Cuomo, N.Y. Task Force Head to Georgia to Help in COVID-19 Fight

July 20, 2020 by Dan McCue
Gov. Andrew Cuomo

N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and members of the state’s COVID-19 task force traveled to Savannah, Ga., Monday to help officials there cope with a surge in coronavirus cases.

While in Savannah, Cuomo will host a roundtable meeting with the New York delegation, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson and the Savannah public health team to discuss best practices to fight the pandemic, including how to set up testing and contact tracing operations.

Cuomo and his team are also bringing 1,000 pieces of PPE equipment to the city perhaps best known as the subject of the book and movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”

“When we were at our worst point with this virus in New York we had volunteers from all across the country come to help fight this dreaded disease, and now that we are past our apex we are ready to help any city or state with whatever they need,” Cuomo said in announcing the trip.

New York is currently testing over 50,000 people per day with a 1.05% infection rate. Hospitalizations are at their lowest point since March.

“The federal government is still in denial about this virus,” the governor continued. “It still refuses to follow the science. It still thinks it’s going to beat this virus by playing politics. And I’ve said to the president from day one, this virus does not respond to politics. It doesn’t respond to bullying. It doesn’t respond to rhetoric. It doesn’t respond to denial. It is the science. What did we do in New York? We did it as a science. We did it on the numbers. We did it on the data.”

Members of the New York delegation include N.Y. State Budget Director Robert Mujica; SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras; Gareth Rhodes, deputy superintendent and special counsel at NYS Department of Financial Services and member of the state COVID-19 task force; Larry Schwartz, former secretary to the governor and member of COVID-19 task force; Lisa Pino, executive deputy commissioner at NYS Department of Health; Edgar Santana, N.Y. director of downstate regional affairs, and Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor.

The Savannah trip isn’t the first time New York officials have helped other cities and states fight COVID-19.

Last Thursday, Cuomo announced New York State had established two church testing sites in COVID-19 hotspots in Houston, Texas.

On July 13, the state committed to sending testing and contact tracing teams to Atlanta, Ga., and on July 10, the governor’s office announced the state would send the COVID-19 medication Remdesivir to Florida as the state struggles with a resurgence of cases.

Georgia’s confirmed case count for COVID-19 reached 143,123 on Sunday, while the statewide death toll rose by 5 to reach 3,173, according to figures posted just before 3 p.m. on July 19 by the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Georgia’s total of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 reached 15,010 on Sunday, after 49 new patients were admitted.

From Wednesday to Thursday, 244 new hospitalizations were reported in Georgia, and 301 were hospitalized from Thursday to Friday. From Friday to Saturday, 298 new patients were hospitalized.

Another patient died from the coronavirus in Chatham County, which encompasses the city of Savannah, over the weekend, bringing the death toll to 40.

Chatham County’s total COVID-19 case count rose by 128 since Saturday to hit 3,392 on Sunday.

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