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Cuomo Warns Of Total Shut Down If Virus Rate Is Not Controlled

N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Office of N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo
N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warns that the state is headed for another lock down if the rising rate of the coronavirus does not slow.

Cuomo spoke as the latest numbers available shows that the COVID-19 positivity rate is around 5.66%. At least 5,700 New Yorkers were in the hospital with the disease.

The governor said while New York’s rate is lower than most other states, the numbers are alarming, and if not turned around, may soon lead to a second total closure of all but essential businesses and services.

“If we do not change the trajectory, we could very well be headed to shut down,” Cuomo said. “And shut down is something to worry about.”

Cuomo said the regions of particular concern are the Rochester area, Central New York, and New York City, where infections are rising and the number of hospitalizations are increasing.

He wared that gathering for the holidays will raise transmission rates even further. Small gatherings of family and friends account for 74% of virus spread, according to contact tracers. The governor said New Yorkers should “ get a different picture of the holidays in your mind” and celebrate only within their own households.

“It just takes one nephew, one cousin, one uncle,” Cuomo said. “And now you have a problem.”

Cuomo said it will take months before the vaccination rate hits a critical mass of 75% to 85%. He said for now, economic shutdown is the only tool in the tool box for tamping down the spread of the virus.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.