Cuomo calls for creativity in manufacturing

Medical professionals suit up in personal protective equipment in order to administer a COVID-19 test to a patient at the Syracuse Community Health Center.

ALBANY (TNS) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is asking businesses in the state for help manufacturing more of the medical supplies that will be needed to confront the coronavirus in the weeks ahead.

Cuomo specifically mentioned items like masks, gloves and gowns during a press briefing today in Albany. He said the state would "pay a premium" for those products and also asked other businesses to adapt their operations to make the needed products if they can.

"If you can make them, we will give you the funding to do it," he said. "I'm asking businesses to get creative."

Any business interested in funding for setting up new operations to produce needed items should contact Empire State Development at (212) 803-3100. Companies that already make masks or other necessary supplies and want to sell them to the state should contact Cuomo's office at (646) 522-8477.

The state is also continuing its search for more ventilators. It's the key piece of equipment needed to fight coronavirus, which can cause serious respiratory illnesses in some people.

Cuomo said there are numerous health care facilities in the state that have ventilators on hand, but probably aren't actively using them right now. He said the Department of Health will order those sites to make the spare devices available to the state.

“We need those ventilators,” he said. “The ventilators are to this war what (munitions) were to World War II.”