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NYS investigating 100 cases of rare illness in children that may be related to COVID-19

Two boys, ages 5 and 7 and an 18-year-old girl have now died from the inflammatory disease.
Credit: AP
In this April 24, 2020 photo provided by the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Gov. Cuomo addresses the media while holding an n95 mask during his daily press briefing on COVID-19, Coronavirus, at the State Capitol in Albany, N.Y. The mask was sent to the governor by a retired farmer from Kansas whose wife only has one lung. (Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP)

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Governor Andrew Cuomo Tuesday says the state is now looking into 100 cases of a rare illness in children that may be related to the COVID-19 virus.

Three children, five and  seven-year-old boys, as well as an 18-year old girl, have died from the disease, similar to Kawasaki disease or toxic shock syndrome and involves an inflammation of the blood vessels.

Cuomo also said the rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations and intubations continue to trend down. However, an 195 additional people died from the virus on Monday. That's up from 161 who lost their lives on Sunday.

The governor also said he is hearing from some nursing homes who consider his action ordering all patients and workers get tested twice a week for the virus unecessary and burdensome. Cuomo said he doesn't agree and is willing to work with any facility who say they can't test twice a week. When asked about any employee who might refuse to take a test, acknowledging he was unsure of the legalities, responded, "I would say personally that person shouldn't work there".

The governor once again restated the criteria needed for each region in the state to begin the re-opening process, likening it to turning on and off a valve. He said each regional control group will monitor its own valve and when the gauge turns red, you turn off the valve.

Cuomo also said the National Governors Association, of which he is vice-chair, will issue a joint statement Tuesday calling on the federal government to provide states with funding needed to close massive budget gaps caused by the pandemic.

Cuomo also commented on the dozens and dozens of masks that have been sent to him, including a Buffalo Bills mask and those featuring the logos of other sports teams. He talked about a conversation he had over the weekend with someone not wearing a mask that he and his daughter ran into while walking the family dog, acknowledging that the exchange got a little heated.

He said Tuesday he wished he had said to that person at the time, "Any mask, even if it says nothing, makes a statement. It says, I respect you, I respect your health, and I respect your privacy."