NY state faces shutdown, thousands of new COVID-19 deaths 'if nothing changes': Cuomo

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Thousands of New Yorkers could die of complications related to COVID-19 over the next month if the state continues on its current trajectory, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday, while warning that the state is headed for another shutdown.

As of Sunday, hospitals across the state were treating 5,712 COVID-19 patients, up from 5,410 on Saturday, Cuomo said at a news briefing Monday afternoon. New York also reported 83 new virus-related deaths on Monday.

“At this rate, if nothing happens, we could have 11,000 in hospitals and 3,500 deceased [in one month],” Cuomo said. “If you factor out these numbers, that’s what we’re looking at if nothing changes."

“That increase in hospitalizations could overwhelm some regions if nothing changes by January,” he added. “That’s the trajectory we’re looking at.”

New York has already shut down indoor dining in New York City and reduced dining capacity in other regions. The next step, the governor warned, could be a statewide shutdown of non-essential businesses akin to the one imposed in the spring.

“What you should worry about is shutdown,” he said. “Because if we do not change the trajectory, we could very well be headed to shutdown.”

Small social events continue to drive the surge in COVID-19 cases, Cuomo noted. Contact tracers have linked nearly 74 percent of the new cases reported between September and November to household and social gatherings.

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And while several regions across the state are reporting higher hospitalization rates based on population than New York City is, Cuomo urged residents of the five boroughs to take precautions, given that “the virus spreads much faster in New York City.”

“We know how fast it takes off in New York City,” he said. “Anyone who doubts that wasn’t here in the spring, or has the shortest memory imaginable.”

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