The state will provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer to New Yorkers free of charge in coronavirus impacted areas. To help combat price-gouging and ensure New Yorkers have access to this vital prevention method, the state will produce up to 100,000 gallons of hand sanitizer each week in 1.7 oz., 7 oz. and gallon bottles. The hand sanitizer will be made available to residents free of charge with distribution prioritized by the most impacted and high-risk communities and state agencies.
Of the 142 individuals in New York who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is:
Westchester: 98 (16 new cases)
New York City: 19 (7 new cases)
Nassau: 17 (12 new cases)
Rockland: 4 (2 new cases)
The state Department of Correctoons, through its correctional industries entity known as Corcraft, will produce an alcohol-based formula recognized by the World Health Organization. It has already begun production at Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Comstock, Washington County. Through this ongoing effort, the Department will be able to produce up to 100,000 gallons of hand sanitizer per week.
As the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus continues to rise, unscrupulous retailers are exploiting New Yorkers’ anxieties about the virus and charging exorbitant prices for hand sanitizer and other similar products, said Cuomo.
Reportedly, some retailers are charging approximately 10 times what major retailers charge for hand sanitizer. On eBay, a pack of five 2.5-ounce Germ-X hand sanitizer bottles were selling for $500. By comparison, two 30-ounce bottles of Germ-X were offered online by Walmart for less than $8.
Cuomo has announced Northwell Laboratories has been authorized to test under Wadsworth’s emergency use authorization. Manual testing of 75 to 80 samples per day has begun at Northwell, but automated testing still needs to be approved by the federal government so the lab can perform thousands of tests per day. Additionally, NY Presbyterian Hospital is ready to start running 50 to 60 tests daily once it receives federal approval for testing. Cuomo has urged the federal government to approve the use of the state’s coronavirus test by private labs, such as NY Presbyterian.