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Cuomo Orders Upstate Hospitals To Give Spare Ventilators To Overwhelmed Downstate Health Centers

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Office of N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Governor Andrew Cuomo holds a coronavirus briefing at the Jacob Javits Convention Center last week.

On the highest single day increase in coronavirus deaths and new hospitalizations in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo is mandating that upstate hospitals share their spare ventilators with downstate hospitals that are overwhelmed with dealing with COVID-19 patients and rapidly running out of the machines.

The governor says he understands why hospitals in parts of New York where there are fewer cases of coronavirus want to hold on to their spare ventilators for when cases spike. But he says the market for ventilators has “collapsed” and he’s now mandating, in an executive order, that the hospitals give up the machines, for now, to downstate hospitals.

“Those institutions will either get their ventilator back, or they will be reimbursed and paid for their ventilator,” Cuomo said. “So they can buy a new ventilator.”  

Cuomo says the National Guard will be coming to pick up the spare ventilators, which he believes number in the hundreds.

He says a new concern that has emerged, the virus is increasing on Long Island, which has fewer hospitals than the New York City metropolitan area. 

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Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.
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