Gov. Andrew Cuomo is discouraging New Yorkers from holding family gatherings on Thanksgiving to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“My personal advice is you don’t have family gatherings — even for Thanksgiving,” the governor said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday.
Cuomo’s comments come a day after Mayor Bill de Blasio similarly urged New Yorkers not to travel out of state for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays to prevent another wave of the coronavirus in the Big Apple.
Cuomo said the best way to say “I love you” and “I’m thankful for you” this Thanksgiving is to not hold typical family events or other small gatherings.
“I don’t want to endanger our families, endanger our friends,” the governor said.
Gov. Andrew CuomoMatthew McDermott
He said people can communicate virtually.
Cuomo said people are legally free to travel, but noted that travelers going to and from states with rising COVID-19 rates will have to quarantine.
The governor said his view is influenced by evidence of small gatherings triggering the spread of COVID-19 infections — at a wedding in Genesee and a church in Lewis upstate and a Sweet 16 birthday party in Suffolk.
“It is these small gatherings that are creating an issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cuomo said he gave the green light for local governments and school districts to require students to wear masks in school to help contain COVID-19.
He said he was persuaded to give local officials the authority to do so after hearing a pitch by Westchester County Executive George Latimer.
Students in New York City public schools are already required to wear masks, barring health-related circumstances.
Elsewhere, the governor reported the state’s COVID-19 infection rate was 1.5 percent on Tuesday, down slightly from 1.78 percent on Monday.
There were 1,085 hospitalizations — 47 more than the day prior — and 15 deaths were attributed to the bug.