WPCNR THURSDAY GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO CORONAVIRUS REPORT. By John F. Bailey:
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s opening word in today’s Albany Coronavirus Report was “grim.”
He said the Hospitalization Rate was continuing down or flat averaging 1,300 patients a day the last three days. The “flat” nature of the Hospitalization Rate was hard to “read, “not great news.”
When pressed in the reporters’ “Q. & A.” (after the briefing) questioning the Governor on why three weeks of flattening the curve and a flattening Hospitalization rate, wasn’t that “enough,” the Governor said he did not have an “Infection Rate,” he did not have an certain “Hospitalization Rate” direction. When asked how much information he needed to reopen the state, the Governor said it depends on the numbers direction to make the reopen call.
The Governor reported he was launching a state investigation of nursing home performance to see how many homes violated the state regulations during the coronavirus infections affecting nursing homes across the state.
At today’s Briefing, a reporter query on nursing home complaints of equipment shortages, a member of the Cuomo team said the state had distributed to nursing homes alone as of two weeks ago, 417,000 surgical masks, 105,000 surgical gowns, 423,000 sets of gloves, among other items. The governor explained that there were shortages all over the country of this equipment.
The Director of the New York State Department of Health said he would get the figures on how many nursing home patients were transferred out of nursing homes to a hospital (since nursing homes are required to transfer residents whom they could not care appropriately for to do so.).
Asked what went “wrong” (with nursing homes) by another correspondent, the Governor said “Nothing went wrong,” attributing it to the suddenness of the situations, as he has said often, saying it was a stressful situation due to the unprecedented spread of the virus.
Mr. Cuomo reported the way forward again was heavy testing, and tracing before and after the reopening.
He reported the first results of such information gathering initiatives — the state effort to survey at random persons throughout the state beginning two days ago by health department personnel Monday in order to determine the “Infection rate” across the state.
The Governor early in the coronavirus growth, recalled that the only certainty was the Hospitalization Rate, which showed how fast the COVID-19 virus was spreading. “I said I needed to have the Infection Rate.”
Mr. Cuomo said the first “Infection Rate” rate statewide of persons so far, showed that those who had had virus and were no longer infected was 13.9%.
He noted the New York Metropolitan Area had a 12% Infection Rate in Westchester with New York Boroughs a 22% infection rate. The survey was of persons interviewed outside of their homes in grocery and box stores. Whites had the lowest incidents of infection (now cured), while minorities had the most due, the governor theorized because of their urban dense locations.
In the Q.A., with the Governor turning reporters loose on their own to follow the new protocol of one question at a time and no shouting simultaneously. The reporters did well. Questions were miked in the Red Room, and this seemed to bolster their confidence, as well as making the conference more informative and fast moving.