Cuomo Fears Protests Could Exacerbate Spread Of COVID-19 As NYC Gears Up For Reopening

Cuomo coronavirus
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- As New York City gears up to begin Phase 1 of reopening in a week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is warning protests could create a surge in infections.

The governor warned protesters during his daily briefing Monday that mass exposures can advance coronavirus due to "super spreaders" that may be in the crowds

He said that results may prove to be "counterproductive for New York City in many ways."

"Don't snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, we're talking about reopening in one week in New York City and now we're seeing these mass gatherings over the past several nights that could in fact exacerbate the COVID-19 spread," Cuomo said. "We spent all this time closed down, locked down, masks, socially distanced and then you turn on on the TV and you see there's masked gatherings that could potentially be affecting hundreds and hundreds of people. after everything that we have done. We have to take a minute and asks ourselves, 'What are we doing here?'"

Cuomo said the state won't know if there is a new spike in cases "for weeks," in wake of protesters not adhering to social distancing guidelines.

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

Mayor Bill de Blasio also fears there is a danger of the resurgence of the disease. He encourages protesters to try to maintain social distancing and keep their masks on.

"I am very worried about the health impact, I would urge everyone to think about this," the mayor said. "For those who have made their presence felt, made their voices heard, the safest things from this point is to stay home obviously because we don't want people in close proximity to each other, we don't want people out there where they might catch this disease or spread this disease."

The governor announced Monday that the number of deaths, hospitalizations, and new cases continues to decrease.

Cuomo reported 54 new coronavirus-related deaths statewide in the last 24 hours, which is "dramatically different than what we have seen in weeks." 

About 50,000 tests were administered on Sunday, with less than 1,000 patients testing positive, Cuomo added.

The governor reported the lowest daily number of positive results since the pandemic began.

Western New York expected to move into Phase 2 of reopening Tuesday and on Wednesday, the Capital Region is expected to move into Phase 2. Five other upstate regions have already entered Phase 2.

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