On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo resumed regular briefings noting that major changes could be coming for New York in the next few days.
He says monitoring hospital capacity will be a big part of how the state responds. “If after surge and flex a region’s 7-day average hospitalization growth rate shows that within three weeks the region will will hit critical hospital capacity (90%), we will enact NY PAUSE,” Cuomo said explaining the plan.
Separately, if hospitalization rates do not stabilize in the next five days Governor Cuomo said indoor dining will be reduced to 25% in Upstate New York. It’s currently set at 50%.
As part of that surge and flex response, hospitals will only have to increase their capacity by 25%. In the spring he ordered 50% increases. Some thought that after his announcement last week that a focus on hospital readiness for an uptick in COVID cases that the same level would be required.
“What is the message here?” he asked. “You cannot overwhelm your hospitals.” The Governor was more stern in his warnings that a full-shutdown is possible if the state’s course does not change. He said that due to the increase in hospitalizations since Thanksgiving – he does not expect New York will reverse course or stabilize that hospitalization rate over the next five days.
Decisions will be made on a region-by-region basis.
Governor Cuomo referred to a poll that showed 49% of Americans are not ready to get the COVID-19 vaccine. “But 75-80% need to be vaccinated to hit critical mass,” Cuomo said, speaking to public health officials’ frustrations to date.
He also spoke to how long the restrictions New Yorkers have been dealing with over the last nine months could last. He said that until the general public can start to be vaccinated – which would be in April or May – controlling spread and hospitalization. Dr. Fauci backed up that logic when addressing the skepticism attached to vaccines.
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