Coronavirus Facts First

Gov. Cuomo issues executive order on absentee ballots for primary, NY has lost $13B during COVID-19 crisis

State News

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — During Friday’s daily coronavirus briefing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced 422 New Yorkers died over the past 24 hours due to COVID-19. That puts New York’s total COVID-19 death toll over 16,000, according to the latest data.

The governor said he has issued an executive order that will require the New York State Board of Elections to send absentee ballots to all eligible voters for the upcoming June primaries.

“Voting, we still have elections in the midst of all this chaos,” Gov Cuomo said. “Makes no sense to me to tell people you have to put your life at risk and violate social distancing to vote.”

MORE | How to request absentee ballots for June primary online

Regarding state finances, Gov. Cuomo says New York has lost $13.3 billion in revenue due to the COVID-19 crisis. He said it’s not legal for states to declare bankruptcy, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested.

Similar to briefings earlier this week, the governor says ICU admissions and hospitalization rates are on the decline statewide, but Gov. Cuomo insists that New Yorkers remain vigilant in the efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

“We change the projection on the way up, we can change the projection on the way down, but it’s purely dependent on what we do,” Gov. Cuomo said.

The governor said that New York’s collective statewide effort has helped slow the spread, adding that acting quickly was key in the defense of the virus.

“No state moved faster from fist case to close down than the state of New York,” Gov. Cuomo said.

Still, the governor said the operating mentality was slow, and that needs to change in the event of a future pandemic.

“What is the lesson? An outbreak anywhere, is an outbreak everywhere?” Gov. Cuomo said. “This was too little too late, so let’s find out what happened so it doesn’t happen again.”

Before the question and answer session of the briefing, the governor read a letter received from a retired farmer in Kansas, who willingly sent his only mask to help a health care worker in New York.

“It’s that love, that courage, that generosity of spirit that makes this country so beautiful, and makes Americans so beautiful and it’s that generosity of spirit for me makes up for all the ugliness that you see,” Gov. Cuomo said.

On Thursday, Cuomo revealed data collected from 3,000 New Yorkers showed nearly 14% had antibodies, suggesting they had been exposed to the virus.

Cuomo cautioned that the data was preliminary. The sample of people tested was small. Participants were hastily recruited at shopping centers and grocery stores, which meant they were healthy enough to be out in public.

The governor also announced new rules for nursing homes across New York State at his daily briefing on Thursday. He said they will be following the new protective rules and if not, actions will be taken.

On Thursday, the governor announced that an additional 438 New Yorkers lost their lives due to COVID-19 bringing the death toll over 15,000 in the state.

MORE | COVID-19 county by county: Keeping track of local cases throughout the region

A Johns Hopkins University professor and her graduate student have created an interactive map to capture all confirmed COVID-19 cases, fatalities and recoveries.

Tracking Coronavirus

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