The number of coronavirus deaths in New York state has more than doubled in the past three days to nearly 2,000. Governor Andrew Cuomo also says today that projections show the outbreak worsening through April. During an early afternoon briefing Wednesday, Cuomo said the number of deaths had climbed to 1,941. However... Cuomo says "high-compliance" with social distancing directives could help hold down the numbers in hospitals... and, dying.
Cuomo says the state is using many of the outbreak "models" used nationally. If there is minimal compliance... he says the number hospitalized could reach that 110,000 bed mark... and, the need for 37,000 ventilators. However... one national model shows some 93,000 with 16,000 of those in New York. Right now... he says that doesn't make sense because New York is so much higher. Cuomo says... state officials believe they will reach the outbreak's apex... or peak... by the end of April. As of today... the state has recorded 83,712 positive cases of COVID-19... with just over 12,000 people now hospitalized.
There have been no new cases of Coronavirus in Chautauqua County... so the number of positive cases remains at 10 today. That from County Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler... who says two people have now completely recovered from the COVID 19 Virus, and have been released from mandatory quarantine. Schuyler says one person has died... while seven others are continuing to recover under mandatory quarantine. She says there are now 25 in mandatory quarantine... while 30 others are in precautionary quarantine. Schulyer says 40 people are in mandatory isolation because they are symptomatic of COVID-19 and are pending COVID-19 lab test. She says 101 negative test results have come back to date.
New York's junior U-S Senator is calling on the Trump administration to release the recently approved $100-billion in aid to hospitals and other health care agencies struggling to contain the COVID-19 virus. The aid is part of the $2.2-trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security -- or CARES Act. Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says the help is needed so health care workers can have the protections they need, such as PPEs.
With elective and other surgeries called off... Gillibrand says hospitals need the aid to stay afloat. She adds she had written a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
Gillibrand says some money has been released to hospitals... but, the funding from that $100-billion allocation needs to be dispensed faster. She made her comments during an afternoon conference call with state-wide media.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has placed all of the state under an order to stay at home, dramatically expanding the geographic footprint of the quarantine as state officials combat the coronavirus pandemic. Wolf added 34 counties to his stay-home edict. That means residents of all 67 of Pennsylvania's counties must now stay home as much as possible to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Those new counties include Warren, which had been one of the few in the region affected. Coronavirus infections are continuing to rise dramatically in the state.
Governor Cuomo and lawmakers are trying to find their way forward on a state budget despite uncertainty about the size of the financial toll the coronavirus outbreak will take. The Democratic governor has suggested lawmakers could pass a budget that slashes state spending for now, and gives his administration authority to increase spending later, as federal aid arrives. Democrats and Republicans have spoken in support of expanding Cuomo's authority on the budget amid the public health emergency.
The State Legislature has begun to pass some budget bills for the fiscal year that starts today. Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell is the Minority Floor Manager. The Jamestown-area Republican says one bill has gotten through his house.
While the bill was approved, Goodell opposed it... saying most of the $6.1-billion in debt the bill makes payments on has not gotten necessary voter approval. As for the State Senate... he says they passed another measure -- the public protection and general government bill -- which he says has a lot of changes from the Assembly bill.