‘Do not underestimate this virus’: Cuomo says local governments must react quickly if reopening causes spike in COVID-19 cases

Photo via Flickr/Governor Andrew Cuomo

While New York State’s numbers are going down, Governor Andrew Cuomo states that we still have to proceed with reopening the state.

During the governor’s daily coronavirus briefing, Cuomo stated that there were 420 new COVID-19 hospitalizations, with the total net hospitalizations down 240 and overall hospitalizations down as well. On May 13, 157 New Yorkers died of coronavirus.

Though Cuomo acknowledged that New York is starting to see numbers that mirror the number of cases before the pandemic went into full force, now is not the time to underestimate COVID-19.

“Do not underestimate this virus. It has beaten us at every turn, and it has surprised us at every turn,” said Cuomo. “Don’t take it lightly. Don’t underestimate it. I believe the facts will change as we go forward. The more we learn about the virus, the more the facts change, and the worse it gets.”

Cuomo stated during the briefing that five areas in New York State are ready to start the reopening process on May 15, based on new guidelines set up by the state: the Fingers Lakes, Central New York, North Country, the Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley. The state has created a dashboard to track testing and hospital data.

As New York State begins to reopen, Cuomo says it’s on local governments to track the daily number of coronavirus cases, as well as business compliance and individual compliance during reopening procedures. However, if these areas start to see an uptick in coronavirus cases as a result of reopening, Cuomo expects local leadership to nip it in the bud immediately.

“Phased reopening doesn’t mean that the problem has gone away. It means that we have controlled the problem with what we did,” said Cuomo. “If you see a change in those numbers, react immediately. If you allow this virus to get ahead of us, we will have a problem.”


This story originally appeared on amny.com

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