Cuomo says the rate of COVID transmission now is just a FIFTH of what it was in March as he tells people not to panic despite the slowly rising numbers
- Cuomo said on Tuesday that cases would continue rising until after New Year
- Despite hospitalizations and deaths also rising, he said the situation is not as bad as it was in March
- The rate of transmission then was 1:5 whereas now it is just 1:1
- In March, people were waiting until they were gravely sick to go to hospital
- It was because most thought mild symptoms were the cold or the flu
- Now, people are more cautious and are going to the hospital earlier
- The virus had also been spreading in December, January and February with no one knowing about it
- The test positivity rate the state of NY is now 3.1% on a 7-day rolling average
Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that the rate of transmission in New York is just a fifth of what it was in March and told people not to panic despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
On Monday, Cuomo gave a warning to hospitals to start recruiting retired doctors and nurses now to avoid overwhelming the hospital system, like in the spring.
He said cases and hospitalizations would keep going up, as would deaths, but that it was a ‘manageable’ situation because the state knew how to prepare for it.
He also revealed that the rate of transmission is now just one whereas in March, it was five.
COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths are rising in New York again but at a much slower rate because the transmission rate is 1:1 now as opposed to 1:5 in March
It is down to the fact that the virus was spreading without anyone knowing it as early as December 2019 and January and February of this year.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the situation was ‘manageable’ but that steps must be taken now to avoid another crisis
It meant that by the time the problem revealed itself, it was so prevalent that it was impossible to contain.
By the time people went to the hospital, they were gravely ill because they presumed wrongly that their early COVID symptoms were either from the common cold or flu.
Now, people are going to the hospital earlier and are generally more aware.
It means that while more cases are coming, they are coming at a much slower rate which makes it less of a crisis.
‘In March, one person was infecting five people. Now, our rate of infection is one. Our rate of transmission is much lower – it’s a much, much different situation.
‘Our rate of increase in hospitalizations is nothing like it was last March… we were seeing thousands on a weekly basis.
‘There is no comparison between the numbers,’ he said on a call with reporters.
One of Cuomo’s health experts who was also on the call said the difference was ‘night and day’.
On Tuesday, he reiterated his earlier remarks and revealed that the statewide 7-day average for test positivity is now 3.9 percent. Of all the tests done on Monday, 4.96 percent were positive.
People lining up for COVID tests in Manhattan on November 24. More people are showing up early to the hospital but they are also getting tested at a greater rate
There were 66 deaths on Monday which is the highest number since May 29 and there are 3,774 people in the hospital, an increase of more than 200 since Sunday
It is still a far cry from the 18,000 that were in the hospital at the peak of the crisis in April but is the same number as was in the hospital on March 23.
Cuomo on Tuesday said: ‘My projection is that the numbers will continue to go up through the holiday season.
‘We focused on Thanksgiving as a day or weekend – it wasn’t. It was the commencement of the holiday season.’
He also said that while the vaccine – that is due to be approved by the FDA soon – is ‘a light at the end of the tunnel – it is not going to be available soon enough to make a difference.
There is still no talk of a total shutdown of the kind that was seen in March and April.
This time, Cuomo says he will examine every zip code on its own numbers and apply shutdown laws that way.
If a neighborhood hits more than 3 percent test positivity on a seven day rolling average, they’ll be deemed an ‘orange zone’ which would shut down non-essential businesses like gyms and indoor dining will stop.
Then, the next step is a ‘red zone’, which would end indoor and outdoor dining.
Cuomo said on Monday that he is considering implementing a fourth phase known as NY Pause which would force everything closed.
It’s unclear what it would take for an area to hit that categorization.