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Governor Cuomo's April 15 COVID-19 Update: Face Coverings - Scaling Up Testing - 3D-Printing

Apr 16, 2020

From Governor Cuomo @ 7:41 PM on April 15:

As we continue to flatten the curve and slow the infection rate of this virus and begin to consider reopening the economy, the single best tool we have to do that is large-scale testing.

But large-scale testing presents an enormous challenge and the unvarnished truth is that we can't yet test to the scale we need. To test on a wide enough scale, we need testing equipment. We need swabs. We need vials. We need lab space. We need personnel. We need all of these things at a capacity that does not currently exist.
Testing on this magnitude is terrain never before explored. But we need to do this — and we need to work with the federal government to get there. So let's get to work.
A runner in Central Park, Manhattan.
Photo of the Day: A lone runner jogs by the reservoir in Central Park (Photo by Karen Smul)
Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. You MUST cover your mouth and nose when in public and when social distancing cannot be maintained. I am issuing an Executive Order requiring all people in New York to wear a mask or a face covering when out in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained, such as on public transportation. The Executive Order will go into effect on Friday, April 17th. Remember that wearing a face covering does not mean you can ignore other precautions — we still direct all New Yorkers to stay at home for all but essential errands.

2. Beginning this week, we will start conducting antibody tests, prioritizing frontline healthcare workers, first responders and other essential workers. Using a new finger prick method, the state will test up to 2,000 New Yorkers per day for antibodies (proteins in our blood that indicate someone has had the virus). The state is also asking the FDA for expedited approval of a finger prick antibody test that could test up to 100,000 New Yorkers a day. We are continuing to engage with other partners including hospital labs and private companies to bring mass antibody testing to scale statewide.

3. New York's healthcare situation has stabilized so we can now help others in need. New York will never forget the generosity people across the country showed our state, and I said when you need help New Yorkers will be there. We will send 100 ventilators to Michigan and 50 ventilators to Maryland.

4. An Executive Order will be issued requiring nursing homes to report positive COVID-19 cases and deaths to the families of those who are living in the nursing home facility within 24 hours. The order will include adult home and other assisted living facilities. Previously, the State Department of Health issued a guidance asking these facilities to communicate this information to families; this new order makes it mandatory.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": SUNY and CUNY students, faculty and staff are using 3D printers to produce critical personal protective equipment for New York's frontline health workers. SUNY campuses are producing about 2,100 face shields a day, while teams at six CUNY colleges have adapted their 3D printers to make elements that are used in protective face shields for local hospitals. The face shields are being donated to medical teams across the state.

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Ever Upward,
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo