- New York Gov. Cuomo said on Saturday he has not yet spoken to Trump regarding the president’s suggestion to quarantine New York and the surrounding area to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
- “I don’t know how that could be legally enforceable,” Cuomo said.
- He added that the state will designate certain hospitals as “COVID-only” to keep patients separate.
- Also, New York’s presidential primary will be moved to June 3 from April 28.
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday that he hadn’t spoken to President Trump regarding the president’s idea to quarantine the entire New York region to curb the spread of the coronavirus as the death toll continues to climb.
“I spoke to the president about the ship coming up and the four sites; I didn’t speak to him about any quarantine,” Cuomo told reporters during his daily press briefing on Saturday. “I don’t even know what that means.”
“I don’t know how that could be legally enforceable. From a medical point of view, I don’t know what you would be accomplishing. I don’t even like the sound of it,” he said.
Trump floated the quarantine, which would extend to New York, New Jersey, and “certain parts” of Connecticut, to reporters on Saturday morning. Later on Twitter, Trump said he was “giving consideration” to the quarantine.
“A decision will be made, one way or another, shortly,” Trump said. The White House has already asked New Yorkers who plan on leaving the state to self-quarantine for 14 days.
New York City has emerged as the global epicenter of the outbreak
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, continue to climb in New York, Cuomo said.
Over the past 24 hours in New York state, 209 people have died as a result of the disease, accounting for the deadliest single-day period since the first case was recorded in the state on March 1. The death toll is now 728, with that number expected to increase.
On top of that, New York recorded 7,681 new cases since Friday, bringing the total case count to 52,318, Cuomo said.
Of those 52,318 cases, 29,766 cases are in New York City, with the city recording 4,368 cases since Friday. The state has tested a total of 155,934 people.
COVID-only hospitals, presidential primary to June
To help combat hospital overcrowding, Cuomo said the city will open “COVID-only” hospitals, with at least 600 beds, to cater solely to patients suffering from the virus.
“It’s smarter to keep the COVID patients separate. You don’t want a person who goes into the hospital with one situation developing COVID because they happen to be exposed,” he said.
A temporary 1,000-person hospital operated by the National Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers will open in midtown Manhattan’s cavernous Jacob K. Javits Conference Center on Monday. Four other temporary hospital sites in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island have been approved by the federal government as well, Cuomo said.
Last, Cuomo said New York will move the planned presidential primary from April 28 until June 3. “I don’t think it’s wise to be bringing a lot of people to one location to vote,” Cuomo said.
He also extended the state’s deadline to file taxes to July 15.