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Cuomo: Erie County's hospitalizations greater than two downstate counties

Erie County's number of daily coronavirus hospitalizations is higher than two downstate counties, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Friday.

Erie County's 36 hospitalizations per day was higher than the 24 of Richmond County – better known as Staten Island – and the 23 of Rockland County, as shown in a chart Cuomo displayed during his daily coronavirus briefing from Albany.

Among 11 categories on a chart accounting for the daily hospitalizations, Erie was the only upstate county listed. The state's numbers showed that Erie County represents more than one-third of upstate's total of daily coronavirus cases – 36 of 98.

"If you look at the past few days, where the cases have been coming from," Cuomo said, "it’s the downstate region, and then upstate it’s Erie County."

Nine downstate counties were listed, along with Erie County and "Rest of state," which accounted for 62 cases per day.

Erie County's 36 hospitalizations per day accounted for 3.7% of the statewide total of 956.

Staten Island was at 2.5% and Rockland 2.4%.

[Related: Erie County's Covid-19 death toll rises to 270, hospitalizations remain near single-day high]

The other downstate counties' totals and percentages: Manhattan 167 (17.5%), Kings (Brooklyn) 166 (17.4%), Bronx 122 (12.8%), Queens 114 (11.9%), Nassau 97 (10.1%), Westchester 74 (7.8%) and Suffolk 71 (7.4%).

Cuomo cited the numbers as part of a new state initiative to seek more information from hospitals about those cases in an effort to try to reduce them.

The state's daily rate of new Covid-19 hospitalizations has been between 900 and 1,000 per day.

"That is still too high a number of new cases to have every day," Cuomo said. "It’s a lot better than where we were, for sure, but 1,000 new cases every day is still a very high infection rate. It’s still a burden on the hospital system.

"We want to now take it to the next level. Let’s drill down on those 1,000 new cases. Where are they coming from? Why is the infection rate continuing? Who’s getting infected? And let’s get more targeted in our response."

The governor said he would be discussing this effort with hospitals Friday, saying the state would be seeking demographic information such as where patients live and work, whether they are essential workers or not, how they commute, their sex, age and overall health status as well as whether or not they were transferred from a nursing home.

"Let’s get more specific information from the hospitals to see if we can come up with a strategy that is more tailored to the reduction of these 1,000 cases per day," Cuomo said. "We need more specific information to have a specific battle plan."

Coronavirus need to know (map image updated 5/20)

• The statewide amount of coronavirus deaths Thursday was 289, the first time it has dropped in the 200-range for weeks. Cuomo showed continual declining rates in hospitalizations and intubations on what he noted was Day 62 of the state's coronavirus crisis.

• When asked about when he would announce any reopening plans, Cuomo did not provide a time frame, only saying that it would be announced before May 15, which is when current pause restrictions expire.

• Asked to evaluate his performance during the coronavirus, Cuomo said, "I did my best."

Coming back to that question a few moments later, Cuomo said, "New Yorkers did an extraordinary job," and said they helped prevent 100,000 hospitalizations.

• In an effort to provide mental health services for front-line pandemic workers, Cuomo said insurers are being told to waive any co-pays or deductibles for mental health services for those workers.

• On Thursday, Cuomo outlined plans for two major initiatives: Building up a contact-tracing infrastructure and working with New York City and the Metropolitan Transit Authority to administer the nightly shutdown of the subway system, so that cars and stations could be disinfected.

New York schools to stay closed through end of school year, Cuomo says

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