Gov. Andrew Cuomo cheered New Yorkers on Monday for taming coronavirus as New York marked 100 days since the deadly pandemic struck the state.
As New York City started to reopen, the governor praised the resilience of New Yorkers for making it through one of the worst crises in recent memory.
“It was frightening, but New Yorkers rose to the occasion,” he said. “When things are tough, New Yorkers are tougher.”
“We’re not out of the woods, but we’re on the other side, certainly,” he added.
Cuomo touted new statistics showing just 1.2% positive rate for COVID-19 from 58,000 tests performed Sunday.
He said the data amounts to a green light for the city and state to move forward to reopen some businesses.
“Why are we reopening? Because these numbers say we can,” Cuomo said. “That’s why I feel confident telling 19 million New Yorkers that we can do it.”
The governor said transit officials are ready for an increase in subway ridership that has declined dramatically. He rode on the No. 7 train to dramatize his confidence in the safety of the system known as the lifeblood of NYC’s economy.
“If the subway weren’t safe for me I wouldn’t tell anyone else to ride it,” Cuomo said.
As New York City enters phase one of reopening today, the governor also announced that New York City is now eligible to resume elective surgeries and ambulatory care.
Officials plan to conduct 35,000 tests a day in the city to monitor for any possible spike in COVID-19 cases. Cuomo vowed to roll back the loosening of restrictions if he sees any increase.
The governor admitted to deep uncertainty about the impact of the mass protests that have swept across the city and nation. He noted that even one infected person can spread the virus to dozens nearby and urged protesters to get tested regularly to prevent any spike.
“Did that affect the spread of the virus?” Cuomo asked. “We don’t know.”