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Cuomo Holds Final Daily COVID-19 Briefing

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking March 25, 2020.

Governor Cuomo delivered his final daily briefing on the coronavirus Friday, where he said he’s grateful that the virus is at an all-time low in New York, but he worries about rising infection rates elsewhere in the US.

The governor did not open his briefing to news media, and he did it without his usual power point presentation, and without his staff.

“I gave everyone today off,” said Cuomo, who on Wednesday declared June 19, known as Juneteenth in commemoration of the final freeing of  slaves in the US, as a state employee holiday. “And I can handle this last daily COVID briefing alone.”

Cuomo says the daily hospitalization rate for COVID-19, at 1,284, is at its lowest level since the pandemic begin in New York. Tests show the rate of the incidence of the virus is at less than 1%, and the three-day-average of those who died from the diseases is also at its lowest point.

“25 souls each day,” Cuomo said. “And we’ll remember them in our thoughts and prayers.”

Cuomo credits the success in beating back the virus to the cooperation of New Yorkers in obeying stay at home orders, and during the phased in ongoing reopenings, wearing masks and observing social distancing. New York now has the lowest rate of infection in the nation.

Cuomo says it’s not the time, though, to let down our guard, and he says he and his staff will continue to monitor the local infection rates of the disease and watch out for a second save of the virus.

“COVID isn’t over,” he said.  

The governor says he is particularly worried about some other states where infection rates are on the rise. Cuomo said earlier in the week that he might impose a quarantine on visitors from states where there is a high rate of the virus, including Florida, where COVID-19 cases are spiking. But the governor did make any new announcements on that Friday.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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