Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a State of Emergency, effective Saturday, March 7, as health officials have discovered 32 more COVID-19 virus cases.
As of Saturday afternoon, the number of known novel coronavirus cases increased to 11 in New York City and 76 across New York State.
“With this order, the state will be able to help local health departments that are stressed by getting them all the tools they need to contain the virus spread,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Declaring a state of emergency will free up $30 million to help the state deal with the rising cases of coronavirus in New York State. It will also allow health professionals other than doctors and nurses to administer testing for the virus and EMS personnel to transport COVID-19 patients to quarantine locations other than hospitals.
New Yorkers can visit the website of the state health department here for up-to-date information on how the state is handling the disease.
Cuomo's order also came with a directive to the State Department of Consumer Protection to investigate reports of price gouging of products like cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer. New Yorkers who suspect price gouging are encouraged to call 1-800-697-1220 to file a report.
The novel coronavirus was first detected this past December in Wuhan, China. There are over 100,000 confirmed cases of the disease across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. China has blamed more than 3,000 deaths on the virus.
American health officials are monitoring quarantines around the country. They have cautioned a concerned public that a major factor in the apparent rapid increase in COVID-19 cases is due to a new emphasis on screening for the disease.
As of Friday, March 6, there were 17 deaths in the U.S. blamed on the virus.