Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced the state will institute limits on mass gatherings, directing events with 500 or more individuals in attendance to be cancelled or postponed.
Events, gatherings, or places of business with less than 500 individuals in attendance will be required to cut capacity by 50 percent, with exceptions being made for spaces where individuals do not make sustained close contact, such as schools, hospitals, public buildings, mass transit, grocery stores and retail stores. These new regulations will go into effect 5 p.m. Friday, March 13.
- Nursing homes: only medically necessary visits will be allowed at nursing homes. This policy will also be effective Friday at 5 p.m. The state is asking nursing homes to set up skyping and other online communication capacity so families can tele-visit their loved ones. Additionally, the state will require health screenings for all nursing home workers each day when they enter a facility and require them to wear surgical masks to guard against any potential asymptomatic spread.
In order to increase testing capacity, the State is contracting with BioReference Laboratories to run an additional 5,000 tests per day on top of what the state is already doing. These additional 5,000 tests per day will come online next week. This additional testing capacity is on top of that of the 28 private labs the governor announced are partnering with the state in the coming days and weeks.
Additionally, the Governor announced the first public drive-through testing facility on the east coast will start testing people (today) in New Rochelle.
- For all schools in communities with the highest rates of positive cases, the state will be taking proactive steps to implement protocols that limit mass contact. The Governor announced SUNY Albany will cancel in person classes for the rest of the semester after a positive case was confirmed.
Finally, the Governor confirmed 109 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 325 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 325 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows:
- Albany County: 1 (1 new)
- Broome County: 1 (1 new)
- Delaware County: 1 (1 new)
- Dutchess County: 1 (1 new)
- Herkimer County: 1 (1 new)
- Monroe County: 1 (1 new)
- Nassau County: 41 (13 new)
- New York City: 95 (43 new)
- Orange County: 1 (1 new)
- Rockland County: 7 (1 new)
- Saratoga County: 3 (1 new)
- Suffolk County: 20 (14 new)
- Ulster County: 4 (3 new)
- Westchester County: 148 (27 new)
Additionally, any business that cannot accommodate rigorous cleaning standards should contact Empire State Development at (212) 803-3100 for a close order.
Read Gov. Cuomo's statement in its entirety HERE.