BUFFALO – Governor Andrew Cuomo stopped in Buffalo Tuesday on his way to a meeting at the White House.
He announced that the overall state numbers on the COVID-19 pandemic appear to be on the decline, but noted that each region of the state faced a different situation. Western New York, for instance, appears to be plateauing at a high level. He said 125 people died in Erie County since yesterday, 7 of them in hospitals. Statewide, 481 people died, 29 of them in nursing homes.
The governor said plans for reopening would require a regional approach, and announced that he'd be allowing hospitals in counties without significant risk of COVID spread to resume elective outpatient treatments. That order specifically excludes Westchester County, Rockland County and south, Erie, Albany, and Dutchess Counties.
Cuomo said Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will be in charge of monitoring the Western New York region, coordinating getting supplies from downstate to hotspots in that region as needed, and planning a reopening strategy.
Former Lt. Governor Robert Duffy is being called back into state service to manage the Finger Lakes region.
Delaware County, according to the map Cuomo displayed, will be considered part of the Southern Tier region. His explanation of how the reopening planning will work indicated that decisions on regions outside Western New York and the Finger Lakes will be managed as part of the larger state.
Cuomo said his meeting with President Trump will be an in-person effort to get the federal government to manage the international supply chain needed to ramp up testing.
“I think in many ways we're talking past each other. Let's just coordinate who does what.”