MANHASSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday total hospitalizations, intubations and number of new coronavirus cases are all down.
“We are basically back to where we started before this tragedy descended upon us,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo touted the progress battling the disease on Long Island, saying that the region had previously been losing about 100 people per day to the disease and is now losing around 13.
“We saved many, many lives,” Cuomo said.
More visitors may soon be allowed in New York hospitals, which has been one of the most excruciating parts of dealing with COVID-19 for many New York families who were unable to visit a loved one in the hospital.
Visitor policies have been drastically cut to keep more people from catching the virus.
But now, Cuomo has announced a new two week pilot program that would increase visitations in 16 hospitals across the state. That includes Lenox Hill on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Mount Sinai Queens in Long Island City.
“It is terrible to have someone in the hospital and then that person is isolated, not being able to see their family and friends,” Cuomo said.
The exact details haven’t been announced yet, but the program will start within a week. Visitors will have time limits. They’ll have to pass a symptom and temperature check and be provided with PPE they must wear.
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Cuomo is also hopeful about seeing a coronavirus vaccine. He’s asking the federal government to make sure that whichever pharmaceutical company is first to develop a vaccine releases the rights to it to ensure widespread distribution.
The Governor also wants to ensure that New York sports teams get back in business – without fans.
“I’m very aggressive on encouraging sports teams to start and to operate without fans,” Cuomo said. “To the extent they can start, I encourage them to start.
“When a team plays, even if there’s no one in the stands, it gets broadcast and that gives people at home an entertainment value and something to participate in and another reason frankly to stay home,” he added.
Cuomo said that the state will work with teams to develop strategies.
“New York will be a full partner. Anything we can do to make it happen and make it happen safely, we will,” he said.
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Cuomo again called on the federal government to require corporations that are receiving bailout money to not fire employees. He further called on Washington to pass a bill that will help state and local governments who’ve had their budgets blown out by the pandemic.
“Show the same consideration for the workers that you showed for the corporations,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said he suspects the amount of MISC cases – Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children – that have been reported is just the “tip of the iceberg.” The state has recorded 137 confirmed cases.
Cuomo hopes Memorial Day ceremonies will be televised as well – this weekend.
The state will allow ceremonies – if local governments okay it – but with no more than 10 people.
Cuomo is encouraging vehicle parades – saying our veterans should still be honored during this pandemic.