ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that he’s extending his “PAUSE” order for another two weeks, through April 15.
The extension means all non-essential workers must work at home longer than first anticipated, all non-essential businesses continue to be shut down, and all non-essential gatherings are banned.
Cuomo also disclosed the state’s Wadsworth laboratory has developed a less intrusive test for COVID-19, one that uses saliva and a “short nasal swab." The test should be available next week, Cuomo said.
The governor said the new test should further increase the state’s ability to test large numbers of people and determine who’s safe to return to work.
“I think the answer’s going to be in testing,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo also disclosed that the rate of people requiring hospitalizations is now doubling every six days, a marked slowing from what it has been.
“The doubling rate is slowing, and that is good news, but the number of cases is still going up," he said.
The governor also said 165 people were put on ventilator units Saturday, a lower number than much of the last week.
And the number of people being discharged is increasing, the governor said.
But the number of deaths also went up Saturday, from 728 to 965. “We will continue to see the number of deaths increase," Cuomo said.
Cuomo said the state now has 76,000 retired nurses and doctors volunteering to help out during the crisis.
Cuomo warned again Sunday the state will need to make deep budget cuts, as it faces a $10 billion shortfall in revenue because of businesses being closed down.
“The big problem is how do you fund the schools, because the schools are the second biggest expense for the state after healthcare and that’s where we have zero dollars," he said.