As MLB grapples with virus, Gov. Cuomo invites ball clubs to play in New York

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — It’s been 150 days since New York’s first confirmed cases of coronavirus, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a conference call with media Tuesday for a statewide status update on the pandemic.

The governor said the virus numbers were good Tuesday: Of some 57,000 tests conducted statewide Monday, the infection rate was .93%, nine New Yorkers died from COVID-19, 648 New Yorkers were hospitalized, and 81 people were intubated—the lowest number since March 15.

“If we do not do compliance, if we get lazy, if we get sloppy, we will see those numbers to go up,” Gov. Cuomo said. “I need the local governments to do their jobs. The state government cannot substitute for every local government enforcement.”

The governor said the New York State Liquor Authority’s newly-formed, multi-agency task force found 26 additional violations of COVID-19 rules and regulations Monday—all of which were downstate establishments. Since compliance checks began last Tuesday, the task force has charged 242 different bars and restaurants for violating the pandemic rules.

“An additional 26 violations were found and were issued, and that will continue,” Cuomo said. The 26 last night were from Manhattan primarily, 17, Queens County, nine in Queens County. When we talk about local compliance efforts, and local government efforts, obviously we have more to do there.”

Regarding relief packages being negotiated in Washington, the governor says if state and local governments don’t get funding, it will have a significant impact on New Yorkers. “It is going to have a dramatic, practical effect on New Yorkers and I want New Yorkers to know the consequences because I want our federal representatives held accountable,” Cuomo said.

After a number of coronavirus cases that caused MLB games to be canceled Monday, the governor invited baseball teams to play in New York.

“New York state could host any Major League Baseball game for any teams that want to play, and they could play those games in our stadiums,” Cuomo said. “New York has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. New York state has a full department of health protocol systems in place, we have a testing system in place. I offer to MLB, if you’re having problems playing in other states, come play here. We will set up a health protocol, they could fly their team in on a private aircraft. They could go from the airport to a hotel where they would be quarantined. We would test everyone, we would get the test result back and then they could play ball in our stadium. Then they could get on a plane and fly home. We have the ability to do it we have the testing ability to do it.”

Last week the Toronto Blue Jays announced they would be playing their games in Buffalo, with their taxi squad being set up in Rochester.

“Come play here,” Cuomo said. “There are no fans anyways, so it’s just about the coverage and New York is the media capital, so I offer that for what it is worth.”

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