Officials were still working on getting the exact number of new patients, Cuomo said during an appearance on CNN, which employs his brother, Chris Cuomo.
An increase of 25 patients would take the state to 167 confirmed cases. New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker told reporters on Monday that the state was testing several hundred samples a day.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that five New York City residents tested positive for the virus overnight. There are now 25 people with COVID-19, the disease the virus causes, in the city.
Cuomo said people shouldn’t necessarily avoid public places like airports but “vulnerable populations,” or senior citizens and people with pre-existing conditions, should “think twice before getting on a plane” and “think twice before going to a large gathering,” the New York Post reported.
“A person with a compromised immune system, yes, think twice before getting on a flight, going to a gathering, public transportation, etc., those people, yes, general population, no,” the governor said.
Cuomo said the federal government should work on quickly ramping up testing capacity, a day after federal officials said over one million tests have been distributed to state labs across all 50 states and another four million tests would be sent by the end of the week. Testing and isolating both confirmed and suspected patients is the key to combating the spread of the virus, Cuomo said.
Many of the cases in New York stem from a cluster in Westchester County. Cuomo said officials are considering canceling large public events like the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Parade, as officials in Boston and Ireland have done.
Calling the Westchester cluster “intense,” Cuomo added: “We’re taking more dramatic actions in that cluster. You calibrate your response to the time and the facts and the circumstances in that place at that time. So parades, etc., we look at that on a daily basis.”
De Blasio said that there were no plans to cancel the March 17th parade.
“We are better off keeping our society together, our economy together, our schools open. We’re better off not closing larger events, because from what we’re seeing you don’t get this disease by walking into an arena where someone else in that area has it,” the mayor said on MSNBC. “You only get this disease if you’re right up on that person and somehow they cough or sneeze really right up on you.”
Shortly after Cuomo’s appearance, the parade website added a note. “We have received no communications from the authorities concerning the possibility of a postponement at this point. We recommend checking with your local health officials, government, and where appropriate, your personal physician for guidance,” it stated.