Elective surgeries can resume in GLOW region

Gov. Andrew Cuomo provides a state update on Wednesday. A quilt of homemade protective masks hangs in the background.

ALBANY — Elective surgeries will be allowed again in Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming and Livingston counties.

New York will allow elective outpatient treatment in counties and hospitals without significant risk of a COVID-19 surge, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his Wednesday update. According to the map released by the state, the GLOW region is eligible, as are most of the Finger Lakes and Western New York regions.

The sole exception is Erie County, which is dealing with a coronavirus outbreak, which as of Wednesday had experienced 3,109 confirmed cases and 200 deaths.

In order to be eligible, at least 30 percent of hospital and ICU beds must be available after elective surgeries resume, Cuomo said. No statistically-significant increases in the transmission rate can occur, meaning a rate of 1.1 or less.

“I’ll an executive order on that today,” he said.

Cuomo also said state and local funding from Washington is essential, and more and more has become political as federal elected officials are saying they’re against it.

Among the most vocal has been Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky who says he’s against a “blue state bailout” where the worst of the COVID outbreaks have been so far. Cuomo said the worst thing so far though was the “we versus them” mentality, and reminds those federal elected officials that New York state bails them out every year, saying it’s the No. 1 state which puts more money into the federal pot than it takes out.

Cuomo was outspoken in his criticism Wednesday.

“You look at the bills they want to pass and who they want to help,” he said. “They want to fund the hotels, the restaurants, the airlines, the big corporations. That’s who they want to fund.

“Well who do state and local government funds? State and local governments fund police, firefighters, nurses, school teachers, food banks,” he continued. “That’s who I want to fund. That’s what it means to fund a state and local government. And that’s the choice that they are making.”

Cuomo described it as campaign-season politics. He said the federal government wants to fund corporate America because that’s who puts money in their pockets.

“That’s the choice. Bailout, us, them. No it’s just theater, smoke and mirror to avoid the American people seeing the reality which is whose pocket they want to put money in versus whose pocket state and local government wants to fund,” Cuomo said.

McConnell, a Republican and the Senate’s majority leader, said Monday that the Senate will reconvene May 4.

“The Senate must focus on concrete steps to strengthen our response to this crisis,” he said in a news release. “The American people do not need tangential left-wing daydreams.”

In other matters, total hospitalization rates statewide continue to decrease while new COVID-19 cases remains flat. On Tuesday, 330 people died — 314 in hospitals and 16 in nursing homes.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1