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Cuomo Imposes Tighter Restrictions On Portions Of NY As Coronavirus Surges

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking April 15, 2020.

Governor Andrew Cuomo intensified restrictions in several parts of New York Monday due to the climbing rate of the coronavirus. The Democrat delivered a stern warning to New Yorkers who might be tempted to break the rules during the holiday season, saying careless behavior will lead to more deaths.Cuomo declared parts of upper Manhattan and portions of Long Island, as yellow zones. On Staten Island, which is now in an orange zone, hospital space is running out, and the state will reactivate emergency health facility there which was been created last spring.

Parts of the cities of Syracuse and Rochester and some surrounding suburbs will also be designated an orange zone, with restrictions on public gatherings, house of worship, and a ban on indoor dining, gyms and personal care services, including hair salons. Schools will be closed, except for remote learning, and can open only with adequate testing of students and teachers.

There are several areas that Cuomo says are on the “warning track,” including parts of the city of Buffalo and some of its suburbs, which could be declared a red zone, as well as parts of Westchester County. Portions of Orange, Putnam and Ontario counties are also track for more restrictions, if the rate of the virus does not improve there.   

Cuomo says all across the state the numbers are already going up, with a 122% increase in the rate of hospitalizations for COVID-19 in last three weeks. He says that’s happening even without the added social temptations of the holidays and it’s very worrisome.

“These numbers have kept me awake for many, many, many nights,” said Cuomo. “People get infected, they go into the hospital, they go into the ICU, they’re intubated, they die.”

Cuomo says it’s not a normal Thanksgiving, and no one should expect it to be. He says his own family is limiting their gathering. One of his daughters, Mariah, who lives in Chicago, tearfully decided it’s too risky to come for the holiday.  

“Mariah loves me so much, she’s not coming to celebrate Thanksgiving with me,” said Cuomo. “That’s how much she loves me. We have to get our head there.”

The governor says people need to find the deeper meaning of Thanksgiving, and that it’s not just about gathering at the dinner table.

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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