Directs schools & nonessential businesses to stay closed through April 29
Increases maximum fine for violations of state's social distancing protocol from $500 to $1,000
802 ventilators have been distributed through state's ‘surge and flex’ system
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday announced all “New York State on PAUSE” functions will be extended for an additional two weeks. The governor also directed schools and nonessential businesses to stay closed for an additional two weeks, through April 29. The state will re-evaluate after this additional two-week period.
"This virus is an enemy that the entire country underestimated from day one and we have paid the price dearly," Cuomo said. "While the numbers look like they may be turning, now is not the time to be lax with social distancing – that would be a mistake – and we all have a responsibility and a societal role in this. As I said from day one, I am not going to choose between public health and economic activity, and to that end I am extending all ‘New York State on PAUSE’ functions for an additional two weeks. People are dying and our health care workers are exposing themselves to tremendous risk every day. If we can't convince you to show discipline for yourself in terms of social distancing, show discipline for other people."
•Cuomo said New York is increasing the maximum fine for violations of the state's social distancing protocol from $500 to $1,000 to help address the lack of adherence to social distancing protocols. The governor reminded localities they have the authority to enforce the protocols.
•The governor is asking the federal government to allow the USNS Comfort hospital ship to be used for COVID-19 patients. President Donald Trump has already granted the governor's request for the Javits temporary hospital facility to be used for only COVID-19 positive patients, and the addition of the USNS Comfort would help relieve pressure on the state's hospital system with an addition of 1,000 beds for COVID-19 patients.
•Cuomo announced 802 ventilators have been distributed downstate through the state's "surge and flex" system where all hospital systems are working together as one and sharing supplies, equipment and staff. Of the 802 ventilators, 38 were deployed to Rockland County, 36 were deployed to Westchester County, 505 were deployed to New York City and 223 were deployed to Long Island.
•He also announced the creation of the First Responders Fund to assist COVID-19 health care workers and first responders with expenses and costs, including child care. The State Department of Health is accepting donations for the fund, and Blackstone is making an anchor $10 million contribution to the fund. Donations can be made electronically at https://www.healthresearch.org/donation-form/ or by check sent to below address. Donors should specify the donation is for "COVID-19 NYS Emergency Response."
Health Research Inc., 150 Broadway, Suite 560, Menands, NY 12204
•Cuomo said the state is partnering with Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness and meditation, to offer free meditation and mindfulness content for all New Yorkers as a mental health resource for residents coping with the unprecedented public health crisis. New Yorkers can access a collection of science-backed, evidence-based guided meditations, along with at-home mindful workouts, sleep and kids content to help address rising stress and anxiety at www.headspace.com/ny.
•The governor announced the South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island and the Brooklyn Center Temporary Hospital, at 170 Buffalo Ave., will open this week and will be used specifically for COVID-19 patients.
•Finally, the Governor confirmed 8,658 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 130,689 confirmed cases.