ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — New York state will provide death benefits to families of front line workers whose deaths were the result of COVID-19.
“They showed up because I asked them to show up. They showed up because I required them to show up,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
It’s unclear where in the budget the money will come from. New York is expecting a $61 billion shortfall over the next four years.
“Anytime someone’s putting their life on the line, that needs to be recognized,” said Queensbury Nurse Shana Olson-Laake.
Olson-Laake provided relief at a Bronx-area hospital. She said the need for nurses wasn’t solely because of the number of patients flooding the hospitals, but because of the number of hospital staff becoming infected.
“When I got there, there was a nurse that just died that was a part of [the hospital’s] unit. They also lost a janitor,” Olson-Laake said.
Olson-Laake said people who go largely overlooked, like hospital’s housekeeping staff, should be included in the benefits as well.
Governor Cuomo also called for federal benefits for front line workers.