At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this region is improving, in terms of new positive coronavirus cases. Most of Erie County is in an “orange” micro-cluster zone, with restrictions on gatherings, businesses permitted to open and houses of worship. This week, Cuomo placed most of Niagara County into a “yellow zone,” with less-cumbersome restrictions.
“Western New York, knock Formica, seems to have flattened and is reducing. They're .04. That is good news,” Cuomo said. “We're been steadfast on the message there and I think people get it and people are understanding, and we want to get Western New York in good shape. The Bills are doing great. So that's good news.”
Still, this is no time for celebration.
“You look at the headlines, ‘New York is on a path towards full shutdown,’ ‘New York headed for shutdown,’ ‘Shutdown coming after Christmas,’ ‘Prepare for shutdown.’ Is a closedown possible in January? Yes. Yes,” Cuomo said. “First of all, anything is possible. Second of all, you look at these increases nationally, of course it is possible. You already see states, other states, closing down, big states closing down. Why are they closing down and we're not? Their numbers are higher than our numbers. … So the states with the higher numbers are already closing down.
“But there's a big but. And that's a big but. Big B-U-T. But, no one knows because it is up to us. What will happen in three weeks? What will happen in four weeks? You tell me what you're going to do over the next three weeks or four weeks and I'll tell you what's going to happen, right? We know there's been an increase over the past few weeks. But, that doesn't determine what happens going forward. I put on a pound a week for the past four weeks. Well, then in another month I'll weigh four pounds more. No, it depends on what you do. And that's where we are.
“There's a great quote. ‘Don't speculate about the future. Create the future.’ You know who said that? A.J. Parkinson, right. Don't speculate: ‘Maybe this, maybe this, maybe this, maybe that.’ Create the future. It is all in our control. New Yorkers can stop a shutdown; New Yorkers can save lives. It depends on what we do.
“And we just have to do it, and New Yorkers are good at doing it. Slow the spread, manage the hospitals, administer the vaccine. slow the spread, personal responsibility, small home gatherings, it's happening in your living room. Personal responsibility, ‘I'm going out, I'm just saying home and inviting friends over.’ Danger. Alert, Will Robinson. You have to be smart. Personal responsibility.
“Local governments, do your job and enforce the rules. Enforce the rules and get the information to the general public.”