Gov. Cuomo: ‘I am 100% eager to get Bills fans back at games’

State News

Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo leaves after ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on May 26, 2020 at Wall Street in New York City. – Global stock markets climbed Monday, buoyed by the prospect of further easing of coronavirus lockdowns despite sharp increases in case rates in some countries such as Brazil. Over the weekend, US President Donald Trump imposed travel limits on Brazil, now the second worst affected country after the United States, reminding markets that while the coronavirus outlook is better, the crisis is far from over. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a conference call with media Wednesday to give an update on the state’s ongoing coronavirus response efforts, how he felt about Tuesday’s presidential debate, and when Bills fans can get back into the stadium.

COVID-19 update

On day 214 since the pandemic arrived in New York, the data Wednesday is as follows:

  • Approximately 97,000 tests conducted Tuesday
  • Overall state infection rate of 1.02%
  • 0.82% infection rate outside top 20 zip code hot spots
  • 5.5% infection rate inside top 20 zip code hot spots
  • 9 New Yorkers died Tuesday
  • 605 hospitalized
  • 145 in ICU
  • 67 intubated

“There are two infection rates really; the statewide infection rate and cluster infection rate,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We’ve dealt with clusters in the past. Factories, bars, restaurants, weddings, religious gatherings. We’re quite familiar with this. When there is a cluster we are very aggressive on it. and We are oversampling on this cluster.”

The governor said the top 20 zip codes make up 23% of all new cases Tuesday, but only accounts for 6% of the state’s population among New York’s 1,740 zip codes.

Regionally, the infection rate Tuesday was as follows:

  • Rochester & Finger Lakes — 0.3%
  • Capital Region — 0.5$
  • Central New York — 0.4%
  • Western New York — 1.1%
  • Southern Tier — 0.6%
  • Long Island — 1.3%
  • New York City — 1.2%
  • Hudson Valley — 2.4%

“It’s the hotspots we have to focus on because if you don’t a cluster becomes a community spread,” Gov. Cuomo said.

Among the hot spots, the No. 1 hot spot is in Rockland County, zip code 10952, with a 17% infection rate. No. 2 is also in Rockland, 10977 with a 14% infection rate.

The governor once again said he is counting on local government to enforce complians regarding COVID-19 regulations.

“I know it doesn’t make people happy to enforce the law,” Gov. Cuomo said. “You know what makes people really unhappy? Dying makes people really unhappy. We know how to keep the infection rate down, we’re just not doing it in these clusters.”

Presidential debate

The governor said he was disturbed by the debate Tuesday between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

“It was not only a disrespectful and chaotic debate; to me it was the most frightening,” Gov. Cuomo said. “You had President Trump say ‘the results could take months. I want a fair result.’ And his implication is, if it’s a fair result, he will win. And if he doesn’t win, then it wasn’t a fair result.

“He’s already talking about ballot fraud, mail-in fraud, he’s been doing it for weeks,” Gov. Cuomo said. “He has his attorney general talking about it.”

The governor said the president is asserting an unfair election because he thinks he’s going to lose.

“If you believe you’re going to win the election why would you discredit it?” Gov. Cuomo said. “If you thought you were going to win, you’d be saying the opposite. He sees the polls nationwide, he knows he’s losing. That’s why he’s discrediting the election.

“This is a president who always tells you where he’s going,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Where he’s going is, he’s going to say there was fraud in the election and therefore he doesn’t accept the results and therefore he’s not stepping down. And he’s going to create a constitutional crisis. That’s where he’s going.

“That is not a person who thinks he’s going to win the election,” Gov. Cuomo said. “That is a person who thinks he’s going to lose the election. He’s going to prolong it by accusations of fraud. Ultimately, we go to the Supreme Court and count mail-ins, and late mail-ins, and hopefully he has a enough friends on the Supreme Court to skew the election his way. That’s where he’s going.”

Fans at Bills games

Monday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said he would support Bills fans being able to attend games as early as October 15, but Tuesday the team announced that no fans would be attendance for the “foreseeable future.”

Wednesday the governor weighed in, saying he’s working with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, as well as Bills leadership, to address the issue.

“It’s something we’re looking at,” Gov. Cuomo said. “I spoke with the commissioner, I understand the plans they’re working on. We have a complicated factor in Western New York, because we have a higher infection rate than other places in the state.

“I’m going to take a tour of the stadium and meet with team leadership and talk it through,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Is there a way with the design of the stadium to get people in and out without causing a gathering? The commissioner’s point is you can seat people socially distanced, spread them out — that would be fine. The question is getting in and out of the stadium without having that crowding. That becomes more of a question of the design of the particular stadium.

“I understand, I’m a big Bills fan myself, and we’re excited about this season,” Gov. Cuomo said. “So I’m 100% eager to get fans back at the games; I’m going to meet with team leadership, tour the stadium. We have some engineers looking at the stadium now. I’m eager to work it out, but safely. With the Western New York infection rate — we’re working on it. We’re actively working on it.”

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

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