Cuomo says parking lot and drive-in religious services allowed, as long as social distancing is followed


ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo was back in Albany on Wednesday, where he delivered his daily coronavirus briefing.

During his briefing, Cuomo said that religious organizations would be allowed to hold parking lot and drive-in services, as long as social distancing was followed and masks were worn. Religious gatherings of no more than 10 people are also allowed, again, as long as social distancing is followed and masks are worn. Cuomo also said that he is working with the Interfaith Advisory Council to discuss how to bring back in-person religious services safely.

Cuomo reiterated the importance of wearing a mask.

“If people are smart, and if people are responsible…if individuals are responsible, you will see infection rates slow,” Cuomo said. “It is amazing how effective a mask is.”

Cuomo is also encouraging local governments to test in areas and zip codes that have a higher rate of minorities and areas that have a higher rate of low-income residents because data shows that those areas are where there are spikes in positive coronavirus cases.

“This is true for every community across the state and the nation,” Cuomo said. “We understand the challenge.”

Cuomo says that down in New York City, Northwell Health has been working with community churches to hold antibody testing sites. To date, about 8,000 tests have been done, and at those locations, about 27% of the individuals tested had tested positive for coronavirus antibodies. The overall average in New York City is 19.9%. Here is a breakdown of the positive antibody tests from these locations:

  • The Bronx – 34%
  • Brooklyn – 29%
  • Queens – 25%
  • Manhattan – 20%
  • Staten Island – 19%

Cuomo says the next step is to target the lower-income and minority communities to open more testing sites and work to get more hand sanitizer and PPE into the communities, as well as educating about proper social distancing protocol.

Click the player below to watch Cuomo’s briefing:

Below is the slideshow shown during the briefing:

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