ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR) — After the UK COVID variant was found in Saratoga County earlier this week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is renewing his push to have international travelers tested before they enter New York. Cuomo says he is not calling for a travel ban, just for travelers to be tested before they fly.
The governor said the federal government needs to act more aggressively in preventing the U.K. strain from traveling to the U.S.
“I’m asking today Customs and Border Patrol to either require in New York airports that the person shows they were tested before admission, or allow the port authority staff to request of people coming through customs whether or not they were tested,” Gov. Cuomo said. “But we don’t want tens of thousands of people coming through our airport everyday, from countries around the world who were not tested. It’s just that simple and it makes total and common sense.”
Besides testing travelers, Cuomo talked about the daily COVID-19 numbers. Statewide, the average is 8.41%.
The governor again reiterated the sentiment that the Finger Lakes region remains the most problematic in regards to positivity rate and hospitalization rate per regional population, saying it’s a result of behavior.
“Why is the Southern Tier at 5% and Finger Lakes nearby is at 10%?” Gov. Cuomo said. “It is a function of personal responsibility, there’s a basic truth to this. It’s not about government, it’s personal responsibility.”
The governor’s slides showed the Mohawk Valley actually had a higher positivity rate, and that the Capital Region is not far behind. The governor provided the following data:
- 197,816 COVID-19 tests reported Tuesday statewide
- 8.31% positivity rate overall statewide
- 9.14% positivity rate in micro-cluster hotspots
- 8.13% positivity rate outside micro-cluster hotspots
- 161 New Yorkers died from COVID-19 Tuesday
- 8,665 hospitalized with the virus statewide
- 1,408 in ICU
- 877 intubated
“We’re seeing the continued increase from the celebration of the holidays—it’s the holiday COVID hangover,” Gov. Cuomo said. “If you don’t celebrate smart, you get a hangover.”
Here is a breakdown of COVID-19 infection rates by region:
The hospitalization rate across the state is below:
Cuomo also said on Wednesday that he would not be in attendance at Saturday’s Buffalo Bills playoff game because he needs to rewrite his State of the State Address, which will be given on Monday. He said he will be giving his ticket to a nurse who works at Erie County Medical Center.
In the meantime, fans are already lining up to be tested in Orchard Park.