ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- The New York State Department of Health (DOH) will receive $40 million dollars in emergency funds to prepare health care facilities and state agencies for a possible novel coronavirus outbreak in the state. The money will allow the state to hire additional staff as well as obtain equipment and other resources to treat and contain novel coronavirus patients.
Legislation will also be proposed granting authority to DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker in order to make sure local health departments and public/private hospitals statewide take precautions/measures for the novel coronavirus as needed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said.
“It is highly probable that we will have people in New York State that test positive,” said Gov. Cuomo. “New York is the front door internationally. We have people coming here from across the world. We see how it is spreading and affecting different countries – Italy recently – and that will continue. Again, I think it is highly probable and no one should be surprised when we have positive cases in New York.”
The DOH will work with local health departments and hospitals to develop a standard of best practices and procedure protocol to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading. The governor is also asking the Wadsworth Center and NYS Public Health Lab to test for the virus, allow greater testing capacity and accelerate test results.
DOH will be working with the Metropolitan Transporation Authority, Port Authority and their airport operators as well as the authority’s entire workforce, educating them on cleaning and protective gear. The state is working with all state agencies to make sure they are also prepared.
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