Gov. Cuomo announces COVID-19 testing plan for protesters, relief for businesses impacted by looting

State News

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his daily briefing from Albany Thursday to give an update on coronavirus and protests throughout the state.

“It is as dangerous as a time as I have ever experienced,” Gov. Cuomo said.

The governor urged district attorneys offices to review footage and arrest looters accordingly.

“I understand the political environment, I also understand that the law is the law and they should charge crimes appropriately,” Gov. Cuomo said. “I want to thank the protesters who were mainly peaceful, which was smart because they could make their point.”

In the backdrop of racial tension is progress against the coronavirus, Gov. Cuomo said.

“Number of lives lost, 52, little higher than yesterday, but we see that overall movement is still in a positive direction,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We do 50,000 tests per day, more than any state per capita, more than any country per capita. 50,000 tests yesterday, 2% positive on Long Island, 2% positive in New York City, 2% positive in Western New York, 2% in the Capital Region. It’s remarkable — look at how far we’ve come.”

Still, the governor urged vigilance and discipline for New Yorkers.

“We’re making great progress, but as fast as these numbers came down is as fast as these numbers can go up,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Like weight loss, ‘I lost five pounds over the past 10 days.’ OK, you lose discipline and you go back to your old eating habits and non-exercising habits, you’ll put that 10 pounds right back on. This is all a function of our own behavior — Nothing more, nothing less.”

Following up on his mentions of New York leading the way in testing, and supporting peaceful protest, the governor said the state will open COVID-19 testing eligibility to anyone who attended a protest.

“If you’re at a protest, go get a test. Please,” Gov. Cuomo said. “If you have a viral spread in the protests, we’re not going to see it in the numbers for a while. I’m not a nervous Nelly, I just read the numbers. The protesters, they could actually compound the situation.”

The governor announced a statewide relief plan for New York state businesses impacted by looting:

“In New York City and Rochester, many of these businesses were essential businesses, for some the poorest neighborhoods in those areas, and they looted mom and pop stores who don’t have the resources to reopen,” Gov. Cuomo said. “If a looted business has trouble with their insurance company, go to the DFS website and they will provide relief.”

The governor announced that New York state would have a moment of silence Thursday to remember George Floyd.

“Today at 2 p.m. we will have a moment of silence, statewide in respect for Mr. Floyd and his murder,” Gov. Cuomo said. “And his family’s pain and grief and as a symbolic moment to say we understand what happened were story we grieve and this is an injustice that should never have happened.”

On Wednesday, Cuomo has announced that outdoor dining at restaurants will be allowed under phase two of New York state’s reopening guidelines — which includes Rochester and the Finger Lakes region.

“This is outdoor dining space,” Gov. Cuomo said. “It’s not a restaurant with the doors open, this is outdoor dining space.”

MORE |Gov. Cuomo to President Trump: ‘You can’t use the military as a political weapon’

Locally, as cases continue to rise, groups of people also continue to meet throughout the Rochester region to show their support for George Floyd, and their solidarity against police brutality. There have now been 228 COVID-19 deaths and 2,972 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County.

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

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