ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday order all businesses in the state to reduce their out-of-home workforce by 50 percent in latest measure to stem the spread of coronavirus in the state.
Meanwhile, Cuomo also announced that the federal government is sending a hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, to New York City to help with the medical response to the crisis and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now working to create more hospital space for the expected surge of patients.
Cuomo’s Wednesday business order means that no business can have more than 50 percent of its workforce work outside the home.
Essential services like food, pharmacies, healthcare, shopping and supplies are exempt.
Regarding the ship, the USNS Comfort has about 1,000 rooms on it and will be moored in New York Harbor, Cuomo said.
The Army Corps will start work on efforts to convert space in other buildings to hospital beds in anticipation of the patient surge.
Meanwhile, Cuomo also updated the case count across the state. A total of 2,382 have tested positive in New York for the virus, a jump of 1,008 from Tuesday. Cuomo has said increased positives will come with increased testing.
Of those statewide cases, 23 percent have required hospitalization, a percentage Cuomo has emphasized as the total number of cases continue to increase.
State numbers had Albany County at 36 cases, up 13. Updated county numbers Wednesday placed Albany County’s count at 41.
State numbers also had Saratoga County at 14, up 5 cases from state numbers Tuesday. Updated Schenectady County numbers weren’t immediately available.
Total tests administered stood Wednesday at 14,597, up from 4,482.
Deaths in New York due to coronavirus also jumped to 20.