Albany, N.Y. - During his Sunday afternoon press briefing on COVID-19, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced 207 more people died in New York State due to coronavirus on Saturday.
The total number of deaths in the state now stands at 21,477.
Cuomo says the 207 deaths are down from 226 on Friday. There were 216 on Thursday, 231 on Wednesday, 232 on Tuesday, and 230 on Monday.
Governor Cuomo says new mandates have now been instituted across the state to help cut down on the number of deaths due to COVID-19 in nursing homes.
Cuomo says all nursing home staff must now be tested twice a week, "That's not just a temperature check, that is a diagnostic test. We have the tests available, we have brought them online, the state has more testing capacity than any state in the country. They have to test their staff twice a week. That is a rule."
Also, hospitals cannot discharge a patient to a nursing home unless that patient tests negative for COVID-19.
Cuomo says if a nursing home cannot provide the appropriate care of COVID-19 patients, they must call the Department of Health and get that resident into an appropriate facility, "If a nursing home operator does not follow these procedures, they will lose their license. Well that's harsh? No, harsh is having a nursing home resident who doesn't get the appropriate care, that's what's harsh.."
As far as the issue with children with COVID-19, Governor Cuomo says New York State is now investigating a total of 85 cases of a covert related illness among children, up from 72 he announced on Saturday, "Mostly toddler to elementary schools. It's symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease in Toxic Shock Syndrome, this does not present as a normal COVID case, COVID cases tend to be respiratory. This presents as an inflammation of the blood vessels, sometimes inflammation of the heart. It's possible that these cases were coming in and we're not diagnosed as related to COVID because they don't appear as COVID."
Cuomo says two more child deaths are currently under investigation possibly related to the same situation.
Cuomo says the New York State Department of Health is going to notify every other state's department of health to put them on notice of this, "We recently found this and are investigating it, but it may be possible and it may be even probable that this is a situation that exists in other states and we want to make sure that they are aware of it."