State will allow Memorial Day ceremonies with 10 people or less
Calls on FDA to make sure pharmaceutical corporations that produce a COVID-19 vaccine release rights to provide for immediate widespread distribution
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a collaboration with the Greater New York Hospital Association and the Healthcare Association of New York State to implement a two-week hospital visitation pilot program in 16 hospitals across the state – including Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center – to allow increased visitations for family members and loved ones. As part of the pilot program, visits will be time limited. Visitors will be provided with and must wear PPE and are subject to symptom and temperature checks.
“This is getting visitors back into hospitals with the right precaution, with the right equipment,” Cuomo said. “It is terrible to have someone in the hospital and that person is isolated, not being able to see their family and friends. I understand the health reasons for that – we were afraid of the virus spread – but this is a pilot project to see if we can bring visitors in and do it safely.”
•The governor announced the state will allow Memorial Day ceremonies of 10 people or less statewide, with final decisions about ceremonies being left to local governments. Cuomo encouraged vehicle parades in honor of veterans for Memorial Day.
“Memorial Day is coming up. That is an important American tradition,” he said. “We want to honor our veterans and we want to make sure that no matter what happens we are still honoring our veterans. The state will allow ceremonies, local ceremonies of up to 10 people or less. We hope that those ceremonies are broadcast; televised in their areas so people can be a part of honoring that tradition. Local governments can make a decision that they don't want those ceremonies to happen; they don't want 10 people gathering. Ten is the CDC guideline, is for 10 people gathering. That's where the state got the recommendation from the federal CDC. But I can understand the difference of opinion, so we'll leave it up to local government.
“Vehicle parades I think are appropriate and should be encouraged and, again, this is an important tradition. Many people lost their lives. This is important to many, many families all across this state and nation. It's important to the veterans that they be recognized, and I think we can do that – and I think we can do it safely.”
•The governor also called on the FDA to take steps now to make sure pharmaceutical corporations that produce a COVID-19 vaccine release the rights to the vaccine to provide for immediate widespread distribution and help ensure the vaccine is available to all individuals.
"As more regions and businesses across the state become eligible to begin reopening, New Yorkers are getting excited, but we must not forget the hard work we've done and the pain we've experienced for the last two months," Cuomo said. "Everything that we did – the closings, social distancing and other measures – were tough but necessary, and because of it we saved lives and we flattened the curve. If you look at the curve in New York compared to the rest of the nation, we're going down while the curve is still going up in many other regions. We must continue to do everything we've been doing even as we begin to reopen and remember the lessons we've learned through all of this."