Jul 30, 2020
During the pandemic, we learned a hard lesson. Because we lacked a dedicated supply chain for vital supplies manufactured in the U.S., we relied on overseas shipments that were hard to get and often came only at exorbitant prices. Before COVID started, we paid 70 cents for an N95 mask. When the crisis was at the high point, the cost was up to $7 per mask.
We never want that happen again. That's why it's great news that we could help Kodak, our great Rochester company, be at a point to receive a federal loan to produce pharmaceutical ingredients — and it's why I'm glad to announce that NYS is supporting 12 New York companies that will begin producing COVID-related equipment and supplies to support our present and future needs. As a condition to receive the grants, each of the companies will make PPE available to the State of New York for our healthcare facilities when and if we need it.
This work has already started. Old garment manufacturing businesses in Manhattan have pivoted to the business of making medical gowns. These investments aren't just necessary in order to ensure our future needs in a crisis like this one — they also represent an opportunity to revitalize the New York manufacturing sector and support the economy. See the companies that received grants here.
1. New York and Northwell Health will deploy at least 30 healthcare personnel to Utah to support Intermountain Healthcare. Intermountain Healthcare — Utah's largest provider — sent dozens of healthcare workers to New York to support our hospitals earlier in the year. We say thank you today with action: New York and Northwell Health will send a team of healthcare workers to Utah on Sunday, along with PPE and equipment as needed.
2. The number of total hospitalizations hit a new low. Yesterday, there were 586 total hospitalizations—the lowest since March 17. There were 72 intubations—the lowest since March 15. Of the 73,546 tests reported yesterday, 777, or 1.06%, were positive. Sadly, we lost 13 New Yorkers to the virus.
3. The State Liquor Authority and State Police Task Force yesterday visited and observed 835 establishments downstate. Across New York City and Long Island, the SLA found violations at 41 establishments. The vast majority of New York businesses have complied with health laws, and we thank them.
4. While we focus on COVID-19, we also need to prepare for flu season in the fall. More than $30 million in grants was awarded to counties, allowing them to enhance COVID-19 contact tracing and flu prevention in advance of the fall flu season. The upcoming flu season is expected to add stress to both contact tracing and testing infrastructure; these funds will allow counties to prepare accordingly. Funding by county is available here.