Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at a news conference today announced that health care providers in Westchester County can resume elective surgeries and ambulatory care.
Those services were banned when the COVID-19 outbreak was spreading in order to devote necessary medical resources to handling the flood of COVID-19 patients entering hospitals. The resumption of elective surgeries now has been authorized in 49 New York counties. Putnam, Dutchess, Orange and Sullivan previously had received the OK for elective surgeries to resume.
Cuomo also announced that horse racing tracks throughout the state and the Watkins Glen International Racetrack will be allowed to open on June 1. However, the public will not be permitted to attend any events that are staged at the tracks. Cuomo said that the state will issue guidance on how the racetracks can open safely reopen in the coming week.
“The numbers have been steadily decreasing and we’re now right about where we were when we started, but we want to make sure we don’t go back to the hell that we’ve gone through,” Cuomo said.”We have a smart phased reopening plan that has been reviewed by experts, and half of the state is in the process of reopening.”
Cuomo called on the U.S. Senate to pass the coronavirus relief bill that was approved by the House of Representatives last night. The bill includes $500 billion for states and $375 billion for local governments.
It also provides Medicaid funding for the most vulnerable, increased SNAP food assistance, 100% FEMA federal assistance instead of making states pick up 25% of FEMA’s costs on projects, funding for COVID-19 testing and a repeal of SALT to again make it possible to deduct state and local taxes on federal income tax returns.
Statewide there have been a total of 22,478 COVID-19 deaths according to statistics obtained this afternoon from the state Department of Health. Deaths in Westchester total 1,398. Rockland saw 474 of its residents fall victim to the virus. After three straight days of no new deaths, there was one yesterday in Putnam bringing the total there to 59. There have been 342 deaths recorded in Orange County and 126 in Dutchess.
New York has had 348,232 people test positive for the virus. There were 32,097 cases identified in Westchester, 12,688 in Rockland, 1,127 in Putnam, 9,879 in Orange and 3,527 in Dutchess.