Gov. Cuomo: NY ski resorts can reopen at 50% capacity beginning Nov. 6
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that New York's ski resorts can reopen at 50% of their indoor capacity beginning Nov. 6.
Skiers must follow safety guidelines, including social distancing and mask-wearing when not skiing. There are also rules on gondolas, which must be ridden by members of the same party, and ski instruction classes, which cannot be attended by more than 10 people.
The announcement came during the governor's Sunday press briefing, during which he called on the federal government to issue guidance on vaccines. As research continues on several potential vaccines, Cuomo noted that a vaccination could arrive in just weeks. He warned that it's a massive undertaking and he predicted it could pose logistically the biggest challenges that the COVID-19 crisis has posed so far.
He called on the federal government to answer multiple specific questions, including how it intends to allocate vaccinations to the states -- by population, or by infection rate, for example -- and how it will prioritize dosage to at-risk groups.
-Cuomo says the issues NY faces this fall are viral increase and COVID fatigue -- people who are sick of living through the crisis/letting guards down.
-Cuomo referenced the micro-cluster strategy, discussed in Saturday briefing, which involves targeting restrictions to refined areas of neighborhoods in an effort to contain clusters without disrupting wider regional areas.
-The governor discusses the Vaccine Administration Program, dubbed "VAP." He says NY will have a statewide vaccination plan in conjunction with the federal government.
-Cuomo says an independent clinical advisory task force will review every COVID vaccine that is authorized by the federal government and will advise the state on vaccines' effectiveness and safety.
-The governor says NY doesn't know how many doses of which vaccine it will get but says they will be distributed to those most at risk and front line workers.
-However, Cuomo underscores that "states cannot do this on their own." He says vaccinations will be a "massive undertaking," and predicts it will be larger and more complicated undertaking than COVID's other challenges so far. "We need the federal government to be a competent partner with this state, and with every state," he says.
-Cuomo notes that the state has done 12 million tests so far, and says testing has been by far the biggest challenge of the COVID-19 crisis' many challenges. He says 40 million vaccine doses will be a much bigger challenge.
-The National Governors Association is releasing a list of 36 questions that U.S. governors are posing to the White House, including -- how will the vaccine be allocated to the states (by population, by COVID infections, etc.)? Will the federal government be prioritizing doses (ie to seniors, etc, first)? And who is going to pay to do this?
-Cuomo notes that there is talk of a vaccine as early as December, and notes that it's a massive undertaking that could be upon us in just a few weeks.
-Cuomo says the devil is in the details, and the state needs to know how it will be done -- how will 40 million people be vaccinated in New York? He says the president has left handling the crisis up to states and governments.
-On the numbers: there were 7 deaths in New York. On infection rates in red zones, Cuomo says 'by and large, we've made progress' but also notes that we're seeing 'weekend numbers.'
-On skiing - Cuomo says New York's ski resorts will be permitted to open at 50% indoor capacity beginning Nov. 6. There are restrictions, including social distancing and masks (when not skiing).