Gov. Cuomo: ‘Monroe County COVID-19 hospitalization increase among the highest in New York’


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo came to Rochester on Wednesday, two days after the area received its COVID-19 orange zone designation from the his office.

The governor held his COVID-19 briefing from the Baber AME Church on Meigs Street to distribute turkeys and provide the state with the latest COVID-19 update.

“The state is distributing 50,000 turkeys statewide to people who are in need and less fortunate because there are many New Yorkers who are struggling on top of COVID and on top of what’s happening with the economy,” Cuomo said.

Tuesday’s data is summarized briefly below:

  • positivity in the microcluster zone: 5.2%
  • statewide without the microcluster 3.04%
  • statewide overall positivity rate: 3.66%
  • 173,085 New Yorkers were tested, 6,265 were positive
  • 41 New Yorkers died
  • 2,982 New Yorkers hospitalized
  • 596 in Intensive Care Unites
  • 277 intubated

MORE | Rules for businesses in orange zone designation go into effect Wednesday

“We seeing increases in Rochester, Monroe County that are going up through the fall.”

Cuomo urged New Yorkers to stay vigilant and be cautious about overwhelming the hospital system. According to the governor, the global experts have advised him to develop a winter plan which would include adding factors to the yellow, orange and red zones — primarily the hospitalization rate.

The governor said Monroe County COVID-19 hospitalization increase rate is among the highest in New York State.

In previous coronavirus briefings from the Monroe County Department of Public Health, Monroe County Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said gyms, hair salons and barbershops have not been the problem, but he said the behaviors of the community had to change if a shutdown were to be avoided.

“We need to think about how are we going to take steps, as though we were going to be in a lockdown, without having to be in a lockdown, because none of us want that,” Dr. Mendoza said in the county’s latest briefing on Thursday last week.

Many local businesses have been frustrated with the orange zone restrictions, saying they have been following COVID-19 safety precautions and haven’t had any contact tracing leading back to their business.

“You had 75 people hospitalized November 4. you went to 268. That’s a 257% increase. That’s one of the highest increase in the state of New York, what happened? And if they knew what was causing it then why didn’t they stop it?”

The governor said the line has to be drawn somewhere.

MORE | Area businesses asking for greater clarity after orange zone designation

“You have to draw the line somewhere. Wherever you draw the line there’s always going to be someone on the other side of the street.”

Mendoza released the following statement after Gov. Cuomo’s briefing:

The Monroe County Department of Public Health has said for weeks that the majority of community spread of COVID-19 has come from small gatherings of people not wearing masks, physically distancing or following other proper guidelines. MCDPH regularly reports instances of possible transmission in bars and restaurants, but has not had to issue such reports for many other businesses to date. We continue to encourage our residents to follow the recommended guidelines, including wearing a face covering in public, limiting interactions with those outside your household, maintaining six feet physical distancing and regular hand hygiene.

Cuomo said along with hospitalization rates, the winter plan also will include educating the community on the vaccine, keeping schools open kindergarten through 8th grade and specific plans to get the vaccine to low income communities.

“Pfizer says 62% of people are skeptical of the vaccine because it was politized,” Cuomo said. “There have been no provisions to give the vaccine to black, brown, poor, and rural communities. The death rate for black community is twice as it for white community.”

The governor also mentioned Thanksgiving travel could also bring problems as people traveling into New York will most likely be coming from a state with a high infection rate.

“All the surrounding states are higher than we are. But I give thanks for the intelligent actions of New Yorkers. This Thanksgiving we have to stay smart.”

The governor presented date from the CDC which said that 24% of people who give COVID-19 to someone else never develop symptoms. 35% who give COVID-19 to some one else are pre-symptomatic.

“You can’t just assume because you have no symptoms that you’re safe. That’s why the advice here in New York — not more than 10 people — celebrate, but celebrate with your household.

I really don’t care about your politics and you don’t care about mine. I care about your health. I care about our hospital system I care about how many people die.”

The governor again presented the “Don’t be a turkey, wear a mask” facemask he unveiled earlier this week.

Watch the full briefing:

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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