BUFFALO, N.Y. — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo provided an update into the state's progress on the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday, November 30 following the Thanksgiving and Black Friday holiday weekend.
"We are in a new phase," Governor Cuomo started his press conference on Monday.
With the colder weather, increased travel and a change in behavior among people, Cuomo eluded to the reason why we are in a new phase.
The governor also made a number of new announcements in regards to rising hospitalizations across the state, "hospitalizations is now the problem," Cuomo said.
Given the rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations, Cuomo added that hospital capacity is now the state's top concern.
"We are now worried about overwhelming the hospital system...you will see serious stress on the hospital system,"
Cuomo warned that if hospitals do get overwhelmed, there is a chance the state could call for a NY pause.
Additionally during the briefing, Cuomo announced that elective surgeries in Erie County will be stopped effective Friday, December 4.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul also spoke Monday following a day of COVID-19 updates from Governor Andrew Cuomo and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.
Hochul announced that Erie County only has a 30-35% availability in hospital beds, Hochul said that needs to be increased to 50% or higher.
Hochul also said that the Governor is planning and preparing for field hospitals in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 cases and that as of now, there are no plans currently to build field hospitals in the Western New York area.