Cuomo: Governors of 6 northeast states to hold 'emergency summit meeting' amid COVID-19 spike

NEW YORK — The governors of six northeastern states will hold an “emergency summit meeting” this weekend in an effort to align their COVID-19-related policies, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday, as the number of new cases in New York topped 5,000 for the first time since April.

Of the 203,721 COVID-19 test results that came back in the state on Thursday, 5,401, or 2.65 percent, were positive, Cuomo said in a teleconference with reporters. New York state has not reported more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases in a day since April 25, when 5,902 test results came back positive, health department data shows.

“I believe this situation is going to continue to deteriorate over the coming weeks,” Cuomo said. “I have called my surrounding colleagues, governors, and we’re going to have an emergency summit meeting this weekend, of the six northeastern states, governors and their staffs.”

“We want to make sure that we can align policies as much as possible, or at least be aware of what the other states’ policies are,” he explained.

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the three other states will likely be “taking additional steps” to combat COVID-19 in the coming weeks, he said.

"The good news is New York State's infection rate is one of the lowest in the United States, the bad news is we are in the midst of a sea of COVID rising around us," Cuomo said.

New York will already be requiring bars, restaurants, gyms and liquor-licensed businesses like bowling alleys to close their indoor and outdoor dining areas at 10 p.m. each night starting Friday. Gatherings at private residences will also be limited to 10 people beginning Friday night.

The governor is concerned about the holidays as families gather to celebrate.

"'Well I'm just with my family, my family would never infect me.' Your family is not in control of it," the governor said, calling it "living room spread."

Cuomo on Friday reported 24 new COVID-19 related deaths in the state, without immediately providing a breakdown by county.

As of Thursday, 1,737 people in the state were hospitalized with COVID-19, up from 1,677 on Wednesday. Of the 1,737 hospitalized patients, 331 were in intensive care and 137 were on ventilators, he noted.

The governor also announced that the state would downgrade Rockland County’s “orange zone” to a precautionary “yellow zone,” noting that the county has “gotten their numbers down.”