tv New York Gov. Cuomo Holds Coronavirus Briefing CSPAN May 18, 2020 11:42pm-12:35am EDT
important updates from congress. sign up today, it is easy. enter your email in the word for word sign-up box. new york governor andrew briefing with reporters on the coronavirus response. he says western new york can start with phase one opening. from buffalo, this is 50 minutes. gov.cuomo: good morning. pleasure to be in buffalo. you know the gov.cuomo: good morning. pleasure to be in buffalo. you know the people with me but just in case you've been living under a rock, to my far right,
to my live, secretary to the governor. to her left, gareth rose who has been working with us through this crisis. dr. candace johnson, thank you for the hospitality. we talked about our trip to cuba and your greater accomplishment, it was fun. always a pleasure to be with my friending, my partners, the great mayor of the city of buffalo, byron brown, the great county executive of erie county, mark, thank you for everything you've been doing to get us through this i'm pleased to report they took a covid test yesterday and i am negative from that test. so that is good news. take one of those tests, very easy, i showed people ow easy it
was yesterday. and when you find out you're negative it's a nice sense of relief. i didn't have any symptoms or anything but you know, you don't need to have symptoms and you can have the covid virus. so you take the test, they tell you you're negative, 24 to 48 hours, and it is peace of mind. there's no reason why people shouldn't be getting tested. we actually have now more testing capacity than we are using at many of our sites. and we've expanded the number of people who are eligible for testing. anyone who has any symptoms for a covid virus, any symptoms includes basically the symptoms you would have if if you had the flu. same symptoms. if you have any symptoms, get a test. get a test. protects you, protects your
family prork tect yours colleagues, get a test. if you were exposed to a person who you find out is positive for covid, get a test. get a test. takes 30 seconds. we have 700 locations across the state. there's no reason why you shouldn't do it. go to the web, it shows you right where the location is sign up and go. let's give you some background today. number of hospitalizations are down. so that's good news. not down a lot but down. i'll take it. net change is down. net change in intubations is down. number of new cases per day zoun by one. not great but i'll take it. moving in the right direction that is good news. the number that break misheart, ,very day, the number of deaths is still painfully high.
106. but it is down. and in this world where we're looking for good news on a daily basis, that is good news. although our thoughts and prayers are with those 106 families today. and if you look at where we are, we have done a phenomenal job in reducing the -- reducing what could have been cataclysmic. you see that incline on that curve. no one could tell you when we were in the midst of that incline where it would stop foreit would stop. there was no global expert who said if you do this, you close this and close this and close this, then we can tell you with certainty it will stop the spread of the virus. nobody said that. all they could say was, do your best, try to close everything down, and then hope for the best.
and new yorkers responded, we had the highest number of cases in the country. new yorkers responded. with great unity and great discipline. and that's why that curve turned, hit the apex and we're on the way down you also see how slow the way down. is that's why all the experts always say be carele of the spike because it's a long time coming down from the spike. want to avoid the spike because you can't reverse it in a matter of days. it takes a long time to get those numbers back down. than is with everything we did, with all the loss and pain we suffered. this is how long it took to get those numbers down. we now have a top priority which we have from day one which is our nursing homes. we've -- we were introduced to this virus in seattle, washington, where it attacked a nursing home. the most vulnerable population and the most vulnerable place.
senior citizens in the congress regatt facility. that's how we were introduced to this virus and i'm afraid that's how we're going to leave this virus. protecting our nursing homes and seniors has been top priority. last week we put in place a .equirement to test all staff at number one, it keeps the staff safe. if you see an staff e in the positive people it's an alert that you probably have a problem in that chances are because the staff are giving it to people in the nursing home. if you watch what happens canary in aff it's a what's mine for
happening in the nursing home. hird, it clearly keeps the residents of the nursing home safe. nursing homes do this we worked with all the private labs. identified the number of tests send just for the purpose of testing people in nursing homes. about 35,000 per day. 320,000 test kits to the nursing homes today, to this.hem do doing, erything they are i know the nursing home operators are not happy about this. >> it's very hard to administer it the staff all have to be tested week. per we're giving test kits. we set up lab capacity but it's operational issue. i understand that. and i understand that no other this.is doing and i hear that quite often from the nursing homes.
requiring thatis the staff be tested twice a week. i understand that. most rstand we have the aggressive standard in the nation. but i also know that it is ecessary, and, look, from day ne, we said this was going to be hard. and we said, we drew bad cards in this hand. have the highest number of cases. anything e we did wrong but because the virus fooled everyone and we were virusg down china and the had already left china and had one to europe and by the time we closed europe, three million come from europe airports.d in new york happening and we didn't know. it was already gone by the time
e closed china and it had left europe by the time we closed europe. hat's why new york had that cluster. those flights from europe came here. they land in jfk, newark. people take connecting flights. they are coming here, so that the virus here. that's why we have the numbers that we have. okay. but we said, we're going to do what we have to do and we're to do what we have to do to protect the lives of new yorkers. who is in a nursing home? this is your mother, this is our father, your sister, your brother, this is our family who are in nursing homes. that's who they are. and they are senior family nothing but e owe gratitude and respect. to be one thing we need able to say at the end of this is, we did everything we could. we did everything we could. 106 people died.
how do you live with that? how do you sleep with that? ecause we did everything we could. e still can't save every life but we can do everything in our to r that we can do, to try save every life. and that's why i'm comfortable we're doing on nursing homes. it's hard and i thank them. on reopening overall, we're have hit regions that data points at the metrics. has one metric they have to hit. tracers.d 521 they have identified 525. reat piece of work that they did over the weekend. i want to thank the mayor, county executive, and all the officials who found people to serve as tracers. be trained ng to tomorrow. that means all the metrics will be hit and western new york will
tomorrow. exciting. and it's been a long thing for we start to reopen tomorrow. new york state department of a waiver also granting to start elected procedures for ecmc. hospitals make sure are in a position to provide it.e for people who need so this is a good step. also have been encouraging major sports teams to plan without fans, but the games will be televised. those k state will help ajor sports franchises to do just that. hockey, basketball, baseball, whoever can reopen, we're a ready willing and able partner. disclosure, i want to watch the buffalo bills but i'm
still objective. acting as governor. there is no personal agenda here. do i want to watch the bills. my that is not sub verring role as governor, which is in the best interest of the people best interest of the state of new york. even though i do have a personal agenda because i want to watch they are separate agendas. lest someone say i have a conflict of interest. judges and staff will be in the g to courthouses counties that are opening this week. what will reopening mean? big topic of discussion now. reopening mean? is a s not a subject that political subject or where political opinions really matter. don't care if you're a democrat, a republican, libertarian, independent, i
don't care. don't care. exerciseot a political that we're going through. people say i have a personal opinion. i don't even care about your opinion. i don't think should you care about my personal opinion. not about a person opinion. it's not about an ideological opinion. about a geographic opinion. an opinion.n facts and science and data. it's numbers. it's math. that's all it is at the end of the day. you start to increase economic activity, you'll have more people coming out of their contacting people ther people, and then you measure the impact of that increase with numbers. not with opinions, politics or
partisanship. just umbers, and then you measure the impact. go abovesure you don't 70% of your hospital beds so that if a large number of people get infected you have the hospital beds to take care of them. over ke sure you don't go 70% of your icu bed capacity. because when these people are infected with covid, they do need icu beds. that the hard way. and running,ing up 30 tests per a thousand residents. where did that come from? white house coronavirus task force, dr. birx. you have 30 tracers for every hundred thousand residents. that comes from the experts and then you watch the infection and you make sure that you don't get near 1.1 on the infection rate. math, and there is a
that.ation in at a time of such division in politics and elections and all garbage, this is an math.se in science and and it's data that we can all share and participate in. atncourage people to go look what's and look at happening in your region because that's how we're going to get through this. numbers. facts. math, on the we're going to bring in advisers advisers, who are international experts, global experts, who have dealt with kinds of diseases. this is not just a state of new york issue. issue.t even an american it's a global issue. make sure we have people reviewing, and people as ewing the reviewers, and many opinions of experts as we
get, is the best path forward. osterholm is a nationwide xpert in this field and he's agreed to review our data, what happening, what's and to advise us as to how our progress looks on the numbers. thank him very much. e also have another doctor, already lecturer as imperial college, who has agreed to serve adviser to the state of new york. dr. bhatt is the senior lecturer in geo-statistics at the imperial college in london. geo-statistics is not my field of endeavor. heard of geo-statistics before. bhatt to we need dr. advise us, because i know othing about geo-statistics, but dr. bhatt is joining us. i want to thank him very much.
imperial college in london, number of projection models that were done early on prestigious f universities, and we've been watching all of these projection models since this started. you know, many of the models not a hundred percent ccurate because they couldn't calculate the effect of the social participation and what actually did to change the curve, and in a state like ew york what the people did dramatically changed the curve so it affected the projections, the imperial college model, been following this, most eks, was the best, accurate model, and therefore, i deserves all of our thanks because it really
to dates all through us and i want to thank him very much for taking the time to on how we not just to date ed our model but what happens going forward as we increase economic activity numbers art to see change. octor, thank you very much for being with us. t's a pleasure to welcome you today. >> thank you, governor. already he state has shown what can be achieved when policies are driven by science. sacrifice that is people have made and will continue to make deserve an applause. the leadership shown in new york during this cries shies be commended, and i think you an approach for others to follow. in the college of london we have a huge marty and mcgee response team. new york has successfully contained the virus for now but
new york is not out of the wood yet. no state, no country. as you reopen, you must continue follow thee data and signs. we're really eager to work with new york. s they are approaching this cries fridays a scientific perspective driven by data. new york is leading way with collection and this will help to tie together as many sources of evidence as possible come to a consensus which then can be used for decision-making. on rigorous ocused modeling to track rt, as you put it. the reduction number of virus going forward. if all goes above one this means virus is no longer contained spread eed to track the of this virus, and as much of it data sible with the best as possible. science mitted to open o policymakers understand the limitations. to date, we've released reports for europe, brazil, italy,
data from google as well as open source statistical developed at columbia university. networkols and research can be tested and improved. as countries around the world and states around the u.s. start reopening their economies, we'll see cases rise once again. must continue to be vigilant and to follow the data. see -- governor, thank you for this opportunity and truly thank you for the work you are en doing and doing. gov. cuomo: thank you very much, thank you for being with us. you.k i look forward to speaking to you in the days ahead. i want to thank the doctor very college.d the whole look, i'm a parochial new yorker. i was not all that eager to seek college in f a london but i can tell you this. a global pandemic, and other 're now doing countries have done before. we tend to think we're always
the first. the first. we're not the first to deal with this virus. other countries have dealt with gone through reopening and learned all sorts of lessons on reopening. we're to make sure what doing is the best informed approach. so i want to thank the doctor ery much, and they will be looking at exactly what happens our metrics, going forward. the ast point is, what's impact of the reopening? we don't know yet what the road looks like. do, s a function of what we so you tell me how responsible re the employers in following have been nes that put forth, right? we talk about reopening, contracting, fishing, manufacturing, and there are guidelines that those employers must follow.
scrupulous they are in following those guidelines will matter. store owners the follow the guidelines. and i'll tell you what happens. if the employees are following the guidelines, and using the ppe and hand sanitizer and i'll tell you what happens. me how individuals react now that the weather is warmer. are they wearing masks. socially cting responsible? are they saying within social distancing requirements, and i'll tell you what's going to happen. you tell me how effectively a ocal government enforces the guidelines, and i'll tell you what is going to happen. of this is predetermined. what s all a function of we do today going forward. smarter, more distant we are, the lower that infection
rate will climb. lower the infection climbs, the more you increase the activity. formula. it is math. and that's, both, at the same because s liberating, it takes politics out of it, out of rsonal opinion it, but it's also something you can measure and track, and you know exactly what's going to happen because it's a function of what we're doing. it's up to us, it's up to you, we're goinglective, to decide the future. started. we should also set our goals high, right? coming ng back, we're back from the closing. all right. goal?t is our i say it's should not just be about we're going to reopen. reopen suggests you're going to go back to where you were before
closure. we're going to go back to the day before the closure. no. about going backwards. life is never about i want to i was.k to where it has to be about building back better than before. want to go forward. e want to advance, and that's what we have to think about going through this. and we took a hard blow, we got knocked down. no fault of our own. virus, created that no er nature, god, whoever, fault of our own. welcome to life. happen. outside of your control, that you couldn't do anything about, just happens. nd then the question becomes, are you strong enough to get you up once life knocks down? nd are you smart enough to
learn from what you went through in life? you hen you get back up, will be the better for it. i believe that. my story. that's our story. story of buffalo, changing ocked down, the economy. all right. but we're going to get back up because we're strong enough, learn from it, because we're smart enough. that's the story of buffalo. new york. story of that's the american story. right? this country the best country on the globe. not that we didn't get knocked down. knocked down plenty. but we were smart enough to enough to get g back up. and that's where we have to set sites. not about reopening. we're going to make this place ever before. because what we went through is
transformative experience in life. on a individual level and social level. we're not going to be the people before. the day we're going to be better. we're going to be smarter. to be stronger for what we went through. we're going to be a stronger went y for what we through. i believe that. and we're going to have a newnger buffalo, a stronger york, and a stronger america. and that's what it means to be smart, united, disciplined, and loving. thank you. questions? appears, if i understand the numbers right, he state reset some of the metrics to make western new york eligible to reopen. can you explain that or clarify specifically, hospitalizations and hospital beds? the hospitalizations and hospital beds are on a three-day rolling average. you have to compute it from a
and that's erage what we've been doing, and then you pick great and it's three days from there. i don't know anything beyond that. >> no, that's correct. it was the net change in the spike in cases couldn't exceed 15 hospitalizations or over a three day rolling average or a 14 straight day decline. either/or in. western new york it's on that rolling average and the rolling three over the last days, hospitalizations is actually six on a three-day olling average and the deaths is two so it falls -- >> the maximum of that three-day average, which -- >> no, it's over the course of he three-day rolling average and it's the last three days. >> three-day rolling average is just that. three days, and average it. large contingent of new yorkers -- unemployment. you said yesterday that the majority of backlog has been cleared. thousands of new yorkers say
in march. they haven't heard. no money, and they can't get -- have you heard from hose people and what is your answer? >> the commissionler be doing a call today to speak to that of this morning we've given out over 9 billion to new yorkers. say everybody has been paid. there are three major categories eft outstanding for anyone beyond the three-week backlog and that either is certified lot of information, a people fit into the partial information category where either social security number is pieces of e of the information that the feds mandate has not been turned in or as not been verified suspected fraud. the department of labor specialists are actively not -- reaching out to those people directly to try to them.y it doesn't mean every single person has been cleared from the backlog. the majority of the people have cleared from the backlog and the fact that two million versers have been pay.
now the exception and not the rule and they are working clock to address those issues and there will be a to answer questions on this. today. address it >> let's remember, the context. eople are angry everywhere right now. with good reason. here's the needle you have to tleshgsd right? we have an unprecedented number of unemployment claims. every state in the united states of america. talk to governors all day long. all the states have to change the new ams to fit rules and you're getting of calls millions where you got thousands of calls
previously. up with a better system, a phones, we te, more have 3,000 employees on phones on the website. money out the door. then you have another pressure, hey, this is taxpayer money. make sure there is no fraud. giving out e not money to somebody who doesn't qualify. hope you're meeting every federal test. all the 476 criteria. i hope you're checking every box. and now you're getting fraud alerts. defrauding ple are the unemployment system. think there may be widespread where these rfraud people don't even exist. and it's a fraud scheme all done
on a computer because you're not seeing people anymore, right? there is no personal walking into the door. t's all on the other side of a computer and you're giving out billions of dollars in this country. not careful that you're being subject to some kind of you're fraud and responding to suzy smith, but no smith. computer terminal in another country. because i guarantee you, a few be at a m now, i'll press conference like this and someone will say, people are angry that you gave out a people oney, and the didn't exist, and they were just and how scam artists did you not know? a local law firm has -- [inaudible] that the order to force people to work offsite, they call it an abuse of power.
a chance to look at this lawsuit and we're eager for your opinion if you have? have not seen the lawsuit or heard about it. wrong to ask, it's people work offsite? forcing someain by of their employees to work offsite, they are calling it an power by the state. gov. cuomo: yeah. look, a lot of people say a lot right?ngs, that falls into that category of a lot ofpeople say a lot of people say a lot of a lot of people say a lot of things. [laughter] [inaudible] to try to -- [inaudible] to be ism is not going just a new york state question. it's a national question. it's an international question. when will people get back on
planes, right? when does the economy bounce back? to spend e have money on tourism? the jam packed boats, that will a question of when can you do jam packed? packed you do a jam stadium, a jam packed restaurant, a jam packed bar, boat?cked they are all going to be in that jam packed question. you say you're encouraging professional sports without fans, is that just for the foreseeable future? that until the end of the nfl season? ow much should state and local officials be part of the conversation about what these shouldional sports teams do? . >> first, my opinion is they to do it a ramp up anyway, right? they have to start. to have a camp.
they have to go through economic procedures. have games with no fans and the numbers work for them, the economics work, revenue is enough without the fan revenue, and by sporttually a sport determination, some sports ctually rely more on the tv income, televised income, than but ifdium arena income, hey can make the numbers work, i say great. come back, the state will work remember, ecause government rules right now could team coming back, right? what's essential, what's not essential? will saying the state work with them to come back. hey have to make their own economic decision whether that economic model works for them. hockey without fans? can you do baseball without
fans? can you do football without fans? they have to make that decision, we can help, we would help, and then they will running, and then when we can fill a stadium again, we can fill a stadium. why wait until you can fill a stadium before you start to and if you am back, can televise it in the meantime, great. good as t's not as going to a game or going to a game, but ching the people who are at home, if you chance to watch sports, i'm watching the reruns right of the old classic games, and that's fun. but i would rather watch current sports on tv, if it works. governor, what about houses of worship, libraries -- thing.e >> what's the schedule for them?
thing.s the same it's all, you know, jammed boats, jammed temples, jammed anywhere, where you have the concentration, the gatherings, that's the issue. remember what we learned, right? made mistakes. so let's not make the same twice.s we have the first hotspot in the united states. it hotspot.hey call before it was even called a hotspot. the first super spreader, before even called them super spreaders. rochelle, westchester. rochelle westchester? went to a who eligious gathering and then a ceremony infected dozens and dozens. the meat about processing plants in the
midwest. nd the operation of the meat processing plants. it's nothing to do -- it's the fact that you had 1,000 employees, 500 employees, we have a situation in madison county, you have a couple of hundred people, and you have one person who's infected, you have a problem. so they all come in that same category. nobody can tell when you you'll be ready for that, but the answer is follow. the answer is everybody will know, because if you follow the numbers and you follow the math, you will watch that infection rate, and you will see the trajectory of progress. it's that simple. reporter: in terms of four phases for reopening, do they fall into one, two, three, or four? governor cuomo: oh, that's on the website. reporter: it wasn't. i don't think -- it wasn't on there. governor cuomo: robert? >> houses of worship, if you were just to open them up
regularly with new guidelines, would fall in the last stage, as the governor said, that's a mass gathering, the same thing with the stadium, the same thing with any situation where you have a lot of people together. the question is whether or not you can do something less than that, and that's still an open question is whether or not you can. reporter: hasn't been determined whether it could be a small group, like 10, 15, 20 people? >> right, not yet. reporter: i spoke to a nursing home administrator friday who said they had no idea the state was sending them testing kit, and they were told they had to pay for them themselves. went out and secured some on their own. what about the communication in terms of nursing homes in terms of how many kits you're going to get? governor cuomo: we're daily communication. this scale of testing is new for everyone. everyone is trying to figure out how to get tests, how to buy tests, how to get the testing kits, how to get the testing machines, hospitals are doing that, labs are doing that,
nursing homes are doing that, employers are doing that. so that is nothing new. we just worked very hard over the weekend, secured testing capacity from the labs, private labs, that will be set aside for nursing homes. and testing kits, we can procure and send to nursing homes to help them. also remember, nursing home staff is a person. you could be a nursing home staff, ok, go to a drive-in. go to the c.v.s. to rite aid. you know, there's a lot of places that you can now get a test. and we have many places that are underutilized, right? we have some drive-ins that can do 15,000 tests a day, they're only doing 5,000 a day. we worked day and night to get this testing capacity up. we're not even using it right now.
so, you can say if you're a nursing home, look, it's an operational pain, people don't want to get tested twice a day. i understand that. but we know that there's the ability. 700 testing sites around the state. you can go right now and you could get a test right now. just go to a drive-in on the way home. i stood up yesterday, had it done, showed people how easy it was. you know, i understand they don't want to do it. but these are senior citizens, and i want to be able to say on behalf of the state, we did everything we could. and testing twice a week with a staff member, i don't think it's excessive. why don't we do once a week and you do once a week. you take a test on mondays. you got infected on tuesday. so tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, saturday, sunday, you
spread that virus. in a nursing home. and then you found out a week later when you tested positive. you know how many people you could have hurt by then? that's why twice a week. reporter: you talk about how important it is to listen to experts here on this stuff. if you talked to the experts on nursing homes, they'll tell you before covid-19, new york state had one of the lowest levels of care in nursing homes and some of the most lax enforcement by the state health department. is the state not in some way to blame for what happened? governor cuomo: yeah, i don't believe the experts would say that. you know, we have over 600 nursing homes. we've had one of the best nursing home systems in the country for a long period of time. you know, you can always have people say you should do more. that always happens. and we are doing more. and by the way, now we're doing more, and they're complaining
that we're doing more than any other state. you can't have it both ways, right? last question, yes, ma'am? reporter: do you have any impact outside some counties have on an entire region? has there been any thought to posting the county breakdown as far as the reopening methods go? right now those aren't available. and is there any more clarification you can give regarding how much time we need to wait between reopening phases. we said 14 days is the general guideline, but depending on what the metrics show, maybe they might be able to open sooner. can you elaborate on that? governor cuomo: yeah, 14 days is the guideline, because it's basically the incubation period of the virus. it will show up in about 14 days. if a lot of people get infected today, there is an incubation period, then there's symptoms or not. and then if all else fails, the way you see the increase is in the hospitalization.
you know when the hospitalization rate goes up. but when the hospitalization rate goes up, they call a lagging indicator, is really is telling who you got infected two weeks before. so when you wait for it to happen in the hospitals, you are behind the eight ball. but you will see the infection rate every day. if the economic activity is increasing, but the infection rate isn't, and the hospitalization rate isn't, and the testing rate isn't, and the antibody rate isn't, then you could say we can get a little more aggressive and increase the rate faster. but it's a pure -- and again, what's liberating here, it's a pure function of management of numbers. it's numbers. i want to lose 10 pounds. i'm going try to lose two pounds a week. ok, it's going take my five weeks.
well, first week i did better, all right. so then you calibrate that way, right? this is just a mathematical calibration, and i want to keep it there, because i want to keep it out of politics. i don't want to get into, well, people say you should open faster. people say you should open slower. on what basis? where do you get that from? well, i just think you could do it faster. on what basis do you think i could do it faster? well, i think you should be doing it slower. what basis do you think? it's not what i'm thinking either. let's keep all our opinions out of it. let's just look at the data. if the data says 14 days is the guideline, if there is virtually no increase in the indicators, could you argue you're doing better than anticipated and open faster? sure, you could. and that would be a reasonable theory based on the numbers.
but let's keep it on the numbers, on the facts. that is all i'm saying. reporter: break down -- governor cuomo: when you break down the numbers too far, i don't know how reliable they are. remember, this whole system that we're now putting online, this has all been developed in the last two months. none of this existed. all this daily reporting by hospitals, reporting by nursing homes, reporting by testing sites. so the fear is if you get too granular in the numbers, and the numbers get too small, i wouldn't really feel comfortable in their accuracy when you stop to -- when you start disaggregating them. but that is not my field. that's geo statistics, which i never even took. so i just to want make sure -- that assumes that the county
data is reliable a daily basis. and as someone who knows what many of these counties are doing and how they're struggling, i wouldn't say -- i wouldn't put it up and say it is reliable, and i would count on any given day. that's why i say, on all these numbers from day one, don't take any of these day-to-day numbers as gospel. because this is just the reporting system that is still being developed. so take them all with a grain of salt. reporter: once things reopen, you talk about the individual responsibility of store shop owners. who's going to be the kind of watch dog to see if some of these precautions are being taken? because i think there's a level of different precautions that some people are supposed to take and others aren't taking, and who's going to say whether face masks are being worn in salons. who's going to watch out for
that? governor cuomo: well, first the guidelines are the guidelines, the rules are very specific, they're online, and this is exactly what an employer needs to do, an employee needs to do, what curbside pickup is that an individual should social distance, an individual should wear a mask when they're not in a position to socially distance, not socially distance. so the rules are clear, i think. enforcement compliance is done by the local governments, and we have talked about that a number of times, you have public health people who will be doing the enforcement, some localities use police to do the enforcement. that's up to the local governments. and also, i believe new yorkers should enforce it. you know, new yorkers should enforce it. this is all about us. this is not really a government function.
this is about people working together to achieve a greater goal. i wear a mask to protect you. you wear a mask to protect me. it's my respect for you. it's your respect for me. how these rules are complied with, if they're not, more -- if they are not complied with, more people get infected, the infection rate will go up, and then you'll see a necessary reduction in activity, which hurts everyone. so, you know, how are we doing? really, really last question. reporter: a question from earlier, because why i think it's important based on what i understand is that the state moved the date for that spike from basically the beginning of the outbreak to may 15. based on what i've been reading, that changes the date that western europe would have qualified by at least 10 days. can you give a little clarification as to what exactly did move and how much that
changed when this region qualified for phase one? governor cuomo: yeah, i don't know anything more than i told. a three-day rolling average is a three-day rolling average going back three days from today, right? that's a three-day rolling average. and we have numbers for what that three-day rolling average must be. so today is monday. sunday, saturday, friday, that's a three-day rolling average. >> it's based on the last three days, and what we've been very clear on, once we hit may 15, as soon as a region met the benchmarks, they could enter phase one. so the time reset on may 15, which was the end of the pause, the last three days western new york met the benchmarks, the numbers i gave you, negative six on the hospitalizations, two on the deaths for the three-day rolling average, which allowed them to enter phase one. reporter: that number can never exceed 15 or 5 respectively. i think that's where the confusion is. governor cuomo: i don't know.
it's above my pay grade. >> it's on the net change in daily spike. it's not exceeding at all, like a baseline of zero. the negative six in hospitalizations and two in deaths. reporter: what about contact tracers? we heard that we were 352 short. >> great work of our county executives. they identified the bodies within the counties. governor cuomo: county executive, city, you came up with contact traces, scrambled, every region has a number of employees who they're going to make available as contact tracers. any other area? >> various counties participating, people who work in county public health departments, county social services, even in niagara county, we have 50 sheriffs that have been identified, so we've really enlisted the servants from the five-county region. they have stepped up. they have been participating and take a four-hour training course, and they'll be ready to launch tonight. governor cuomo: you too can be a tracer.
it's a great second job. thank you. reporter: there is a constitutionality question. are you concerned about whether there could be -- >> washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. tuesday morning, the center for law and social policy discusses the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on low-wage workers. then, republican congressman french held will talk about the federal response to the pandemic and oversight of the federal funds allocated. on how military times the department of veterans affairs. watch washington journal, live at 7:00 eastern tuesday morning.
join the discussion. >> here is a look at live coverage tuesday. 5:10 a.m. eastern, federal reserve chair jerome powell and treasury secretary steven mnuchin testified before the senate banking committee about the distribution of financial aid under the cares act, a $2 trillion bill that congress passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic. on c-span two, the senate is back at 10:00 a.m. eastern to consider judicial and executive nominations. president trump invited restaurant executives to the white house to talk about the coronavirus response and efforts to reopen the economy. he also addressed his firing of the state