Wrap-up from the Governor’s Press Office, 4:15 PM. April 2, 2020 (EDITED)
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 said 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 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, i,
f 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.
Finally, the Governor confirmed 8,669 additional cases a 10.3% increase) 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, local counties in boldface:
|County||Total Positive||New Positive|