Gov. Cuomo Considering "More Efforts" To Slow Coronavirus Spread


US-HEALTH-VIRUS-CUOMO

US-HEALTH-VIRUS-CUOMO

New York reported several hundred more confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday morning, with the state's total now at 1,374, including 12 deaths attributed to the respiratory disease.

Health officials believe it will be at least 45 days until cases of the virus peak in New York State, meaning officials are scrambling to ensure hospitals are properly equipped.

Despite the rapid spread of the disease, Governor Cuomo says he has no plans to issue a quarantine order for any municipality — though he says he remains open to all options. The governor is skeptical that a 'shelter-in-place' order would actually keep New Yorkers in place.

"I'm resistant to nothing," Cuomo said in response to a question about a potential statewide quarantine order. "Whatever we do we will do statewide. Ideally, whatever we do we will do regionally with the other states. ...You say to me in Nassau County, 'You have to shelter-in-place.' I say, 'Fine, I'm going to go stay with my brother in Westchester.' You say, 'All of New York, you have to shelter in place.' I say fine, 'I'll go stay with my cousin in New Jersey.' That makes the situation worse, not better."

Cuomo says the actions the state has taken so far with regards to flattening the curve with social distancing — widespread event cancellations, statewide school closures, the containment zone in New Rochelle and the ban on dining in restaurants — have been unprecedented.

He cautioned that more will probably need to be done, ideally, in conjunction with other states in the region.

"The curve is not flattening to a level that we can sustain, which would suggest that you're going to have to take more efforts to slow the curve," the governor continued. "That's what we're exploring. It is likely that we will take more efforts to reduce the spread by reducing the density. What are they? That's what we're considering."

The state is gradually setting up drive-thru testing facilities to screen residents for the virus.

Cuomo added that one such facility would be open Tuesday in Nassau County. Others will be established soon in Suffolk County, Staten Island and Rockland County.

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