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Gov. Kathy Hochul says NY will not shut down as COVID-19 cases surge

Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a new interview that New York would never again be shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic and vowed, “I won’t close it again, you can count on that.”

The Democratic Party nominee for governor vowed not to reintroduce COVID-related restrictions that are bringing the state to a standstill – as the Big Apple faces an uptick in some cases.

“I’m going to protect the health of New Yorkers, but I’m also protecting the economy,” she said The Cats Roundtable host John Catsimatidis in an interview Sunday.

“I won’t close it again, rest assured.”

Hochul’s comments came after New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan announced on Friday that the five counties will soon switch to a “moderate risk” level due to an increase in cases caused by the highly contagious Omicron subvariant.

“Over the next few days, likely early next week, we will be reaching a new level of risk and moving from a low-risk environment to a medium-risk environment based on cases,” he explained on NY1.

The five counties are currently considered “low” risk for community spread, but health officials say Omicron’s new subvariant, BA.2, accounted for about 80% of the state’s infections as of Wednesday.

The governor issued the statement as COVID-19 cases began to rise again in New York.
The governor issued the statement as COVID-19 cases began to rise again in New York.
Stephen Yang

As of Friday, New York City’s COVID-19 positivity rate, measured as a seven-day average, was 4.46% — up from 1.46% at the same time in March. Nationwide, the average seven-day positivity rate was a slightly higher 4.68% — a significant increase from the 1.85% reported on March 19.

Meanwhile, Hochul said she is working closely with Mayor Eric Adams to ensure Big Apple tourism is not affected by the city’s rising crime rate.

“We’re seeing an increase in cases and people are getting anxious and that might affect whether people are coming at that time, but they’re not going to stay away because of crime,” she explained less than a week later in WABC’s Interview One Gunman in Brooklyn opened fire on a crowded Brooklyn rush hour traffic.

Nationwide, the average seven-day positivity rate was a slightly higher 4.68 percent.
Nationwide, the average seven-day positivity rate was a slightly higher 4.68 percent.
Michael M Santiago/Getty Images

“We’re going to lean heavily on that. I work with the mayor. We now have relationships with the mayor’s office that haven’t existed in a decade,” she added, referring to the hostile relationship between the disgraced ex-government. Andrew Cuomo and former Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“So we’re rolling up our sleeves and working with our law enforcement agencies to get the job done while respecting the rights of individuals, which is also important to us.”

In March, serious crimes increased by 37%, according to NYPD statistics released earlier this month. In the subway system, reported serious crimes are up 68% so far this year, according to NYPD data. Underground robberies have increased by 72%, crime by 28% and grand larceny by 110%, the department’s statistics show.

New York Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan announced on Friday that the five counties will soon move to a
New York Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan announced on Friday that the five counties will soon move to a “moderate risk” level due to an increase in cases.
REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

In the Sunday interview, Hochul went on to tout the key achievements of the belated state budget – and said she was “really proud” of the measures signed into law, including streamlining advanced pre-procedural policies.

“We talked about keeping the core value of bail reform because at one point two people accused of the same low-level crime, one went home and one went to jail awaiting trial. We knew it was unfair,” she explained. “But some of the more serious offences, like gun possession, have been barred from the possibility of bail. … We stopped doing that. we [now] Drop gun charges under the coverage of bail laws. They can either be arrested or released on bail. We fixed that.”

“I know a lot of people running for office say we haven’t done anything. Well, they should look at the law and know what we’ve achieved,” she added. “I’m really proud of that.”

Kathy Hochul also said she is working closely with Mayor Eric Adams to combat rising crime.
Hochul also said she is working closely with Mayor Eric Adams to combat rising crime.
REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

When asked why New Yorkers should vote for her in the upcoming primary and general election, Hochul cited her work ethic and ability to connect with New Yorkers across the state.

“Because I’m the hardest working person you’ll ever meet. And I fight like hell for them every day,” she told Catsimatidis.

“I’m rough and trippy, I know how to get the job done and I’m out there in communities, I know this state — having been lieutenant governor — I know it better than anyone. I know people’s problems, I know the streets of New York, and I will continue to do what I’ve done my whole life, which is to fight for the people.”

https://nypost.com/2022/04/17/gov-kathy-hochul-says-ny-will-not-shut-down-as-covid-19-cases-rise/ Gov. Kathy Hochul says NY will not shut down as COVID-19 cases surge

JACLYN DIAZ

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