Dec. 18, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Governor Andrew Cuomo believes New York will be able to avoid a second COVID-related shutdown, he announced today.
“I believe we can avoid a shutdown and I believe we will avoid a shutdown — I’ll go that far,” Cuomo said during a press briefing Friday.
He said that a second shutdown of the economy — like the PAUSE order he imposed that shuttered all nonessential businesses in the spring — is “totally avoidable.”
Cuomo said two key issues must be addressed to avoid a shutdown— hospitals in the state must be able to manage an increase in COVID-19 patients and New Yorkers need to slow the spread of the virus.
On the first point, no hospital in the state has indicated that it will reach above 85 percent of its capacity within three weeks, by Jan. 8, he said.
The governor previously announced that the state would shutdown a region if its seven-day average hospitalization growth rate shows that the region will hit 90 percent — indicating critical hospital capacity — within three weeks.
Downstate has roughly 31,000 hospital beds available after local hospitals shifted to crisis management and increased their capacity by 25 percent.
“I believe hospitals are going to be able to manage this,” Cuomo said. “We learned a lot in the spring.”
Cuomo said individual New Yorkers have also learned a lot from the springtime, when the pandemic reached its peak.
“I also believe New Yorkers can slow the spread,” he said. “I believe New Yorkers can flatten the curve because I saw them do it.”
He added that people have learned to be cautious when celebrating holidays after Thanksgiving led to an increase in coronavirus cases across the state.
“New Yorkers are smart,” Cuomo said. “I think they’re going to learn from Thanksgiving and I think you’ll see a smarter response through the holidays.”
Cuomo said New Yorkers should adopt a new state mantra of “slow the spread, stop the shutdown.”