Hospitals and group homes can resume visitations as New York reaches new COVID-19 lows

(Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

New York’s numbers are continuing to decline even after every region entered the reopening process.

During his daily briefing, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that total COVID-related hospitalizations in New York state fell to 1,538 on June 15, the lowest number since March 20. Twenty-five people succumbed to the infection on June 15.

“That is something to celebrate,” said Cuomo. “We went up the mountain, we came down the mountain. And we did it with a smart reopening.”

Testing numbers in New York reached over 3 million total. The number of positive COVID-19 cases in New York remain within a few percentage points of each other:

Cuomo stated that New York has surveyed 12,000 individuals for COVID-19 antibodies over the course of six weeks. The results found that as of June 13, 13.4% of those who were tested in this survey had antibodies for the infection. Of those who had tested positive for antibodies, 21.6% of them were in New York City.

As a result, Cuomo announced that hospitals and group homes can now accept visitors with their discretion. Both institutions must follow state guidelines and require visitors to wear PPE during visitations. Visitors may also be subject to symptom and temperature checks. Group homes will be required to tell the state if they are accepting visitors once again.

Cuomo reiterated that New York has been handling reopening compared to other states in the nation, and that the data shows that phased reopening is the better option for public health and the economy following the COVID-19 shutdowns.

“As we sit here today, 21 states are seeing an increase. Why? They reopened quickly – they did not have the same phases, they did not have the same controls, they’re seeing the number of cases go up,” said Cuomo. “The cases are increasing, that destabilizes the market. And then the market responds in the negative, and that actually hurts the economy.”

As a result, according to Cuomo, the number of projected deaths by the IHME have increased exponentially (over 149,000 deaths by August) as a result of the increased rates of infection. 

“Those are not Democratic numbers, those are not Republican numbers, those are just numbers,” said Cuomo. “New York has the lowest rate of infection, these are not theories anymore. These are just undeniable facts.”

Updated at 4:45 p.m.

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