As the Coronavirus Pandemic sweeps the nation New York remains the State with the highest number of cases, nearing 2,400 at the time of publication.
In the Capital Region, Albany County now has 41 confirmed cases with 560 in either voluntary or mandatory quarantine. Among the new cases is an Albany County Sheriff Deputy who works for the transportation division. Sheriff Craig Apple says the deputy has been sick for about one week and is feeling okay. As a result, nine other deputies have been quarantined at home.
Another case involves a resident at the Terisian House, a nursing home on Washington Avenue Extension. Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen says that the resident is in the hospital and that 15 people in the section of the building were affected.
Saratoga County now has 16 confirmed cases while Washington County has reported their first positive case of COVID-19.
Dr. Whalen has urged the public to stay home, saying we’re starting an uphill curve that will take time before we peak.
Today, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order requiring that businesses operate at 50% capacity meaning that half of their work force must work from home. Cuomo did note however that the mandate does not apply to businesses that provide essential services like grocery stores and pharmacies.
And as a growing number of New Yorkers are left concerned about their job due to the virus, the State Legislature is set to approve a paid sick leave package that will give relief to those quarantined at home due to the disease. The package would guarantee at least two weeks of paid leave and protect the jobs of all private sector employees. Public employees who work for companies that employ over 100 or more people will get the same coverage. Additionally all employees of smaller businesses will receive job protection and have access to disability and family leave benefits while some will also get paid sick days.
Meanwhile, President Trump has dispatched the USS Comfort - a hospital ship - to New York City harbor and officials are looking for viable sites for mobile hospitals. Governor Cuomo says the state needs to increase current hospital capacity to avoid a health disaster.
Cuomo has previously stated that they are predicting the state will need between 18,000 and 37,000 intensive care beds. Currently the state has around 53,000 hospital beds and 3,000 ICU facilities.
The Army Corps of Engineers will be aiding the state in its effort to increase the amount of hospital beds.
Local, state and federal officials are urging the public to remain calm but to take precaution.
Photo: Getty Images