After 111 days of daily briefings, Governor Cuomo gave his staff the day off for Juneteenth and delivered the final briefing from his office by himself.
Cuomo stated that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations are down to 1,284, the lowest that New York has seen, as well as the lowest weekly average of deaths (25 per day) and the lowest weekly infection rate (less than 1%). New York also performed 79,000 COVID-19 tests on June 18, a new record for the state.
All regions of the state have lower infection rates, and New York City is still headed towards phase two of reopening on June 22. However, Cuomo reminded the public that COVID-19 is not over even though the numbers are good.
“COVID isn’t over, we still have much more to do,” said Cuomo. “We have to monitor the local infection rate, local governments must ensure compliance and tracing. We have to watch out for a second wave, we have to watch out for possible infections coming now from other states, and many people need help to get their lives back to normal.”
With that in mind, Cuomo stated that it is clear that in the past three months New York was able to do the impossible and completely flipped the switch on the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.
“In the beginning, this virus hit us hard because it actually came from Europe after we were told that it was coming from China,” said Cuomo. “When this started we had more cases per capita than any state in the country or any nation on the globe. But today we have done a full 180, from worst to first. We are controlling the virus better than any state in the country and any nation on the globe.”
Cuomo said that he is “incredibly proud” of all that New Yorkers have done to reduce the spread of the virus, which according to Cuomo effectively saved hundreds of people from being hospitalized due to coronavirus.
“We owe thanks to so many people – to our heroes, the healthcare and essential workers, to our legislature and our colleagues in New Jersey, Connecticut, and neighboring states,” said Cuomo. “Local governments, the Army Corp of Engineers, they did a great job. And most of all, to the great people of this state who rose to the occasion, who joined hands, and did what they had to do.”
In addition to thanking his team and his family, Cuomo thanked the 59 million people who tuned into his daily briefings for giving him “the benefit of the doubt” and giving him support during these past months.
“I know this period has been incredibly hard on all of us,” said Cuomo. “I thought about it every day as climbing a mountain, the Mount Everest of social challenges. 42 days up the mountain and 69 days down the other side. Every day, every step, hurt and it was hard. It was frightening and sad. But I really believe we will be the better for it.”
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 19, 2020
This story originally appeared on amny.com.