May 16, 2020
From Governor Cuomo @ 6:10 PM on May 16:
Many New Yorkers have asked me how they can help with the state's Coronavirus response. Of course, the best way to help is to follow health directives that can protect your safety and the safety of your community. But there are a number of other ways you can help, too. You can apply to serve as a (paid) contact tracer. If you are a mental health professional, you can volunteer your services. The state is also seeking highly-trained technologists to assist our COVID-19 Technology SWAT Team.
If you're in the position to do so, you can provide goods and services that can help expand New York's testing capacity. And finally, if you want to help out first responders, you can contribute to the state's First Responders Fund. (See some more of the ways you can help here.) We are deeply grateful to everyone who has already stepped up and helped in whatever way they can.
1. Horse racing tracks across the state and Watkins Glen International Racetrack will be allowed to open without fans as of June 1st. The state will issue guidance on how they can safely reopen in the coming week.
2. Westchester and Suffolk Counties are now eligible to resume elective surgeries and ambulatory care. Elective outpatient treatments can resume in counties and hospitals without a significant risk of COVID-19 surge in the near term, and a total of 49 counties have now been cleared to offer elective surgeries.
3. The number of total COVID hospitalizations is still dropping. Total hospitalizations fell to 6,220, from 6,394 the day before. The number of new COVID hospitalizations also dropped, from 400 to 431 the day before. Tragically, we lost 157 New Yorkers to the virus yesterday.
4. Testing capacity continues to strengthen. Yesterday, 40,669 New Yorkers were tested for the virus. For context, in early March we were testing fewer than 2,000 New Yorkers a day — we've come a long way but we want to expand capacity even more. Of those tested yesterday, 2,419 people were positive.
5. Will you join the #HowAreYouReallyChallenge? We cannot underestimate the impact this situation has had on our mental health. My brother-in-law Kenneth Cole and the Mental Health Coalition started the #HowAreYouReallyChallenge to help end the stigma surrounding mental health issues — by asking people to answer the question, "How are you really doing?" I joined the challenge and I encourage others to participate too.