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Cuomo orders upstate hospitals to give spare ventilators to downstate health centers

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 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.  His order came Friday, which saw  the highest single-day increase in coronavirus deaths and new hospitalizations in New York.
Governor Andrew Cuomo - FILE PHOTO
  • FILE PHOTO
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo

The governor said 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 said 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 said the National Guard will be coming to pick up the spare ventilators, which he believes number in the hundreds.

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

Karen DeWitt is Albany correspondent for WXXI News.