NYS Coronavirus Update: Letter to the President -- Sending Test Kits to Yellow Zone Schools

As we deal with COVID, it's important that we plan intelligently for the future. One major area that requires extensive preparation is around potential vaccines. We all hope that a vaccine comes sooner rather than later — but when it does, distribution will be very complicated. Today I sent a letter with National Governors Association Vice Chair Asa Hutchinson to President Trump asking him to discuss the role states will play in vaccine distribution. As governors, we will assist — but we need to know the plan. Many questions remain, including on the delineation of federal and state responsibilities, funding, supply chain management and the vaccine allocation process. We hope to have a productive conversation with the White House on these issues. 

Photo of the Day: In I Love NY's latest Fall Foliage Report, most of the state is past peak but there's still time to catch some fall foliage

Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. The State will send 200,000 rapid test kits to New York City schools in "Yellow Zones." This builds on an earlier initiative deploying rapid test kits to every county throughout the state. The tests will also be made available on an as needed basis to help schools in "Yellow Zones" test students and staff as required of the Cluster Action Initiative. 

2. COVID can have frightening long-term effects, which include damage to the heart and inflammation. According to State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, there is still a lot that we don't know about long-term effects, including the experiences of "long-haulers" reported recently in the New York Times. The more we learn about the virus, the more we'll understand these effects. Dr. Zucker advises physicians to be alert to potential effects that patients may have and to take patients' concerns seriously. Additional research and longitudinal studies are needed. 

3. Yesterday, New York reported over 130,000 diagnostic tests. There were 897 total hospitalizations. Of the 133,212 tests reported yesterday, 1,460, or 1.09 percent, were positive. The test positivity rate in the "Red Zone" focus areas was 4.84 percent, while the statewide positivity rate excluding these areas was 0.99 percent. Sadly, we lost 13 New Yorkers to the virus. 

4. Troy's annual Turkey Trot will be held virtually. Instead of hosting an in-person event, this year's Thanksgiving race will use an app that allows participants to race with others in real-time without putting their health at risk. 

5. Today, New York launched new Domestic Violence Regional Councils that will help transform and modernize delivery of services for victims, survivors and their families. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and throughout the pandemic we have seen an alarming rise in domestic violence cases. These 10 new councils will engage with local experts to help domestic violence survivors and their families. And an important reminder that you aren't trapped because of COVID. If there is an issue where you face imminent harm, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you need help, you can call the State's Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-942-6906, or text 844-997-2121.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": While Broadway and Off-Broadway performances are cancelled for the rest of the year, cast members of the Off-Broadway show "Emojiland" virtually came together to perform a quarantine music video of the show's original songs, "Stand For." In their virtual performance, the cast is joined by hundreds of young musicians, including students from Honeoye Falls-Lima High School. 

Ever Upward,

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

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