While issuing a cold warning to businesses who violate the rules of reopening, Governor Andrew Cuomo said despite the density of New York and over two weeks of civil unrest the state is still seeing declining COVID-19 cases.
Drawing a contrast between New York and 21 other states who reopened only to see great increases in the number of infections, Cuomo said New York was the “outrageous exception” because of its strategy toward weening life back into regions.
At the same time, Cuomo told businesses such as bars and restaurants that begin opening before they are legally allowed could be subject to losing liquor and other licenses for serving customers before it is deemed safe by their regional governments.
“I know business are anxious to open, everybody is anxious to get the economy going, please follow the guidelines and do what is permissible to do. People are very weary right now of businesses that are violating the opening rules,” Cuomo said. “Follow the rule, and you could lose your liquor license, you could lose your right to operate. So this is very serious. Short-term gain isn’t worth long-term pain.”
According to Cuomo, at least 50,000 tests are being administered across the state on any given day while the average number of deaths over the last week continues to hover between 30 and 40 on a daily basis. The governor shared a number of charts depicting cases spiking in California, Texas, and even Montana that showed that reopening came with consequences.
Earlier in the week, hospitals in Arizona were told by the state health department to implement emergency plans as Intensive Care Unit beds sprang to capacity. Governor Doug Ducey ordered the reopening despite cases being on the rise, in clear disregard for Centers For Disease Control requirements for regions to have cases in the decline for 14 consecutive days before doing so.
“We have the density, we have the crowding,” Cuomo said. “We also had the largest number of protesters out there and we’re still not sure what the effect of the protesters will be. That won’t show up – we’ve made testing available for protesters – but that may not show up for a couple of weeks.”
Also of note, Governor Cuomo says his administration has given local governments the discretion to allow in-person summer school to commence. He also held his tongue on whether or not to support a federal law introduce by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to ban police use of chemical weapons, namely tear gas.
This story originally appeared on amny.com.