George Floyd protests threaten New York’s coronavirus progress: ‘Covid still kills,’ Gov. Cuomo says

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo conducts a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., after a meeting with President Trump at the White House on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call | Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said mass protests for the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis could threaten the state’s progress in containing the spread of the coronavirus. 

New coronavirus hospitalizations across the state hit an all-time low since the beginning of the outbreak at a three-day average of 154 on Monday, according to a chart Cuomo presented at a press conference Tuesday. He said 58 people died from coronavirus on Monday, a figure that is also on the decline.  

“We are doing very very well when it comes to dealing with the Covid-19 crisis,” he said. 

However, physicians and health officials warn that there’s usually a delay in newly reported Covid-19 cases, and the outcome of days of protests attracting massive groups of people might not show up in case numbers until weeks from now. 

“I know a lot of the protesters are so annoyed they don’t want to hear about Covid anymore,” Cuomo said. “‘Covid is yesterday’s news.’ No Covid is still a problem. Covid still kills also so be mindful and respectful of that.”

Two regions in upstate and western New York will be allowed to move into “phase two” of the state’s reopening plan beginning Monday and Tuesday, which would allow professional services, real estate, finance and insurance to resume work as well as expanded retail operations under strict safety protocols. 

New York City is on track to begin “phase one” reopening on June 8. Construction and manufacturing could resume operations and retailers will be able to reopen for curbside pickup and in-store drop off. 

This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates. 

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