Hospitals and group homes across the state can now accept visitors as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to fall, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday.
Healthcare facilities and group homes must require visitors to wear personal protective gear during visits, and may subject them to symptom and temperature checks, Cuomo said. Group homes will be required to tell the state if they are accepting visitors once again.
The move comes as the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations continue to decline throughout the state, falling to 1,538 statewide on June 15 — the lowest number since March 20.
“That is something to celebrate,” Cuomo said at the daily press briefing. “We went up the mountain, we came down the mountain. And we did it with a smart reopening.”
About 3 million people statewide have been tested for the virus so far, and 12,000 have been surveyed for antibodies in the last six weeks. The results found that as of June 13, 13.4% of those who were infected with COVID-19 had antibodies for the infection, and 21.6% of those with the antibodies lived in New York City.
Cuomo credited the state’s shutdown and gradual reopening with the low numbers, and claimed that states that reopened sooner have felt the fared worse.
“As we sit here today, 21 states are seeing an increase. Why? They reopened quickly – they did not have the same phases, they did not have the same controls, they’re seeing the number of cases go up,” he said. “The cases are increasing, that destabilizes the market. And then the market responds in the negative, and that actually hurts the economy.”
These spikes in COVID-19 cases have caused the number of projected deaths nationwide to increase exponentially, reaching more than 149,000 deaths by August according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Cuomo said.
“Those are not Democratic numbers, those are not Republican numbers, those are just numbers,” said Cuomo. “New York has the lowest rate of infection, these are not theories anymore. These are just undeniable facts.”
This story first appeared on AMNY.com.