TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his daily briefing from the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in Westchester County Monday, the bridge named after his late father while Monday was also Mario Cuomo’s birthday.
The governor said that the state’s progress against the coronavirus has improved drastically, and with the new data, the state will now allow gatherings up to 25 people, up from 10 previously, for regions in phase three under the New York state guidelines.
“We are modifying phase three to allow gatherings up to 25 people,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Guidelines have been working. We have months of data that show the guidelines make sense.”
The governor said the progress has been positive, but New Yorkers must remain vigilant.
“Local government has a real responsibility; do your job,” Gov. Cuomo said. “They’re supposed to enforce compliance. We have to stay smart. If they’re not enforcing compliance, they’re not doing anyone a favor. We know the alternative. All across the nation, the virus is increasing, It’s a dramatic national turnaround. We are the exception here in New York. We don’t want the same plight of these other states.”
The governor said the state’s recent data on the pandemic is a reason to celebrate.
“New York is on the right track, that’s an objective fact,” Gov. Cuomo said. “All of the numbers so far have been very good in New York. Lowest number of hospitalizations since this started. Amen. Lowest number of deaths on a three-day average.
“New Yorkers did it, because we did it together,” Gov. Cuomo said.
Over the weekend, the governor said that if businesses get too crowded, or there is a spike in COVID-19 cases, that it’s possible for the state to re-implement forced closures.
“I am not going to allow situations to exist that we know have a high likelihood of causing an increase in the spread of the virus,” Cuomo said at his coronavirus briefing Sunday.
Cuomo said there have been 25,000 complaints to the state about businesses not complying with social distancing guidelines, although he did not give a timeframe for when the state received the complaints. The governor said the State Liquor Authority and a special task force is investigating, and he said he personally called some establishments that he believed violated the laws.
The governor also spoke about new police reform legislation.
“Every community has to come to the table as a collaborative, and redesign their public safety and police,” Gov. Cuomo said. “How do we take this moment and institutionalize it to make progress?”
Since last week, New York state has passed laws that ban chokeholds, repeal 50-a, assigned the attorney general as special prosecutor to instances of police brutality, and also The “New Yorker’s Right To Monitor Act” also allows members of the public to maintain custody of any recordings they make, and the instruments used to make those recordings.
“Transparency is critical to renewing the community’s trust and confidence in our policing systems. Stopping police abuse vindicates the overwhelming majority – 99.9% – of police who are there to do the right thing, and by making clear that all New Yorkers have the right to record and keep recordings of police activity we can help restore trust in the police-community relationship.”
These police reform measures follow weeks of civil unrest in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.
Also at the governor’s press conference on his father’s birthday, on the bridge named after him, Gov Cuomo announced that a new pedestrian walkway was opening. The path is 3.6 miles long and open to cyclists and pedestrians.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.