ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — There are now more than 30,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York State. And to help slow the spread, thousands of extra healthcare workers have stepped up to the plate.
Currently, 40,000 people have signed up to be part of the state’s healthcare surge team. That includes more than 16,000 registered nurses.
“You need staff understanding that some staff is going to get sick, and they’re going to be out,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “So we have been working on putting together a surge healthcare force.”
The team will be made up of retired medical professionals or doctors and nurses who aren’t currently practicing in a direct care capacity. The Governor said those who have signed up could be put on possible reserve duty.
“Forty thousand people have signed up,” he said. “That is a big big deal because you can create beds. You can find the equipment. You have to have the staff.”
Also announced Wednesday were the more than 6,000 mental health professionals who have registered to provide free mental health services. Anyone can call the hotline 1-844-863-9314 to schedule a free appointment.
“We’re all concerned about the immediate critical need — the life and death of the immediate situation, which is right — but don’t underestimate the emotional trauma that people are feeling and the emotional health issues,” Cuomo said.
The Governor said the apex of the virus where we see the most strain on the healthcare system could be in 21 days.