Here’s what you need to know for Wednesday.
1. Gov. Cuomo gives new details on phased regional re-opening plan
The regional re-opening will depend on multiple factors. The two big factors remain hospital capacity and the infection rate.
“If the hospital system in an area exceeds 70 percent capacity, which means you only have 30 percent left, or the rate of transmission of the virus hits 1.1, those are danger signs,” he said.
Besides respecting essential workers, there are about a dozen items on Cuomo’s list of things that need to be accomplished before the state, or any part of the state, can be reopen:
- 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
When will schools reopen?
Cuomo has not yet made a decision on when schools in the state will reopen. He said he hopes to make a decision by the end of the week.
He was also asked about the status of the New York State Fair and his response was, “”Could you open the State Fair unless the entire state is open? I don’t think so,” Cuomo said.
2. COVID-19 Congressional Town Hall
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman John Katko were hosted by Ohio State University for the virtual town hall along with the CEO of Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.
They focused on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. They also addressed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s suggestion that states file for bankruptcy rather than getting more federal help.
“This has been devastating, and for anyone to say that bankruptcy is a viable option for cities or states, I don’t think it’s even constitutional, for states to go bankrupt, so it’s absurd, and no one should be offering that as a solution,” Gillibrand said.
That issue was also discussed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his daily briefing on Friday. He said that a law would need to be passed in New York for that measure to be possible.
Updated coronavirus case numbers in the Capital Region
There are 295,106 positive confirmed cases of the virus, according to the New York State Department of Health.
The death toll in the state stands at 17,638.
NEWS10 created graphs that track coronavirus trends over time. We update that information daily based on the numbers given by county officials. For the best representation for coronavirus numbers in your area, we’ll keep you informed at NEWS10.
County by County, we are still seeing an increase in cases. Here are the numbers according to the New York State Department of Health as of Wednesday morning.
- During his daily coronavirus briefing, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy announced a partnership with Priority 1 Urgent Care in Guilderland to launch an additional coronavirus testing site. The testing site will be at the Priority 1 Urgent Care located at 2080 Western Avenue in Hamilton Square in Guilderland. Those interested in getting tested there should call 518-867-8040.
- Rensselaer County says three individuals have died from coronavirus since Monday, bringing the total deaths in the county up to 16. Rensselaer County officials will be giving out free cloth masks to residents on Wednesday at five locations. This is part of the county’s efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.
- Schenectady County reported Tuesday that one more resident has died due to COVID-19, bringing the total in the County up to 23.
- A 10th resident in Warren County has died from the coronavirus. The person was a resident from a nursing home in the southern part of the county, officials said.
- Tuesday’s COVID-19 update from Washington County listed its third death of a community member.
4. Cohoes Common Council adopts moratorium
The Cohoes Common Council unanimously adopted a one-year moratorium on the burning of toxic firefighting foam containing PFAS within city limits. More than 250 residents of Cohoes and the surrounding area sent letters of support for the moratorium.
Local officials became aware of the burning of the foam at the Norlite facility in Cohoes, New York State DEC stopped the foam burning in 2019 pending studies on the effects in the community.
At the beginning of March, Bennington College conducted a water and soil study of four sites in close proximity to Norlite, in Cohoes. Researchers say the samples show PFAS contamination commonly associated with the use of firefighting foam or Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) which include PFOA/PFOS.
AFFF is used to extinguish fires and was banned in New York after it was determined that it posed a threat to water supplies. Visiting professor and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Judith Enck, said Norlite is one of four plants across the country that was awarded a contract by the Department of Defense to get rid of the product.
“The results of this preliminary research suggest the burning of AFFF at Norlite is not destroying these dangerous chemicals so much as redistributing them into nearby poor and working-class neighborhoods,” the report says.
5. Troy police warn residents of bail money phone scam
Troy police are warning residents of a phone scam involving bail money.
Police said the people involved pose as Troy police officers and demand that you post bond with gift cards or you risk being arrested.
Troy police are reminding residents they will never call anyone to ask them to buy gift cards to avoid being arrested.
On the field he was known as Coach Jones but to his closest friends, he was a colleague, a friend, a former college roommate, and they all referred to him as “Jonesy”.
Longtime head football coach Ron Jones died suddenly Monday afternoon of a heart attack in his home. Jones is the all-time winningest coach in program history. He began coaching at his alma mater in 1998.
“He was a great man. I know that is a broad statement, but he was everything that was good. He loved his family. His players. And he loved to coach. He will be missed, terribly.”