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Cuomo Extends NYS On Pause Functions

ALBANY - Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced all NYS on Pause functions will be extended for an additional two weeks. The Governor also directed schools and nonessential businesses to stay closed for an additional two weeks through April 29th.

The state will re-evaluate after this additional two-week period. Governor Cuomo also announced the state is increasing the maximum fine for violations of the state's social distancing protocol from $500 to $1,000 to help address the lack of adherence to social distancing protocols. The Governor reminded localities that they have the authority to enforce the protocols. The Governor today is asking the federal government to allow the USNS Comfort hospital ship to be used for COVID-19 patients.

President Trump has already granted the Governor's request for the Javits temporary hospital facility to be used for only COVID-19 positive patients, and the addition of the USNS Comfort would help relieve pressure on the state's hospital system with an addition of 1,000 beds for COVID-19 patients. The Governor also announced that 802 ventilators have been distributed downstate through the state's "surge and flex" system where all hospital systems are working together as one and sharing supplies, equipment and staff.

Of the 802 ventilators, 38 were deployed to Rockland County, 36 were deployed to Westchester County, 505 were deployed to New York City and 223 were deployed to Long Island. Governor Cuomo also announced the creation of the First Responders Fund to assist COVID-19 health care workers and first responders with expenses and costs, including child care. The State Department of Health is accepting donations for the fund, and Blackstone is making an anchor $10 million contribution to the fund.

Donations can be made electronically at https://www.healthresearch.org/donation-form/ or by check sent to below address. Donors should specify the donation is for "COVID-19 NYS Emergency Response."

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