ALBANY – All nonessential state employees throughout the state were directed to work from home starting Tuesday as part of the state’s ongoing response to COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
Cuomo also directed local governments to reduce their workforces by 50 percent and allow nonessential employees there to work from home, as well.
The governor then moved toward working to create 9,000 additional hospital beds, in current facilities and at other sites retrofitted for the purpose.
Finally, Cuomo also announced that park fees at state, local and county parks will be waived to allow families to get outside, while still remaining a distance from others.
Regarding the hospital beds, the state is attempting to prepare for a wave of COVID-19 patients expected in the coming days and weeks.
To add beds, the state is to organize the National Guard and work with building unions and private developers to find existing facilities, such as dorms or former nursing homes. Such spaces are believed to be most easily converted to medical facilities.
The governor also asked local governments to identify available facilities for the purpose.
“Our main priority right now is reducing the rate of spread of this virus so it can be managed by our healthcare system,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We have never fought a virus like this with this potential consequence, and I am taking executive action to reconfigure and increase capacity at hospitals across the state to ensure our healthcare facilities can handle a potentially massive surge of patients.
“We are fighting a war against this virus and the state will continue taking every step necessary to prepare for and mitigate the impacts of this virus,” Cuomo said.
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