Cuomo says another NY total shutdown is 'something to worry about' amid coronavirus spike

Gov. Cuomo bans indoor dining in New York City as coronavirus cases surge

New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz provides insight on ‘Fox and Friends Weekend.’

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Monday that state residents should prepare themselves for the possibility of another shutdown if rising numbers of COVID-19 cases during the holidays put hospitals at risk of exceeding their capacity in the coming weeks.

Cuomo addressed the state’s plan to combat the spread of coronavirus amid intense criticism of his office’s decision to temporarily ban indoor dining in New York City. The governor defended his decision, arguing that operational restrictions are “not the real problem” for business owners and other state residents.

“What you should worry about is shutdown, because if we cannot change the trajectory, we could very well be headed to shutdown,” Cuomo said at his daily press briefing. “And shutdown is something to worry about. That is really something to worry about, because all of these businesses close. We go back to where we were. All nonessential business close. They go to zero. So yes, we’re trying to change the trajectory.”

New York's current coronavirus response plan calls for a shutdown of any region in which local hospitals are three weeks away from hitting 90% capacity of their available beds, Cuomo said. Officials would implement a shutdown at that point in order to take additional countermeasures to reduce the hospitalization rate and secure additional beds for incoming patients.

Restaurant groups ripped Cuomo after statewide contract-tracing data showed that just 1.43% of cases originated at bars or restaurants, compared to nearly 74% that were traced to private indoor gatherings.

“No region is at that point now,” Cuomo added. “my point is, don’t get to that point.

Cuomo said state officials have worked with hospitals to increase capacity in preparation for a patient surge. Hospitals were called to add 25% more beds and to reduce elective surgeries over the next few months.

The governor pointed to gatherings as a key source of the recent rise of New York’s positivity rate and repeated his call for residents to avoid meeting with others during the holidays.

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“I think of it as a footrace between holiday spread and hospital capacity and vaccination critical mass,” Cuomo said. “The problem is, the experts say vaccination critical mass isn’t for six to nine months. That’s not a footrace, that’s not a spring, that’s more of a marathon.”

New York conducted its first vaccinations of frontline health care workers on Monday, days after the FDA granted an emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.

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