Gov. Cuomo: School reopening decision in August, phase four malls can reopen Friday with proper HVAC

Coronavirus

NEW YORK CITY (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered a coronavirus update from New York City Wednesday.

The governor announced there were 97 COVID-19 patients who were intubated statewide as of Tuesday, the lowest number in months. The governor also said there were 11 coronavirus deaths in New York state Tuesday.

“The good news is the number of hospitalizations is 841,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Number of intubations is 97; first time it’s been under 100 and it’s the first time it’s been this low since March 16.”

The governor said of some 57,000 virus tests in New York, 1.2% came back positive.

“As I’ve said everyday for the past 130 days, we’re making progress because we’re acting smart and we have to continue to act smart,” Gov. Cuomo said.

Although New York’s pandemic progress continues to improve, the governor says increasing cases elsewhere in the country can pose a threat.

“Bad news is everything around us frankly,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Tale of two cities, we have a tale of two different kind of states. The federal government still insists on perpetuating myth, and they keep saying the cases are going up because we are testing more. That makes no sense whatsoever. The American people are smart, you’re not going to fool them, you’re not going to con them.”

The governor reiterated a past sentiment that New York will assist other states with high infection rates in any way it can.

“We’ve offered help to all these states, whatever then need,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Florida has said they might need some assistance from us, whatever they need we will provide, but you see the same story across these states. A virus anywhere has to be a virus everywhere.”

The governor also announced that beginning Friday, malls in phase four regions can reopen if they have enhanced HVAC filtration systems and measures in place:

The governor also offered some clarification on state guidance for schools reopening in the fall.

“We’ll have finalized guidance on July 13,” Gov. Cuomo said. “On July 31, local school districts will submit their plan on how they will reopen, what their precautions will be, if they want a phased reopen, a partial reopen. Those plans will come in July 31. Then in the first week of August, the state will announce the decision whether or not the schools will reopen. The schools say they need a decision by the first week of August.”

Despite President Donald Trump’s calls for states to reopen schools, the governor says that decision isn’t for the official in the Oval Office.

“Schools reopening is a state decision, period,” Gov. Cuomo said. “That is the law and that is the way we’re going to proceed. It’s not up to the President of the United States. There is something called the Constitution that guides government power and there’s a series of laws based on that Constitution and the President does not have that authority to open schools.

“If you say ‘we’re opening schools the first week in August,’ how do you open schools?” Gov. Cuomo said. “Could there be a variance by region? Yes, because there could be a different infection rate by region.”

The governor said the state’s decision on schools reopening would be a universal one and not of a regional basis. The governor then said the president’s demands to reopen schools would have similar consequences that states are seeing after reopening sections of the economy too soon.

“Everyone warned him, everyone said if you just reopen it’s just going to drive the infection rate up and hurt the economy, and that’s exactly what happened,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Now he’s saying the same thing with schools. Really Mr. President? You know more than the health experts? Do you really want to disregard children’s safety?

“This has been the story throughout the COVID crisis; New York has proven what works,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Wear a mask. IHME (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) says 45,000 more people will die if they don’t wear masks. Think about this, if a mask order is not in place, 45,000 more deaths.

“Why on God’s green Earth wouldn’t you have a mask policy when they are telling you that it works?” Gov. Cuomo said. “What has happened to basic common sense in our government leaders? Why wouldn’t you? What is it? Hubris? That you were against masks and make it a political symbol? Stop dividing people, stop playing politics. Inspire the nation to act as one. I wear a mask for you, you wear a mask for me. That’s what you’re supposed to do as president, that’s what you’re supposed to do as a leader.”

On Tuesday the governor added three more states to the coronavirus travel advisory, which requires incoming travelers from these states to self-quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. The new states are Delaware, Kansas, and Oklahoma, bringing the total number of states on the advisory list to 19.

MORE | 3 more states added to New York coronavirus travel advisory, incoming travelers to self-quarantine

The data suggests progress against the pandemic statewide, with decreasing or steady results regarding new daily cases, infection rates, virus deaths, and more metrics — according to the governor’s office which provided an update earlier this week,

The governor said Monday’s 817 hospitalizations is the lowest number since March 18, the three day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths statewide was nine, and of approximately 60,000 tests per day, the number of positive tests returned is less than 1% statewide.

Locally, there have been 276 reported COVID-19 deaths in Monroe County. This comes after four straight days of zero new virus deaths in Monroe County.Officials report there have been 3,814 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County, including 25 new cases since 24 hours prior.

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

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