A ‘toxic cocktail’: New York state sees first major spike in COVID-19 cases since first wave

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Residents of Brownsville line up for Covid-19 tests on Pitkin Avenue at Carecube. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

In perhaps the biggest spike since the spring, the Cuomo administration logged up to 5,906 new cases in New York on a single day on Monday, pushing the state case total beyond 600,000.

Governor Andrew Cuomo lashed out against Thanksgiving travelers and law enforcement leaders who refuse to uphold COVID-19 mitigation measures while asking the public to skip the holidays as the nation takes the plunge into another wave.

“We are in a place now where there is a bad synergy. Everybody is thinking about what’s going to happen by Thanksgiving, it’s not just about Thanksgiving; there’s a sense of COVID fatigue, they call it,” Cuomo said. “This is a toxic cocktail of dynamics and facts. First, we’re already in a bad period, before you get to Thanksgiving… In the last three weeks, the number of hospitalizations has gone from 1,200 to 2,700. That is a 122% increase, okay? Factor that out for the next three weeks… you know where we are in three weeks? Six thousand cases.”

With holidays, Cuomo said the rate of increase could be far higher compared to the current statewide infection rate of 3%. Cuomo looks with leeriness toward the surrounding states such as New Jersey which is at about 7%.

This spike represents the highest increase since April, just before deaths from COVID-19 hit an all-time high in the state at about 800 people in May. 

“We got down to 3% because we went through the New York Pause plan which had never been done before, required tremendous energy, and loss, and pain. We were at a 50% infection rate – 50% – and we brought it down from 50% to one percent through a tremendous, unprecedented effort,” Cuomo said. “How do you forget all the pain that we went through?”

New York’s surge in COVID-19 cases could come as a fright to many as the infection rates of other states, such as those in the Midwest hover around 50%. Cuomo attributed this spread, which is considerable in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Central New York regions, to lax attitudes.

“We are threatened by everyone around us,” Cuomo added.

According to the governor, the announcement of two new vaccines that could begin distribution by some point in December has lulled the public into a false sense of security.

Cuomo says that after hospital officials have reached out asking for greater capacity, the state will be opening an emergency COVID-19 facility at South Beach.