One-on-one with Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, discussing COVID, gyms, schools and more

NY News

(WETM) – New York Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul sat down with 18 News Executive Digital Producer George Stockburger Thursday morning to discuss the state of COVID-19 in New York.

The interview covered a wide range of topics, from the futures of gyms and schools in New York to Vice President Joe Biden’s potential selection of a female running mate in the 2020 Presidential Election.

Future of Gyms in New York

Lt. Governor Hochul tells 18 News that gyms could receive reopening guidance “sooner rather than later.”

While there is no timeline for gyms to reopen, Hochul says that the state is working with health officials to ensure that gyms can be safe when those much-anticipated guidelines do come out.

“We are working on protocols that will make sure that when they do reopen, and they will reopen, that the environment is sterile, that the virus does not have the opportunity to spread because of the activity.”

You can read more about Hochul’s comments regarding New York gyms by clicking the link.

Future of Schools in New York

Hochul noted that school districts have until Friday, July 31 to submit their reopening plans to the state. She says that the districts have to meet very high standards being set by the state, and that some time next week schools should know where they stand when it comes to reopening.

Hochul says that some schools are getting creative with their plans with a range of ways to promote social distancing. One way she suggested was to keep younger students in the classroom and allow older students to study from home.

She says that there can not be a one size fits all plan for schools and that teachers and administrators have worked very hard to get to this point.

Joe Biden’s potential VP pick

While Hochul did not mention any specific candidate, she was very supportive of former Vice President Biden’s pledge to select a female running mate.

“It’s very exciting. As a woman in the number two slot in the State of New York I know how important it is to have gender diversity so you have the perspective of 50 percent of the population.”

Biden has said his shortlist includes four African-American women, and California Senator Kamala Harris is believed to be high on his list.

“And if it’s a woman of color, how extraordinary that will be as we celebrate the 100th anniversary this year of women’s right to vote.”

Discrepancy in COVID-19 nursing home deaths

When asked why there are 20 fewer COVID-19 nursing home deaths being reported in Steuben County between the state and county’s numbers, Hochul says that the state is only including nursing home residents who died in a nursing home, not those who died in a hospital despite being residents.

18 News filed a Freedom of Information Law request for additional information regarding the state’s nursing home death report back in April and have not yet received that report.

You can watch more from our interview with Lt. Governor Hochul above.

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