The governor called for common sense in these trying times, adding “misinformation, emotion, fear, panic is truly more dangerous than the virus.”
The governor also said the state will be offering financial relief for residents.
He announced banks are going to honor a 90-day relief period on mortgage payments and waive fees for overdrafts, credit cards and ATMs. Foreclosures will be postponed.
On Wednesday night, he signed a bill guaranteeing paid sick leave for everyone under quarantine.
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Cuomo reiterated the state’s three-part strategy involves 1) flattening the curve, 2) increasing hospital capacity and 3) identifying new hospital beds.
To further reduce population density, he said businesses must tell 75% of their staff members to work from home, up from 50% Wednesday.
The state’s Department of Labor says it’s seeing a 1,000% increase in claims. So many people were logging onto its site, it was crashing.
Services deemed essential are exempt, including food, pharmacies, health care and more.
More and more people are staying home and social distancing as hospitals gear up fast.
In terms of hospitals, the governor thanked President Donald Trump for sending the Army Corps of Engineers to New York, but warned the state only has 5,000-6,000 ventilators and will likely need 30,000.
Cuomo is also calling on the federal government to use its powers to order manufacturers to speed up production of both ventilators and protective equipment.
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Despite a steep decline in subway ridership, it will stay open.
“So we need a transportation system because we need people getting to work,” Cuomo said.
“We’re going to have to have flexibility in the budget to be able to prioritize certain services over others. As the governor indicated, the MTA is an essential service for New York City,” NYS Budget Director Robert Mujica said.
Cuomo says he feels the public’s pain.
“You’re dealing with personal issues and you’re dealing with family issues and it’s all happening at once,” he said.
The governor says when people ask him when will they get back to work and back to the lives they knew, his answer is we just don’t know yet.