Test, trace, isolate the three keys to opening economy back up, Cuomo says

Coronavirus

ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — During his daily coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the three keys to opening up the economy is testing, tracing, and isolating people. Cuomo says if people test positive for coronavirus, there needs to be a “tracing army,” as he calls it, tracing all the contacts of that positive person, and then putting those people in isolation so no other people are infected.

“This entire operation has never been done before. So it’s intimidating,” Cuomo said. “Let’s set the bar high and try to get there.”

Cuomo said there will be a coordinated effort with downstate and upstate, when it comes to tracers. Right now, here are the number of tracers in each area:

  • New York State has 225 tracers
  • Rockland has 40 tracers
  • Westchester has 50 tracers
  • New York City has 200 tracers
  • Nassau has 60 tracers
  • Suffolk has 140 tracers

Cuomo also said that they will work with the SUNY and CUNY system to draw 35,000 students in medical fields who can serve as tracers.

Overall, the numbers related to coronavirus in New York State are going down. The number of hospitalizations and intubations are down across the state. The number of deaths are also starting to decline. On Tuesday, there were 474 New Yorkers who died from coronavirus.

“Better to be going down than going up,” Cuomo quipped on Wednesday.

Cuomo mentioned his Tuesday visit to the White House during his Wednesday briefing, saying, it was a productive visit. “Very few people come out and say it was an unproductive visit,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo said the meeting between himself and Trump went well, and the main things they touched on were testing and funding.

“Politically, we’ve had conflicts, but we’ve sat with him, sat with his team, and that was put aside because who really cares how I feel, how he feels? Get the job done. I don’t care how he feels. We aren’t going to set up a possible marriage. Do the job,” said Cuomo.

Cuomo said, “This is not the time for baby steps. They (Congress) should be taking bold action.”

Cuomo said President Trump has agreed to waive New York’s state match of FEMA funding. Normally, a state is responsible for 25% of the cost of FEMA, and the federal government is 75%. New York state has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country, so, in turn, also has the highest cost of FEMA operations.

“That is ironically cruel. You’re going to penalize us for having the highest coronavirus cases in the country?” said Cuomo.

Click the player below to watch Wednesday’s briefing:

Below is the slideshow presentation that was shown during the briefing:

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