It has been 111 days since the first case of coronavirus was officially found in New York.
And for the past 110 days, Governor Andrew Cuomo has held a daily press briefing, presenting power points with coronavirus data, breaking down important information like the number of ICU beds and ventilators and often taking tough questions from reporters around the state.
More than 59 million people around the country tuned into the governor’s daily briefings. He was quickly recognized as someone who could deliver the facts and often helped people feel a little more hopeful, as New York became the epicenter of the virus. He was one of the few governors who would take the time to give a detailed breakdown of how the rate of infection worked or what went into testing, turning his daily press briefings sometimes into a small lecture.
Today, Governor Cuomo held his last daily briefing. It was a pre-taped recording the governor gave from his office in Albany. It was emotional, but short, lasting less than 10 minutes, with no questions.
"Don't worry I'm not going anywhere," Cuomo said.
The governor will only be giving briefings as needed after this. New York City is set to enter Phase 2 on Monday, marking the beginning of the end of a very long arduous period in New York’s history.
More than 24,000 people died from COVID-19 in New York. The virus devastated nursing homes throughout the state and health care workers put their lives on the line every day, going out in the worst of it to take care of their fellow New Yorkers.
"In this crisis we were there for one another, we did act as one. I have never seen or felt anything like it," he said.
This might be the end of the press briefings, but the effects of the coronavirus will continue to impact New York for months and potentially years to come.
The unemployment rate in May was 14.5 percent, and although there were job gains, the state will still take time to recover from the statewide shut down order.
The state is also still grappling with a budget crisis, a multi year budget gap of more than $60 billion. If the state does not receive federal aid, it looks to cut schools, hospitals and local governments in the next month or so.
So this is not the end, but for now, we can focus on what is next for New York in this new normal we are all still coming to terms with.