NYC on track for Phase 1 on June 8, as key indicators drop

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that with New York City set to begin opening a week from today, there are serious concerns about protesters not adhering to social distancing guidelines but won’t know if there is a new spike in cases "for weeks," because that is the nature of COVID-19.

The governor announced that the number of deaths, hospitalizations, and new cases continue to drop.

Cuomo reported 54 new coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours.

"We are doing better than we have ever done before" in fighting the virus, which is "dramatically different than what we have seen in weeks," Cuomo said.

There were approximately 50,000 tests on Sunday, with less than 1,000 patients testing positive.

According to the governor, this is the lowest daily number of positive results since the pandemic began.

Western New York expected to move into Phase 2 of reopening Tuesday and the Capital Region is expected to move into Phase 2 on Wednesday.

The governor warned residents that mass exposures, such as protests, can advance coronavirus.

"We might not know the effects of mass gatherings on COVID-19 numbers for weeks," Cuomo says.

The governor said there were a few scattered arrests in protests Sunday in Upstate New York, but said "I stand with the protesters."

He also addressed the protests that occurred in New York City and said he would speak to May Bill de Blasio about imposing a curfew.

Cuomo said he believes that in some cases the NYPD exacerbated tensions with protesters, pointing to the video of a police van driving into a crowd in Brooklyn, and an officer shoving a woman down on the street.

He also spoke out against looting, saying it's "not righteous indignation, it’s criminality."

Committing crimes during a protest will undermine peaceful protests and plays into the hands of critics who dismiss their original message by saying "they are all criminals," he added.

Cuomo unveiled a positive reform agenda which would include:

  • National ban on excessive force and chokeholds by police
  • Independent investigations of police abuse cases
  • Disciplinary records disclosed of police officers being investigated
  • Education equality
  • Anti-poverty agenda
  • A real national affordable housing plan

"It's easier to do nothing,"  the gov. said, adding that he looks for moments to overcome the status quo.