Cuomo warns of COVID-19 spike in New York after holidays

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

As sure as people will gain weight during the holidays, there will be a considerable spike across the state in COVID-19 infection rates, Governor Andrew Cuomo said during his Sunday press conference.

With New York City coming in at a current rate of 5.46 percent, the governor believes that New Yorkers need to carry a mindfulness about their community’s infection rate which will see discernible increases in the first week of December after Thanksgiving.

“I think after New Year’s Eve, Jan. 2, Jan. 10, Jan. 15, then you’ll see the collective impact of all 37 days,” Cuomo said. “The rate goes up, there are more restrictions to slow the economy, that’s bad for business… You overburden the hospital system… More people will die the more a rate goes up. Unless you are extremely casual about human life, it matters.”

The vaccine which could come in December or January will first go to high risk communities such as those in nursing homes and that it could be six months before the general population are inoculated against COVID-19 and deaths continue to mount.

As of Nov. 21, there were 30 deaths in New York — still a far cry from the 800 per day seen in May, but no less tragic.

Upper Manhattan is expected to become a yellow zone for the holiday, the governor said. Parts of Staten Island could also be declared orange or red zones if the seven-day average remains above 3 percent.

There are 420 sites across the five boroughs, many of which are CityMD locations where the volume of patients can be seen stretching around blocks at times.

On the matter of reports that there was a wedding in New York City over the weekend with up to 7,000 attendees, Cuomo said his administration and the city would not only investigate, but hold the organizers accountable.

According to Cuomo, state leaders had worked to halt a wedding of similar size held by members of the Orthodox Jewish community and said that if their response was to hold a “secret” wedding of similar size, he would feel “deceived” by Hasidic leaders.

“It was also disrespectful to the people of New York,” Cuomo said. “We literally stopped a wedding a couple of nights before which was going to be a very large wedding. If it turns out that because we stopped that wedding, the reactions was ‘well, we’ll have a secret wedding.’ That would be really shocking and totally deceitful of the conversations that I had, I had personal conversations with members of the community. But put that aside – I’ve been deceived many times – and the city should do a robust investigation… We’ll bring the full consequence of legal action to bear.”

In anticipation for a winter spike in COVID-19, the governor has ordered that bars and restaurants can no longer serve indoors after 10 p.m., with delivery options allowed. This has come with the expectation that more closures will be put in place as the numbers change.

This story first appeared on amny.com.