(WIVB) – During a media call on Monday evening, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul outlined the state’s five-part strategy for tackling COVID-19 this winter.
The lieutenant governor started her call by thanking New Yorkers who followed state recommendations by not gathering for this Thanksgiving, calling them “the true patriots”.
Western New York’s COVID-19 rates are currently higher than anywhere else in the rest of the state, Hochul said.
The first part of the state’s plan is to address the shortage of hospital beds. The plan calls for increasing capacity of hospital beds by 50 percent, as well as calling on retired doctors and nurses to come back into service to help.
The state also plans on ramping up testing capacity, working with schools to keep kids in grades kindergarten through eight in the classroom, and emphasizing the need to not have gatherings in the home.
The state is also working on a “robust distribution plan” for a COVID-19 vaccine, getting it to frontline workers first and then to the general public.
“Our numbers in Western New York are not acceptable- we are very anxious about what’s going to happen in the next couple of weeks,” Hochul said, adding that she “has so much faith in Western New Yorkers”.