Did Gov. Andrew Cuomo help during the Covid-19 pandemic?


  1. On March 7, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state disaster emergency to address the Coronavirus threat after a cluster broke out in New Rochelle (Citylimits)
  2. On March 2, Cuomo announced the Wadsworth Center laboratory and the state’s Department of Health would be working with hospitals to expand surge testing capacity to 1,000 tests per day statewide for the novel coronavirus (Citylimits)
  3. Cuomo said he had directed the State Department of Financial Services to require New York health insurers to waive cost sharing associated with testing for novel Coronavirus including emergency room, urgent care and office visits (Citylimits)
  4. On March 3, Cuomo signed into law a $40 million emergency management authorization for the state’s coronavirus response which will allow for additional staffing, procuring equipment and any other necessary resources (Citylimits)
  5. On March 7, Executive Order 202, Cuomo declared a state disaster emergency to begin emergency response to contain the spread of the virus. New York State had 89 confirmed cases (Citylimits)
  6. On March 10, Cuomo announced new protocols in place for the growing cluster in New Rochelle in Westchester County under the advisement of the state’s Department of Health, which included closing schools, houses of worship and other large gathering facilities within a one-mile radius in New Rochelle for a two-week period (Citylimits)
  7. On March 11, the state and city cancelled the 259th St. Patrick Day parade until further notice. The state said it would guarantee two full weeks of paid leave for all state workers regardless of civil service classification, bargaining unit, and regardless of part time or accrual status (Citylimits)
  8. On March 14, with executive order 202.2, the state announced the State Department of Financial Services will require insurance companies to waive co-pays for telehealth visits to ultimately reduce the strain on the healthcare system and prevent further spread of the virus (Citylimits)
  9. On March 16, Cuomo signed executive orders 202.3 and 202.4 allowing the state to increase hospital capacity to prepare the state’s healthcare system for an influx of patients. The state would also partner with the National Guard and building unions and private developers to find existing facilities — such as dormitories and former nursing homes — that can most easily be converted to medical facilities, with the goal of creating an additional 9,000 beds (Citylimits)
  10. March 19: Cuomo signed executive orders 202.5;202.6 and 202.7 mandating a decrease in-office workforce by 75%. The following essential service industries were exempt: shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions, and other industries critical to the supply chain (Citylimits)
  11. On March 20, Cuomo also signed an executive order “New York State on PAUSE,” to implement a 10-point policy, rules for vulnerable ageing groups to follow and a 90-day moratorium on all commercial and residential evictions for all New Yorkers (Citylimits)

There has been some discussion over whether Cuomo’s decision to not introduce a “shelter-in-place” order in New York City, after recommendations by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio in mid-March (NBC News), was negative or positive.

Some argue that this delay allowed more time for the virus to spread both in- and outside the city, while others argue that the move would have encouraged a mass-exodus of the city, potentially spreading the virus further and sooner.

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