Gov. Cuomo: COVID-19 winter plan to be developed after Thanksgiving data

New York News

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 21: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo holds up a face mask at a news conference on May 21, 2020 in New York City. While the governor continued to say that New York City is seeing a steady decline in coronavirus cases, he also mentioned that the number of countries reporting a mysterious illness in children believed to be connected to COVID-19 has nearly doubled in just one week. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC/WIVB) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo provided an update on the latest coronavirus numbers in New York on Thursday, Thanksgiving morning. The governor announced the following data from Wednesday:

  • Statewide positivity rate: 3.18% (down from 3.6%)
  • Positivity rate without microclusters: 2.68%
  • Positivity rate in microclusters: 4.9%
  • 217,721 tests
  • 67 deaths
  • 3,056 hospitalizations
  • 628 in ICU
  • 286 intubated

Through the winter, Gov. Cuomo says the plan for dealing with the virus will continue using microcluster-based strategies. He noted that he wants to add a number of factors to red, orange, and yellow zones, like hospital bed availability. The governor said that after collecting data from the Thanksgiving holiday, the state will develop a winter plan, focusing on at least three parts:

  1. Adding factors to the microcluster zones (hospitalization rate)
  2. Developing testing plans for schools with the goal to keep kindergarten through eighth grade open
  3. A vaccine distribution plan for New York

“The more data you have the smarter the decisions you make. We want to see what Thanksgiving actually did and if it did it evenly across the state or causes a spike in some parts of the state,” Cuomo said in a conference call.

Cuomo also mentioned the decision by the Supreme Court who decided late Wednesday to bar New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus.

“It’s irrelevant from any practical impact, because the zone that they were talking about has already been moot. It expired last week. So, I think this is really just an opportunity for the court to really just express its philosophy and politics. It doesn’t have any practical effect.”

The court’s action Wednesday could push New York to reevaluate its restrictions on houses of worship in areas designated virus hot spots. But the impact of the court’s action is also muted because the Catholic and Orthodox Jewish groups that sued to challenge the restrictions are no longer subject to them.

“The judicial determination on the court on the specific is not final. It goes to the appeals court now so there will be no effect one way or the other across the state,” he said.

“I’m a former altar boy. I fully respect religion, and if there’s a time in life when we need it, the time is now. But we want to make sure we keep people safe at the same time and that’s the balance we’re trying to hit especially through this holiday season.”

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