confirmed cases.