Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Photo: PxhereJAMESTOWN – While the COVID-19 pandemic has everyone on edge, expecting mothers represent one group that may have more concerns than others.Those pregnant, no doubt are questioning if the new virus poses a risk to the baby.In response, a COVID-19 maternity task force has been created in New York State to urgently protect mothers and ensure women have much needed safe birthing options.The task at hand will be to authorize and certify additional birth centers to expecting mothers during the pandemic and in hopes to ease the already stressed hospitals. It is spearheaded by the Secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa and the New York State Council on Women and Girls. The task force will also review the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy in the state.“This pandemic strained our hospital system in a way no one could have ever imagined, and while New York leads in ensuring laboring mothers were able to have a healthy partner, friend or family member with them during childbirth we can and should explore additional ways to make the experience less stressful,” said DeRosa.“Birth centers can serve as a safe alternative for low risk pregnancies, reliving the strain on hospitals and providing a supportive environment for mothers during an already stressful time.”The task force is expected to make recommendations to Gov. Andrew Cuomo by the end of the week. The location of these birth centers is yet to be announced. The task force will maintain an ad hoc status throughout the COVID-19 state of emergency to address any additional issues related to COVID-19 during pregnancy through the postpartum period.