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Cuomo talks new strain of COVID-19, possibility of letting fans into Bills’ stadium during playoffs

Governor Andrew Cuomo held an impromptu press conference on Sunday.

He called on the federal government to require travelers from the United Kingdom to be tested for COVID-19 before getting on a plane to come to the U.S.

A new strain of COVID-19 has been reported there, and according to some reports, is more contagious than the strain in the U.S. at this time.

Howard Zucker, the state’s health commissioner said that the last time New York saw a mutated version of the virus was in April. He also noted that the mutated version of the virus is being tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cuomo noted that the expectation at this point is that the vaccination will work on the new variant of the virus. However, he was taking that with “a grain of salt.”

The Finger Lakes region had a positivity rate of 8.34%, which led the state. The Mohawk Valley region moved past Central New York to occupy the #2 space in the state’s ranking.

Governor Cuomo also reiterated that there’s a chance fans could be allowed at Bills Stadium during the playoffs. The team has apparently submitted a plan for the state to review.

Cuomo said it would ultimately be Zucker’s call. “We have their plan,” Cuomo said. “It’s being reviewed by the Department of Health. [They] are considering some alternatives and ideas.” He voiced concern about the crowd that gathered to greet the Bills’ as they returned to Buffalo after Saturday’s playoff-clinching victory. “Large gatherings should concern everyone,” Cuomo continued. “If you’re wearing masks and there’s some social distancing – it’s better. But large gatherings are, of course, a concern.”

Bills clinch first AFC East title since 1995 with 48-19 win over Broncos (full coverage)