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Gov. Cuomo encouraging sports teams to plan on reopening without fans in stands

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that he is encouraging major sports teams to plan on reopening without fans in the stands but with televised events.

News 12 Staff

May 18, 2020, 2:52 PM

Updated 1,520 days ago


Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that he is encouraging major sports teams to plan on reopening without fans in the stands but with televised events.
He said New York is a “ready, willing and able partner” to make that happen.
“Personal disclosure — I want to watch the Buffalo Bills,” Cuomo said, but he added that he has “no personal agenda” in the effort, saying, “I think this is in the best interest of all the people and the best interest of the state of New York.”
Cuomo noted that some teams rely more on stadium income or television income, but said “if the numbers work” for each sport to come back, the state will work to help.
“They have to make their own economic decision, whether that economic model works for them — can you do hockey without fans, can you do baseball without fans, can you do football without fans? They have to make that decision, but any way we can help, we will help," Cuomo said. "And then they’ll be up and running -- and then when we can fill a stadium again, we can fill a stadium.”
Cuomo acknowledged that it wouldn't be the same as physically going to game or watching a game in bar, but said that getting sports back is a first step. He joked that he’s been watching reruns of old games.
Over the weekend, the governor announced that horse and car racetracks could reopen without fans beginning June 1 in New York, including Belmont Park.
The discussion of sporting events at Monday’s news briefing came as hospitalizations, intubations and new cases all continued to go down in New York. There were 106 new deaths to report in the past 24 hours.
The governor said that five regions of New York have met the criteria required to begin Phase 1 of reopening. Those regions do not include Long Island, New York City or the Hudson Valley.
-The governor references the COVID-19 test he took during Sunday's press conference -- he says his test was negative. "There's no reason why people shouldn't be getting testing," Cuomo says, adding that the state has expanded test eligibility to anyone with symptoms, or who was exposed to a person with the virus.
-On daily numbers, Cuomo says hospitalizations, intubations and new cases are all down in New York today. Daily deaths are also down, at 106 in the last 24 hours. 
-One of the state’s top priorities is protecting nursing home residents who are particularly vulnerable to the virus, Cuomo says. Last week, NY rolled out requirements that all nursing home staff be tested twice per week. To help facilities meet the requirement, the state is connecting them with labs that have reserved at least 35,000 tests per day for this effort. The state is also sending 320,000 test kits to facilities to get them started, Cuomo says.
-Cuomo says the nursing home policies are the "most aggressive in the nation" and they "are necessary."
-On reopening, Cuomo says five New York regions have now met the criteria required to reopen. 
-Cuomo says he's been encouraging major sports franchises to plan on reopening without fans, with televised events. He says New York will help.
-Cuomo mentions two international experts who are advising New York on its response, one of whom joined the press conference remotely -- Dr. Samir Bhatt, a senior lecturer at Imperial College in London, on case projections. 
-Dr. Bhatt says New York is not out of the woods yet -- nor is any country. He his a team at the college is working on data-driven COVID-19 projections.
-On reopening, Cuomo says what we do now will impact the rate of infection.
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