Nicole Epstein, with Gotham Public Relations, sends in a quick recap of Governor Cuomo's COVID-19 briefings. Here are her notes from Governor Cuomo’s press briefing:

COVID:

  • 1.49% statewide positivity, lowest since October 28
  • 2,458 hospitalizations
  • 31 deaths
  • 610 ICU patients
  • 379 intubations

Positivity by Region:

  • Bronx: 1.67%
  • Brooklyn: 1.98%
  • Capital Region: 1.49%
  • Central NY: 1.51%
  • Finger Lakes: 2.84%
  • Long Island: 1.67%
  • Manhattan: 0.93%
  • Mid-Hudson: 1.71%
  • Mohawk Valley: 1.44%
  • North Country: 2.09%
  • NYC: 1.61%
  • Queens: 1.68%
  • Southern Tier: 0.75%
  • Staten Island: 1.91%
  • Western NY: 3.12%

Vaccinations:

  • 45% of eligible population have been fully vaccinated
  • Governor repeated that vaccination rate is slowing due to resistance

ReOpening:

  • Governor repeated "major reopening" reducing capacity restrictions effective May 19
  • Governor said Broadway will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity, shows will open September 14
  • Major League Baseball will reopen May 19 at regular capacity for those who are vaccinated, those 16 and under can be seated with family
  • For those not vaccinated, 6ft social distancing rules will apply, masks will be required

Announcements:

  • NY Mets, NY Yankees, and DOH are partnering to offer vaccines at baseball games
  • Free tickets to Mets or Yankees games will be offered for those who get vaccines at a game

Q&A:

On why 100% capacity is not being allowed at games:

  • Governor said 100% capacity could be allowed if all fans attending were vaccinated
  • Governor noted testing is not going to be required at games, as it was "too burdensome" to implement

On how the teams will handle increased capacity and ensure safety:

  • Yankees and Mets both said there will be separate sections for those vaccinated
  • Yankees added they are polling fans, and the majority are vaccinated
  • Mets said some social distancing will still be required to address concerns fans have, and the team is content with a gradual reopening

On how many players have been vaccinated and how the team is approaching getting all players vaccinated:

  • Yankees said their team is over 85% vaccinated
  • Mets said their team is at 77% vaccinated, and they working to get all players vaccinated, but they do see some resistance

On how second doses will be handled for vaccines being administered at baseball games:

  • Governor said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be used, and there should be enough supply for this

On NY Times report that Governor senior aide obstructed DOH reports on nursing homes:

  • Zucker said the Governor has addressed this previously, he will not comment further on ongoing investigations

On whether the Governor will testify before Congress on nursing homes:

  • Governor reiterated that the nursing home investigation by DOJ is politically-motivated, started by Trump

Follow-up on Governor's previous comment that he feared nursing home data would be used against him:

  • Governor said he did not say this, repeated that the White House was targeting democratic governors

On report that de Blasio is canceling Columbus Day:

  • Governor said the city cannot do this, as it is a state holiday
  • Governor said indigenous people deserve more than a holiday, pointed to poor conditions on Native American reservations
  • However, Governor said he still supports Columbus Day, as it celebrates the Italian-American contributions to the state
  • Governor asserted celebrating Columbus Day does not detract from Indigenous Peoples Day

Details on Broadway reopening:

  • Governor said tickets go on sale tomorrow
  • Mujica said there will be dozens of shows, and will be opening on a rolling basis beginning in September
  • Mujica said Broadway cannot afford to operate at reduced capacity, so ticket sales now will dictate which shows will open

Follow up on whether vaccinations will be required at Broadway shows:

  • Mujica said the details are not finalized, pilot programs will be done prior to September, but it is likely vaccination or testing will be required
  • Mujica added it depends on the public's comfort level, which will be indicated by sales

On Governor's previous comments on the MTA, and whether the Governor rides the MTA, and what the state plans to do to help the homeless:

  • Governor indicated there is an improvement in the cleanliness and the number of homeless on the subway

Follow-up comment that there are the same number of homeless on the subway as previously:

  • Governor pointed to surveys from New Yorkers indicating there are fewer homeless, increased cleanliness
  • Governor acknowledged the homeless in the subways is still a problem, but again asserted it has improved
  • Governor said the pandemic was used as an opportunity to get the homeless out of the subways and get services they need
  • Governor added the shelter system needs to be improved, many homeless claim the shelters are not safe
  • Governor said the state has the funding and the programs to address the problem, and needs to further, but there have been improvements

On the last time the Governor rode the subway

  • Governor says he generally does not, as it doesn't go to Albany
  • Governor said most politicians use the subway as a photo-op, but as Governor, he has spent more time in the subways than any other governor

On how to ensure separation at baseball games is legal and isn't "segregation":

  • Governor denied this is segregation, said it is a necessary public health requirement
  • Mujica added that fans can choose where they sit based on their decision to either get vaccinated or not
  • Governor said this is about keeping people safe, and no resident has a right to sit next to someone if they can jeopardize the others' health
  • Mujica and the Governor stressed that this is based on CDC guidance

On the early prison release for Sheldon Silver:

  • Governor declined to comment

On how the state is addressing vaccine resistance, and the White House's comments that sites need to be community-based:

  • Governor said the state is looking at reduction in demand for vaccines, is concerned over this
  • Governor said there are many community based sites, and the state sites have seen high volume and have been effective, so they will continue for now

On why the state does not mandate vaccinations:

  • Governor said they cannot be mandated because the COVID vaccine is under an emergency use authorization by the FDA

On whether Broadway theaters will determine their own capacity:

  • Governor said theaters will have "a range of options" in September, but will determine whether they can afford to operate depending on capacity
  • Governor added it will depend on the circumstances in September