© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cuomo Warns Of Total Shutdown If Virus Is Not Controlled

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at his briefing May 5, 2020.
File: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at his briefing May 5, 2020.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is warning that New York is headed for another lockdown if the rising rate of the coronavirus does not slow.Cuomo spoke as the latest numbers available, for Sunday, shows that the COVID-19 positivity rate is 5.66%. 5,712 New Yorkers were in the hospital with the disease, up over 300 people from Saturday. 83 people died of COVID on Sunday.

The governor says while New York’s rate is lower than most other states, the numbers are alarming, and if not turned around, may soon lead to a second total closure of all but essential businesses and services.

“If we do not change the trajectory, we could very well be headed to shutdown,” Cuomo said. “And shutdown is something to worry about." 

Cuomo says the regions of particular concern are the Rochester area, Central New York, and New York City, where infections are rising and the number of hospitalizations are increasing. Cuomo says Rome, Utica and Oneida County represent problem areas.

He warns that gathering for the holidays says will raise transmission rates even further. Small gatherings of family and friends account for 74% of virus spread, according to contact tracers. The governor says New Yorkers should “get a different picture of the holidays in your mind” and celebrate only within their own households.

“It just takes one nephew, one cousin, one uncle, somebody you love” Cuomo said. “And now you have a problem.”

Cuomo who earlier in the day live-streamed the first New Yorker to be vaccinated for the virus, a Queens ICU nurse, says it will take months before the vaccination rate hits a critical mass of 75% to 85%. He says for now, economic shutdown is the only tool in the tool box for tamping down the spread of the virus.

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.
Related Content