ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) -New York Governor Kathy Hochul held a press conference to deliver a statewide COVID-19 update. She included new mask mandates, vaccine initiatives, and qualifications to administer vaccine doses.
On the figures, Hochul said the positivity remains around 3% nationwide. “There have been a number of developments, but basically we are not in a foreign territory. We have been on this road before, ”she said. Her administration works with local leaders from areas with high positivity rates – as in the capital region and the north, both over 5%.
“It’s painful for everyone,” Hochul said of continued deaths. Yet “We are still in good shape” regarding availability in hospitals, she said, with last year’s increase capacity plan still in place if the number increases. “They’re ready,” she said of state hospitals. “This will not be new to them.”
Hochul stressed the fact that ridership is in public transport, setting new records for the COVID era. “These are not the records we would have hit in the past,” she said. “Numbers continue to rise, especially as there have been more vaccination mandates,” the governor said.
In accordance with mandates, Hochul announced a new one for masks. They are now required in child care and day care, inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, substance abuse services and other state-regulated housing and ward programs.
“We’re getting better, my friends, we’re getting better!” Hochul said about vaccination rates before talking about the effectiveness of the vaccine. “I’m not sure who will play with the Russian roulette,” she said, referring to being 11 times more likely to die without a vaccine. She warned New Yorkers to be wary of recognizing fake news on social media. “We have to shut it down.”
And she shared concerns that the vaccination rate among young people was too low. “Teenagers need to be higher than those numbers,” Hochul said.
With that in mind, she introduced a new vaccine initiative aimed at young people to raise their vaccination level. As part of the #VaxToSchool program, people who get vaccinated at a pop-up venue can enter to win tickets to the Governors Ball — a live music festival set for the weekend of Sept. 24 with Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion and 21 Savage.
With the shift to fall around the corner, the governor offered a sobering warning:
Hochul said she has worked with Wadsworth Labs in Albany to monitor the Mu variant, which does not appear to be spreading in New York and consistently maintains a limit of> 0.5%. Still, the governor warned to stay alert as the weather cools and closer congregations move indoors. At last year’s increase, she asked and replied: “What triggered it? Halloween. “But she also included a qualifier to encourage inoculations: ‘This was pre-vaccine.’
Hochul identified a problem with vaccination administrations and said there were not enough trained vaccinators. She announced that she has instructed the Ministry of Health to allow EMTs to administer vaccines.
“Many county officials told me they would like this capability for their local fire departments” and other responding medical staff, she said.
Hochul also addressed booster shots, saying there are high expectations for local health departments to handle the rollout for added shots at the eight-month mark. She said government resources are also available to back them up, announcing a $ 65 million initiative to support local efforts on mass wax sites and popups.
The governor also praised the reopening of venues such as theaters and stadiums. On Tuesday, Broadway reopened. “I was there on stage in ‘Phantom of the Opera’. I wanted to go there because it was here that masks first became popular, ”Hochul joked. On a more serious note, she praised sports organizations for demanding that their fans be vaccinated.
Hochul took questions from journalists. On relief money for tenants and landlords: “If there is more money to be made, I will apply for more.”
On Tuesday, Hochul announced appointments to New York’s ethics committee, JCOPE. Asked about JCOPE, Hochul said: “What I have to do is turn it upside down.” She questioned the effectiveness of its scope, scope and powers and expressed doubts that it was ever truly independent in practice. “Before I finish, it will be an independent organization,” she promised.
Still, with potential legal issues pending, Hochul said it would be “wildly inappropriate” to comment on JCOPE’s performance during the apparent Cuomo crisis. And as for rumors that she may interfere on behalf of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo:
Also on Tuesday, a federal judge temporarily blocked a state requirement that health care workers be vaccinated.
“It’s the smart thing to do. We have to continue the mandates, ”Hochul said. Some hospitals have expressed growing concerns that they may be exposed to staff shortages. But if that is the case, the governor said, the state will send resources.
“I want to be there to help with the health ministry,” she said. “We want to be part of it. I will not let this be a problem for the state of New York. ”
She said hospitals are required to have temporary staffing plans and that the ability to get such large numbers of healthcare providers to go unvaccinated – and resign mandates – was daunting. “I ask them to understand that it is not meant to be dictatorial. It’s meant to save lies. ”
Hochul was asked whether religious exceptions – the issue behind the bloc – should be allowed when there is an emergency for public health. “We deliberately let it go in our rules,” she said, but “I do not know of a sanctioned religious exemption from any religious organization.” She reminded New Yorkers that “Everyone from the pope down” is calling for vaccinations.
Finally, Hochul did not directly comment on whether she would offer an official apology in the case of the Attica prison uprising that took place 50 years ago this week. She said she wanted private conversations with affected people and said she witnessed the trials in person as an intern.
“We’ve had a lot of outreach with everyone affected by this, and it’s a sad day for all of us to remember what happened 50 years ago.”