One more time: Gov warns us on COVID #s


By Patsy Nicosia

After 111 days of COVID-19 briefings, Governor Andrew Cuomo held his last one Friday—but not before issuing a warning to the Mohawk Valley, signing an executive order strengthening enforcement, and suggesting he could consider a quarantine for those traveling to the state from places like Florida.
“It’s clear that over the past three months, we have done the impossible,” Governor Cuomo said Friday.
“If we could accomplish together what we did here…then there is nothing we can’t do. We will be better and stronger for what we have gone through.”
Statewide, Friday’s numbers showed 1,284 people hospitalized with COVID, the lowest since March; 79,000 tests conducted, a record high; the lowest weekly infection rate, less than one percent; and the lowest weekly average of deaths, 25.
The Mohawk Valley, however, is bucking that trend.
Thursday’s test results showed a small, continuing increase in the Mohawk Valley, from 1.40 percent testing positive Monday, June 15, to .60 percent the 16th, 1.30 percent the 17th, and 1.50 percent testing positive Thursday—making it regionally, the highest in the state.
Friday’s numbers show 1.80 percent of those being tested testing positive; by Monday, that number was down to 1.40—statistically, not significant, but something the Governor has warned he’s keeping an eye on.
“We watch the numbers on a day-to-day basis,” he said as the numbers began to climb. [The] Mohawk Valley—we have to watch,” a warning that concerned those at the day’s update from the Regional NY Forward Team held just an hour later. (See related story.)
“COVID isn’t over,” Governor Cuomo said. “We still have much to do.”
And he again told local governments that it will be there job to ensure compliance with things like masks and social distancing.
“I need local governments to do their part,” he said.
As part of an executive order issued Thursday, the State Liquor Authority can now immediately close bars or restaurants ignoring the restrictions by suspending their liquor license.
To date, 21 states are seeing an increase in COVID numbers.
“Why? They reopened too quickly,” Governor Cuomo said, and in what he called “a complete 180,” he said New York is considering quarantining travelers from Florida as a way to limit COVID’s spread three months after that state imposed a similar two-week quarantine order on New York travelers.
Florida is dealing with its highest number of daily COVID cases since the outbreak began.
“I haven’t made a decision yet but I have had experts advise me of that,” Governor Cuomo said Thursday when asked about the possibility.
“It is a real concern. You’re right, it could happen and it is something I’m considering.”
The Mohawk Valley, which includes Schoharie County is poised to enter Phase 4—arts, entertainment, recreation, education, and larger gatherings—possibly Friday.