NY to assist states with high COVID-19 infection rates: Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at his news conference on Wednesday, April 16, 2020, in state capital, Albany, where he announced he was extending the coronavirus restrictions till May 15. (Photo: NY Governor’s Office/IANS).

New York, June 27 (IANS) New York will offer to assist states with high COVID-19 infection rates due to the recent spike in the number of cases, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Cuomo said at a briefing on Friday that 60,000 healthcare workers from outside New York came to help the state when it was at the epicentre of the crisis, and it is now ready to repay the favour, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We had numerous states who came to our assistance when we needed it and I was very appreciative. Massachusetts, Oregon, et cetera,” said Cuomo.

“We will never forget that graciousness and we will repay it any way we can.”

He said the state is also in touch with Arizona, Texas and Florida to see if there is anything New York can do to help them combat the disease.

The Empire State now boasts a 1.1-per cent COVID-19 positivity rate based on a seven-day rolling average, the lowest of all big states in the country, according to the Governor.

Five upstate regions that started reopening first — North Country, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, Southern Tier, Finger Lakes — entered phase four on Friday.

Phase four allows low-risk indoor and outdoor arts and entertainment events, film and TV production.

Higher education can resume and professional sports can be held without fans.

Social gatherings of up to 50 people are also allowed.

New York registered 14 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, while another 805 new cases were confirmed, bringing the statewide total to 391,220, according to the Governor’s office.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed on Friday phase three of reopening will begin on July 6.

“New Yorkers have shown incredible resilience during this crisis, and it’s because of their hard work that we are on track for Phase 3 on July 6,” he said at his briefing.

The Mayor also called on the state government to extend the state’s eviction moratorium until August 20, as a previous moratorium signed by Cuomo in March expired the past weekend and many New Yorkers are still reeling from the economic impact of the pandemic.

“So many people are hurting, so many people just don’t have money for rent. Keeping a roof over their head is crucial right now,” he said.

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