Notes from Governor Cuomo's COVID-19 Briefing:
• Total hospitalizations are down.
• Negative net change in total hospitalizations, which is a positive.
• ICU Admissions are down / intubations are down.
• Still 2,000 new COVID hospitalizations per day.
• 540 deaths yesterday
o 504 hospitals
o 36 nursing homes
EX ORDER ON MASKS:
• Gov not wearing a mask, why should I? Gov states he's wearing a mask while walking the dog,
and in situations where he could come across other people. Recommends same for general
• Cuomo stated that the State doesn't typically perform testing in nursing homes and are
contracting for tests with companies.
• Nursing homes are mostly private facilities, state has basic regulations, but not a "fine detail" set
• "I don't know what else we could release" that doesn't violate HIPPA policies.
• If there is a complaint of nursing home non-compliance, the state will address it.
• Gov states that more than anything, nursing homes are overwhelmed.
• Staff is getting sick, large numbers of people are dying, and nursing homes are balancing
reporting mandates with caring for people. He doesn't think that anything nefarious is
• Awaiting on approval from FDA for scaling up testing.
• A reporter questions certainty of R-naught number (i.e., extrapolation number). Jim Malatras
states that the state is extrapolating the numbers from existing data.
• A reporter also questions on former patients testing positive again. State has no official
statement on that.
• Tension in reopening, and Gov reiterates that testing is key.
• Infection rate is 1 to .9 person to person, credits NY PAUSE policy as reducing rate from 1.4.
Reopen too fast, and infection rate rises.
• Testing informs the calibration of reopening. Identify, Trace, Isolate.
• NYS needs thousands of tracing investigators.
• Establish synchronized efforts in testing.
• Challenge is bringing it scale. Despite state's efforts on its own more testing is needed.
• Gov refers to New Rochelle cluster as a success story of Identify, Trace, Isolate.
• Gov states about 30 large, private companies producing testing equipment, each with different
methods of testing. They sell product to local labs, which then must adhere to requirements
specific to each company.
• Company specific equipment and reagents create complications in producing uniformity.
• State reached out to top 50 labs in state and questioned how to double output:
o General response: Reagent supply chain is unreliable.
o Empire City Labs: Capacity is 2800 per day, but company limiting 400 tests per day.
• Federal gov't regulates large manufactures, and companies distribute product according to Fed
• Gov requests federal coordination of supply chain, as well as federal partnership.
THE POLITICS OF FEDERALISM:
• Cuomo was asked questions on the piecemeal approach to states reopening. Cuomo reiterated
his effort to remove politics out of process, and noted that the Feds are placing the
responsibility with governors. This will lend itself to a variety of approaches. However, Cuomo
said he is still attempting to coordinate efforts as a region.
• Gov states that the President is correct that the states have different situations based on
• Gov reiterates request to provide funding to state governments. Argues that funding state
government is funding business, hospitals, schools, reopening efforts generally.
• National Gov's Assoc. still calling for $500B in funding.
• Feds sent 1.5M cloth masks to NYS, which will help with the new Executive Order. However,
there is still no clarity on how businesses will access masks an other PPE once they open and
follow the yet to be determined new protocols.
• Can Upstate reopen sooner than downstate?
• My Opinion: McKinsey and Deloitte will dictate what is possible. For the past 12 years of
Cuomo’s tenure he has relied on these consulting groups to craft his policy.
• Gov states that we're not at a point where we're going to reopen anything immediately.
• Strategy will be balanced with understanding of mobility. Cuomo referenced a "pent up
demand", and that it must be factoring.
• Gov: "it's totally up to them." "I spoke with the Speaker yesterday.
• Gov credits the Legislature with working harder than usual, based on how much he's talking to
them. "I'm talking to them much more than usual."
• Passing legislation is totally up to them.
• Cuomo does not think that negotiating difficult topics (recreational marijuana) over Zoom is a
• Exec Order - clerks to perform remotely.
• DOCCS prisoners over 50 years old with less than 90 days on sentence (non-violent offenders)
are being processed for early released.
• This is a rolling policy.
• Cuomo stated that there are not enough tests being performed anywhere, with any population,
including prisoners. He again referred to the need to increase capacity.
• Prisons are a concern, and Cuomo mentioned that nursing homes are at the top of the "congregate care" priority list.