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New York governor delays US presidential primary

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Governor Andrew Cuomo has postponed New York’s presidential primary from April to June to keep people from gathering amid the state’s coronavirus outbreak.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has postponed New York's presidential primary from April to June to keep people from gathering – even to vote – amid the state's coronavirus outbreak.

With cases expected to mushroom toward a mid-to-late-April peak, nurses made anguished pleas today for more protective equipment and rebuffed officials' claims that supplies are adequate.

Gov Cuomo took a manual-pump air mask in hand to show what might lie in store if needed ventilators don't arrive.

https://twitter.com/NYGovCuomo/status/1243943483867627522

Primary delayed

Cuomo said he was delaying the state's presidential primary from April 28 to June 23, when the state plans to hold legislative congressional and local party primaries.

"I don't think it's wise to be bringing people to one location to vote," the Democrat said.

New York joins over a dozen states that have delayed some elections. A smaller group including Ohio, Georgia, Louisiana, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Indiana and Kentucky have also postponed their presidential primaries.

The governor's decision came as election commissioners across New York warned they were "risking" their health and safety to meet impending deadlines for testing machines and preparing ballots ahead of the April 28 date.

Local election boards have said they were facing shortages of polling places and inspectors and had called on legislative leaders and Gov Cuomo to allow for increased use of absentee balloting for quarantined individuals and greater flexibility for elections officials to run June elections.

https://twitter.com/NYCMayor/status/1243916115773964288

Nurses appeal for masks

At a news conference outside city-run Jacobi Hospital, nurses called for more masks and other gear to safeguard themselves against the virus that has so far sickened more than 52,000 people and killed over 700 in New York state, mostly in the city.

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At least one health care worker, Mount Sinai West assistant nursing manager Kious Kelly, 36, has died of the virus. Others also have fallen ill around the metropolitan region.

Jacobi nurses said managers at the Bronx hospital have been rationing protective equipment, making them unable to change out the high-end particle-filtering masks known as N95s as often as they should.

"We have a number of workers – two in this hospital, two nurses – fighting for their lives in the ICUs right now," pediatric nurse Sean Petty said, blaming a scarcity of equipment.

City officials have insisted there's enough protective equipment for roughly the next week, though they're worried for the weeks after.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city delivered 200,000 N95 masks to hospitals Friday, with 800,000 more to come Saturday, along with loads of less-protective surgical masks and other gear.

Manual air masks

As the state continues scrambling to try to amass 30,000 ventilators ahead of a projected mid-to-late-April peak in coronavirus cases, Gov Andrew Cuomo bluntly illustrated the alternative: masks with manually operated air bags.

He said the state has bought 3000 of them, has ordered 4000 more and is considering training National Guard personnel to operate them. It entails pumping the bulb-like bag by hand – 24 hours a day for every patient in need.

"If we have to turn to this device on any large-scale basis, that is not an acceptable situation," Gov Cuomo said, "so we go back to finding the ventilators".

The federal government has sent over 4000 ventilators to the state and New York City this week.

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Coronavirus: what you need to know

How is coronavirus transmitted?

The human coronavirus is only spread from someone infected with COVID-19 to another. This occurs through close contact with an infected person through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands or surfaces.

How can I protect myself and my family?

The World Health Organisation and NSW Health both recommend basic hygiene practices as the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus.

Good hygiene includes:

Reported with Associated Press.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/coronavirus-new-york-governor-delays-presidential-primary/523d0ee1-2133-4215-a1fc-19eeac1f8792

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