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NY To Resume Elective Outpatient Treatment At Some Hospitals

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking March 25, 2020.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

While New York remains the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced efforts to re-open parts of the state. The Democrat says elective outpatient treatment will be allowed to resume in areas not heavily impacted by COVID-19 and where hospitals have capacity.

“This will not include Westchester, Rockland, New York City hospitals, etc., because we have a real COVID problem there,” Cuomo clarifies. “It won’t include Erie County or Albany County or Dutchess and several other counties where we still need to protect those hospital beds in case we need them for COVID.”  

Some upstate hospitals, including Glens Falls Hospital and Hudson Headwaters, have furloughed workers as revenues dropped due to the ban on elective surgeries. Cuomo also says state and local governments will work regionally to re-open certain parts of the state based on the virus’ geographic spread.

“Let’s look at the numbers for that region on the COVID virus. Let’s look at the hospitalization rate — are we on the ascent, are we on the descent, are we on the plateau for that region?" says Cuomo. "[Let’s look at the] hospital capacity for that region, infection rate for that region, and then let’s be open to making a region-by-region determination.” 

 481 New Yorkers died of COVID-19 on Monday, an increase from Sunday. The state says hospitalizations related to the virus continue to decline. Governor Cuomo is heading to the White House for a meeting Tuesday afternoon as he seeks billions in federal aid and help with coronavirus testing. Cuomo said Tuesday morning that the meeting will focus on those issues. 

Cuomo, who conducted his briefing at the Roswell Park Cancer Center in Buffalo, says the meeting with Trump will focus on testing. The governor has been asking the federal government to step in and manage the national supply chain for testing materials; Cuomo says it’s something the states can’t do on their own.

The governor, who has alternately praised and berated the president in the past few weeks as the pandemic raged in New York, says he will try to find some middle ground.   

“Life is a fine line,” said Cuomo, who says he will “tell the truth” to the president.