Cuomo warns post-holiday uptick could stress hospitals

Coronavirus

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 08: New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a news conference on September 08, 2020 in New York City. Cuomo, though easing restrictions on casinos and malls throughout the state, has declined to do so for indoor dining in restaurants in New York City despite pressure from business owners, citing struggles by the city to enforce the state’s previous orders. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The governor warned of a post-Thanksgiving uptick Wednesday that could stress hospitals across the state, which has recorded the highest seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases since late April.

New York recorded 6,265 new positive cases Tuesday, the highest for a single day since April 24. About 3% of tests over the past week have come back positive, more than double the rate a month ago.

New infections have been on the rise in New York this fall, and state and county public health officials say Halloween parties have helped fuel the latest surge this month. Hospitalizations rose to nearly 3,000 COVID-19 patients as of Tuesday.

“This is where I think if we’re going to get in trouble, you’re going to see it in a few days, seven days after this Thanksgiving weekend, you’ll start to feel the number,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Rochester on Wednesday.

The state averaged 5,599 new cases each day over the past seven days. That’s up 56% from two weeks ago, and more than triple the average as of four weeks ago.

Cuomo has tried to control the spread of COVID-19 by imposing restrictions on hot spots in neighborhoods around the state.

The governor has shuttered schools and certain nonessential businesses and banned indoor dining in designated orange zones in parts of the suburbs north of New York City, central and western New York and on Staten Island, where he has reopened an emergency field hospital.

Cuomo’s plan primarily looks at the percentage of tests coming back positive in a particular area, as well as evidence of community spread. Cuomo said Wednesday that he wants to update his plan for the winter to consider hospitalization rates.

“We have to prioritize hospital beds,” he said. “We have to make sure we don’t overwhelm hospitals.”

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