Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday warned that the looming COVID surge is ‘reminiscent of the bad old days’ as he opened a field hospital on Staten Island and revealed he is working on a ‘winter plan’ to battle the crisis.
New York state’s COVID-19 test positivity rate is now more than 3 percent and there were 41 deaths from the virus on Tuesday – a decrease since the previous day but a marked increase from the summer and early fall months.
Cuomo on Tuesday warned that cases would triple at least over the next three weeks given the current rate of spread and the holiday season, with millions of people traveling for the holiday.
Staten Island has the worst COVID-19 problem in New York City – the test positivity rate there is more than 7 percent in some zip codes and is at least four percent in others. A field hospital there has been set up to deal with any over-spill.
Staten Island’s field hospital opened this week. Staten Island has a worse test positivity rate than anywhere else on the
The Staten Island field hospital is on South Beach. Everywhere on Staten Island has at least a 4 percent test positivity rate
While Cuomo is confident that the city and state wouldn’t be catapulted into the same level of crisis that was seen in the spring – when more than 18,000 people were in hospitals with COVID across the state of New York – he is urging caution.
At a press conference on Wednesday, he said: ‘On Staten Island we’ve already opened a field hospital.
‘I’ve been speaking to other governors, they’re opening field hospitals.
‘This is reminiscent of the bad old days when you had emergency field hospitals that looked like something you’d see in a World War II movie.’
Cuomo also revealed that the state’s ‘winter plan’ would focus on areas with high infection rates and high hospitalization rates, stressing that the key was to avoid overwhelming the hospital system.
‘You’ll see it ten days after Thanksgiving,’ he said of the spike, adding: ‘We are starting to develop a winter plan – we have been dealing with covid in phases.
‘We had a summer phase, a fall phase and we’re going to move into a winter phase.
‘The experts have advised us to prepare a plan for the winter To give you some aspects on the winter plan, which is December, January February, the first thing we want to do prioritize the highest infection rates with the highest hospitalization rates.
This is how COVID-19 breaks down in New York City; parts of Staten Island, Brooklyn and the Bronx have far more severe problems than parts of Manhattan. Previously, the city was closed as a whole. Now, Cuomo says he will not do that – unless every neighborhood has a higher test positivity rate than 3 percent.
These are the current micro-clusters in New York where restrictions apply. Nowhere in Manhattan has has to start closing businesses
Cuomo predicts that the city-wide total infection rate would more than triple from 2.57 percent now to 9.43 percent in January at the current rate of growth plus a 20 percent bump from the holiday period. However, for a shut down to be in place across the board, every zip code would need to have a rate of more than 3 percent
‘What is the greatest fear during COVID? Greatest fear is you overwhelm the hospital system and the hospitals can’t keep up. We’re going to take a serious look at that increase.
‘We have a vaccine but that doesn’t mean the COVID problem is over. It’ll be months and months before we distribute enough vaccine to solve the problem.
‘It’s going to be much harder than anticipated,’ he said.
New York state has one of the lowest test positivity rates of anywhere in the country.
Cuomo said on Wednesday that people entering the state from worse-impacted areas will likely drive up the positivity rate.
He is begging New Yorkers – and people from other states – to stay home for Thanksgiving to prevent a spike, despite offering to drive his own daughter from Illinois back to New York to have dinner with him, and despite inviting his 89-year-old mother to dinner too.
He has since rescinded the invitation, claiming it’s because he has no time to quarantine first and not because he was labeled a hypocrite by critics.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk