Authorizes State to Open Drive-Through Mobile Testing Facility on Long Island — Governor Opened First Drive-Through Testing Facility Yesterday in New Rochelle
Confirms 100 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 524; New Cases in 9 Counties
Confirms First Novel Coronavirus-Related Death in New York State, an 82-Year-Old Woman in Brooklyn with Underlying Respiratory Disease of Emphysema
Governor Will Sign Executive Order Today Waiving 7-Day Waiting Period for Workers to Claim Unemployment Insurance due to COVID-19 and Eliminating Aid Penalty for Schools Directed to Close
During a novel coronavirus conference call briefing, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the State Department of Financial Services will require insurance companies to waive co-pays for telehealth visits. This action will encourage New Yorkers to seek medical attention from their homes rather than visit a hospital or doctor's office — ultimately reducing strain on the healthcare system and preventing further spread of the virus.
The Governor also authorized the State to open a drive-through mobile testing facility on Long Island in the coming week. This follows the success of the New Rochelle mobile testing center, which opened yesterday and serviced 150 cars and tested 263 people, exceeding the initial goal of testing 200 people in the first day. Once fully operational, the New Rochelle facility will be able to test up to 500 people per day. Drive-through mobile testing facilities help keep people who are sick or at risk of having contracted coronavirus out of healthcare facilities where they could infect other people.
The addition of a mobile testing facility on Long Island is part of the State's initiative to replicate the New Rochelle Mobile Testing Center model at other locations, helping allow the state to run at least 6,000 tests per day starting next week — six times the state's target goal when this outbreak first came to New York. This is on top of the testing that will be conducted at the 28 public and private labs across the state and the out of state labs that New York is already contracting with. All of this is a result of the proactive steps taken by Governor Cuomo and the Department of Health to get as many New Yorkers tested as possible.
"As the novel coronavirus continues to spread and the number of positive cases increases, we are encouraging New Yorkers to use tele-medicine if they are sick and we will set up a new drive-through mobile testing facility on Long Island to help keep people out of emergency rooms and reduce the strain on our healthcaresystem," Governor Cuomo said. "The more tests we do, the higher the number of positive cases we will see — so we need to keep that context in mind when we see these numbers continuing to go up. And we will continue to communicate the facts, because the facts and the information defeat the fear and anxiety in this situation."
Finally, Governor Cuomo confirmed 100 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 524 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 524 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows:
Albany County: 3 (1 new)
Broome County: 1
Delaware County: 1
Dutchess County: 3
Herkimer County: 1
Monroe County: 2
Nassau County: 68 (17 new)
New York City: 213 (59 new)
Orange County: 6 (3 new)
Rockland County: 10 (1 new)
Suffolk County: 33 (3 new)
Tioga County: 1 (1 new)
Tompkins County: 1 (1 new)
Ulster County: 5
Westchester County: 172 (14 new)
The Governor also confirmed the first novel coronavirus-related death in New York State - an 82-year-old woman in Brooklyn who had a pre-existing respiratory disease of emphysema.
Additionally, Governor Cuomo said he will sign an Executive Order today to help relieve the economic impact of COVID-19 on workers and assure school aid for schools that have been directed to close. As part of the Governor's Executive Order, the state will waive the 7-day waiting period for workers in shared work programs to claim unemployment insurance for those that have been put out of work by COVID-19. The Executive Order will also eliminate the aid penalty for schools directed to close by state or local officials or those closed under a state or local declaration of emergency that do not meet 180-day requirements if they are unable to make up school days.