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Cuomo: New York a microcosm of U.S. as Covid-19 battle affects urban to rural

As coronavirus sweeps across New York State, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday the state's response will be "illustrative for the nation."

"It's not just urban, it’s suburban and rural," Cuomo said of New York. "In many ways, New York State is a microcosm of the United States."

Cuomo uses a color-coded map of New York State during his daily briefings to show which counties had residents who tested positive for Covid-19 cases and those that did not.

On Thursday morning, for the first time, the map was entirely blue, as the virus spread to all of the state's 62 counties.

The state as of Thursday morning had 92,381 cases, a daily increase of 8,669. New York State deaths totaled 2,373, which is an increase of 432 from Wednesday. Hospitalizations increased by 1,159 to 13,383, with the total in intensive care 3,396.

Cuomo said the state has surveyed the total amount of equipment – ventilators and personal protective equipment – across all hospitals in the state. He said the state knows where all the ventilators are in New York, and that the state still needs more.

The governor said the state is building its own stockpile of equipment and ventilators, with equipment distributed "to meet the need."

He said the state had 2,200 ventilators in its stockpile, and that 350 people come in each night looking for a ventilator. "Twenty-two hundred disappears very quickly," he said.

When questioned regarding federal supplies of ventilators, he said, "I don't think the federal government is in a position to provide ventilators to the extent that the nation needs them."

Cuomo also made a plea to New York businesses to help build the stockpile of personal protective equipment, which includes masks and other health care gear, particularly because many of the products are being shopped for in China by many different entities.

"If you are a manufacturer who can convert to make these products and make them quickly, we will purchase them, and we will pay a premium," Cuomo said.

Cuomo said the state would also assist in the costs that businesses incur updating their facilities. "Please contact us," the governor said. "We’ll work with you. We’ll work with you quickly. We’ll finance what you need in terms of transitioning."

Cuomo asked interested businesses to contact Empire State Development at 212-803-3100 and covid19supplies@esd.ny.gov.

Cuomo mentioned that some hospital workers had been shifted from "less impacted" upstate hospitals to those in need downstate.

He also lauded the 21,000 out-of-state health care workers who have come to metropolitan New York City to assist in fighting the virus. He said there have been a total of 85,400 volunteer health care workers.

“These are beautiful and generous people," he said, "and New Yorkers will return the favor."

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