NEW YORK CITY (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his daily update on the coronavirus pandemic in New York state at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday from the New York Stock Exchange.
Earlier Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo rang the iconic New York Stock Exchange bell as the trading floor of the NYSE reopened for the first time in two months.
“The New York Stock Exchange reopened today, and while we’re reopening, supercharge the reopening,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We want that economy to come roaring back and that’s not going to happen just by wishing it to be so.”
The governor announced that 73 New Yorkers died Monday from COVID-19. To date, New York has lost more than 23,000 people to this virus.
“Number of lives lost, 73, that’s the lowest it’s been since this all started,” Gov. Cuomo said. “In this absurd new reality, that is good news.
The governor said new confirmed cases was down to just about 200, also at the lowest level since early March.
“Memorial Day is going to be a point where we don’t all run back to the beach, but we’re going to turn the page on COVID-19,” Gov. Cuomo said. “And we’re going to start focusing on reopening and how we reopen and how smart we are in reopening.
“The question was always how smart are you on the reopening, how informed are you, how disciplined are you on the reopening, because that determines how successful the reopening is,” Gov. Cuomo said.
The governor reinforced the basic steps New Yorkers can take to slow the spread of the virus.
“It’s simple, it’s wash your hands, it’s socially distance, it’s use the hand sanitizer and it is wear the mask,” Gov. Cuomo said. “This is almost a point of cultural communication. Wearing a mask is now cool, I believe it’s cool. New Yorkers want to reinforce it for other New Yorkers. This is cool, you want to encourage people to do this.”
The governor reiterated the idea that this crisis can create economic opportunity on the other side of the problem.
“We’ve lost thousands of small businesses, so you’re going to see pain in this new economy,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Lets start to anticipate that, and let’s start to deal with that now. We know that government can stimulate the economy. This county has done it in the past, where we have engaged in major public works that made this nation better.”
The governor said major infrastructure improvements can address central societal needs while also jump-starting the economy.
“If there’s ever a time to actually take on this overdue need of major infrastructure construction, now is the time,” Gov. Cuomo said. “There is no better time to build than right now. You need to start the economy, you need to create jobs, and you need to renew and repair this county’s economy and infrastructure. Now is the time to do it.”
Despite positive signs in data trends, the governor says that a second wave remains a possibility.
“The many ways we’re reopening, it anticipates a second wave,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Right now, we’re using basically all of our testing capacity to do the COVID tests, so we’re planning for testing in the fall split between the flu test and the COVID test, but what we are now doing builds in the anticipation of the possibility of a second wave.”
The governor said he would be traveling to Washington D.C. Wednesday for a meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss “a number of things.” The governor has repeatedly called on funding from Washington to help offset financial losses during the pandemic.
Cuomo also announced the winner of the #WearAMask PSA contest. The winner was “We Heart NY” by Bunny Lake Films of Brooklyn. The second place was “You Can Still Smile” by Natalia Bougadellis. More than 186,000 votes were cast for the finalists, with the top two videos earning 96,332 votes. However, only 502 votes separated the first two videos, so it has been decided that both videos will be made into PSAs.
“If we don’t get funding from Washington, we’re going to have a serious financial problem,” Gov. Cuomo said.
The governor said without federal assistance, New York state could see up to 20% cuts for public education, police, firefighters, hospitals, and more.
During his daily briefing on Monday, the governor announced that 98 people died from the virus across the state overnight. During his press conference, Cuomo asked for a moment of silence to honor those affected by Memorial Day, and the coronavirus. After, the governor called on the federal government to honor those sacrificing on the front lines, by providing hazard pay.
“They deserve not just words, but actions and I think the federal government should dedicate federal funds and pay hazard pay to those that showed up,” Cuomo said.
Campgrounds and RV parks opened statewide on Monday, and veterinarian practices will be allowed to open in all regions beginning Tuesday.
Locally, there have been 194 COVID-19 related deaths in Monroe County and 2,676 confirmed cases.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue update this developing story.