Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order on Wednesday that will provide coronavirus testing for pregnant women and create more options for women giving birth.
The COVID-19 Maternity Task Force, led by Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, issued a report outlining ways that the state could open up new facitlities as birthing site options, extend the time a healthy person can accompany a woman post delivery and mandate coronavirus testing of all pregnant women and their partners.
"COVID-19 has caused enormous stress for women and expecting parents who are preparing to bring a child into this world in the midst of this global pandemic," DeRosa said. "The policies being advanced today will be implemented immediately to address the very valid fears and concerns that so many women are now facing, and to address issues that impact pregnancy and infants."
With the hospital system already stressed, the governor will allow for birthing sites to be established, operated by currently licensed birthing hospitals and centers. It will also allow doulas and midwives to assist pregnant women in the hospital.
Also, many hospitals were requiring partners to leave two hours after the birth of a child, which was especially hard on women going through a C-section. These new regulations would allow for a support person to stay with the mother.
The Health Department will also be working with the University at Albany School of Public Health Maternal & Child Health Program to study the impact COVID-19 has had on pregnant women and will look at decreasing racial disparity when it comes to maternal care.