ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency in New York, which he said will more quickly and effectively contain the spread of of the coronavirus.
There are now 89 confirmed cases in the state including 70 in Westchester, 11 in New York City, four in Nassau County, two in Rockland County and two in Saratoga County.
The state of emergency declaration allows, among other things:
- Expedited procurement of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and other essential resources
- Allowing qualified professionals other than doctors and nurses to conduct testing
- Expedited procurement of testing supplies and equipment
- Expedited personnel onboarding
- Expedited leasing of lab space
- Allowing EMS personnel to transport patients to quarantine locations other than just hospitals
- Providing clear basis for price gouging and enforcement investigation
With Westchester County having the largest number, centered in New Rochelle, the governor said that county “is an obvious problem for us.” Schools where the virus has surfaced have been closed and now he said they are instructing nursing homes, senior living situations in the immediate area of New Rochelle where the cluster has surfaced, to suspend outside visitors. “The nursing homes are the most problematic setting for us with this disease so we are hyper cautious with nursing homes, assisted living facilities, senior housing, et cetera.”
He also warned of price gouging as a result of the spread of the virus. “I want businesses to be aware that you could lose your license for price gouging. This is serious,” he said. “It is price gouging in an emergency situation where you are being exploitive of the public.” A customer hotline to report such cases – 800-697-1220.