May 20, 2020
From Governor Cuomo @ 8:09 PM on May 19:
Memorial Day is an important American holiday and we want to safely honor our veterans and our fallen servicemen and women as we do every year.
To honor those who fight and have fought and sacrificed for our country and at the same time safeguard public health during this pandemic, we will limit Memorial Day ceremonies to 10 people or fewer statewide to best balance honor and safety. The limit of 10 people aligns with CDC guidance. I also encourage vehicle parades as a safe way to honor veterans on Memorial Day.
But remember however you choose to celebrate Memorial Day, please do so safely and take proper precautions to protect yourself and those around you.
1. Starting tomorrow, the Capital Region can begin Phase 1 of the state's regional phased reopening plan. The region has identified enough tracers to meet the required metrics and will be joining Western New York, Central New York, the North Country, the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley in reopening Phase 1 businesses. To see where your region stands on reopening, visit the state's regional monitoring dashboard.
2. New York is starting a two-week hospital visitation pilot program. The program will take place in 16 hospitals across the state and allow increased visitations for family members and loved ones. Visits will be time limited and visitors will be provided and must wear PPE and are subject to symptom and temperature checks. I know personally how hard it is to be apart from a sick family member. This pilot program will shed light on whether we can safely allow increased visits in hospitals.
3. The number of total COVID hospitalizations continues to drop. Total hospitalizations fell to 5,860, from 5,840 the day before. The number of new COVID hospitalizations fell to 335, from 373 the day before. Tragically, we lost 105 New Yorkers to the virus yesterday.
4. Nassau County can resume elective surgeries and ambulatory care. The state is once again allowing elective outpatient treatments in counties without significant risk of COVID-19 surge in the near term. In total, elective surgeries are now permitted in 50 counties.
5. When a vaccine is developed, it must be available to all. I am calling on the FDA to take steps now to make sure that pharmaceutical corporations that produce a COVID-19 vaccine release the rights to enable immediate widespread distribution and help ensure the vaccine is available to all individuals — not just the rich and those with access.
6. The Belmont Stake will take place on June 20, without fans. Traditionally, the Long Island horse race is the last leg in the Triple Crown, following the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. This year, for the first time in history, the Belmont will be first. Earlier this week, I announced that horse racing tracks could open without fans and the state will issue guidance on how they can safely reopen in the coming week.