New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Delaware are forming a regional consortium to reduce competition when purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE).

Why it matters: Cuomo and other governors have long complained that competition between states, private businesses and the federal government for critical coronavirus supplies has needlessly driven up prices in a time of emergency.

What he's saying: "The federal government was trying to buy it. I'm bidding on behalf of New York, we're bidding against other states — Texas, California, other states across the country trying to buy the same masks from the same vendor," he said. "We literally wound up bidding up the price."

  • Cuomo said New York alone has purchased $2 billion in medical equipment and supplies so far this year, and he denounced the system as "totally inefficient and ineffective."
  • "We're going to form a consortium with our seven Northeast partner states, which buy about $5 billion worth of equipment and supplies. That will then increase our market power when we're buying."
  • Cuomo said the consortium "will make us more competitive in the international marketplace, and I believe it will save taxpayers money. I also believe it will help us actually get the equipment because we have trouble still getting the equipment."

The big picture: New York has continued to see declining coronavirus cases and deaths since passing the peak of its outbreak, but Cuomo warned against complacency. The state reported 280 deaths over the last 24 hours, marking a slight drop from Saturday and the continuation of a downward trend.

Go deeper: New York releases preliminary coronavirus antibody test results

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Updated 15 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced all domestic pandemic restrictions will be lifted in New Zealand from midnight Monday except in Auckland, where they'll be eased late Wednesday.

The big picture: Ardern delayed the country's election until Oct. 17 as authorities work to stamp out a coronavirus cluster in Auckland, after the re-emergence of COVID-19. There have been single-digit or zero domestic cases in NZ's most populous city since the government reintroduced restrictions.

Aug 10, 2020 - Health

At least 48 local public health leaders have quit or been fired during pandemic

Former California public health director Dr. Sonia Angell on Feb. 27 in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

At least 48 local and state-level public health leaders have retired, resigned or been fired across 23 states since April, according to a review by the AP and Kaiser Health News.

Driving the news: California public health director Dr. Sonia Angell resigned on Sunday without explanation, a few days after the state fixed a delay in reporting coronavirus test results that had affected reopenings for schools and businesses, AP reports.

Updated Sep 20, 2020 - Health

7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Seven states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health departments. Wisconsin and Nebraska surpassed records set the previous week.

Why it matters: Problem spots are sticking in the Midwest, although the U.S. is moving in the right direction overall after massive infection spikes this summer.