Governor Declared State of Emergency Earlier Today in Order to Expedite Procurement of Cleaning Supplies and Testing Equipment
Directed Investigation into Illegal Price Gouging Connected to Outbreak - Consumers Can Report Suspected Gouging by Calling 1-800-697-1220
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today confirmed 13 additional cases of novel coronavirus in New York State since his last update from earlier in the day, bringing the statewide total to 89 confirmed cases. The 13 new cases identified since the Governor's last update are located in Westchester County.
Of the 89 total individuals in New York State who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows:
New York City: 11
"We are working to do more testing as quickly as possible to find the people who are infected and help contain the spread of the virus," Governor Cuomo said. "There are going to be more cases because we are testing more people - that's a good thing because then we can deal with the situation based on more facts. We know about 80 percent of those infected will self-resolve. The best way to calm anxieties is to demonstrate absolute government competence, and that's exactly what we're doing."
During a briefing on the novel coronavirus earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced he declared a state of emergency to help New York more quickly and effectively contain the spread of the virus. The state of emergency declaration allows, among other things:
- Expedited procurement of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and other essential resources
- Allowing qualified professionals other than doctors and nurses to conduct testing
- Expedited procurement of testing supplies and equipment
- Expedited personnel onboarding
- Expedited leasing of lab space
- Allowing EMS personnel to transport patients to quarantine locations other than just hospitals
- Providing clear basis for price gouging and enforcement investigation
Additionally, the Governor today directed the New York State Department of State's Consumer Protection Division to launch an investigation into reports of unfair price increases of consumer products such as household cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, and launched a toll-free hotline - 1-800-697-1220 - for New Yorkers to report suspected price gouging.
The Division of Consumer Protection has also created an online consumer complaint form, where New Yorkers can report suspected price gouging or concerns about improper delivery of quantity. Consumers who wish to file a complaint can visit https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/.
All credible complaints will be referred to the New York State Attorney General's office.
At a briefing yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced travel insurance companies and travel agents will offer New York residents and businesses the ability to purchase coverage when making travel plans that would allow them to cancel a trip for any reason, including for reasons related to COVID-19.
The Department of Financial Services issued guidance allowing travel agents and travel insurers to offer this type of coverage after DFS received consumer complaints that such polices were not available in New York State. This new action is designed to provide reassurance to New York businesses and residents who are seeking to make plans that may involve travel to locations that are not currently under travel advisories due to COVID-19.
Six global and national insurance companies have agreed to offer "cancel for any reason" coverage to travelers, including: Allianz, Nationwide, Starr Indemnity, Berkshire, Crum & Forster, and Zurich.
DFS also directed New York State travel insurance issuers to proactively reach out to individuals and businesses who bought their policies to let them know what is covered.
Read a copy of the DFS Insurance Guidance Letter.