Governor Cuomo announces deployment of 1,000 bed hospital ship ‘USNS Comfort’


NEW YORK (NEWS10) — Governor Cuomo announced Wednesday the USNS Comfort will be deployed to New York harbor, expected to arrive in April.

The ship is a 1,000-bed hospital that has 12 fully-equipped operating rooms and is expected to significantly increase New York’s surge capacity amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The Governor will be meeting with leadership of the Army Corp of Engineers Wednesday to discuss ways to help increase hospital capacity in New York.

Governor Cuomo also announced he will issue an executive order directing non-essential businesses to implement work-from-home policies that will go into effect on Friday, March 20. Businesses that rely on in-person staff are mandated to decrease their in-office capacity by 50 percent during this time.

The executive order gives exemptions to essential service industries, including shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institution, as well as other industries deemed critical to the supply chain,

“We are fighting a war against this pandemic and we know that two of the most effective ways to stop it is by reducing density and increasing our hospital capacity so our healthcare system is not overwhelmed,” Governor Cuomo said. “The deployment of the USNS Comfort to New York is an extraordinary but necessary step to help ensure our state has the capacity to handle an influx of patients with COVID-19 and continue our efforts to contain the virus. Partnering with the private sector to require nonessential employees to work from home will also go a long way toward bending the curve. My number one priority is protecting the public health so that a wave of new cases doesn’t crash our hospital system, and we will continue taking any action necessary to achieve that goal.” 

The Governor also confirmed 1,008 additional cases of COVID-19, which brings the statewide total in New York to 2,382 confirmed cases. A breakdown of where these cases are located is listed below:

  • Albany County: 36 (13 new)
  • Allegany County: 2
  • Broome County: 1
  • Chenango County: 1 (1 new)
  • Clinton County: 1
  • Delaware County: 1
  • Dutchess County: 20 (4 new)
  • Erie County: 7
  • Essex County: 1 (1 new)
  • Greene County: 2
  • Hamilton County: 1 (1 new)
  • Herkimer County: 1
  • Monroe County: 14  (4 new)
  • Montgomery County: 2 (1 new)
  • Nassau County: 183 (52 new)
  • New York City: 1339 (695 new)
  • Onondaga County: 2
  • Ontario County: 1
  • Orange County: 32 (17 new)
  • Putnam County: 2
  • Rensselaer County: 4 (3 new)
  • Rockland County: 30 (8 new)
  • Saratoga County: 14 (5 new)
  • Schenectady County: 14 (9 new)
  • Suffolk County: 116 (32 new)
  • Sullivan County: 1
  • Tioga County: 1
  • Tompkins County: 3 (1 new)
  • Ulster  County: 9 (1 new)
  • Warren County: 1 (1 new)
  • Washington County: 1 (1 new)
  • Westchester County: 538 (158 new)
  • Wyoming County: 1

The Governor announced on Monday that nonessential state employees across New York would need to work from home. Governor Cuomo directed local governments to respond by limiting the overall workforce by 50 percent and allow all nonessential employees to work from home

Additionally, on Monday, Governor Cuomo along with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced a regional approach to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. This approach included limiting the crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people, and mandating the closure of bars and restaurants, switching instead to take-out and delivery services only. Gyms, movie theaters, and casinos were also included in the temporary closures.

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