Governor Andrew Cuomo is signing off from the daily briefings on Friday, but he's ending it with a message for local governments: It's on them to make sure coronavirus compliance is being adhered to, or New York risks a spike in infections.
Cuomo specifically is pointing to New York City, which had become an epiceneter of the pandemic. The city is now entering phase 2 most likely on Monday, while most of New York is in the third phase of the reopening.
"It is the responsibility of the city, New York City, that local government is responsible for the compliance," Cuomo said on Thursday during a CNN town hall event. "If the city doesn't do it, the state is a backdrop to the city. I have the authority of the state side to actually close down a business, close down a restaurant, close down a bar that's violating it because we take it very seriously as well as the mandatory mask policy that we've had in place for two months which has been very effective. But it's the local government's responsibility."
Tens of thousands of tests over the last several weeks have shown an infection rate of about 1 percent each day — something Cuomo called a turnaround for a state that was seeing thousands of people enter the hospital each day.
"Now the tables have turned 180 degrees and we're considering it for New York," Cuomo said. "You have a lot of people in these states where the infection rate is going through the roof. New York is in better shape than their state and we're seeing people who want to come to New York. I understand that, but we worked very hard to get the infection rate down, I don't want to see it going back up."
And Cuomo has not ruled out reversing the reopening in regions of the state if there are sudden increases in COVID-19 cases. Other states have pared back their openings as infection rates climb.
"If everything goes bad and the city government is incompetent, then we can slow down the opening of the economy if we see any tick up in that infection rate," Cuomo said.