ALBANY- In his daily press conference today, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he will be signing an Executive Order allowing hospitals in a number of counties, predominately upstate, to begin scheduling elective surgeries. Those surgeries, a major source of revenue for hospitals, have been banned in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The chart the governor displayed indicated that Delaware, Ulster, Sullivan, Chenango and Schoharie Counties were cleared to resume elective surgeries, so long as they can reserve 30% of hospital beds and 30% of ICU beds for a possible spike in the virus. In addition, the local infection rate must remain below 1 to 1.1, and there can be no statistically significant increase in the hospitalization or testing rates in those areas.
Otsego County, which reported three new cases Tuesday, was not included in that list, nor was Albany County.
Otsego County on Wednesday again had another new confirmed case of the virus. There have been a total of 62 cases, and two people are still hospitalized. Four people have died and 44 are in mandatory quarantine.
Delaware County again reported no new cases on Wednesday. There have been a total of 58 positive cases actually in the county. Two people are still hospitalized, four have died, and 21 are in mandatory quarantine.
In today's press conference the governor said his opinion is that neither the August races at the Saratoga Racetrack nor the New York State Fair could be safely held if the rest of the state and neighboring states weren't open, too. He said the crowds would be overwhelming.
“Density is not our friend,” he said. “How do you do six feet apart at the racetrack or the state fair if you have the highest attendance ever?”
The Baseball Hall of Fame said it would make an announcement regarding the 2020 Induction Weekend by the end of this week.
Cuomo had strong words for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and legislators who resist helping “blue states.” He warned against increasingly polarized language.
“We think we're coming out of it, but that's only if we do what we have to do,” Cuomo said. “I've heard this music before. This is the music of a campaign season and that is poison right now where we are.”