Press Release 

April 2, 2020

AMID ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC, GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH HAS APPROVED NEW PROTOCOL TO ALLOW BiPAP MACHINES TO BE CONVERTED INTO VENTILATORS

State Has Purchased 3,000 BiPAP Machines from Philips in Pittsburgh; 750 BiPAP Machines Already In Stock

State Will Conduct a Hospital-by-Hospital Survey on a Nightly Basis to Take Inventory of Every Hospital's Supplies; All Hospitals Are Being Asked to Contribute Supplies They Don't Currently Need to a Centralized Stockpile to be Distributed to Hospitals with Greatest Need

21,000 Out-of-State Individuals Have Volunteered to Work in New York's Healthcare System During COVID-19 Pandemic; 85,400 Health Professionals Have Signed up to Volunteer as Part of the State's Surge Healthcare Force to Date

Urges Businesses to Begin Manufacturing PPE Products; State Will Pay to Convert Manufacturing Facilities to Make PPE Products

Consumers and Small Businesses Experiencing Financial Hardship Due to COVID-19 May Defer Paying Health Insurance Premiums through June 1, 2020

Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured New Yorkers to Apply for Coverage Through NY State of Health or Directly to Insurers Extended Through May 15, 2020

If You Lost Employer Coverage, You Must Apply Within 60 Days of Losing That Coverage; Because of Loss of Income, New Yorkers May Also Be Eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Subsidized Qualified Health Plans or Child Health Plus

Confirms 8,669 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 92,381; New Cases in 46 Counties

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the State Department of Health has approved Northwell's protocol allowing BiPAP machines to be converted into ventilators. The State has purchased 3,000 BiPAP machines from Philips in Pittsburgh, and 750 machines are already in stock and will be distributed to hospitals. The State has already taken a number of extraordinary measures to acquire more ventilators and build the State's stockpile, including tracking where all the ventilators are located in New York and shifting their locations to meet the highest need and ending elective surgeries. If necessary, hospitals may also use anesthesia machine ventilators or use a "splitting" protocol where one ventilator is used for two patients using separate tubes. 

Governor Cuomo also announced the State has begun conducting a hospital-by-hospital survey on a nightly basis to take inventory of every hospital's supplies. Additionally, all hospitals are being asked to contribute the supplies they don't currently need to a central stockpile to be distributed to hospitals with the greatest need.

The Governor also announced that 21,000 out-of-state individuals have volunteered to work in New York's healthcare system on a temporary basis during the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, 85,400 health professionals in New York have signed up to volunteer as part of the State's surge healthcare force.

The Governor is also encouraging any company with the proper equipment or personnel to begin to manufacture PPE products if possible. The state is willing to provide funding to any company to obtain the proper equipment and personnel. Businesses interested in receiving state funding to manufacture PPE products should call 212-803-3100 or email [email protected].

The Governor announced that, through June 1, 2020, consumers and businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying premiums under individual and small group health insurance policies. DFS shall consider any liquidity or solvency concerns of the health plans. During this period, health plans will be required to continue to pay claims, not to report late payments to credit rating agencies, and to work with individuals to help them transition to new coverage, if appropriate. In addition, insurers are reminded that they cannot impose late payment fees. Governor Cuomo thanked Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont for his collaboration on this initiative.

The NY State of Health and the New York State Department of Financial Services announced a one-month extension of the special enrollment period through May 15, 2020 to allow uninsured New Yorkers to apply for coverage through NY State of Health or directly to insurers. If you lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of a loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, subsidized Qualified Health Plans or Child Health Plus.

"We are continuing to plan forward and prepare our healthcare system for when the apex of the curve hits," Governor Cuomo said. "We are taking extraordinary measures to acquire more personal protective equipment, find beds to increase hospital capacity and recruit staff, but there is still a critical need for all three of these components, and we need all three in order for our hospitals to actually function and provide care. Ventilators remain our most significant challenge, and today the State Department of Health has approved protocols that will allow us to use BiPAP machines as ventilators, and we have already acquired 3,000 of these machines to be deployed to hospitals with the greatest need."

Finally, the Governor confirmed 8,669 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 92,381 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 92,381 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows:

County

Total Positive

New Positive

Albany

253

13

Allegany

12

3

Broome

46

4

Cattaraugus

8

1

Cayuga

4

1

Chautauqua

8

2

Chemung

22

0

Chenango

28

2

Clinton

25

0

Columbia

36

5

Cortland

8

0

Delaware

22

2

Dutchess

667

120

Erie

617

153

Essex

6

0

Franklin

9

0

Fulton

6

4

Genesee

14

1

Greene

21

3

Hamilton

2

0

Herkimer

14

2

Jefferson

15

3

Lewis

2

0

Livingston

14

0

Madison

60

9

Monroe

420

71

Montgomery

8

1

Nassau

10,587

1,033

Niagara

76

30

NYC

51,809

4,370

Oneida

61

11

Onondaga

234

17

Ontario

26

2

Orange

1,993

237

Orleans

6

0

Oswego

22

5

Otsego

21

2

Putnam

216

9

Rensselaer

53

10

Rockland

3,751

430

Saratoga

132

10

Schenectady

101

8

Schoharie

8

0

Schuyler

3

1

Seneca

4

2

St. Lawrence

39

5

Steuben

43

5

Suffolk

8,746

1,141

Sullivan

143

22

Tioga

7

0

Tompkins

74

6

Ulster

240

19

Warren

18

0

Washington

12

2

Wayne

27

3

Westchester

11,567

884

Wyoming

14

4

Yates

1

1

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