ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’s enlisted former Mayor Mike Bloomberg to help create a “tracing army” that will find infected people and get them into isolation.
Also during Wednesday’s daily briefing, Gov. Cuomo said “we’re in a relatively good place,” regarding the COVID-19 outbreak in New York state.
“In downstate New York, the curve is on the descent,” Gov. Cuomo said. “The question now is how long is the descent? Hospitalization numbers are coming down, intubations are coming down, number of new people going into the hospital every day is still troublingly high, but better than it was.”
Gov. Cuomo said the three keys to opening up the economy is testing, tracing, and isolating people. Cuomo says if people test positive for coronavirus, there needs to be a “tracing army,” as he calls it, tracing all the contacts of that positive person, and then putting those people in isolation so no other people are infected.
“This is not going to be over anytime soon. I know people want to get out, I get it,” Gov. Cuomo said. “I also know more people will die if we are not smart. I have to do that count every day of the number of people who passed away. We’re not going to have people loose their life because we acted imprudently. I’m not going to do that. And I’m not going to allow the state to do it and I’m not going to have the obit of this period to be well they felt political pressure and acted imprudently. That’s not who we are.”
Regarding his trip to the White House Tuesday, the governor said his meeting with the president was productive.
“We had a productive meeting at the Whit House yesterday,” Gov. Cuomo said. “To me, a productive visit means we spoke truth, we spoke facts, we made decisions, and we have a plan going forward, and that was accomplished yesterday.”
The governor insists now is not the time for petty political arguments.
“Just do the job,” Gov. Cuomo said. “When you’re at war, you’re in a foxhole, nobody says ‘do you like the person you’re in the foxhole with?’ No, who cares?”
The governor also thanked the president for waiving FEMA’s state match, a measure that would save New York state hundreds of millions of dollars, according to Cuomo.
“The president also agreed to waive what’s called the state match for FEMA,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Normally a state has to pay 25% of FEMA cost, that would be a cruel irony for New York and adding insult to injury.”
During Tuesday’s briefing, the governor spoke about how different regions have different curves, and that upstate communities may be reaching a plateau, or still rising, whereas downstate areas are beginning to descend as far as the virus’ spread goes.
The governor also said the state is going to start going to allowing elective outpatient treatment in hospitals and New York counties that do not have a COVID issue.
Cuomo said that his administration is dedicated to increasing the number of daily tests given to 40,000, putting the state’s lab system at max capacity.
Currently, 20,000 people are administered tests daily. The 40,000 tests would be a combination of diagnostic testing and antibody testing.
At last official count Tuesday, Monroe County had 86 COVID-19 deaths and 1,074 confirmed cases.
A Johns Hopkins University professor and her graduate student have created an interactive map to capture all confirmed COVID-19 cases, fatalities and recoveries.