April 14, 2021
Albany, NY

Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Announces Spectators Will Be Allowed at Horse and Auto Races at 20 Percent Capacity Beginning April 22

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Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Announces Spectators Will Be Allowed at Horse and Auto Races at 20 Percent Capacity Beginning April 22
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Spectators Subject to Strict State Health Guidance

Curfew for Food/Beverage Establishments Moved from 11 p.m. to Midnight; Curfew for Catered Events Moved from Midnight to 1 a.m.

4,091 Patient Hospitalizations Statewide

887 Patients in the ICU; 563 Intubated

Statewide Positivity Rate is 2.97%

Statewide 7-Day Average Positivity Rate Drops to 3.12%--Lowest Since March 10

43 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday

Governor Cuomo: "The racing season starts at the track at Belmont [Thursday, April 22]. We're updating our guidelines for horse and auto racing in New York. Effective next [April 22], spectators will be allowed at auto and horse races at 20 percent capacity for outdoor events. That will be in line with our guidance for other professional sports events. The health and safety protocols that apply to sports events: face masks, social distancing, proof of completed immunization or recent negative test will apply here also."

Cuomo: "The numbers are down on COVID. We talked about adjusting the valve between economic activity and economic constraint depending on how we're doing with COVID. We'regoing to extend the 11 p.m. curfew for food and beverage to midnight. ... At the same time, we caution New Yorkers. Don't get cocky. The disease is still very much with us. You see it escalating in some states, you see it escalating in some countries. We have to stay smart until COVID is crushed and it won't be crushed until we get herd immunity and we won't get herd immunity until we finish vaccinating everyone. That's where we are."

 

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that spectators will be allowed at horse and auto races at 20 percent capacity, beginning Thursday, April 22. Spectators will be subject to the State's strict guidance, which is currently in effect for other professional sports competitions with fans. Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry and are subject to the State's health and safety protocols on face coverings, social distancing, and health screening.

AUDIO of today's remarks is available here


A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:

Hi guys, good afternoon. I have Melissa DeRosa, Robert Mujica, Beth Garvey, Kelly Cummings on the telephone, Dr. Howard Zucker. Let me give you the COVID numbers for today. Positivity, 2.97. That is very good news. 43 New Yorkers died from COVID yesterday. That is bad news, but in this bizarre world, it's relatively better than many other days we've had. They're in our thoughts and prayers. 887in ICU, 563 intubated. Positivity by region, 4.8, Western New York. Next closest, 3.7, Mid-Hudson. 3.7, Long Island, 3.3, New York City, 3, Finger Lakes, 2.29, Capital Region, 1.89, Mohawk Valley, 1.7, North Country, 1.5, Central New York, .8, Southern Tier. Statewide, 3.1.

In New York City, what borough is highest? Take a guess. Staten Island, 4.4. Queens, 3.7, Brooklyn, 3.7, Bronx, 3.3, Manhattan, 2. New York City 7-day average, 3.3, is the lowest it's been in over four months. You have to go back to December 1st. So that is all good news. Statewide 7-day average, 3.1, is the lowest in the past month.

Vaccines, we've done 12.5 million shots in arms. Five million New Yorkers have been fully vaccinated. Thirty-nine percent of New Yorkers, 7.8 million, have gotten at least one dose. We are still aggressively pursuing vaccinations, and encouraging New Yorkers to get them. They can go to the website or they can call 1-833-NYS-4-VAX. The vaccines only work if we take them. I said this morning, I've said in the past, it is a civic duty, in my opinion. You take the vaccine not just for yourself. You take it to keep other people safe.

Everyone's aware of the situation with J&J. I spoke to Dr. Fauci and Dr. Walensky, the CDC head. You know, it is a peculiar situation. Europe went through it with AstraZeneca but out of 6.8 million J&J doses, they have six people, women, who had an adverse reaction. One of the women passed away but that is literally one in one million. So your chances of dying of COVID are much higher than your chances of getting sick from a J&J vaccine. They explained that the reason they did the pause on the J&J vaccine was to notify health care providers that the normal protocol did not work in this situation, that if a person comes in, says they have a serious headache, took a vaccine, the doctors diagnose a clot, they normally give an anti-clotting medication called Heparin, and that does not work in this situation, so they wanted to pause so they could communicate with the health care community and it was open as to how long the pause would be. They also wanted to find out if there were other people who were affected that they just hadn't heard about yet.

On the Duante Wright situation, you know this makes a point that has been made too many times in this society and this country. It's a tragic result of a flawed system that devalues the lives of Black men and women which is too quick to violence and it once again points out the underlying tension between policing and members of the community. Now New York has been the most aggressive state in the United States of America in addressing this. It's not a policing problem. This is a social problem and it is something that has to be resolved. You need to resolve the tension between the police and the community. You don't have an option of ending the police. That's not an option and you don't have the option of continuing with distrust of the police, so the relationship has to be repaired.

Nobody has been more aggressive about that than New York Sate and I'm very proud of that. Over 90 percent of the state's jurisdictions have submitted police reform plans which were done in collaborative with the community and passed by the city council and we're going through the plans now and we'll have more to talk about next week on this. But some jurisdictions did better than others. They all made an intent and they all took a first step and we'll review them and then we'll go through it.

I was at Belmont racetrack today. There was a fire in one of the barns. Two horses perished. The good news is they got out 58 horses so they did an extraordinary job. It's sad about the two horses but the fire department and the racetrack personnel did a good job in getting out 58.

The arena that is being built for the Islanders is going to be extraordinary. It's 19,000 seats. It will be one of the largest in the country and it will be one of the largest hockey arenas that is built as a hockey arena. They play hockey in many arenas but very few are designed for hockey, so here the side lines, the visibility, the ability for the entire audience to see the game is really extraordinary. The arena can also be used for music and concerts and it's going to be done by the end of this year, but it's going to be a source of pride for Long Island. I remember when the Nassau Coliseum was built. Long Island, I'm a Queens boy, as you know - the source of identification of Long Island as a region and not just an annex from New York City - the Nassau Coliseum did that. It was their coliseum. At that time you also had the Nets. This is going to be an arena for the Islanders and is an accompanying large retail large development, entertainment development, hotel development. It's really going to be a major and economic engine for all of Long Island.

The Islanders are doing very, very well. I don't want to pick any favorites, but the Islanders are having a great, great season. We took a tour of that facility and we're very excited about that. Part of it is the auto and horse racing season which is starting. The racing season starts at the track at Belmont [Thursday, April 22]. We're updating our guidelines for horse and auto racing in New York. Effective [April 22], spectators will be allowed at auto and horse races at 20 percent capacity for outdoor events. That will be in line with our guidance for other professional sports events. The health and safety protocols that apply to sports events: face masks, social distancing, proof of completed immunization or recent negative test will apply here also.

The numbers are down on COVID. We talked about adjusting the valve between economic activity and economic constraint depending on how we're doing with COVID. We're going to extend the 11 p.m. curfew for food and beverage to midnight. That will go into effect Monday, April 19. For catered events, it will go from midnight to 1 a.m. At the same time, we caution New Yorkers. Don't get cocky. The disease is still very much with us. You see it escalating in some states, you see it escalating in some countries. We have to stay smart until COVID is crushed and it won't be crushed until we get herd immunity and we won't get herd immunity until we finish vaccinating everyone. That's where we are.

Last note, the Indian Point is going to close. For me, that has been probably 25 years of effort. Closing Indian Point was at one time one of the main progressive causes in this State. It's not being against nuclear power. We have nuclear power plants in this State. It's that Indian Point is the nuclear power plant that is located to the most densely populated area on the globe. So number one was the location of Indian Point. Number two was the safety factor of Indian Point. I remember post-9/11 there was a lot of discussion about vulnerability for New York City, New York State, and one of the points that kept coming up was what could happen if Indian Point was a target of an attack, it is like 30 miles from New York City. The evacuation plan for the region is virtually impossible, right? The Westchester County emergency plan, at that time, was to give everybody an iodine pill. But the area is so dense that a meaningful evacuation plan is virtually impossible.

We are now moving forward with the most aggressive renewable plan in the country for this state. But, safety was the main issue with Indian Point. And it has been a very long road, I took it up as Attorney General with Entergy, we went back and forth, back and forth. But, the day has finally come and people in downstate New York will be the safer for it - that is inarguable. The same argument that they made 30 years ago they still make, "Well nuclear is clean." Yes. And we have nuclear power Upstate in different locations, but you don't put nuclear power on top of one of the most densely populated regions on the globe.

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