State Watch

Cuomo says New York can begin to loosen restrictions: ‘Don’t get cocky with COVID’

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said on Monday that New York can begin to loosen certain coronavirus restrictions as cases and hospitalizations improve but warned people not to “get cocky with COVID.”

The New York governor said the state was recovering from the post-holiday spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, which will allow New York to begin adjusting some of its restrictions. He said more details will be discussed “in the coming days.”

“I think we’re at a new place now, and we can start to adjust that valve and start to open up more economic activity and reduce some of the restrictions,” Cuomo said during a press briefing in Buffalo.

He announced as an example that Erie County would permit elective surgeries again after they were banned due to concerns about hospital capacities. 

The governor said the state’s overall test positivity rate has fallen to a seven-day average of 5.85 percent from 7.94 percent on Jan. 4. 

“But, don’t get cocky with COVID,” he warned.

“I know it’s been a long time, and I know the numbers look good today,” Cuomo said. “But we’ve been down this road before, and the road has curves, and the road has potholes, so please just be smart.”

Cuomo, specifically, called attention to Long Island, the Finger Lakes and the Bronx as areas of concern across the state for COVID-19 positivity. 

But the New York governor expressed confidence in President Biden’s management of the pandemic, noting that the White House will hold a call with governors to discuss vaccine distribution. 

“I believe they take public health seriously,” he said. “And just in the past few days you’ve seen a big difference, and they’ve taken actions that I think were long overdue.”

New York reports vaccinating 1.5 million people and using 91 percent of the doses it has received in the first six weeks. 

The Empire State, including New York City, was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic last year when the virus first began striking the U.S.

Tags Andrew Cuomo Coronavirus coronavirus infection rate coronavirus restrictions COVID-19 hospitalizations New York Pandemic

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