ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — During a coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that 28 private laboratories will offer additional testing locations. Cuomo says the labs, which specialize in virology, will begin testing as soon as they can.
According to the governor, SUNY and CUNY schools are preparing distance- and remote-learning plans starting March 19 and lasting for the rest of the spring semester.
Cuomo says that state workers under mandatory quarantine will receive two weeks of paid leave regardless of civil service classification, bargaining unit, part-time, or accrual status.
Cuomo announced that the Health Department will give $200,000 to New Rochelle food banks so quarantined families with free school lunch still have access to low-cost nutrition. Nine schools in the New Rochelle containment zone are closed as the community faces 108 positive diagnoses. The state and Northwell Health are setting up appointment-only satellite testing there, with aid from the National Guard.
Cuomo also announced that his administration is working with business leaders to change work shifts and implement telecommuting, limiting density in workplaces statewide.
While the risk to New Yorkers remains low, we are taking a number of steps out of an abundance of caution to protect public health including asking SUNY and CUNY to implement strategies to reduce density on campuses for the remainder of the semester. At the same time, we’re continuing to prioritize ramping up testing capacity because the more people you identify as having the virus, the better you can contain it. We’re also leading by example and providing paid leave to all state workers who are quarantined as a result of the virus—and we encourage businesses to voluntarily do telecommuting to the extent possible. Again, I want to remind people to keep this in perspective: the facts do not justify the fear in this situation and the facts here should actually reduce anxiety.Gov. Cuomo
Cuomo also updated the tallies of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state:
- Westchester County: 121 cases, 13 new
- New York City: 52 cases*, 16 new
- Nassau County: 28 cases, 9 new
- Suffolk County: 6 cases, 5 new
- Rockland County: 6 cases
- Saratoga County: 2 cases
- Ulster County: 2 cases*
- State total: 217 cases*
*This afternoon, Ulster County and New York City have already added new cases to Cuomo’s most recent update on COVID-19.
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