BREAKING NEWS: New York Governor Orders Changes to Hospital Regulations, per COVID-19

March 16, 2020
On Monday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York made a set of announcements around preparedness for the coronavirus

On Monday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York announced a series of changes to healthcare regulations, as well as a series of actions being taken on the state level, in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Cuomo, as part of a broader announcement around statewide actions in response to the COVID-19 virus, has just announced on live television that he is suspending New York State Department of Health regulations around hospital bed capacity, to allow hospitals to increase their capacity. The noted that right now, 158 patients out of 950 who have tested positive, or 17 percent, are currently hospitalized, pointing to the huge concern over the potential increase of hospital beds needed to handle the surge in COVID-19 cases.

He also announced that Michael Dowling, president and CEO of the New Hyde, N.Y.-based Northwell Health system, and Kenneth Raske, president of the New York City-based Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) will be head a council to develop hospital surge capacity statewide.

Meanwhile, Gov. Cuomo stated that he may soon order the cancellation of elective surgeries.

He also noted that the number of tests of individuals is inevitably going to lead to a major increase in the number of patients identified as positive for COVID-19. He announced that New York state had counted 950 cases as of Monday, morning, including 463 in New York City, and 200 in Westchester County, which encompasses the New Rochelle cluster of identified cases. The 950 statistic is up 221 from yesterday, and seven deaths so far have been confirmed in New York state.

New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have just announced the closing of casinos, health clubs, theaters, and all non-essential businesses, and have banned gatherings of more than 50 people. New Jersey is about to impose a statewide curfew between 8 P.M. and 5 A.M. every night, for all those who are not essential individuals, such as healthcare and public safety professionals.

On Sunday morning, on the program “Meet the Press,” Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. told host Chuck Todd that a nationwide shutdown of businesses and activities might be necessary to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Dr. Fauci is Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health, and one of the most senior clinicians speaking for the Trump administration on the COVID-19 pandemic.

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