Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered nonessential State employees to work from home started Tuesday. The Governor also directed local governments to reduce their overall workforce by 50 percent and allow nonessential employees to work from home.
Cuomo has also directed DMV to move to appointment only to limit person to person contact and revert to regular hours rather than the extended hours the state implemented in recent weeks to help reduce lines.
Governor Cuomo asked Chief Judge Janet DiFiore to develop a plan to reduce density in the court system, including limiting nonessential proceedings, without disrupting criminal justice system. The Governor also tasked SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras with working with counties to develop contingency plans in preparation for school closings, including how to provide meals to food insecure children and ensuring families have adequate access to childcare.
“Our goal is to slow the spread of the virus to a rate that the healthcare system can manage, and we’re doing that through aggressive testing and strong social distancing protocols. But the anticipated wave of new cases threatens to crash our healthcare system, and we need national action from the federal government to address the quickly-evolving situation now,” Governor Cuomo said. “In short, the Trump administration needs to localize testing, federalize shutdowns and task the Army Corps of Engineers to expand hospital capacity. While again I want to remind people that the facts do not warrant the level of anxiety that is out there, we will continue working closely with every level of government to mitigate the impact of this virus and protect the public health.”
Governor Cuomo also called on President Trump to take comprehensive federal action to combat the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, including developing an aggressive national strategy for testing, school closures and hospital surge capacity.
In an open letter to President Trump, the Governor urged Trump to deploy the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to leverage its expertise, equipment and people power to retrofit and equip existing facilities – such as military bases or college dormitories – to serve as temporary medical centers. The Governor called on the President, through the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to authorize states to certify a wider array of testing labs and methods in an effort to maximize testing capacity to identify and isolate positive cases faster. The Governor also called for a uniform federal standard for when cities and states should shut down commerce and schools, or cancel events.