Cuomo, other governors to meet for coronavirus policy alignment

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The governors of New York and surrounding states will meet over the weekend to plan their policy response as coronavirus cases continue to spike throughout the nation.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke with reporters Friday on a conference call to lay out the current plan as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow more severe.

The governors will hold an emergency meeting to try and align their policies, keeping in step with Cuomo’s long-standing policy that the states must control the “geographic footprint.”

In this Oct. 12, 2020 photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a ceremony unveiling a statue of Mother Frances Cabrini, the patron saint of immigrants, in Battery Park in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

“We did that with New Jersey on bars and restaurants, with the closure of 10 p.m.,” Cuomo said, referring to the new curfew that the state announced this past week.

The governor stated that he does not plan to announce any new measures over the weekend, but will instead wait to see if the recent changes will have any effect over the next few days.

The governor will then reassess on Monday and decide the next steps.

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The United States reported around 163,000 new cases on Friday, with only around 4,800 of those cases reported in New York state.

Cuomo claimed that New York has one of the lowest infection rates in the country, but that “we are in the midst of a sea of" COVID-19.  

He noted that other states had more significant crises. Neighboring Pennsylvania has a 19% rate of infection, for example. In comparison, New York has a rate of 2.6% “with clusters,” but 2.2% “without zones.” Connecticut has a rate of around 4%.

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When asked about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to potentially shut down city schools on Monday as the rate continues to near 3%, Cuomo said he agrees with the intention, but he urged mayors and school officials to work together and to only close schools “locally” if it made sense.

“The rule was to set parameters at 5%-9%. If you are between that, then we agree,” Cuomo said. “The city's agreement falls in that – that is in compliance with the state.”

“I'm saying I'd like to see schools reopen. Infection rate within the school is a second factor, so I encourage them to consider that if they decide to close schools.”

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The governor ended the call with a promise to make an announcement on Sunday about an issue that is “very important” to him, but he did not hint what the announcement would be about.

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