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Cuomo: State will invest in private companies to bring rapid testing to scale

Press Release

Wed, Apr 8th 2020 10:10 am

Interested businesses can contact Empire State Development at 212-803-3100 or [email protected]

State Department of Health has developed a test to detect antibodies to COVID-19 infection in an individual's blood

Governor announces relief for approximately 300,000 New York student loan borrowers not covered by federal CARES Act; agreement with major servicers including Navient, Nelnet, PHEAA, MOHELA

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday announced the state will invest in private companies to bring rapid COVID-19 testing to scale and accelerate testing capacity. Businesses interested in working with the state to manufacture these rapid tests on a large scale should contact Empire State Development at 212-803-3100 or [email protected].

•The governor also announced the State Department of Health has developed a test to detect antibodies to the COVID-19 infection in an individual's blood. This test is an important step toward determining whether New Yorkers are developing immunity and when they could potentially return to work or school.

•Cuomo issued a letter to New York's congressional delegation outlining the state's needs in the next federal COVID-19 legislation. He said the previous COVID-19 stimulus bills failed to adequately address New York's revenue losses and included restrictions affecting the state's Medicaid reforms.

•The governor also announced an agreement with the largest student loan servicers in New York to obtain relief for student loan borrowers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 who contact their private student loan servicer. Available relief includes 90 days of deferred monthly payments, waived late fees, no negative reporting to credit agencies, and enrolling eligible borrowers in available long-term assistance program. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, only provides relief to borrowers whose loans are owned by the federal government. Cuomo said this agreement with the student loan industry provides much-needed relief to these outstanding borrowers whose loans are privately owned. 

The New York State Department of Financial Services will issue guidance that reflects and complements the state's agreement with the private student loan industry and that also directs regulated student loan servicers to quickly and appropriately implement the relief provided by the federal CARES Act for borrowers whose loans are federally owned. New York student loan borrowers should visit DFS' website for more information about available student loan relief. 

•The governor signed an executive order allowing the state to redistribute ventilators and personal protective equipment to hospitals with the highest need. The executive order also extends all “New York State on PAUSE” functions for an additional two weeks – until April 29 – and allows medical students who are slated to graduate to begin practicing immediately to help with the state's surge health care force.

•Finally, the governor confirmed 8,174 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 138,863 confirmed cases.

"We've been working to reduce the spread of COVID-19 through aggressive actions to reduce density, increase testing and properly equip and staff our hospitals, and we're also looking at how to restart the economy in a thoughtful and responsible way," Cuomo said. "This is not a light switch that we can just flick on one day and everything goes back to normal – we have to come up with a smart approach to restart the systems we shut down so abruptly, and testing is going to be one of the key components of that. We are going to continue working to get rapid testing up to scale so we can get people back to work."

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