Health

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Daily Updates and Resources

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The New York State Department of Health has set up a hotline at (888) 364-3065 where Department of Health experts are available to answer questions regarding COVID-19.

Information can also be found by visiting the New York Department of Health website at: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus.

Testing for COVID-19 is FREE for all eligible New Yorkers as ordered by a health care provider.

Although the White House has indicated that the federal healthcare exchange is not being renewed, New Yorkers without health insurance can apply through New York State of Health through May 15, 2020. Enrollees must apply within 60 days of losing coverage.  

To see if you qualify for affordable healthcare coverage, visit: https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/

For information about filing an unemployment insurance claim, visit: https://labor.ny.gov/ui/how_to_file_claim.shtm

New Yorkers can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling.

new website provides New York’s comprehensive COVID-19 testing data to the public.

Regeneron, based out of Tarrytown, is creating 500,000 test kits for the State at no charge amid a nationwide shortage of test kits and swabs.

Governor Cuomo will issue an executive order to redistribute ventilators and PPE to hospitals with the greatest need.

New York State released 600 ventilators to New York City, Long Island and Westchester on April 1st. Governor Cuomo said there are currently six days of ventilators left in the state’s stockpile at the current burn rate.

On Thursday, April 2, the governor said, “We are taking extraordinary measures to move ventilators to meet the need. We are using anesthesia machines as ventilators. We are ‘splitting’ ventilator tubes so two patients can share a ventilator. We are converting BiPAP machines into ventilators. We are scouring the globe to acquire more ventilators.”

On March 29, Governor Cuomo extended “New York State on PAUSE” and directed the state’s non-essential workforce to continue to work from home for an additional two weeks through April 15th.  New Yorkers are required to maintain a six-foot distance from each other in public spaces.

In-person workforce restrictions, which have been implemented through various executive orders are also extended until April 15th. 

New York State’s school closure date has been extended to at least April 15, 2020.

New York State is implementing a 90-day moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants.

Pharmacies have agreed to offer free home delivery to help reduce long lines for prescriptions at their facilities.

New COVID-19 Medical Updates:

  • The NBA is contributing one million surgical masks in collaboration with the Knicks and Nets.
  • New York State has received a generous donation of 1,000 ventilators from the Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation and the Chinese government, as well as 140 ventilators from the state of Oregon.
  • The New York State Department of Health has approved Northwell’s protocol allowing BiPAP machines to be converted into ventilators.
  • New York State will conduct a hospital-by-hospital survey on a nightly basis to take inventory of supplies; all hospitals are asked to contribute supplies they don’t currently need to a centralized stockpile.
  • The state of Oregon is sending 140 ventilators to New York.
  • 85,400 health professionals have signed up to volunteer as part of the state’s Surge Healthcare Force, including 21,000 from out of state.
  • Governor Cuomo will be signing an Executive Order to allow medical students who were slated to graduate this spring to begin practicing now.
  • Consumers and small businesses experiencing financial hardship may defer paying health insurance premiums through June 1, 2020.
  • A new Central Coordinating Team will help implement a public-private hospital plan to share information, supplies, staff and patients among hospitals across the state.
  • A new online portal will connect hospitals to volunteer healthcare workers and help prioritize deployment to hospitals with the greatest need.
  • There is a new mobile testing site at the Bay Plaza AMC Theater at 2210 Bartow Avenue in the Bronx.  Site hours are Monday through Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., by appointment only.
  • A new drive-through mobile testing facility will open in Albany next week – the State has opened 7 mobile facilities to date.
  • The temporary hospital at the Javits Center is now open; the federal government will staff and equip 2,500 beds for COVID-19 patients.
  • Three new sites have been identified to serve as a place for emergency beds: South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island; Westchester Square in the Bronx; and Health Alliance in Ulster County – adding 695 more beds.
  • The federal government has approved four new sites for temporary hospitals: The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal; the Aqueduct Racetrack facility in Queens; CUNY Staten Island; and the New York Expo Center in the Bronx – adding an additional 4,000 beds.
  • The State Department of Health Wadsworth Lab is working in partnership with other labs to evaluate antibody testing that is designed to help very sick COVID-19 patients. The test is done through a saliva sample and a self-administered short nasal swab.

As of April 2, New York City playgrounds will close to address the lack of adherence to social distancing protocols. Similar closures are being considered in Westchester County for public spaces where social distancing is not being practiced.

The presidential primary election will move from April 28 to June 23rd, aligning it with the congressional and legislative primaries in New York.

Governor Cuomo has implemented Matilda’s Law to protect New Yorkers age 70+ and those with compromised immune systems:

-Remain indoors

-Pre-screen visitors by taking temperature

-Visitors should wear masks

-Stay six feet away from others

On March 20, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order, “New York State on PAUSE,” mandating that 100% of New York’s workforce must STAY HOME, excluding essential services.

All non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason are temporarily banned.

Essential businesses that can remain open include: grocers and restaurants, health care providers, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, banks, hardware stores, laundromats and cleaners, child-care providers, auto repair, utilities, warehouses and distributors, plumbers and other skilled contractors, animal-care providers, transportation providers, construction companies and many kinds of manufacturers.

On Monday, March 16, the gov­er­nors of New York (An­drew Cuomo), New Jer­sey (Phil Mur­phy) and Con­necti­cut (Ned La­m­ont) an­nounced re­stric­tions on pub­lic life.

Gyms, movie theaters, and casinos are all CLOSED.  

Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and medical facilities will remain OPEN.

Bars and restau­rants are lim­ited to take­out and de­liv­ery. Gov­er­nor Cuomo stressed that a co­or­di­nated regional ap­proach was nec­es­sary to pre­vent peo­ple from trav­el­ing from state to state to seek ameni­ties. These temporary closures will last as long as necessary to protect public health.

Beginning at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania closed all barber shops, nail and hair salons, tattoo shops, and similar services.

Governor Cuomo has signed an executive order directing all schools in New York to close until further notice.

On Friday, March 20, Governor Cuomo signed  a bill guaranteeing job protection and pay for New Yorkers who have been quarantined as a result of novel coronavirus. 

The Department of Financial Services has issued a new directive to New York State mortgage services to provide 90-day mortgage relief to mortgage borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 virus.

On Wednesday, March 18, Governor Cuomo signed into law paid sick leave to guarantee pay for those under mandatory or precautionary quarantine.

New York State will waive all park fees in state, local and county parks.

As of April 5, there were more than 122,031 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York State.  Because of the shortage of COVID-19 tests nationwide, the number of patients diagnosed with the virus is much higher than those confirmed.

There have been 13,723 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Westchester County.

For a breakdown of Westchester County confirmed cases and other County updates, visit: https://www.westchestergov.com/home/all-press-releases/8355-march-31-westchester-county-executive-george-latimer-gives-covid-19-update

The governor has noted that about 38% of hospitalized patients are aged 20 to 54.

The FDA has approved the use of a new experimental drug in New York on a compassionate care basis to help treat patients with COVID-19.

More than 10,000 professional Mental Health Volunteers have signed up to provide free online mental health services.

Department of Motor Vehicles offices are temporarily closed for in-office visits. Online transactions, including for license renewals, are still be available. License and permit expirations will be extended.

Effective Tuesday, March 17, New York State is suspending state debt collection. New Yorkers with student debt, medical debt and other state-referred debt will have payments frozen for at least 30 days.

New York State is also waiving the seven-day waiting period for unemployment insurance for people who have been laid off due to the coronavirus.

Governor Cuomo has signed an executive order directing non-essential businesses to implement work-from-home policies effective Friday, March 20.

Exemptions from the order will include shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions.

Retail shopping malls, amusement parks and bowling alleys were ordered to close by 8:00 pm Thursday, March 19, in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

While many people who have the COVID-19 virus may feel fine (or be experiencing mild symptoms), they are highly contagious and can be unknowingly infecting others who are at risk of becoming critically ill with the virus.

On Monday, March 16, Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced a State of Emergency for the county and closed all 44 school districts in Westchester.  He has since announced the following efforts to help combat COVID-19:

• Glen Island Park parking lot is being used for a mobile testing site; hundreds are being tested there everyday (testing done by the State).

• The County Center is being used as a temporary hospital to house patients when local hospitals are overloaded.

• County Public Health professionals continue their work with the State Department of Health for in-home virus testing.

• County Emergency Services Department obtains and distributes to first responders, communities and facilities a range of necessary products from personal protective equipment (PPE) to hand sanitizer.

• County Police are helping secure sensitive sites and maintain patrol presence throughout the area.

• County Department of Social Services deals directly with poor residents and their needs as individuals lose jobs and require benefits for their families. Also provides assistance to the homeless.

• County Economic Development team is researching loans and grant programs for small business devastated by the shut down of their businesses, communicating information through local Chambers of Commerce.

• County Parks remain open for individual use and exercise. Social distancing walks in nature centers and bicycling on trailways permitted; golf – a sport that easily allows for social distancing – is also permitted. No active team sports allowed during this period.

• County Operations Leadership Team implemented child care services at local elementary schools with school districts to assist during closure of all school districts.

• County leadership publicly calling for nurses, doctors and other health care professionals to assist in this crisis (with terrific response).

• Regular conference calls with all municipal officials and County Legislators to ensure cooperative working efforts and resolving specific issues and problems.

Earlier in March, Governor Cuomo wrote on his Twitter page, “What we do next will have a massive impact on the trajectory of this virus in New York. We can only maintain public health by STAYING APART.  The decision each of makes now will impact us all tomorrow.  STAY HOME.”

He implored non-essential state employees from Rockland and Westchester Counties, Long Island, and New York City to work from home or otherwise stay home.

“I am asking private businesses to aggressively consider voluntary closings and allow employees to work from home. Reducing density is both a social responsibility and will help protect workforces. If businesses don’t voluntarily cooperate, we will consider mandatory measures.”

This represents approximately 50 percent of state workers in those regions. New York State Department of Motor Vehicle services will only be available via appointment beginning on Monday.

“Reducing density remains a focus for the state in hopes of spreading out the cases of the virus to a rate the healthcare system can manage,” Cuomo said. “The curve is not a curve. It’s a wave and it could break on the hospital system.”

The New York State Department of Health has compiled a list of five steps to prepare for COVID-19 and help manage the many ongoing lifestyle changes that are taking place as a result of the virus.

All Village elections in New York State that had been scheduled to take place on  Wednesday, March 18 have been postponed until Tuesday, April 28 (the date of New York State primary elections) in efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus, Governor Cuomo announced earlier this week. While many villages hold their local elections in November, the following Westchester, Rockland and Putnam County municipalities hold local elections in March, all of which will be postponed:

Sleepy Hollow, Hastings-on-Hudson, Pleasantville, Briarcliff Manor, Scarsdale, Tuckahoe, Larchmont, Bronxville, Pelham Manor, Hillburn, Pomona, Buchanan, Grand View-on-Hudson, Nelsonville, New Hempstead, Upper Nyack and Wesley Hills.

The governor also took action to allow for voters to request absentee ballots electronically.

“Our top priority has been keeping New Yorkers safe and stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus,” Governor Cuomo said. “Public health officials have been clear that reducing density is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread, and delaying village elections will help ensure poll workers and voters are not potentially exposed to the virus and at the same time maintain integrity in our election system.”

A local State of Emergency has been declared for individual towns and villages including Irvington, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow.  Executive Orders from local mayors have also been issued to protect the community.

At a news conference on March 7th, Governor Cuomo declared a State of Emergency for New York State to more quickly and effectively contain the spread of coronavirus, and launched an investigation into reports of unfair price increases on consumer products.

The declaration of emergency allows the state to accelerate the purchasing of supplies and the hiring of workers to assist local health departments handling the monitoring of thousands of self-quarantined patients.

If you suspect that you may have contracted COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness (such as a cough or difficulty breathing) or have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, call ahead to a healthcare professional. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19 and recommend any necessary treatment.

Health care professionals believe that the virus spreads primarily:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

While there is currently no vaccine to prevent this virus, the following steps can help contain the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick (and even if you’re not).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

In addition to the New York State Department of Health website and hotline, the following resources are updated regularly with information about COVID-19:

National Center for Disease Controlhttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Westchester County Department of Health:https://health.westchestergov.com/2019-novel-coronavirus

World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

New York State Business-Related Questions: https://esd.ny.gov/esd-covid-19-related-resources

Disaster Assistance Small Business Loan Information: https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19

Town of Greenburghhttps://www.greenburghny.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=365

New York City: https://www1.nyc.gov/…/health/health-topics/coronavirus.page

Advisory Information: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Condition Overview: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

Basic precautions: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html

Communications Resources: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/index.html

As the reality of the COVID-19 virus takes hold around the world, it is natural that children and adults of all ages may experience anxiety and depression. For information and resources to help navigate these stresses, click here.

Sui­cide Pre­ven­tion: 800-273-8255

Sub­stance Abuse/​Men­tal Health Helpline: 1-800-662-4357

Sex­ual As­sault Hot­line: 800-656-4673

Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Hot­line: 800−799−7233

Cri­sis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741

 

 

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