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New York State's Wadsworth Lab has started evaluating new antibody test

Press Release

Sat, Mar 28th 2020 03:35 pm

•Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is issuing an executive order to move the presidential primary election from April 28 to June 23, aligning it with the congressional and legislative primaries in New York.

•On Saturday, Cuomo also issued an executive order to enable the tax filing deadline for personal and corporate taxes to be pushed back to July 15. The federal government took similar action earlier this month.

•The governor announced that the State Department of Health Wadsworth Lab is working in partnership with other labs to evaluate antibody testing that is designed to help very sick COVID-19 patients. 

Cuomo also announced three new sites – South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island, Westchester Square in the Bronx and Health Alliance in Ulster County – to serve as a place for emergency beds. The three new sites will add 695 more beds to the state's capacity. Additionally, in a new approach, the state will begin designating some facilities only for COVID-19 patients. The state has identified three sites – South Beach Psychiatric Facility in Staten Island, Westchester Square in the Bronx and SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn – that will provide more than 600 beds specifically for COVID-19 patients.

Following a conversation with President Donald Trump this morning, Cuomo announced the federal government has approved four new sites for temporary hospitals for construction by the Army Corps of Engineers – the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the Aqueduct Racetrack facility in Queens, CUNY Staten Island and the New York Expo Center in the Bronx – adding an additional 4,000 beds to the state's capacity. The governor toured the four sites yesterday. These temporary hospital sites are part of his goal of having a 1,000-plus patient overflow facility in each New York City borough as well as in Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk counties.

"Every emergency situation is unique, but the No. 1 rule is always plan ahead and be proactive – and that's exactly what we have been trying to do," Cuomo said. "Our mission is to be prepared and have the proper equipment, supplies, facilities and personnel when the apex hits. We are continuing to advance emergency measures that reduce density as much as possible, and to that end we are going to delay the presidential primary election until June, because it's not wise to be bringing large numbers of people to one place to vote."

The governor announced the first 1,000-bed temporary hospital at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is expected to open Monday. The temporary hospital site was constructed in one week.

•Cuomo announced the Empire State Development board of directors approved $7.5 million in COVID-19 business counseling support to 70 nonprofit partners across New York. The funding will enable these organizations to provide small businesses with necessary guidance to secure disaster assistance, such as Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Up to 24 Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers and up to 23 Small Business Development Centers will receive $5 million, with an additional $2.5 million awarded to up to 23 Community Development Financial Institutions.

•Finally, the governor confirmed 7,681 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 52,318 confirmed cases.

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