ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — When the COVID-19 pandemic began, researchers thought young children could not be affected by the virus. However, new data released during Governor Andrew Cuomo’s press conference on Saturday suggested young people might be able to be affected by COVID-19.

Hospitals in New York State recently reported 73 cases of young people who had been hospitalized with something that could be related to COVID-19, but it is unclear if it is directly linked to COVID-19. Three children in New York State have tragically passed away from this illness. 

These children are being hospitalized with symptoms not necessarily associated with COVID-19, but the children are testing positive for the antibodies associated with COVID-19 or are testing positive for the virus itself.

According to the governor, the symptoms the children are exhibiting are more closely related to Kawasaki disease & toxic shock syndrome. These children are mainly showing an inflammation of their blood vessels which leads to heart problems. 

At the CDC’s request, the New York State Health Department is further investigating these cases, so it can serve as a guide on how to identify and proceed with these cases in the future. 

Regarding the topic of children possibly being affected by COVID-19, Governor Cuomo said, “We still have a lot to learn about this virus, and everyday is another eye-opening situation.”

The relatively good news from Saturday’s press conference is that despite nearly 572 people being admitted into the hospital due to COVID-19 on Friday, the number of total hospitalizations in New York State continues to decline. 

Tragically another 226 people died from COVID-19 on Friday, Cuomo said the number of deaths per day has been, “infuriatingly constant.”

Governor Cuomo said the state continues to make decisions based on the facts, and the facts now show that more attention has to be brought to minorities, who are disproportionately being affected by the virus. 

In times of disaster, Cuomo said, “The poorest people pay the highest price,” and he wants to break that chain.

Cuomo announced New York State is partnering with Northwell Health to set up 24 new testing sites at churches in predominantly minority communities Downstate.

Cuomo said even if you feel fine, you should still get tested because you could be asymptomatic and pass the virus on to someone else, and the churches will help with the outreach.

Below are some more actions the state has took to help protect low-income communities:

Governor Cuomo continued to ask for federal assistance at Saturday’s press conference. According to Cuomo, New York State is facing a $13 billion deficit due to COVID-19.

According to Johns Hopkins University, there are over 330,000 cases of COVID-19 throughout New York State.

To watch the full press conference from Saturday, click on the video below.

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