BUFFALO, N.Y. — On Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul held a briefing to provide an update on the state's progress against the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, Hochul focused on encouraging more people to get the vaccine and continuing to use masks.
The New York governor is calling for more facilities like Highmark Stadium and the KeyBank Center to require vaccines for entry.
"I'm asking every sports organization to follow this lead and institute a requirement that your fans be vaccinated before they can attend," Hochul said. "That's how we'll deal with this fall vulnerability."
The number of coronavirus cases are lower now compared to a year ago, which Hochul attributes to people getting the vaccine. However, the state is still watching what could be a potential spike in the fall with holidays and sporting events bringing large groups of people together.
Additionally, Hochul reported that state data does not shows the mu variant spreading in the state.
Even as numbers have been lower than last year, Hochul acknowledges that there is still work to be done with having more people get the vaccine.
"The deaths continue to be there, we lost 31 people just yesterday and that is absolutely very tragic. I lost someone rather close to me as well," Hochul said.
To continue combating the virus, Hochul announced masks will be required at all child care and day care facilities effective Wednesday for children ages 2 years old and up. Masks will also be required for all staff and visitors.
Hochul reaffirmed the decision to have kids in school with a masking mandate.
"As I spoke to last time, it is all about getting kids back in school. And in many many places the children are back in school," Hochul said.
The governor also thanked parents and school officials who went through a lot of stress to get kids in school and said, "But it's the right place for our children to be."
She ended her statements by pleading with people to get the vaccine if they can.
"We all want this to be over, it has been a long long long haul. We have the power to end this, if every person in the state got the vaccine.," Hochul said.
Hochul answered questions regarding hospital staff quitting over the vaccine mandate and addressed reports that a hospital in Lewis County would not be able to be deliver babies.
"I check, every baby that's supposed to be delivered in Lewis County has been properly delivered," Hochul said.
Following a question about the federal judge blocking the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, Hochul said the state plans to fight the ruling and she does not know of any religion that is against the vaccine. Hochul sited the Pope as religious leader who is encouraging people to get the shot.