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BUFFALO — Bob Duffy, the CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, will lead a regional group that will help determine when and how to reopen the Finger Lakes region, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.
Duffy is also Cuomo's former lieutenant governor.
Cuomo also announced that Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be in charge of the Western New York region’s public health and reopening strategy.
Each region is experiencing unique timing with the curve of the coronavirus, and Cuomo believes Western New York has plateaued with COVID-19 cases, at least for the moment.
As part of the reopening process, the governor reaffirmed that he would be lifting the ban on elective surgeries region by region.
“We will allow elective outpatient treatment in counties and hospitals without significant risk of COVID-19 surge in the near term,” Cuomo said.
He says some hospitals upstate are losing money and laying off employees. Last week, News10NBC reported that URMC is losing more than $130 million a month in revenue due to elective surgeries being suspended.
Cuomo said that while new hospitalizations, intubations and cases of COVID-19 are continuing to fall statewide, the death toll keeps climbing. On Monday, 481 people died in New York from COVID-19, bringing the state death toll to nearly 15,000.
The governor said the “key” to re-opening the state is more testing, which will be the focus of his meeting with President Donald Trump Tuesday afternoon.
To view the governor's briefing in its entirety, click here.