Cuomo says he'll extend NY On PAUSE orders for 'many parts of the state' before they expire on May 15
Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave an update Monday on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in New York.
-Cuomo says the hospitalization rate is flat -- but notes that we want to see a steady and increasing decline, not flat. "When does that hospitalization rate get down to a truly manageable number?" he asks.
-Overall hospitalization rate is on the decline. Governor notes that New York still has 1,000 new COVID cases every day, says thats "down a tad."
-The new number of lives lost in past 24 hours in New York is 337 -- still "tragically high, but on the decline" Cuomo says.
-The governor discussed preliminary results of antibody testing, broken down by region. Long Island and New York City had the highest rates of infection detected across the state. "Upstate New York is a very different reality," the governor noted.
-On the topic of reopening, he signals May 15 is when some parts of the state could consider to "Un-PAUSE," referring to the the NY on PAUSE act -- but Cuomo says he will extend the orders for "many parts of the state." He says others could "make the case" for starting to look at reopening if they weren't as infected. He says certain criteria must be met - including the CDC guidelines on rates and coming up with plans for precautions to businesses to implement.
-Cuomo says it won't be like flicking a light switch -- says New York must "be smart" about it, or else the state will see a return to high infection rates.
-The governor discussed other considerations on reopening, including an effective tracing system to isolate and track cases. He also noted the impacts that future flu seasons could have while the state is also battling COVID and potential strains to the health care system.
-"We have to coordinate as a region," Cuomo stresses on the subject on reopening, noting that testing, tracing, transportation, schools and more need to be done in conjunction with regional partners.
-Cuomo says that attractions that open suddenly draw large amounts of people needlessly to an area must be avoided.
-Cuomo says as we start to "turn the valve" on reopening, the dials must be watched -- hospitalizations, diagnostic testing, anitibody testing and infection rates. "Turn that valve a little bit for a region, watch those four gauges closely," he says.
-Cuomo says he spoke to President Trump this morning on the subject of temporary health care facilities that the federal government helped construct. He says authorities are discussing the possibility of second wave of cases, or stressing the health system when the next flu season comes, and keeping those sites in place in case needed for those scenarios.
-Cuomo says they're looking at the possibility of leaving the facilities in place until we get through the fall flu season that starts in September. "Question mark on those facilities [on] when we take them down," he says, noting that Javits Center's hospital facility will be on hold until they assess the need.
-He thanked the Army Corps of Engineer and President Trump for getting the facilities in place.
-The state will be opening additional drive-thru testing sites this week as the it expands its testing capacity. He notes that people need to call first to make an appointment, with a priority on health care and front line workers.
-A survey will be done of New York City police and FDNY members -- 1,000 each -- to determine the rate of infection. "We want to know exactly where those front line workers are," Cuomo says on infection rates. The state will also do antibody testing on 3,000 health care workers and 1,000 transit workers.
-The state is seeing an increased demand on food banks in hard-hit areas, so the state will commit $25 million in emergency funding to help food banks. Cuomo is also calling on philanthropies to step up and help in this area.
-Some farm cooperatives upstate are forced to dump milk because the markets are roiled. "A total waste to me," Cuomo says, noting both the need for food downstate and farmers upstate who can't move product. "We have to make that marriage," and Cuomo says they'll launch a special initiative to do that, and will work state industries to buy the excess dairy products and will give it food banks.
-'We have to use this moment to reimagine and be smart and grow," Cuomo says on the topic of reopening in a smarter fashion.
-In particular, Cuomo notes that the health system was not ready for this public health emergency and that should be examined as the region reopens.
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