This post contains coverage of the daily updates from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s press briefings, which are being held in various locations across New York State. Watch Governor Cuomo’s latest press briefings below. This post will be updated daily with the newest information while including previous briefing videos and updates below.
FRIDAY 5/28 BRIEFING
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TUESDAY 4/7 PRESS BRIEFING
CUOMO EXTENDS SCHOOL CLOSURE, NY ON PAUSE THROUGH APRIL (4/6)
On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo extended NY on PAUSE until April 29th. He said it would remain there, minimally, signaling that shutdown of non-essential business could continue into May.
Cuomo made the announcement of extending NY on PAUSE as data appears to show a slowing of the virus. “I’m not going to choose between public health and economic activity,” he said during a briefing on Monday. “We have to continue social distancing. I know that’s a negative, I know what it does to the economy.”
The U.S. Department of Education allowed cancellation of tests across New York State, which means the Regents exams have been cancelled.
“There’s a real danger in getting overconfident too quickly,” Cuomo added. “Other places have made that mistake, but we’re not going to make that mistake.”
GLIMMER OF HOPE? CUOMO GIVES UPDATE AS CASELOAD LIGHTENS SLIGHTLY (4/5)
On Sunday, New York State received a small bit of good news. While it isn’t conclusive, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that a number of statistical categories are starting to see a ‘leveling’ or outright decrease.
“We’re not sure if it is a blip. We could be at the apex, we could be at the plateau, but we do not know yet,” Cuomo said, urging caution.
The total number of deaths related to COVID-19 has climbed to 4,159 across the state. In the last 24 hours, there were more than 590 deaths. It was a slight drop, but not the only category that did lower.
New hospitalizations and ICU admissions both decreased slightly. Cuomo said it’s too early to tell now if that’s an indication that the state is reaching its apex.
Discharges have significantly increased across New York, too. This has allowed hospitals to continue working to help those as they come in.
“As long as I’m governor of this state, we won’t lose a life, if we can prevent it. And we’re not going to lose a life because we didn’t share resources among ourselves,” he said. That statement was in response to concerns voiced by Upstate lawmakers after Cuomo instituted an executive order moving ventilators from hospitals without a major caseload.
CUOMO PRAISES CHINESE GOVERNMENT, OREGON GOVERNOR FOR ASSISTANCE (4/4)
On Saturday Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that 1,000 ventilators have been donated to New York by the Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation.
The Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation and the Jack Ma Foundation have also donated one million surgical masks, one million KN95 masks and more than 100,000 pairs of goggles to the state. The Chinese government and Ambassador Huang Ping, Chinese Consul General, have facilitated these donations. The ventilators arrived at JFK Airport over the weekend.
The National Basketball Association is also contributing one million surgical masks for New York’s essential workers in collaboration with the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and China’s New York Consul General Huang Ping.
Additionally, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has offered to provide New York with 140 ventilators from Oregon’s stockpile.
Governor Cuomo will also issue an Executive Order allowing medical students that are slated to graduate to begin practicing immediately to help with the state’s surge health care force. To date, 85,000 health professionals, including 22,000 out-of-state individuals, have signed up to volunteer as part of the state’s surge healthcare force during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
CUOMO: “PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE IN THE NEAR TERM” (4/3)
Governor Andrew Cuomo says hefty measures will be taken by the state government to make sure that ventilators are in the places they need to be moving forward.
That could mean Upstate New York ventilators moving downstate, as it remains the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York.
There are now more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the virus in New York. It continues to lead the nation in total caseload. A high volume of those cases are around New York City. However, Cuomo and health officials have urged repeatedly for those Upstate to not be lulled into a false sense of security.
Hospitals with spare equipment will be looked at by the Cuomo Administration as it looks at ways to move that equipment into places that need it more.
The ventilators taken from one institution – even if privately owned – will have them returned or be reimbursed for them. “I can’t do anything more than that,” he said. “People are going to die in the near term because there’s no bed, there’s no staff, there’s no PPE, there’s no ventilator.”
If New York gets more ventilators, help, or PPE from other places – the number of deaths could be mitigated, he said.
Cuomo said the state is working with Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, the gigantic Chinese retailer often compared to Amazon, as it tries to find additional equipment.
WATCH: THURSDAY BRIEFING (4/2)
Cuomo issues stark warning: NYS is days away from running out of ventilators
– Thursday, April 2nd
Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a stark warning to residents on Thursday in his daily briefing, pointing out that ventilators in the state are running out.
He said that unless ‘extraordinary measures’ are taken the supply of ventilators in New York will be exhausted in six days.
“Everyone is basically waging the same battle,” Cuomo said. “Can you handle the height of that impact on the hospital system?” He said that the state had more than 92,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
Altogether, more than 2,300 people have died from the virus in the state. “The burn rate of ventilators is troubling, and six days of ventilators is very troubling,” Cuomo said. “But we have these extraordinary measures that if push comes to shove, we are on good footing.”
New York has a stockpile of approximately 2,200 ventilators. The state is also in the process of taking stock of all resources at hospitals.
WATCH: WEDNESDAY BRIEFING (4/1)
Cuomo: New York still over a week away from peak of pandemic, apologizes for labor website shortcomings (3/31)
– Tuesday, March 31st
On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York is anywhere between 7 and 21 days away from ‘peak’ of the Coronavirus pandemic. As of his press conference at 11:30 a.m. there were more than 75,000 confirmed cases.
He echoed sentiment shared on Monday that hospitals across the state would need to work together. Specifically, the demand of downstate, as it deals with the heaviest burden of this pandemic.
Cuomo said that hospitalization and ICU rates has increased.
“As we continue to battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have two missions – preparing our hospital system so it is not overwhelmed when the apex of the curve hits and ensuring people stay home so they don’t get the virus in the first place,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are following the mathematical projections of the experts and preparing for the main battle at the apex by procuring as much equipment as we can, increasing our hospital capacity and supporting hospital staff. We met with the entire state hospital system for the first time ever and established an unprecedented new approach to work cooperatively as one unified, statewide healthcare system to defeat this virus. This virus does not discriminate — no one is immune to it — and people must continue to be cautious, think of others and not leave their homes unless absolutely necessary.”
In addition, Cuomo apologized for the failings of the New York State Department of Labor website. Hundreds of thousands have been pouring onto the department’s website over the last week, rendering it useless at different times. He said workers were looking at ways to improve functionality in the short-term.
“I apologize for the pain,” Cuomo said. “It must be infuriating to deal with. I’m telling you, we have every technology company on it. “It is not working as smoothly as I would like to see it. You’re unemployed. You can’t get through on the darn website.”
Cuomo: Unified approach across NY hospitals will benefit entire state amid COVID pandemic (3/30)
– Monday, March 30th
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a statewide public-private hospital plan to fight the virus.
As part of the plan, public and private hospitals from across the state have agreed to implement a new balanced approach to fighting the virus where hospitals that are beginning to reach or exceed capacity can transfer patients to other hospitals that are not as full.
The hospital systems across the state have also agreed to share supplies, staff and other resources as needed.
The State Department of Health will work with the statewide healthcare system to create a command center to share information between hospitals about the supplies each hospital has in stock and the supplies each hospital is ordering.
This central inventory system will help ensure purchasing and distribution of supplies is done strategically and efficiently, according to the Cuomo Administration.
The Governor also announced that the first 1,000-bed temporary hospital at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is open and accepting patients today. The temporary hospital site was constructed in one week.
“In terms of the number of cases, you see the curve continues to go up – 7,195. You see the number of people tested continues to go up. This state is testing more people than any state in the United States – more per capita than China or South Korea,” Cuomo said during a press briefing. “That is a good thing. We want to test. We want to find the positives. And we want to find the positives so we can isolate and stop the transmission.”
Cuomo says the state tested 14,000 people on Sunday. The total number of cases in New York exceeded 66,000 as of the briefing. More than 1,200 deaths had been reported.
“You see it is continuing to move across the State of New York. There is only one county now that does not have a COVID case,” Cuomo added. That county is Seneca, located in the heart of the Finger Lakes. “Anyone who says the situation is a New York City only situation is in a state of denial. You see this virus move across the state. You see virus move across this nation. There is no American who is immune to this virus. I don’t care if you live in Kansas. I don’t care if you live in Texas. There is no American that is immune. What is happening to New York is not an anomaly.”
He said on Monday that the health care system would remain the frontline of the fight. “The frontline battle is going to be hospitals across the city, across the state, and across this nation,” Cuomo said. “That is where this battle is fought. It is that simple. You know exactly where it’s coming. You know exactly where the enemy is going to attack. They’re going to infect a large number of people. That number of people descend on the health care system. The health care system can’t deal with that number of people. You overwhelm the health care system.”
Cuomo extends NYS On Pause through April 15th; non-essential businesses to remain closed (3/29)
– Sunday, March 29th
On Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an extension of the NYS on Pause functions, which shut down non-essential businesses. That will last for at least two more weeks, Governor Cuomo said during a press conference.
The Governor also directed the state nonessential workforce to continue to work from home for an additional two weeks through April 15th. The state will re-evaluate after this additional two-week period.
In-person workforce restrictions, which have been implemented through various Executive Orders —202.3 (restaurants and bars, gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters and casinos); 202.4 (local government workforces, school districts; village elections); 202.5 (malls, public amusement facilities); 202.6 (all non-essential reduce 50%); 202.7 (barber shops, salons, other personal care); 202.8 (DMV); 202.10 (non-essential gatherings of any size); 202.11 (extension of school district closure until April 15, 2020) — are also extended until April 15, 2020 to enable uniform extension and review of such restrictions, and any such restrictions may be extended by future executive orders, the Governor added.
Governor Cuomo also announced that New York State’s Wadsworth Lab has developed a new, less intrusive test for COVID-19. The new test is done through a saliva sample and a self-administered short nasal swab in the presence of a health care professional. Additionally, health care professionals can self-administer the test without another health care professional present. This new test will help conserve personal protective equipment, or PPE, for healthcare workers, reduce potential exposure of the virus to health care workers and will allow the state to continue to test as many individuals as possible in New York amid the national shortage of the more intrusive nasopharyngeal, or NP, swabs. Self-collection of nasal swabs has been done before for other respiratory viruses such as flu and it has been shown to be effective and safe, and collection of a saliva sample is simple and non-invasive. This new testing will begin within a week.
The Governor also issued an executive order to allow schools to host day care free of charge.
After speaking with the state’s major pharmacy chains, the Governor announced that pharmacies have agreed to offer free home delivery to help reduce long lines for prescriptions at their facilities.
“There is no state in the nation that is better prepared or better mobilized to combat this virus than New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “The number of cases is still going up towards the apex, and the development of new, faster tests will be critical in flattening this curve, getting people back to work and returning to normalcy. The state’s Wadsworth lab has developed a new, less intrusive test that will allow us to increase our testing capacity, as well as save valuable PPE for our healthcare workers. We will get through this because we are New Yorkers – we are strong, we have endurance and we have stability. We have a plan, we’re executing that plan and we will manage any obstacle that we come across.”
Governor Cuomo also announced, in partnership with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senator Jamaal Bailey, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., that the State is launching a new mobile testing site in Co-Op City, the largest public housing development (Mitchell Lama) in the country. This new mobile testing site located at the Bay Plaza Mall Parking Lot, AMC Cinema entrance in the Bronx will provide tests by appointment only and will prioritize symptomatic individuals who had close exposure to a positive COVID-19 case, health care workers and first responders displaying symptoms, and those working in or having recently visited a nursing home who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. To get an appointment, New Yorkers can call the Coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
Finally, the Governor confirmed 7,195 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 59,513 confirmed cases in New York State.
Elections delayed across NYS: All will be held on June 23rd
– Saturday, March 28th
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced additional delays on Saturday, amid the Novel Coronavirus outbreak.
The pandemic, which has now claimed more than 2,000 lives across the U.S. has resulted in widespread primary postponements.
Now, New York has delayed its primary process.
Cuomo announced on Saturday that it would be moved from April 28th to June 23rd. A primary for state legislative and congressional races had already been set for the June date.
New York joins Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico in the delay.
Counties criticized for wanting downstate ban on travel to upstate (3/28)
– Saturday, March 28th
Governor Andrew Cuomo was critical of counties in Upstate New York, who have requested limits on those traveling from downstate.
“I don’t like it socially or culturally,” Cuomo said in an interview on WAMC public radio. “I don’t like what it says of us as one state.”
Cuomo pointed to comments earlier by Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, who said a ban on travel or a 14-day quarantine for people who live the metropolitan region was medically unnecessary.
New York City is a hotspot, and local officials have started asking for non-residents or part-time residents of counties like Yates and Seneca to stay where they are until the pandemic ends.
The Trump administration earlier this week recommended the 14-day quarantine for people who leave New York City for other communities.
Chairman Bob Hayssen, a Republican who leads the Seneca County Board of Supervisors shared his concerns about the stress that those from outside communities like his could pose on the rural health system.
A number of counties have shared that sentiment. The Yates County Legislature posted a similar message on Friday, asking for those who winter in other states to stay put until the pandemic is over.
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