Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo- NYS Coronavirus Update: NY Still on PAUSE -- Mental Health Resources -- First Responder Donation Fund
- 04/07/2020

Hospitals are pulling off miracles on a daily basis. They are operating at full tilt, especially in the New York City area, and it will be a monumental challenge to sustain this pace. We have been laser focused on expanding hospital capacity, working with the federal government, the National Guard and other partners. Earlier today, we received word that the USNS Comfort, the 1,000-bed hospital ship that is docked in Manhattan, will treat COVID-19 patients, following a request we made. The Comfort will begin accepting COVID patients almost immediately. Together with the Javits Center, this will go a long way toward relieving pressure on the over-stressed hospital system.
 Here's what else you need to know:
1. New York will stay on PAUSE for an additional two weeks through April 29th. I am directing schools and nonessential businesses to stay closed through April 29th. We will re-evaluate after this additional period. 
2. The State is partnering with the company Headspace to provide New Yorkers with free meditation and mindfulness resources. We can't underestimate the impact this public health crisis has on mental health. New Yorkers can access a collection of free guided meditations, along with at-home mindfulness exercises and additional resources to help address rising stress and anxiety. Visit
3. I'm increasing the maximum fine for violations of the state's social distancing protocol from $500 to $1,000. This increase is targeted at any lack of adherence to social distancing protocols. Now is not the time to be lax about distance. Localities have the authority to enforce the protocols and they need to do so.
4. To help support our First Responders, New York created the First Responders Fund. The fund will 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 received an anchor $10 million contribution from Blackstone. Donations can be made electronically at or by check mailed to "Health Research, Inc., 150 Broadway, Suite 560, Menands, NY 12204." Donors should specify the donation is for "COVID-19 NYS Emergency Response."
5. We are continuously working to expand our hospital capacity. The South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island and the Brooklyn Center Temporary Hospital at 170 Buffalo Avenue will open this week and will be used specifically for COVID-19 patients.
6. Our "surge and flex" hospital system is being put to work. We have distributed 802 ventilators downstate, 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.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": In need of a dose of the outside from the inside? Today, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation shared a video of a bald eagle feeding its chicks in Cobleskill, NY.
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Ever Upward,
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

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