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Coronavirus Update: Cuomo Signs Order Allow State To Redistribute Private Ventilators, PPEs To Combat Virus

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - New York has reached a grim milestone in its battle against the coronavirus.

There have now been 2,935 coronavirus-related deaths in the state, up from 2,373 Thursday. It's the largest single-day jump in deaths so far, up 562 in the last 24 hours.

In New York, there have now been:

  • 102,863 positive cases
  • 14,810 hospitalizations
  • 3,731 people in the ICU
  • 8,886 patients discharged

"You have more deaths, you have more people coming into hospitals than any other night," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "Also more people going out."

Cuomo said he's "very concerned" about the increase in cases on Long Island.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Cuomo thanked President Donald Trump and his administration for allowing the Javits Center to become a COVID-19 hospital.

"Frankly the federal agencies were not eager to do that. FEMA was not eager to do that. I called the president about it. I spoke to him yesterday morning. That afternoon, yesterday afternoon, the president called me back, said he spoke to the task force, they would grant the request to transition the Javits Center to COVID only. That adds 2,500 beds, so that is a very big deal. And I thank the president for doing it. He did it despite the fact the federal agencies were not eager to do it, and he did it quickly," Cuomo said.

Watch: Gov. Andrew Cuomo Gives Coronavirus Briefing 

Cuomo said the state is doing all it can to get ahold of ventilators, but still does not have enough.

"In truth, I don't think the federal stockpile has enough to help all the states," Cuomo said. "We're going to have to redeploy ventilators from across the system."


Cuomo said he's signing an executive order allowing the state to take ventilators and personal protective equipment - PPE - from institutions that don't need them now and redeploy them to those that do.

"Those institutions will either get their ventilator back or they will be reimbursed and paid for their ventilator so they can buy a new ventilator. I can't do anything more than that, but I'm not going to be in a position where people are dying and we have several hundred ventilators in our own state somewhere else," Cuomo said.

The National Guard will be deployed to pick up and redistribute the ventilators, Cuomo said.

Cuomo again said that companies need to be making PPE for medical personnel.

"We need companies to make the materials. It is unbelievable to me that in New York state, in the United States of America, we can't make these materials and that we are all shopping China to try to get these materials, and that we're all competing against each other. These are not complex materials. And we will work with New York manufacturers, we'll finance the transition necessary to make these materials," Cuomo said. "I understand there's a financial burden. We will address that and we will work with you."

Cuomo said that the state is broke and he will be working with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on legislation to help state budgets.

PHOTO GALLERY: A Look Inside NYC's Viral 'Warzone'

As far as guidance that New Yorkers should cover their faces, Cuomo said it "couldn't hurt."

"There's no data to support the effectiveness of facemasks," said Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.

"I think it's fair to say the masks couldn't hurt unless they give you a false sense of security," Cuomo said. "Could it hurt? Might it help? I think it's fair to say yes, but don't get a false sense of security that now you don't have to social distance and you don't have to take the normal precautions because you're wearing a bandana."

Cuomo said the state legislature has passed a modification to the state seal. In addition to saying the state's motto "Excelsior." meaning "ever upwards," they've added the phrase "E Pluribus Unum." meaning "out of many, one."

"It was good advice then, and it is even better advice today," Cuomo said.

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