NEW YORK, NY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday pleaded with other states to send spare health workers to New York as the state braces for the looming peak of the new coronavirus spread.
The governor compared the nation’s battle with the virus to a war and reiterated that New York is taking numerous steps to prepare for the apex. And while tens of thousands of New Yorkers have volunteered to help — including retired doctors and nurses — more is needed.
“Please help us now,” Cuomo begged other states. “We need relief. And we will return the favor.”
Specifically, Cuomo stressed the need to provide relief for nurses working 12-hour shifts, as well as doctors and attendants.
“If you’re not busy, come help us. Please,” he said.
Cuomo vowed to send spare health care workers to other states once New York’s peak passes. His remarks come as the number of cases topped 66,000 Monday. More than 9,500 people have been hospitalized, of which about 2,300 were receiving intensive care treatment and often a ventilator for assisted breathing. The death toll in New York climbed to 1,218, up from 965.
Cuomo noted that while the cases are still rising, the rate of increase has slowed, indicating the state’s extraordinary measures to encourage social distancing — such as a stay-at-home order for nonessential workers — are working. The rate at which cases are doubling has slowed to about every six days.
“The situation is painfully clear now,” he said. “There’s no question what we’re dealing with.”
At the same time, Cuomo called for unity and for putting aside partisan politics.
“If there was ever a moment for unity, this my friends is the moment,” he said.
Cuomo added there are no red states and blue states, referring to Republicans and Democrats.
“It’s red white and blue,” he said. “This virus doesn’t discriminate.”
Cuomo also said Westchester could be the second place in the state where the new coronavirus outbreak peaks following New York City. Westchester was New York’s first “hot spot,” as large groups of people who had attended two events at a New Rochelle synagogue infected each other in late February.
Among the new victims this week: a man in his 30s, who became Suffolk County’s youngest victim of the virus.
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Concerns over the virus led some employees of Instacart, a grocery and household item delivery company, to plan a nationwide strike Monday, citing the company’s failure to provide them with enough supplies to properly protect them from being exposed during the new coronavirus crisis. It’s unclear how many employees might strike and whether the stoppage of Instacart’s services will happen on Long Island.
The virus has spurred many in the education community to rally together.
In Suffolk County, middle school math teachers in Holtsville created a music video to cheer up students who are home during the shutdown. The teachers sang “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, many with their own children from their homes. And in West Islip, two high school teachers recently found a creative way to give back to their community and local hospital workers, creating a Facebook group to collect donations to buy lunch and dinner from local restaurants to be delivered to health care staff. The duo set up a Venmo account strictly for donations to be used to order the food for the hospital workers. And in Huntington, students in a high school chamber choir sang “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, noting that even though they’re stuck at home, they can “still have a good time!”
Meanwhile, Nassau County officials announced Monday there would be no funerals despite a rising number of deaths. As of Monday morning, 48 people had died of the virus in the county, with nine more reported overnight: seven men and two women ranging from 42 to 87 years old.
Also in Nassau County, a Syosset photographer is on a mission: capture the happy moments of families during the trying times.