Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren, Dr. Peter Micholas, and a group of private citizens are going to open the first South Fork testing site for the COVID-19 virus and they expect it up and running in a matter of days, the mayor said today. Warren has not yet divulged the location, but said the address is a convenient locale within village limits. A phone number for appointments will be operational in a day or so. The facility will accept insurance, but it will provide tests free to anyone in need, the mayor said.
Lowest Death Rate Since April 1
The number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in New York State is down almost 25 percent since last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo said at his daily briefing earlier today. More pertinent, the number of deaths recorded in a 24-hour period continued a gradual descent. The state death toll now stands at 16,162, with 422 recorded in the last day, the lowest single day total since April 1.
Funding for ‘Hot Spots’
Senator Charles Schumer announced earlier this week that hospitals and health care providers in the state will receive $4.3 billion of an extra $10 billion allocated for designated coronavirus “hot spots,” like those across New York City and on Long Island.
The funding comes from the CARES Act to help the strain the virus has put on the health care system. The senator said in a statement on April 22 that New York hospitals and providers have reported losing hundreds of millions of dollars per month from cancelled elective procedures to increased spending on supplies and equipment to handle COVID-19 patients.
Schumer said he pushed the Trump administration to allocate funding for “hot spots,” the harder hit health care systems. “These costs obviously do not exist evenly across the country, and it is therefore crucial that subsequent rounds of funding provide an adjustment for hot spots like New York,” he said.
“The lion’s share of hot spot funds — more than $4 billion dollars — are on the way to New York right now, and we sure need them,” the senator said. “Our hospitals and providers have been the vanguard in the fight against the coronavirus. And these critical dollars will help keep the fight against the virus going strong.”
School Not Over Yet
The remaining two months of the school year hang precariously but have not been canceled yet, though Cuomo’s PAUSE law will keep them shuttered until May 15.
Though New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City schools will remain closed for the rest of the semester, Cuomo said he hasn’t made a final decision yet.