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 conference call:


  • Governor discussed yesterday's events at the U.S. Capitol, stating they were the result of Trump's rhetoric over the last four years
  • Governor called it a "universal disgrace for all Americans"

New COVID Strain:

  • Governor has discussed vaccine with local governments, they are concerned about the new strain, hospital capacity
  • Governor said although only one case confirmed in NY, it is expected there are already many more undetected
  • Staff shortage is now the priority concern for hospitals


  • Some hospitals still lagging in vaccine administration, many have improved over the last week
  • Any hospital that has reached its refusal rate needs to reallocate its supply
  • Essential workers and general public over 75 years of age are the next populations to be vaccinated
  • Governor told local officials today to ask essential workers who can self-administer to do so
  • Some local governments have asked to prioritize police, Governor stated this will not be allowed and local governments cannot prioritize one population over others
  • A reallocation plan will be announced tomorrow to expedite vaccination of healthcare workers


On the total number of vaccinations to date in NYS:
  • 430,000

On how complicated reallocating the vaccine is, and why the state is taking this step:
  • Governor said reallocation plan will be announced tomorrow, and no hospital has reached its refusal rate
  • Governor said healthcare workers are contacting his office upset that they have not received the vaccine
  • Governor clarified that reallocating does not necessarily mean shipping from one hospital to another
  • DeRosa added that healthcare workers include those outside of hospitals, as well

On Long Island reaching almost 4,000 cases in a day:
  • Governor said the numbers have been continuing to increase daily since the start of the holidays

On the closure of three state prisons, whether Governor is reconsidering:
  • Mujica said prison closures are due to declining prison population
  • This was passed in the budget passed in April, plan was to begin at the end of the year, but the closures will take place by March 31, 2021
  • Mujica added there will be no layoffs, staff will be offered positions at other facilities

Whether local health departments should play a larger role in vaccine distribution:
  • Governor said local departments of health will be part of the vaccination network for the next tier
  • Local health departments are working with local hospitals currently

Whether the Governor thinks that 430,000 vaccinations is acceptable so far:
  • Governor said hospitals made sense as distributors since healthcare workers are top priority
  • Governor said next tier will be different, particularly if essential workers can self-administer, vaccination rate will be higher
  • Governor said the challenge will be the general public over 75 years, as this encompasses 3 million people
  • Governor would like to see nursing home residents and staff wrapped up next week

On what the parameters are to move to next vaccination tier:
  • Governor said state has 900,000 doses for 2 million healthcare workers
  • After a few weeks of allocations, if 1.5 million workers are vaccinated, that would be acceptable
  • Governor said opening up the next tier too early would only lead to longer wait times

On Governor's opinion on President Trump, events yesterday:
  • Governor said a statement should be made condemning events at the Capitol
  • Governor said if he were a cabinet member, he would support the President being removed "for the history books"

On Erie County orange zones, and whether these will become red zones based on current numbers
  • Governor said once a region is within three weeks of being at 85% hospital capacity, a red zone will be designated