ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — At his daily COVID-19 briefing on Saturday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo reported 540 COVID-19 related deaths from Friday, this is the lowest single day death total the state has seen since April 1.
Cuomo said the number of hospitalizations and intubations continues to decline. Pair these numbers with the number of deaths declining and Cuomo said you can make an argument that New York State is, “past the plateau.”
Although the total number of people in the hospital is decreasing, Cuomo said more than 2,000 people were still admitted into the hospital on Friday. The governor said this is about the same number the state saw in late March and it is concerning.
Governor Cuomo did not release the total number of COVID-19 deaths at Saturday’s press conference, but Johns Hopkins University reports there have been 11,815 deaths from COVID-19 within the state.
According to Saturday’s press conference, New York State’s next goal is to expand testing and bring it to scale.
New York continues to do the most testing of any other state in the country, but Cuomo said there is still not enough testing being done.
At the press conference, Governor Cuomo explained the process to get testing. Testing sites order equipment and tests from private companies, and then they also need different reagents to process the tests.
Cuomo said the reason New York can not expand its testing is because testing sites can not get their hands on reagents. Cuomo said some of the private companies who make testing equipment are having trouble getting reagents themselves. Another problem Cuomo explained, is that the federal government is telling the private companies where to send the reagents.
Cuomo said New York needs a partnership with the federal government for reagents.
On the topic of possibly reopening businesses and allowing large gatherings, Governor Cuomo said, “No one wants to reopen more than me.”
Cuomo said the infection rate needs to go down before reopening begins.
Currently in New York State, Governor Cuomo says that on average one person infects .9 people. This rate means the virus is stable. Earlier in the pandemic, Cuomo said the infection rate for New York State was that one person was infecting 1.4 people. Cuomo said any rate higher than 1.2 is when hospitals become overwhelmed. According to Cuomo, Wuhan, China said they got their infection rate down to about .3, and that’s when the curve really starts to drop.
Cuomo said the health system has finally been stabilized in New York State, and the governor is fearful it will quickly become overwhelmed again if they prematurely reopen.
Although Governor Cuomo said President Trump did the right thing by allowing the governors to make the call on reopening their states, the New York Governor fears people from other states may travel to New York once their state is open and infect more New Yorkers.
Cuomo said he wants to balance this with a regional approach. According to Governor Cuomo, he is still trying to coordinate a plan with neighboring states on when to reopen as a region.
The state may be trending towards a reopen, but Cuomo said nothing will be done immediately, they are still in the planning phase.
Once again at his press conference, Governor Cuomo said politics can not get involved in decision making. The governor referenced former president Abraham Lincoln and said, “A house divided against itself can not stand.”
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