NEW YORK CITY (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a coronavirus briefing Wednesday from the Yonkers Police Athletic League, which has served as a mass vaccination site.
“They are about to shoot shot number 50,000 today,” Gov. Cuomo said. “The National Guard has been fantastic and they really stepped up all across the state.”
The governor announced that beginning Friday, New Yorkers over the age of 60 years old no longer need vaccine appointments to get their COVID-19 shots.
“For people who are over 60 years of age, you don’t even need an appointment to get vaccine anymore, you can just walk into any of the mass vaccination sites across the state; walk in and they will give you a vaccine,” Gov. Cuomo said. “You don’t have to go onto the internet, you don’t have to make a phone call — just show up at the vaccine site if you’re 60-plus and they will get you a vaccine.
“For people over 60 years old — I’m one of them really, no excuses — just show up and, that starts this Friday,” Gov. Cuomo said. “But at the end of the day, government can only do what government can do. We can set up the vaccine sites, the National Guard can be heroic, all the health officials can do their jobs, but it’s up to you to come and get the vaccine.
The two sites for 60+ walk-ins in the Finger Lakes region are:
- Rochester Dome Arena, 2695 East Henrietta Road, Henrietta NY
- Former Kodak Hawkeye Parking Lot, 1345 St. Paul Street, Rochester, NY
“It’s not really just about you,” Gov. Cuomo said. “You are a member of a community — it’s a great word. You are part of a community, and if you get sick, you could make somebody else sick, so yes it’s about you, but you don’t live on an island unto yourself. You live in an apartment, you live in a house, you go to a store, you get on a bus, you get on a train — you infect other people. You are part of a community and I believe there’s a civic duty for you as part of that community to do the responsible thing. This is one extended family of New York and your behavior will effect the family.”
Wednesday’s coronavirus update on the numbers is as follows:
- Test Results Reported – 202,400
- Total Positive – 4,326
- Percent Positive – 2.14%
- 7-Day Average Percent Positive – 2.69%
- Patient Hospitalization – 3,757 (-116)
- Net Change in Patient Hospitalization Past Week – -334
- Patients Newly Admitted – 477
- Hospital Counties – 52
- Number ICU – 817 (-6)
- Number ICU with Intubation – 505 (+1)
- Total Discharges – 171,872 (+500)
- Deaths – 53
- Total Deaths – 41,629
The governor said the positivity rates for regions in New York is as follows:
- Western New York — 4.4%
- Mohawk Valley — 3%
- Finger Lakes — 3%
- Long Island — 2.9%
- New York City — 2.8%
- Capital Region — 2%
- Mid-Hudson — 1.6%
- North Country — 1.4%
- Central New York — 1.4%
- Southern Tier — 0.8%
“Why is there such a variance between Western New York and the rest of the state?” Gov. Cuomo said. “You have a variance among regions in the state where some regions are three times the positivity rate of other regions, or four times the positivity rate of other regions. Why? One state, everybody hears the same messages, everybody has the same resources, everybody gets the same proportionate share of the vaccine. It comes down to that community’s behavior.”
When asked about outdoor festival capacity limits, state budget director Robert Mujica says he expects New York to expand capacity restrictions for outdoor events, venues, and stadiums in the next week or so.
“Outdoors is safer than indoors, that is true,” Gov. Cuomo said. “If we do what we have to do, we do the vaccine, we’re safe as we get into the summer, I think we’re going to see more progress. It’s only if we do these things, so let’s stay sharp let’s say committed.”
“The guidance for outside has been increasing,” Mujica said. “We just did revisions for large arenas that we’re actually indoors and we expect to now follow that over the next week with revisions for the guidance to outdoor events. We are increasing the numbers outdoor, but this is largely tied to the number of people vaccinated and the infection rates and the testing in those areas, but we are increasing the amounts on the outdoor events.
“Just because it’s outdoors, there are other restrictions in place, and there are still possibility of infections, so it really relates to the number of people being vaccinated, but at the pace we are vaccinating, if we continue along that pace then those numbers can be revised. But if there is a drop off, which is what we’re seeing, then it will take longer.” Mujica said.
The governor said he hopes the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin gives George Floyd’s family some sense of justice.
“I hope it brings some peace to the family, I hope it brings some peace to people and demonstrators all across this country, people concerned all across this country,” Gov. Cuomo said. “But at the same time let’s remember the context: The George Floyd killing was not just about George Floyd — this has been a long line of systemic injustices in the justice system. Which has made it even more repugnant.
“New York is the first state in the nation that started a public safety reform mandating that communities come up with a reform plan in light of the George Floyd’s killing, but it’s just a start. Lets reform public safety and understand that justice was done with George Floyd, but until we change the system there will be another and another and another.”
As the COVID-19 situation improves, the governor announced earlier this week increased capacities for museums, zoos, movie theaters and large indoor arenas:
- Museum and zoo capacity increases to 50% beginning April 26
- Movie theater capacity increases to 33% beginning April 26
- Large indoor arenas increase capacity to 25% beginning May 19
Upon the investigations into the governor’s administration’s handling of nursing homes in the pandemic and allegations of sexual harassment, Gov. Andrew Cuomo may face another investigation from the New York Attorney General’s office over whether improper use of state resources were used for his COVID-19 book published last year.
This follows an authorization this week from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to New York Attorney General Letitia James to use her office’s power to open an investigation into the governor’s book.
The Impeachment Commission in the case of Gov. Andrew Cuomo is scheduled to meet Wednesday.
“I’m not going to have any comment on a review that is underway,” the governor said Wednesday when asked about the investigation into the alleged sexual harassment.
“I was attorney general of the state, I said to everyone during a review, ‘Please don’t comment during the pendency of the review. Let the review go on at the appropriate time.’ I will have a comment about the review and the facts and the truth and I’m looking forward to that but now is not the time.”
Watch the full press briefing
This is a developing story. News 8 WROC will provide updates as they become available.