There are now more than 420 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, with more than 90 percent afflicting the city and surrounding counties, the governor's office said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday afternoon that the state is partnering with Bio Reference laboratories to run an additional 5,000 tests for the novel coronavirus, in addition to testing done at 28 private and public labs.
As he has cautioned throughout the crisis, Cuomo noted that as more tests are conducted the numbers of infected people will increase. While rising infection numbers are disconcerting, the more data state officials gather, the more able they are to reduce the spread of the virus.
Cuomo placed the total number of positive COVID-19 tests in the state at 421 Friday, including 158 in Westchester County; 154 in New York City; 51 in Nassau; 28 in Suffolk.
Cuomo directed his final statement at the Friday news conference to healthcare workers.
"In times of crisis, we tend to see what people are made of," Cuomo added. "Today we are seeing the best. I truly respect and am grateful for the incredible healtcare professionals throughout New York State and their selfless work."
He also announced a number of orders to relieve financial strain on people unable to work as concern of the virus causes an economic downturn.
The state is waiving the 7-day waiting period for unemployment insurance for people laid off due to the virus and the Department of Public Service has directed utilities not to cut off service to people not paying their bills as a result of the situation.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday morning that the city would offer help to anyone receiving eviction notices for not paying rent as a result of lost wages due to the pandemic.
Photo: Getty Images