October 7, 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...

20 ZIP Codes in Areas with Hot Spots - Brooklyn, Queens and Rockland and Orange Counties - Have 5.1 Percent Positivity Rate

 

Statewide Positivity Excluding Hot Spot ZIP Codes is 1.05 Percent; 1.25 Percent with Hot Spot ZIP Codes Included

 

Recent Uptick in Hospitalizations Driven By Same ZIPs Seeing High Infection Rate

 

8 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday

 

SLA and State Police Task Force Visits 596 Establishments; Observes 6 Establishments Not in Compliance

 

Governor Cuomo: "The focus is on the hot spots. Why? Number one, we want to save lives in the hot spots. Number two, we want to make sure the infection rate in the hot spots does not spread. The spread is inevitable if we do not control the hot spot. There are facts, even if they're unpleasant. And we know because we have lived it, and every expert will tell you, and our experience shows it, if you do not control the infection rate it will spread."

 

Cuomo: "We announced a Cluster Action Initiative yesterday and we're focused on it and we're enforcing it and we will continue to do that. Some people are unhappy. I understand it. These limitations are better than going back to closedown which is what happens when the infection increases. It's what we've seen in states all cross the nation, right? Open up, infection rate goes up, they close down. We have been more phased and more calibrated in our response so when you see the infection rate go up, I have a great graphic that I like - that probably only I like - which shows a valve, you start to close the valve when you see the infection rate going up. Infection rate is going up, we're backing off on the valve, reduce the activity, get the infection rate under control."

 

Cuomo: "I don't understand what the President is doing now on the state and local aid, why he would say there should be no negotiations. I mean that's the height of unreasonableness. "I won't talk about it." What do you mean you won't talk about it? You're talking about the national economy. You're talking about billions of dollars. You're talking about providing assistance to states and localities that were hurt by COVID and every economic expert will tell you if you starve the state and local governments you will hurt the overall national economy. This is no time to get petulant. "I won't talk about it." That's your job. That's your oath. Try to find a way through. Try to find a path. Try to find compromise. Try to find a solution. "I won't talk about it." That disrespects the office and the oath and will do tremendous economic damage."

WYSIWYG

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo updated New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the top 20 ZIP codes in areas that have seen recent outbreaks - Brooklyn and Queens and Rockland and Orange Counties - 5,311 tests were conducted, yielding 271 positives or a 5.1 percent positivity rate. In the remainder of the state, 102,935 tests were conducted yielding 1,089 positives or a 1.05 percent positivity rate.

 

The Governor noted that the recent uptick in hospitalizations over the past several weeks is driven primarily from the same hotspot ZIP codes in counties where we are seeing increases in cases. For the top 20 ZIPs in the four counties we are primarily seeing the most serious cluster outbreaks - Brooklyn, Queens, Orange and Rockland Counties - these ZIPs represent just 6.7 percent of the state's population - yet 20 percent of all new hospital admissions over past two weeks are from these ZIPs.

 

AUDIO of today's remarks is available here.

 

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

 

Good morning guys. Andrew Cuomo here. I'm joined by Melissa DeRosa, Robert Mujica, Commissioner Zucker, Beth Garvey, special counsel, and Gareth Rhodes. Today is day 221. We did 108,000 tests yesterday, 108. The testing now, we do two types of testing protocols. We are oversampling the hot spots, as we call them, and then we do the normal statewide testing. Testing in the hot spots was 5.1 percent, and I'll give you a breakdown in a moment. Testing for the state overall was 1.05, so basically 1. So, statewide rate is 1, the hot spots, the infection rate is 5. The infection rate in the hot spots, 5 times what it is statewide. Positivity rate if you rolled it all together, 1.25.

 

The hot spots are the issue that we're focused on. Eight New Yorkers passed away yesterday from COVID. 748 were hospitalized. That's up 43 from the day before. The increase in the hospitalizations is we're seeing the hot spot clusters adding to hospitalizations at over three times their population rate. 176 COVID patients were in ICU. 72 patients were in intubated. When you look across the state, Capital Region, .9, that's good. Central New York, .9, Finger Lakes, .5, that's good. Long Island, 1.2, that's okay. Mid-Hudson, 2, that's Orange, Rockland. Mohawk Valley, .4, North Country, .1, so that's New York City, 1.5. That's the hot spots in primarily Brooklyn. Southern Tier, 1.4, we have a hot spot in Broome. Western New York, .9, which is good for Western New York. It's a good number in general but it's especially good for Western New York.

 

Hot spots, we have Orange at 3.9, Rockland at 4.5, Broome at 6.1, and Brooklyn at 2.2. So, it's about focusing on the hot spots. The school data, you can find on the dashboard if you're interested. But, it's about focusing on the hot spots. The hot spots are generating people at three times their population rate who are becoming hospitalized. The infection rate in the hot spots is five times the overall infection rate. So the focus is on the hot spots. Why? Number one, we want to save lives in the hot spots. Number two, we want to make sure the infection rate in the hot spots does not spread. The spread is inevitable if we do not control the hot spot. There are facts, even if they're unpleasant. And we know because we have lived it, and every expert will tell you, and our experience shows it, if you do not control the infection rate it will spread. You're not talking about hermetically sealed areas. You have people with a high infection rate, they go to the store, children play with children, they go to schools, and that is how the virus spreads.

 

So we announced a Cluster Action Initiative yesterday and we're focused on it and we're enforcing it and we will continue to do that. Some people are unhappy. I understand it. These limitations are better than going back to closedown which is what happens when the infection increases. It's what we've seen in states all cross the nation, right? Open up, infection rate goes up, they close down. We have been more phased and more calibrated in our response so when you see the infection rate go up, I have a great graphic that I like - that probably only I like - which shows a valve, you start to close the valve when you see the infection rate going up. Infection rate is going up, we're backing off on the valve, reduce the activity, get the infection rate under control.

 

These rules are in effect for 14 days. If we get the infection rate under control then we can extend economic activity but there are no options here because the facts are that blunt. If you don't slow the rate of infection it will increase and if you don't, you need to take action to slow the rate and that's what it is.

 

To the extent there are communities that are upset, that's because they haven't been following the original rules and that's why the infection spread - because they weren't following the rules and the rules weren't being enforced. The rules weren't being enforced because the communities didn't want to follow them. I understand that but that's why we are where we are - make no mistake. And this can't be just, we come up with a new rule because if it's just another rule and the rule isn't enforced, then we'll be right where we were. So a rule is only as good as the enforcement and if we had enforced the first rule we wouldn't be here in the first place so let's not make the same mistake twice.

 

Last point, I don't understand what the President is doing now on the state and local aid, why he would say there should be no negotiations. I mean that's the height of unreasonableness. "I won't talk about it." what do you mean you won't talk about it? You're talking about the national economy. You're talking about billions of dollars. You're talking about providing assistance to states and localities that were hurt by COVID and every economic expert will tell you if you starve the state and local governments you will hurt the overall national economy. This is no time to get petulant. I won't talk about it - that's your job. That's your oath. Try to find a way through. Try to find a path. Try to find compromise. Try to find a solution. "I won't talk about it." That disrespects the office and the oath and will do tremendous economic damage.

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