New Covid-19 cases in New York are from those leaving home to shop, exercise or socialize, says Gov Cuomo
New York is recording new cases predominately from those leaving the confines of their homes to shop, exercise or socialize, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. "That person got infected and went to the hospital or that person got infected and went home and infected the other people at home," Cuomo said during his daily news conference on the coronavirus outbreak. Cuomo had earlier suspected new cases were coming from essential workers. "The infection rate among essential workers is lower than the general population, and those new cases are coming predominantly from people who are not working and are at home," he said.
In late March, New York became the epicenter of the US outbreak. However, the number of new cases is declining, and has reached a plateau, at least for now, Cuomo added. The state has confirmed 355,037 coronavirus cases and 28,168 deaths so far. What is more, the number of hospitalizations is also decreasing. According to state data, 5,897 patients are hospitalized, down from 6,220 the day before.
New York reopens five regions
Cuomo is looking at seven criteria before reopening. These include a 14-day drop in hospitalizations and hospital deaths, rate of new hospitalizations, available beds in the hospital and ICU, testing and contact tracing. Only five regions in upstate New York have fulfilled the criteria and were reopened on Friday, May 15. These regions have opened up construction, agriculture, retail, manufacturing and wholesale trade. He added that two other regions — the Capital Region and Western New York — are close to meeting the guidelines, as they have to only work on expanding their contact tracing capacity. "We’ll be working with both the Capital Region and Western New York to get that tracing up. But that is a purely administrative function," he said.
The Governor also announced that New York and the nearby states of New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware will partially reopen beaches for the Memorial Day holiday weekend on May 23-25. The reopening comes with conditions. "No swimming. No parties. No sports. No gatherings. We are going to give people a chance to get it right," Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press briefing.
Cuomo urges people to get tested
To encourage the procedure, Cuomo got himself tested during his live news briefing in Albany on Sunday, May 17. "That is the whole test. I am not in pain. I am not in discomfort. Closing my eyes was a moment of relaxation. There is no reason why you should not get the test," he said. He added that people resuming work are eligible for testing. The state is now completing about 40,000 tests each day, Cuomo announced.
With private labs, the state can run about 80,000 to 90,000 tests per day, said Dr Howard Zucker, the state health commissioner. Cuomo also warned that New Yorkers should brace for a surge in cases as regions reopen for business. He said: "We don't want to see a spike. It depends on how people react and it depends on their personal behavior."