Weekly top reads: Coronavirus in Cayuga County, Auburn-area businesses affected, NY COVID-19 coverage
The Citizen staff
The Citizen's top 10 most-read stories of the week.
What NY businesses are exempt from in-person workforce reduction order
To reduce density amid the coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday has ordered all employees of non-essential businesses to stay home, effective Sunday.
That's an increase from the restriction announced Thursday that non-essential businesses would be required to reduce their in-person workforce to no more than 25%. Earlier in the week, it had been set at 50%.
The orders led to an obvious question: What's considered an essential business?
The guidance provided by Empire State Development, the state's economic development arm, provides answers, as of Friday morning.
Some of these are government functions, such as law enforcement, fire prevention and response, building code enforcement, emergency management and response, and security. Other essential services, according to the state, include building cleaners or janitors, general maintenance employed by the entity or an outside vendor, automotive repair, disinfection and doormen.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a wide range of healthcare-related businesses that are considered essential: Hospitals, doctors and emergency dental care, elder care, nursing homes, residential health care facilities, congregate care facilities, emergency veterinary and livestock services, walk-in healthcare facilities, home health care workers and aides for elderly, research and laboratory services, medical wholesale and distribution and medical supplies and equipment providers.
Grocery stores, including all beverage and food stores, are considered essential services. Convenience stores, farmers markets, hardware and building materials stores and pharmacies are on the list. Bars and restaurants also make the cut, but are limited to delivery and takeout services. No dine-in customers can be served.
Food processors and manufacturing agents — which covers all food and beverages — are on the list. Manufacturers of the following are also considered essential: Chemicals; medical equipment and instruments; pharmaceuticals; sanitary products; telecommunications; microelectronics and semiconductors; and household paper products. Agribusinesses and farms are essential services.
The list covers everything from utilities — power generation, fuel supply and transmission — public water and wastewater entities. Telecommunications and data centers should remain open. Airlines and airports can continue operating in New York. Transportation infrastructure, such as bus and rail service, is considered essential. The essential transportation businesses include for-hire vehicles and garages. Hotels and places of accommodation have been added to the list.
Skilled trades, such as electricians and plumbers, are exempt from the requirement. Construction firms and other professionals for "essential infrastructure, emergency repair and safety purposes" are also considered essential.
Digital, newspapers, radio and television news outlets are essential businesses and not subject to the workforce reduction requirements.
Accounting services, banks, insurance agencies, payroll firms and services related to the financial markets have been identified as essential businesses.
Defense contractors and security-related operations supporting the U.S. government or a government contractor are exempt.
This covers an array of businesses, including animal shelters, auto repair shops, childcare services, mail and shipping companies, laundromats, funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries. Trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal is included, along with building cleaning and maintenance, storage for other essential businesses and warehouse, distribution and fulfillment.
The list includes food banks; homeless shelters and congregate care facilities; human services providers including the "direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; "care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; community shelters and other human services agencies providing direct care or support
Businesses that serve as vendors and support essential government services aren't subject to the workforce reduction requirement. Other exempt businesses include child care programs, government-owned or leased buildings, logistics and technology support for online services.
Companies can request an essential business designation by completing a form and returning it to Empire State Development.
Businesses that have one occupant or employee are exempt and don't need to submit a request, according to the agency's website.
If a business or organization has essential and non-essential services, then only the operations needed for the essential part of the entity are exempt.
Houses of worship aren't closed, but the state's recommendation is that services shouldn't be held.
Cayuga County has first confirmed case of coronavirus
AUBURN — A man who traveled to Cayuga County tested positive for the novel coronavirus — the first confirmed case in the county as the respiratory illness continues to spread across the state.
Kathleen Cuddy, director of the Cayuga County Health Department, said Wednesday that a man in his early 30s became ill and was screened by a health care professional on Saturday. He was tested for the coronavirus and placed under mandatory quarantine.
The health department was informed of the positive test result on Wednesday. The man is recovering and remains in mandatory isolation, Cuddy said.
Because the man isn't from Cayuga County, Cuddy explained that the health department needed to find "an appropriate place for the person to stay." The agency is also investigating to determine any contacts he had who may need to be quarantined and tested for the virus.
As COVID-19 spread across the state, there were reports of confirmed cases in surrounding counties. At least one Cayuga County resident who traveled to a high-risk country tested negative for the coronavirus.
The symptoms of COVID-19 include a cough, fever and shortness of breath. According to the World Health Organization, 80% of the people who contract the virus will experience mild symptoms and recover. The groups vulnerable to serious illness include seniors and individuals with chronic health conditions.
Until Wednesday, the coronavirus wasn't confirmed in Cayuga County. But in the two weeks since the first positive result in New York, the health department worked with other local government agencies to be ready for any confirmed cases.
"We are much more prepared and we have certainly learned from our colleagues around the state and our nation as well," Cuddy said.
Cuddy acknowledged that the first confirmed case of the coronavirus may cause anxiety for some Cayuga County residents. She urged them to practice social distancing, stay home and avoid public areas.
Cayuga County Legislature Chairwoman Aileen McNabb-Coleman, who declared a state of emergency and closed public schools on Saturday, also emphasized the need to practice social distancing.
"We understand that this has been and will continue to be difficult," she said. "But despite these trying times, it is important that we come together as a community, to support each other and not let the fear consume us. Above all, we need to remain calm, make sensible choices and protect ourselves and our community members."
McNabb-Coleman said she will sign an order Thursday morning to limit people from accessing the county office building. The county has already reduced its workforce — Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed local governments to reduce their workforce by 50% and allow nonessential employees to work from home — and any employees with underlying health conditions were sent home.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there are 2,382 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in New York state. The number is rising because the state's testing capacity has increased. Between Cuomo's press conference on Tuesday and his Wednesday briefing, there were 4,482 people tested for COVID-19.
With the increase in testing, the number of confirmed cases rose by 73% in a 24-hour period. There are 549 people who have been hospitalized and 108 people who have recovered after contracting the virus.
Before Cayuga County's announcement, there were confirmed cases in 33 counties and New York City.
"We wish there wasn't illness in our community," Cuddy said. "We always want people to have good health. That's what we do. We're about prevention. But we did anticipate this would occur. We are as prepared as any other community around us would be."
As state ban takes effect, Auburn-area businesses face uncertain future
New York state's ban on certain businesses during the coronavirus pandemic is less than a day old, but many in the Auburn area are already bracing for impact as they try to adapt.
The ban, announced early Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and enacted at 8 that night, applies to movie theaters, gyms and casinos outright. Bars and restaurants are limited to takeout services.
Businesses and other spaces not covered by the ban, including social gatherings, are limited to a capacity of 50 people.
Before the ban, gatherings of more than 500 people were prohibited and spaces with capacities of less than 500 were limited to 50% of that number. The state announced that rule Friday, and enacted it that night. Auburn Fire Department Duty Chief Mike Grady said Monday that the department made only one visit to enforce the capacity rule last weekend, to Parker's Grille & Tap House, and no penalty was issued.
Grady said he expects most businesses will voluntarily comply with the state's efforts to enforce social distancing in order to slow the pandemic.
"It's going to be difficult for everybody, but as long as we're all doing what we're supposed to be doing, we'll get through it," he said.
Monday, as the new ban was about to take effect, several Auburn bars and restaurants announced takeout and/or delivery services on social media, including Hunter Dinerant, Balloons, Kosta's and Gusto Italiano. All Cayuga County breweries and at least some wineries are offering takeout beverage sales as well. And chains with Auburn locations are doing the same through services like DoorDash and Uber Eats.
Other affected businesses are addressing the ban more creatively. For instance, Auburn Public Theater, which had to cancel or postpone all its programming for the next month at least, is livestreaming its Tuesday Nite Mic on Facebook Live tonight. And those with subscriptions to the Auburn location of Planet Fitness can now livestream free workout classes from their homes.
However, not every affected business in the area can keep its doors open. And one of them, Moondog's Lounge owner Lynn Stillman, is trying to anticipate the ripple effects of being closed for the near future.
Stillman said she closed the downtown Auburn bar and live music venue during the state's ban because while Moondog's serves food, that's not what drives business there.
Though Stillman also teaches at Casey Park Elementary for a living, she still doesn't expect Moondog's to survive more than a month without being open. She not only has to continue paying back loans she obtained to open the business, but also utility bills and rent to the building's owner, R&M Real Estate. Businesses also have to pay their New York state sales tax by March 20, she noted.
Stillman is hopeful the state will provide some sort of relief or extension on the sales tax. And like many, she's waiting to see what forms of assistance the government may provide to people and businesses as life effectively grinds to a halt during the pandemic. But she understands that she can't just stop paying people like R&M, she said, because they have bills to pay, too.
"It's a domino effect for everyone," she said. "I have sales tax money for the 20th, but then I won't have money to pay my vendors or my lease."
At Moondog's, that domino effect will hit a few people, Stillman said. She has four employees she can't pay. Tuesday, before she spoke to The Citizen, she had to send away her beer and liquor vendors with no business. And then there are the musicians. While many who perform at Moondog's and elsewhere in Auburn have day jobs, many others rely on the money they make from regular gigs, Stillman said.
Stillman said she hopes that when downtown Auburn is fully open for business again, it celebrates with an event like the music festival for Art Wenzel that packed the streets in 2016.
"We need a celebration like that whenever we get through this to boost downtown," she said. "If people follow the directives, we can get this under control as soon as possible."
NY to suspend mortgage payments, waive bank fees amid coronavirus outbreak
New York is requiring mortgage lenders to suspend payments and banks to waive fees as economic struggles mount during the coronavirus pandemic.
The state Department of Financial Services will direct lenders to provide 90 days of mortgage relief for homeowners affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the waivers would be based on financial hardship — individuals who are either working part-time or are no longer employed because of the public health crisis.
If mortgage payments are suspended, it won't negatively affect credit reports. A grace period will allow borrowers to modify loans, there will be no late or online payment fees and foreclosures will be postponed or suspended.
"This is a real-life benefit," Cuomo said Thursday. "People are under tremendous economic pressure. Making a mortgage payment can be one of the number one stressors. Eliminating that stressor for 90 days, I think, will go a long way. Again, we'll reassess as the situation goes on if that should be extended or not."
So far, no action has been taken to postpone or suspend rent payments. Renters' groups criticized Cuomo's announcement because it would benefit landlords, not tenants.
One group, Housing Justice For All, launched a petition urging Cuomo to suspend rent payments. In a tweet, they wrote that most New Yorkers rent, but property owners "got a bailout."
"If they aren't paying their mortgages, we shouldn't have to pay rent!" the group added.
Cuomo also directed the Department of Financial Services to order banks to waive late fees and overdraft charges. Fees for ATM withdrawals and credit cards will be waived, too.
The coronavirus outbreak has taken an economic toll. The stock market dropped nearly 10,000 points since last month. Some workers had their hours reduced or were laid off because of limits on businesses, especially bars and restaurants.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays
Senior hours: 8 to 9 a.m. daily for seniors 60 and older (beginning Sunday, March 22)
Item limits: Two per person of each of the following: all canned meats and proteins, butter, eggs, milk, ramen noodles/cups, Campbell's soup, dish liquid, hand soap, sanitizer, canned vegetables, bath tissue, rice, non-flavored water, disinfecting spray and sanitizing wipes.
Other: Delivery and curbside pickup available through Instacart. First responders and health care workers without a membership can shop from 8 to 9 a.m. Sundays.
Info: Call (315) 252-5300
Addresses: 343 Genesee St., Auburn; 72 Utica St., Port Byron; 8881 S. Seneca St., Weedsport; 133 Main St., Moravia; 2504 W. Main St., Cato; 1159 Route 5, Elbridge
Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Senior hours: 8 to 9 a.m. daily
Item limits: Three per person of any combination of sanitation products, including toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, soaps and baby wipes.
Hours: Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily except for Wednesdays
Senior hours: None at this time.
Item limits: None at this time.
Info: Call (315) 253-5621
Address: 1 E. Cayuga St., Moravia
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
Senior hours: None at this time.
Item limits: (Unavailable)
Info: Call (315) 497-1911
Addresses: 177 Cayuga St., Union Springs, and 8963 N. Seneca St., Weedsport
Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Senior hours: None at this time, but the store encourages seniors to shop between 7 and 8 in the morning.
Item limits: One per person on toilet paper at both stores; two per person on hamburger or hot dog rolls at the Weedsport store.
Info: Call the Union Springs store at (315) 889-5516 and the Weedsport store at (315) 834-3013
Tops Friendly Markets
Addresses: 352 Genesee St., Auburn; 227 E. Main St., Elbridge; and 40 Fennell St., Skaneateles
Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Senior hours: 6 to 7:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors 60 and older
Item limits: Two per person of each of the following: adult care, baby formula, baby wipes, bath tissue (18 roll pack or larger), big pack chicken, bleach (one container), cereal (four boxes), cleansing flushable wipes, commercial breads and rolls, cough and cold, diapers, disinfectant sprays, disinfectant wipes, eggs, facial tissue, flour (one package per customer; all brands, all sizes), four total gallons of water per customer (includes spring, distilled, purified or three-pack gallon water), fresh ground beef, pork, chicken and sausage, frozen vegetables (four bags), hand sanitizer, laundry detergent, liquid dish detergent, milk, multipack water (includes all brands), oatmeal, pain remedies, pasta sauce (four jars), peanut butter, rubbing alcohol, sanitary protection, sugar (one package per customer; all brands, all sizes), Tops stick butter quarters (16 ounces)
Other: Customers must wear face masks. The bulk bin section is closed temporarily; many of the products are available in prepackaged form. Delivery and curbside pickup available through Instacart.
Senior hours: None at this time. From Wegmans' website: "We do not recommend putting an entire population of highly susceptible people together in one location, at one time. Products arrive at each of our stores at different times throughout the day. Because of this, we cannot guarantee the availability of the key items these customers would be looking for. Lastly, there are many wonderful people and community services in every market who can serve as a resource for those who fall in these susceptible populations. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to monitor and adjust accordingly."
Item limits: One per person of each of the following: baby wipes, baby medication, diapers, packaged breads and rolls, bleach, laundry boosters and pre-treaters, disinfecting wipes, household cleaners, butter, eggs, milk, buttermilk and milk substitutes, frozen vegetables, boxed cereal, canned and packaged fruit, canned meat and beans, canned seafood, canned vegetables, flour or corn meal, hot cereal, juices, packaged dinners and entrees, packaged milk, packaged pasta, pasta sauce, peanut and other nut butters, rice, soups, sugar, sugar substitutes and corn syrup, water, allergy medications, anti-bacterial hand soaps, blood pressure monitors, health trackers, thermometers, vaporizers and humidifiers, cold and sinus items, cotton balls, pads and swabs, feminine hygiene items, first aid items, hand sanitizers, herbal supplements, homeopathic items, incontinence items, mouthwash, nutritional meal replacements (bars, shakes, powders), pain relief items, shaving items, sports medicine items, stomach relief items, toothpaste, vitamins, bacon, beef, chicken, ground meat, ham, lamb, pork, sausage, turkey, veal, bath tissue, facial tissue, paper towels, bananas (bunches), grapes, carrots, potatoes
Other: Customers must wear face masks.The following areas of the store are temporarily closed: self-serve areas in coffee, prepared foods, bakery and bulk foods, and the Market Café seating area. Delivery and curbside pickup available through Instacart. Shopper capacity limited to 15%-20% of maximum.
LIST: Cayuga County-area takeout, delivery, outdoor options during COVID-19
Below is a list of restaurants, bars and craft beverage producers in the Cayuga County area that are offering takeout and delivery services.
Notes: This list is updated regularly. Chain or franchise restaurants will be added by request. Additional delivery options through services like Uber Eats and DoorDash may also be available. To learn more about that, as well as hours of operation, menus and more, contact information for each business has been included below. If you have a business to add, or an edit to make, please email email@example.com.
3 Leaf Tea, 16 Genesee St., Auburn. Full menu for takeout. Call (315) 255-1022 or visit threeleaftea.com.
Angelo's Pizza, 25 E. Genesee St., Auburn. Food for takeout and delivery. Call (315) 252-7911.
Auburn Diner, 64 Columbus St., Auburn. Food for takeout and delivery. Call (315) 253-7375 or find the diner on Facebook.
Auburn Poultry and Barbecue, 11 York St., Auburn. Food for takeout. Call (315) 253-9705, visit auburnpoultry.com or find the business on Facebook.
Balloons Restaurant, 67 Washington St., Auburn. Food for takeout, delivery and curbside pickup. Call (315) 252-9761 or visit balloonsrestaurant.net.
Nino's Pizzeria, 8889 S. Seneca St., Weedsport. Food for takeout and delivery. Call (315) 834-6756.
Cuomo to NY businesses: 'Aggressively consider' closing due to coronavirus
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is asking New York businesses to allow employees to work from home and to consider voluntarily closing due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Cuomo said Sunday that he's had conversations with private businesses about efforts to reduce density — one part of the strategy to reduce the spread of the virus that's sickened at least 700 New Yorkers.
Other states and municipalities have ordered businesses to close due to the outbreak. So far, New York hasn't directed businesses to temporarily shut down.
"Depending on what businesses do, we could consider mandatory actions later on," Cuomo said.
The state has already banned mass gatherings of 500 people or more. Businesses with capacities of less than 500 are subject to an order requiring them to cut their maximum occupancy by 50%.
The governor directed nonessential state personnel in downstate New York — including and south of Rockland County — to work from home. That area is being targeted because it's where the most cases have been reported.
Coronavirus is also affecting the state court system. While essential services will be available, nonessential actions will be postponed.
As several counties declare states of emergency and close schools, Cuomo repeated his stance that it's "not easy" to temporarily shutter schools. His main concern is that a statewide action would create a childcare crisis for families. He also worries that if schools close, healthcare workers would need to stay at home to watch their children.
"Address the negatives of closing the schools, then yes, close the schools," he said.
Federal, state and local officials hope to limit the spread of the virus. So far, New York has 729 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. There are 137 people who have been hospitalized after contracting the virus.
As of Sunday, New York has the most confirmed cases in the country. More than 3,100 cases and over 60 deaths have been reported in the U.S.
Cuomo: NY to conduct drug trials for coronavirus treatment
New York will conduct trials for drugs that could be used to treat patients with the novel coronavirus who are seriously ill.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will send 10,000 doses of azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine to New York. Azithromycin is an antibiotic and hydroxychloroquine is used to treat malaria.
Cuomo spoke to President Donald Trump on Friday and expressed interest in conducting trials in New York.
"There is a theory that the drug treatment could be helpful," Cuomo said. "We have people who are in serious condition and (state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker) feels comfortable, as well as a number of other health professionals, that in a situation where a person is in dire circumstance, try what you can."
A limited study in France found that the combination of azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine could be effective in treating patients with the coronavirus. But Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned that the study wasn't a controlled trial.
Trump tweeted Saturday that the drugs could be "one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine." However, doctors and other health experts are concerned about the efficacy of the drugs and potential side effects. The side effects include vision problems, irregular heartbeat and sudden death.
New York will play a role in determining whether the combination of the antibiotic and anti-malaria drugs can be effective in treating the coronavirus. The state has the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. — 10,356, as of Saturday — and 1,603 people are hospitalized after contracting the virus.
The drug trials will be part of other New York efforts to identify treatments and vaccines for the coronavirus. Cuomo said researchers are working on a possible antibody therapy and vaccines. Regeneron, a New York-based company, is also working on a drug to treat COVID-19 that could be available soon for clinical trials.
Cuomo exempted Regeneron from his executive order requiring businesses to keep 100% of their workforce at home.
"They could possibly have a really significant achievement for us," he said.
UPDATE: Cuomo announced Sunday that the drug trials will begin Tuesday. The Food and Drug Administration will send 750,000 doses of chloroquine, 75,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine and 10,000 doses of Zithromax.
Cuomo now requiring NY employers keep 75% of workforce at home due to COVID-19
As the coronavirus outbreak continues, Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants New York employers to keep more workers at home.
"Again, voluntarily, I'm asking all businesses to have people work from home," he said. "As a mandate, 75% of your employee base must work from home."
Essential services — banks, grocery and food production, healthcare providers, media, pharmacies, shipping, warehousing and utilities — are exempt from the requirement, which takes effect Friday.
Cuomo has been encouraging businesses to adopt work-from-home policies as a way to reduce density during the coronavirus outbreak. Density reduction could help combat the spread of COVID-19.
The state has already ordered bars and restaurants to limit operations to carryout and delivery services. Casinos, gyms and movie theaters have been closed since Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Cuomo ordered amusement parks, bowling alleys and the indoor portions of shopping malls to close until further notice. Mall stores with exterior entrances may remain open.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New York continues to rise as more tests are processed. According to Cuomo's office, 22,284 people have been tested for COVID-19. There are 4,152 positive cases in New York, up from 2,382 on Wednesday. The hospitalization rate is 19%, with 777 people hospitalized due to the virus.
New York has the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country. Washington has the second-most with 1,182 cases — nearly 3,000 fewer than New York.
As the numbers increase, Cuomo reminded New Yorkers that it's not an actual count of the cases in the state. He estimated that there are "thousands and thousands" of people who have the virus but haven't been tested. He said there could be just as many people who had the virus and it resolved before testing commenced.
"We're still testing because you want to find those positive cases, track them down, isolate people and stop the spread," he said.
Cuomo mandates NY businesses keep some workers at home during coronavirus outbreak
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is mandating businesses to keep at least half of their workforces at home in an attempt to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Cuomo on Wednesday issued an executive order to require that no more than 50% of a company's employees can report for work outside of their homes. Essential services, such as banks, grocery and food production, healthcare providers, media, pharmacies, shipping, warehousing and utilities, are exempt from the mandate.
The order takes effect on Friday, March 20.
There has already been a statewide shutdown of casinos, gyms and movie theaters. Bars and restaurants are closed for dine-in customers, but can be open for carryout and delivery services.
At a press conference in Albany, Cuomo acknowledged the effect of the coronavirus outbreak on the national and state economies. However, he believes the focus needs to be on the growing public health crisis.
"Once we get past that, then we'll deal with the economic crisis," he said.
The latest executive action comes as confirmed coronavirus cases in New York increased by 73% and the number of hospitalizations doubled since Tuesday. The spike in confirmed cases is largely due to the testing being conducted by state and private laboratories.
Between the governor's last update Tuesday and the press briefing Wednesday, New York labs tested 4,482 people. Since the start started testing for the coronavirus, samples have been collected from 14,597 people.
With a rise in hospitalizations, hospital capacity remains a concern. New York has 53,000 hospital beds and 3,000 beds in intensive care units. Cuomo on Tuesday revealed projections that show COVID-19 won't peak in New York for another 45 days and as many as 110,000 beds and 37,000 ICU beds will be needed to care for the patients who contract the virus.
Cuomo said he had a phone call with hospital administrators on Tuesday and the state is waiving health department regulations. Temporarily halting the regulations will allow the hospitals to expand capacity. The state is also seeking to add medical staff, including asking retired doctors and nurses to temporarily return to work.
The federal government is assisting the state with its plan to expand hospital capacity. Cuomo said he had a conversation with President Donald Trump about the state's needs.
Trump is sending the USNS Comfort, a U.S. Navy hospital ship, to New York. After requesting the Army Corps of Engineers' help with setting up temporary hospitals, Cuomo said he will meet with the agency Wednesday. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is also providing assistance to the state.
"We can't build new hospitals in 45 days," Cuomo said. "The federal government can be extremely helpful here, and we need the federal government's help."