ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) – Governor Cuomo today announced that 40,000 healthcare workers, including retirees and students, have signed up to volunteer to work as part of the state’s surge healthcare force during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 6,000 mental health professionals have signed up to provide free online mental health services. New Yorkers can call the state’s hotline at 1-844-863-9314 to schedule a free appointment.
New York City will pilot closing streets to vehicles and opening them to pedestrians as part of the city’s plan to address the lack of adherence to social distancing protocols. The Governor is also enacting a voluntary playground social density protocol that prohibits close contact sports.
Governor Cuomo urged the federal government to implement a “rolling deployment” of equipment and personnel to address the critical needs of hotspot areas with high numbers of positive COVID-19 cases, instead of providing limited quantities to the entire country at once.
As part of the plan, the Governor has pledged to personally manage the deployment of supplies, equipment and technical assistance to the next hotspots around the country once New York State’s number of hospitalizations begins to decrease.
The Four Seasons Hotel on 57th street in Manhattan is the first of several hotels that is providing their facility to serve as housing for nurses, doctors, and medical personnel during the crisis. The 350 room hotel will provide free lodging to medical personnel currently working to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.
“New York is the canary in the coal mine – we have the most positive cases in the nation and the most critical need for equipment and personnel,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are doing everything we can to flatten the curve and slow the infection rate so the influx of hospitalizations doesn’t overwhelm our healthcare system.”
“Thousands of New Yorkers have selflessly volunteered to be part of our surge healthcare force and support the hospital surge capacity, but we need more ventilators and more hospital beds now, and we need the help of the federal government to get them. Different regions have different curves at different times, but New York is first, and once we get through this we can use our experience and supplies to help other states to get through this pandemic.”
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