June 11, 2020
Albany, NY

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Announces Five Regions Will Enter Phase Three of Reopening Tomorrow

TOP Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript:...

Global Public Health Experts Have Cleared Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier to Enter Phase Three

 

State is Allowing Localities to Open Public Pools and Playgrounds at their Discretion Beginning Today

 

Confirms 736 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 380,892; New Cases in 42 Counties

 

Governor Cuomo: "We have five regions that we have reviewed all the data, we have global experts who then go through the data, because sometimes if you look at the data you look at the underlying numbers you look at the underlying test you can see something but. We have the best experts that you can possibly have reviewing this. And they've reviewed it and five regions will enter Phase 3 tomorrow, Friday. Phase 3 is clearly indicated on the website what businesses can open, what businesses can't open."

 

Cuomo: "Also, a point of caution: I know businesses are anxious to open, everybody's anxious get the economy going. Please follow the guidelines and do what is permissible to do. People are very wary right businesses that are violating the opening rules. Restaurant's outdoor capacity that doesn't mean anyone inside. So, people call and we get complaints. The rules are clear... This is very serious. Short-term gain isn't worth long-term pain."

WYSIWYG

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that five regions—Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier - will enter phase three of reopening tomorrow, June 12th. The team of global public health experts advising New York State on its reopening strategy has thoroughly reviewed the data for the five regions and cleared them to enter phase three. Phase three allows indoor restaurant and food services and personal care services to resume. Each industry is subject to specific state guidelines to maximize safety and social distancing. Business guidance for phase three of the state's reopening plan is available here.

 

Governor Cuomo also announced that the state is allowing localities to open public pools and playgrounds at their discretion while following state guidance beginning today.

 

VIDEO of the Governor's remarks is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here

  

AUDIO of today's remarks is available here

    

PHOTOS will be available on the Governor's Flickr page.

   

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

 

Good morning, pleasure to be back. Wish you were with us yesterday, get a glimpse of the New LaGuardia Airport which is unbelievable, incredible, people are going to be blown away. It is day 103 in dealing with the COVID crises, day 18 in dealing with the civil unrest after the murder of Mr. Floyd. And this is as tumultuous as we have seen. 

 

You have these two major crises going on at the same time. They actually intersect with the protestors being a mass gathering at the time of COVID. And then you have an overall dynamic, an overall environment, you have terrible political divides, this hyper partisan, nasty political season. There is racial division after the civil unrest and watching the Mr. Floyd murder on television. But what does New York do when the going gets tough? New York gets going. New Yorkis the progressive capital of the United States. You look back at history. You look at when there was a pivot point in society and more often than not New York was the point of pivot. You have a problem. You have an issue. New Yorkwas the one that stepped up to the plate and resolved it, boldly, and the nation followed. And we're doing the same on police reform. The disciplinary record release, more transparency, banning chokeholds, the attorney general as special prosecutor, hate crimes. I applaud the New York State Legislature for moving as quickly as they did. 

 

On reopening, we've been talking about following the metrics, following the science, we've been talking about the hospitalization rate, the intubation rate, the hospital capacity, the ICU capacity, the number of tests, the number of tracers. We've had the most science-based, most informed reopening I think it's fair to say in the country. It is nothing about intuition, nothing about politics, look at the numbers follow the numbers. And we have more numbers, we're doing more testing, we have more reports from the hospitals, so we've been following the data. Now at this point, there's one number to watch closely and that is the daily testing number. Why? The others are status of the system or they'relagging indicators. Hospitalization rate is definitive but the hospitalization rate is probably two weeks lagging behind the infection rate. If you're getting your information from the hospitalization rate, you're closing the barn door after the horse is gone, right? The daily testing, we do about 50,000 tests per day, 50,000 tests per day, just think about that. No other state comes near 50,000 tests per day. We report those numbers the next day. So, every day you have a snapshot of the day before with 50,000 tests all across the state. That's the number that we have to watch. 

 

So, daily test results by region. New York City for example. Monday was one 1.8. Tuesday was 1.5. Yesterday was one 1.7. Watch those daily numbers. There a certain bounce little high, little low. You're not dealing with the largest numbers in some of these locations. But you want to watch, you want to notice any trend line, you want to notice any bounce,and then you want to find out why, okay? So let's say you see region going up. You then look at those people who were tested and see if you can find something out from those people who were tested. This is what the local officials should be doing. This is the testing and then there is tracing, right? So, New York City they do tests, they find 200 people who were positive that day. The tracers then go back and look at those 200 people. What can we learn from those 200 people? Well, of to 200, 25 all work at this one place. Of the 200, ten were at the same party. Of the 200, 13 went to this restaurant. So, you look at those that test positive. But first watch the daily numbers. 

 

You do it by region, and then you can look within the region by county. So New York City that just reopened that will be watching closely, you see the deviation among the counties, but then you watch the trend line. Bronx 2, 3, 2, 1, to 4. Brooklyn 1, 9, 1, 3, 1, 9, Manhattan 1, 1, 2, 1, 2, and again you'll see plus or minus deviations but you want to look for an increase and then a continued increase. Overall, the hospitalizations are still headed down. Overall the number of deaths is close to its lowest point. Also, on the number of deaths when you get this low on the number of deaths, I don't know what it is really telling us anymore. This can be a question of how doctors happen to certify of cause of death. Many of these people have comorbidities, so you could have a heart disease, you could have diabetes, you could have hypertension, you could have a respiratory illness and COVID. What is the cause of death between cancer and COVID, right? But it's overall great news again, and you see the number of lives lost continuing to go down.

 

We have five regions that we have reviewed all the data, we have global experts who then go through the data, because sometimes if you look at the data you look at the underlying numbers you look at the underlying test you can see something but. We have the best experts that you can possibly have reviewing this. And they've reviewed it and five regions will enter Phase 3 tomorrow, Friday. Phase 3 is clearly indicated on the website what businesses can open, what businesses can't open. Also, a point of caution: I know businesses are anxious to open, everybody's anxious get the economy going. Please follow the guidelines and do what is permissible to do. People are very wary right businesses that are violating the opening rules. Restaurant's outdoor capacity that doesn't mean anyone inside. So, people call and we get complaints. The rules are clear some businesses say when you know my mayors said, this is my Aunt Tilly said this would be ok, my town councilman said this would be ok, and that doesn't count. Follow the rules and you can lose your liquor license you can lose your right to operate. So, this is very serious. Short-term gain isn't worth long-term pain.

 

As we're entering the summer public pools and playgrounds we're going to leave to open or keep closed in the discretion of local governments. But they have to use their judgment here. Again, they have the test data, they should be studying the test data, they should be looking at those positives and see where the positives are coming from. If the positives are in a cluster, a neighborhood that has that pool, don't open the pool. Well everybody wants to swim, I understand. Everybody doesn't want to see a spike in COVID again. So, use your judgment. Sometimes yes is not the right answer. It's the easy answer.

 

In this overall situation, I don't have to say it - we need caution. We have to beware, we need warnings, you take your pick. The numbers are good, everything we've done has been exactly right up until now. But that's up until now. And you can make a mistake today that wipes out everything we've done, so we have to stay smart. This COVID has not gone away. Doctor Fauci spoke to it, the CDC speaks to it. We have done extraordinarily well because the people of this state have responded in a way no one predicted, and they'll actually research in talk about for years I believe.

 

But Covid is still out there. It's increasing in 21 states. 14 states highest number ever of Covid cases. And if you look at what's going on it tends to be after the reopening. Why? Because the reopening is the point that increases the activity. Just look what happened in these other states. California, they reopen and then look at the increase after the reopening. And it's not one state. It is the pattern, my friends. And it is to be expected, because we brought down that number because we closed everything down. You open that value, you increase the activity, you will see it spread. Look at Florida, May 4. Texas, Arizona, it's the same story. We want to reopen. We want to reopen. It's fine. It's fine. It's fine. No, it's fine until it's not fine. Kentucky. Look at South Carolina. Look at North Carolina. Look at Missouri. I mean, it is all across the country. Look at Utah. Look at Arkansas. Look at Nevada. It is all across the country.

 

We are the exception and an outrageous exception. We so far have the exact opposite phenomenon. We reopen the number continues to go down. We reopen the number continues to go down. How can that be? Because our reopening is different than their reopening. Our reopening is based on the numbers. Our reopening is phased. And because New Yorkers have been smart and they've been diligent. And you can say reopen, not reopen. They've been informed in this state. They have been informed. They know what's going on.

 

I run into people on the street who know things about my briefing that I forgot. Remember you said this. Remember you had this number. No, I don't remember. They remember. They are smart. They're informed. So, they're protecting themselves. And they dismissed the politics. But we are the exception. To date we're the exception. And that can change and that can change overnight.

 

Also, beware because we are a more dense state and we have more crowding. You look at some of those other states, they are rural states. They don't have large congregations. They don't have apartments buildings where everybody goes into one elevator. We have the density. We have the crowding. You start to see an increase it's going to take off and that's how we got here in the first place. I don't know how many other ways to say it. We also have the largest number of protesters out there and we're still not sure what the effect of the protesters is. And that won't show up, I've asked them to get tested. We've made testing available for protesters, but that may not show up for a couple of weeks.

 

So, caution people have to do their part. Be smart. It is all up to you. It is all up to you. Government did nothing. I did nothing for the past 100 days. All I did was give information to people and then people acted intelligent. That has been our success story and that's what we have to keep doing. And that's what I meant by being New York tough. Be smart. Be united. Be disciplined. Be loving.

 

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