ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported 335 new COVID-19 deaths in New York during Tuesday’s briefing, as the death toll statewide exceeds 17,000.
The governor says hospitalization rates and ICU admissions remain relatively flat, adding that the amount of new hospitalizations decreased slightly. With some improvement in these metrics, New Yorkers have turned their focus to reopening sections of society, but the governor continued to urge caution on the matter.
“We want to reopen, but we want to do it without infecting more people or overwhelming the hospitals,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We’ve come up with factual data points to guide us on reopening. First point, don’t overwhelm the hospital system. If the hospital system in an area exceeds 70% capacity, or rate of transmission of the virus hits 1.1, those are dangerous signs.”
There were about a dozen items on the governor’s list of things that need to be accomplished before the state, or any part of the state, can be reopened:
- CDC guidelines (must show 14-day decline in hospitalizations)
- Identify industries where you can reopen, and still have precautions, like social distancing
- No “attractive nuisances,” which means no opening of attractions that can draw large audiences
- What business precautions can businesses take?
- Watch healthcare capacity. It shouldn’t go over 70%, especially with ICU beds. Anticipate the upcoming flu season, and stockpile equipment and PPE
- Testing regiment. How many tests and sites are available? What is the turnaround?
- Is there a tracing system in place? At least 30 tracers are need for every 100,000 people
- Are there isolation facilities?
- Needs to be regional coordination between schools, transportation, testing and tracing
- Re-imagine tele-medicine and tele-education
- Protect and respect essential workers
The governor again acknowledged that the state is not uniform as far as the virus goes and different areas and regions may reopen sooner than others.
“Some of the places in upstate have a problem that’s comparable to the states in the midwest, and west — much much different than New York City,” Gov. Cuomo said. “This state has New York City, one of the most dense urban areas on the globe, and then we have upstate New York, and if you look at our infection rate in upstate New York, it’s very different.”
Even with some positive trends regarding the spread of the virus, the governor says now is not the time to give up or let out guard down.
“We have gone through hell and back over the past 60 days, what we’ve done is tremendous, really tremendous and what the people have done to save lives, but we have to remain vigilant,” Gov. Cuomo said. “This is not over as much as we want it to be over.”
The governor said that as difficult as this situation has been, it has exposed some aspects of everyday American life that need more attention going forward.
“As a society, and as a community we need better systems,” Gov. Cuomo said. “This exposed a lot of issues, fundamental issues.”
The governor was also adamant about thanking essential workers on Tuesday.
“They need testing, equipment, they put their lives on the line,” Cuomo said.
One of the items on Cuomo’s reopening plan is ensuring the safety of the essential workers, which includes healthcare workers, first responders, transportation workers, and so many more.
“Respect the essential workers,” Cuomo said.
In Monroe County, the Department of Health confirmed on Monday that 108 people have died from the virus, and 1,296 people have tested positive. According to the DOH, 100 people are hospitalized and 21 of those patients are receiving treatment in an Intensive Care Unit.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we update this developing story.