New York will join six other Northeast states in forming a new regional supply chain to purchase medical supplies.
The newly-minted consortium includes New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
The agreement announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday will bolster buying power and reduce bidding wars for personal protective equipment as well as ventilators and testing supplies.
“It was totally inefficient and ineffective,” said Cuomo, who said he would try to secure supplies domestically whenever possible and weed out “irresponsible” vendors.
The participating states have collectively purchased $5 billion worth of equipment and supplies during the pandemic, Cuomo said.
“So let’s compare notes among the states to find out who is good to do business with and who is not good to do business with,” he said. “Let’s see if we can do the purchasing in this country and let’s see if we can do the purchasing in this region.”
The states will also coordinate policies guiding PPE inventory ahead of a possible second wave of the virus.
The seven states are the same that said they would pursue a regional approach when exploring a reopening strategy.
Cuomo also issued a new directive on Sunday requiring hospitals to maintain at least a 90-day supply of PPE equipment.
Deaths, new hospitalizations and intubations continue to decrease. The death toll stands at 19,189, including 280 New Yorkers who succumbed to the virus on Saturday.
Albany County announced a new death on Sunday, making the total number of deaths to 47. In Schenectady County, 28 residents have died, and Saratoga County, 14.
Schenectady County had 506 positive cases on Sunday, an increase of 80 over the same period last week.