Albany, NY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls on New York businesses to help them manufacture more medical supplies that will be needed to deal with the coronavirus in the coming weeks.
Cuomo specifically mentioned items like masks, gloves and gowns for healthcare workers during a press briefing today in Albany. He said the state would “pay a premium” for the products of the companies that currently manufacture them.
He asked all the companies that could possibly help adapt their operations to manufacture the necessary products.
“If you can do them, we’ll give you the funding to do it,” he said. “I ask companies to be creative.”
The state has already started tapping into its existing stocks of medical supplies and shipping them to hospitals that need them, Health Commissioner Dr Howard Zucker said.
Any company interested in funding to set up new operations should contact Empire State Development at 212-803-3100 or by email at [email protected] Companies that already make masks or other necessary supplies and wish to sell them to the state should contact Cuomo’s office at 646-522-8477 or email [email protected]
“I’ll pay the companies more,” Cuomo said of the need for medical supplies. “I’ll fund a new business if you can make these products.
“I am doing everything I can to increase production.
The state is also continuing its search for more ventilators. These are the key pieces of equipment needed to fight the coronavirus, which can cause serious respiratory illness in some people.
Cuomo said there are many healthcare facilities in the state that have ventilators, but are unlikely to be actively using them at this time. He said the health ministry would order those sites to make the spare devices available to the state.
“We need these fans,” he said. “Fans are to this war what missiles were to World War II. “
Any health facility with additional ventilators should contact the health department at 518-281-5120.
The state continues to work on adding more hospital beds to its current total of 53,000, Cuomo said. New York will need more than double that number when the coronavirus peaks in about 45 days.
The state plans to cancel all non-critical elective surgeries, likely next week, Cuomo said. This will free up 25-35% of the existing beds.
Authorities have also started to assess sites around New York City that could be used as temporary health facilities to add even more beds. They understand:
- The Javits Center in New York
- Several sites of the University of the City of New York
- State University of New York campus at Purchase, Stony Brook, Farmingdale and Rockland
- Saint-Jean University
- Fordham University
The state could eventually start moving patients from the New York area to upstate New York, which so far has fewer cases.
“Wherever we have beds and equipment, that’s where we put people,” Cuomo said.
The coronavirus continues to climb in New York. Case tripled in the last two days to over 7,100.
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