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NYS Coronavirus Update: New Contact Tracing Program Launched - Financial Relief for Hospitals

Apr 23, 2020

From Governor Cuomo @ 7:48 PM on April 22:

We are living in a profound moment in history. Our actions today will shape our future and we cannot risk undoing all the progress we have made. We will rely on science and facts to guide our next steps. I know there are some people who want to reopen as quickly as possible. I also want to return to normal. But there are too many lives at risk. We need to act prudently today or else we'll suffer the consequences tomorrow.

Coronavirus Hospitalizations Chart.
Chart of the Day: Total hospitalizations have fallen but are still high. That's one of many reasons we must keep on taking precautions to keep this virus from spreading.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. Today, I announced a new nation-leading COVID-19 contact tracing program to control the rate of infection of the virus. This program will help us control the infection rate of Coronavirus and will be executed in coordination with New Jersey and Connecticut. It will serve as an important resource to gather data and be a model to replicate across the country. Bloomberg Philanthropies is committing $10.5 million, along with organizational support and technical assistance, to help build and execute this new program, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will build an online curriculum and training program for contact tracers. This program will be crucial as we start our work to safely reopen our economy. I thank former Mayor Michael Bloomberg for this exciting partnership.

2. While New York is on PAUSE, families of public employees won't need to wait to access retirement benefits. A recently signed Executive Order waives the 15-day waiting period. This allows families who may lose a relative to Coronavirus to receive these benefits sooner.

3. The New York State Department of Financial Services announced new measures to help hospitals. DFS will direct health insurers to provide financial and administrative relief to New York State hospitals in response to COVID-19. Health insurers will be required to immediately pay out claims to hospitals and to work with the neediest hospitals to provide additional financial assistance. That means hospitals can focus more on life-saving medical care.

4. The NY National Guard Civil Support Team is helping test medical workers for COVID-19. The 22 Soldiers and Airmen on the team are trained to detect the presence of biological, chemical and radiological hazards using a sophisticated mobile laboratory. They have adapted this technology to run COVID-19 tests, and are now testing on-site medical workers stationed at the Javits Center, which has been used as an overflow facility for COVID patients.

5. The Port Authority of NY and NJ helped find a good home for over 30,000 pineapples. When a NYC food distributor received a shipment of thousands of pineapples from Costa Rica, they worked with the Port Authority to donate the pineapples to New Yorkers in need. They are just one of many food distributors that are giving away excess food product to food pantries, houses of worship and community groups. More donations are expected — of not just pineapples, but bananas, rice, tomatoes, apples, oranges and more.

6. The State's antibody testing survey results will be announced in a few days. Earlier this week, New York began administering the survey in supermarkets and other locations statewide. The results of the random testing will show us for the first time what percentage of the population has actually had the virus and will help us to reopen and rebuild without jeopardizing what we've already accomplished.

7. Today is the 50th Earth Day. Protecting our planet and environment isn't just a lofty goal — it's a public health necessity. We have found that neighborhoods with high concentrations of COVID cases are also locations with polluting plants. The quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink impacts all of our health.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment"
: To celebrate Earth Day, I Love NY shared iconic New York State views. Here's Joshua Myers' photograph of the Adirondack Mountains:

The Adirondack Mountains.

andrew-cuomo-news-conference.jpgIf you were forwarded this email, you can subscribe to New York State's Coronavirus Updates here.
Ever Upward,
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo