ALBANY, N.Y. - During his Saturday morning press briefing on COVID-19, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced 157 more people died in New York State due to coronavirus on Friday.
The total number of deaths in the state now stands at 22,461.
Cuomo says the 157 deaths are up from 132 on Thursday. There were 157 on Wednesday, 166 on Tuesday, and 195 on Monday.
Governor Cuomo also announced that horse racing tracks across the state, including Vernon Downs in Vernon can reopen on June 1, but only without fans. The governor also announced the Watkins Glen International auto racing track can reopen on June 1 as well, also without fans.
Cuomo says opening the tracks without fans is a way for businesses to make money, without putting the general public at risk, "What you want to do is increase economic activity as you can without spiking the infection rate, so if you have an economic activity that can take place that generates economic interest, also entertainment interest, folks sitting at home, something's interesting on television, they'll follow it, that’s great. It makes staying at home easier."
The horse racing tracks can make money through their simulcast contracts.
Cuomo says he has talked with the heads of baseball organizations as well, and says teams may end up doing the same thing, play without fans, but that he says, is not the state's call, "One state can’t make that decision, but if it works economically, that would be great. We do control the race tracks, we do control Watkins Glen."
Governor Cuomo also commented on the House passing the latest round of coronavirus aid on Friday called the Heroes Act, "The House passed a bill yesterday which finally provides funding for state and local governments."
The Governor says the bill includes great things for Americans, including $500 billion for states and $375 billion for local government, "The House Bill has Medicaid funding, increases food assistance, 100% FEMA cost reimbursement, funding for testing and it repeals the SALT tax penalty to the state of New York, $14 billion, $14 billion, which was a theft in the first place."
Governor Cuomo had words for the Senate, "They should respond quickly. I understand from their point of you, we funded businesses, we funded millionaires, that’s nice, how about working Americans, and that’s what the Senate should think about, how do you actually help the American people.
They shouldn’t delay."
Governor Cuomo also announced Westchester and Suffolk counties will now be able to open up for elective surgeries and ambulatory care.