ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency during a press conference on Saturday, as more positive cases of coronavirus are turning up in New York State.
On Saturday afternoon, Gov. Cuomo announced that since Friday there were 45 new cases of coronavirus. There are now a total of 89 positive COVID-19 cases across the state. Of those 89, ten are being hospitalized.
Below is a breakdown of where the positive coronavirus cases are:
- 70 cases in Westchester County
- 11 cases in New York City
- 4 cases in Nassau County
- 2 cases in Rockland County
- 2 cases in Saratoga County
Cuomo said the two cases in Saratoga County are from a pharmacist and from a person who was in a conference in Miami that was in contact with a person from Pennsylvania who tested positive for COVID-19.
By declaring a state of emergency, it frees up $30 million that will be used to expand testing and purchase items such as masks and protective gear for healthcare workers. The state of emergency is in effect until September 7, 2020.
As we continue to provide essential updates and encourage people to act upon the facts on coronavirus instead of the hype, I have officially done a declaration of emergency which gives us certain powers to help local health departments that are very stressed. As the local health departments continue to monitor and quarantine people, we have a more expedited purchasing protocol to get them all the tools they need to contain the virus spread. In the meantime we are cracking down on price gouging which continues to be a problem, and I want businesses to be aware that you could lose your license because we are very serious about this.Gov. Andrew Cuomo
During his press conference, Gov. Cuomo also mentioned that people who are in self-quarantine need to take the situation seriously. He called the situation “disrespectful” to those who weren’t complying.
“You are putting people in danger,” Cuomo said. “If you do not comply, there are other measures we could take.”
The Governor said there is no reason to panic as there are currently more people recovering from the virus than those that are catching it. Cuomo said the key to preventing new cases is to identify those currently infected and isolate them to help slow the spread of the virus.
Currently there are two types of quarantine, mandatory and precautionary.
Mandatory quarantine for:
- Positive tests
- Direct contact with a person who has tested positive
- Returned from a country with CDC Levels 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice and are experiencing symptoms
- Any person the local health provider and local health department believes needs quarantine
Precautionary quarantine for:
- People who have returned from a country with CDC Levels 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice and experiences no symptoms
- Proximate (not direct) exposure to a person who tested positive, and experiences no symptoms
- Any person the local health provider and local health department believes needs to be quarantined
Below are the testing priorities in order for someone to be tested for the novel coronavirus.
- People in close contact (6 feet) with a person known to test positive
- Those who travel to a country with Levels 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice from the CDC and are experiencing symptoms
- People in quarantine and have developed symptoms
- Seriously ill people who have not tested positive for other viruses
- Other cases in which opinion of healthcare professional and local health department requires testing
Governor Cuomo also announced that 73 SUNY students are traveling back from studying abroad on Saturday. The students will land at JFK airport, and will be put under a precautionary quarantine. According to the governor’s office, some of the students will be quarantined in dorms at SUNY Brockport, but no state nor college officials have confirmed.
Cuomo is also telling nursing homes around the New Rochelle area, where a majority of the positive coronavirus patients are, to suspend outside visitors for the safety of the patients and the visitors. There is no word on when this safety measure will be lifted, or if it will be rolled out to other senior facilities in the state.
Gov. Cuomo also urged senior citizens and anyone with a compromised immune system to think hard before deciding to attend large gatherings, as those groups of people are the most susceptible to the virus.
The governor also announced that Upstate University Hospital will be one of the six facilities across the state to do testing of coronavirus samples.
As for how much this is costing the state, Cuomo says they are spending about $30 million per week on the coronavirus related initiative. The federal government only gave $35 million to New York State, so Cuomo says he is pushing for more funding for the state.
During a question and answer session, Gov. Cuomo said the public health risk to New York State remains low, and everyone should stay calm.
If you have any questions about COVID-19 you can call the toll-free coronavirus hotline at (888)-364-3065.
More from NewsChannel 9: