October 30, 2020
Albany, NY

Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress During COVID-19 Pandemic

TOP Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo...

Positive Testing Rate in All Focus Zone Areas is 2.75 Percent; New York State Positivity Outside All Focus Zone Areas is 1.38 Percent 

 

Statewide Positivity Rate is 1.53 Percent 

 

12 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday 

 

Governor Cuomo: "In the micro-cluster zones, we've been working with the schools in the red and the orange zones. The schools, private schools, catholic schools, yeshivas, public schools, want to be open in the red and the orange zones, and we've been working with them to try to find ways to keep people safe, but allow children to go to school. And we have an agreement with them on a protocol that I think keeps people safe and allows children to be educated." 

 

Cuomo: "On their vaccination plan, I think it's deeply flawed because the premise of the plan is what they call a public-private sector partnership, which sounds great. But, the main distribution would be private pharmacies. CVS, Walgreens, et cetera, and private providers. That is a very limited distribution mechanism. They do not provide for a state to organize vaccination with state personnel on any scale. So you have a limited distribution network." 

WYSIWYG

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo updated New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

  

AUDIO of today's remarks is available here.

 

A rush transcript of today's remarks is available below:

 

Good afternoon guys, guys being gender-neutral. I have Melissa DeRosa, Robert Mujica, Beth Garvey, Dr. Zucker, Gareth Rhodes on the phone. Today is day 244. We did 146,000 tests. Positivity in the micro-clusters is 2.7. That's down from 3.2. Positivity without the focus zones is 1.3. Overall, state positivity rate with the micro-cluster zones is 1.5. State seven-day average with micro-cluster zones is 1.4. That's the third-lowest in the nation. Only Maine and Vermont are listed as having a lower rate. 12 New Yorkers passed away. They're in our thoughts and prayers. 1,085 hospitalized, that's flat. 243 in ICU, 116 intubated.

 

In the micro-cluster zones, we've been working with the schools in the red and the orange zones. The schools, private schools, catholic schools, yeshivas, public schools, want to be open in the red and the orange zones, and we've been working with them to try to find ways to keep people safe, but allow children to go to school. And we have an agreement with them on a protocol that I think keeps people safe and allows children to be educated.

 

Basic rule is, before you reopen a school, all the people who go into the school, students or teachers, will be tested, and only those who test negative are allowed to go back into the school. So if somebody's positive, obviously they're not allowed in the school. All the students, all the teachers will know that everybody was tested and they're all negative. It will also give us a idea about homes and households in that area. If a child tests positive, then we can contact trace back to the family.

 

And then on an ongoing basis, once that school has opened, 25 percent of the population every week would be tested. Beth, you want to give the details on that?

 

Beth Garvey: Yes. The proposal would require random surveillance testing of a minimum of 25 percent of the population that would have to be both the students and the faculty and staff. Depending on the sample size, if you received in a smaller school more than 9 positive tests, the school would have to re-close. If you are sampling at the 25 percent level, 300 or more individuals on a weekly basis, if your positivity exceeds 2 percent within the City of New York or 3 percent outside of the city the school would have to go to remote learning once again.

 

The State is able to supply rapid test kits for the surveillance testing purpose. This would continue while they are in the red or orange zone. Obviously, if they exit into a yellow zone, surveillance testing requirements is only 20 percent. If they move out of the zone entirely there would be no further testing requirement.

 

Governor Cuomo: Okay. Last point, I was on a call today held by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to talk about the vaccine process. Dr. Birx made the point on the call of asking the governors to make sure they're urging masks. It would be nice if that's what the CDC and the White House Coronavirus Task Force is urging if the president was consistent and had a national mask mandate rather than lose 130,000 Americans.

 

On their vaccination plan, I think it's deeply flawed because the premise of the plan is what they call a public-private sector partnership, which sounds great. But, the main distribution would be private pharmacies. CVS, Walgreens, et cetera, and private providers. That is a very limited distribution mechanism. They do not provide for a state to organize vaccination with state personnel on any scale. So you have a limited distribution network.

 

That same network they're talking about is the network we currently use to do the COVID testing, right. We've contracted with these pharmacies to do COVID testing. First you now have this same network doing COVID testing and asking them also to do vaccinations on top of it. You'd have to sacrifice one or the other, either the number of COVID tests you're taking or the number of vaccinations they could perform. Secondarily, you do not get the necessary scale to do the vaccinations on an expeditious basis. For example, we've used this network to do the COVID testing. We have done, in New York, 13 million tests over seven months with this network. Nationwide, we've done 130 million COVID tests with this network. In New York, instead of doing 13 million COVID tests we have to do 40 million vaccinations. It's every person twice - two dosages. Nationwide, it wouldn't be 130 million tests, you'd have to do 660 million vaccinations. We know the capacity of the network because we now have it engaged. It could take one year to vaccinate the population using only a private sector network. This country can't afford to take one year to do vaccinations. So, I think their fundamental plan, while simplistic, is deeply flawed.

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