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Homer Mayor on COVID restrictions: “Strong evidence” the virus is mutating

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(Mayor Hal McCabe)

“It took two months for the first 100k cases to be confirmed worldwide; it took 12 days for the second hundred thousand.”

Village of Homer Mayor Hal McCabe is deeply concerned over the rapidly spreading and mutating COVID-19 virus, which caused a new ‘stay home’ order by the governor that will soon bring the state to a near standstill.

“Unfortunately I saw this coming awhile ago,” McCabe said, referring to an interview last week with WXHC in which he predicted a full travel ban was on the way in the near future.

McCabe has been in Albany over the past week-plus, at first to help close the state budget, then quickly to coordinate a unified response to a pandemic quickly making its way into a historic crisis.

The governor’s newest order takes effect Sunday (March 22) at 8 pm, shutting down 100% of the state’s nonessential workforce and banning all unnecessary travel.

It also mandates all residents to stay home and avoid going outside except for food and emergencies, with specific directions outlined for vulnerable and non-vulnerable populations.  (click here for more info)

Cortland County is under a state of emergency despite being one of just a handful in New York that haven’t confirmed any positive cases thus far.

McCabe said that’s likely to change soon – and that our area in particular could see a significant impact.

“There’s strong evidence that it [the virus] has mutated since China, and that more than half those in the ICU are under the age of 65.” McCabe said. “Many of whom, the only complication they showed beforehand was diarrhea. This thing is changing and we need to try and get ahead of it.”


Rather than panic, McCabe urges the community to treat the new restrictions “like a terrible snow storm” – watch some movies, catch up and rest and hangout with your family. Most of all, “get what you need and stay in your home until we get through this.”

Currently, health experts are predicting the novel coronavirus pandemic to peak in Central New York by early May.


Press play below to listen to the interview with Mayor Hal McCabe:

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