NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Governor Cuomo made one more plea for people to abandon plans for in-person Thanksgiving festivities.
Cuomo donned a turkey-themed face mask at a press conference in Long Island, where he disclosed he will no longer be celebrating Thanksgiving with his 89-year-old mother in-person.
"I didn't want to disappoint my mother," he said. "89 years old, she's thinking how many Thanksgivings will I get, you start to think that way. But it's hard. But sometimes hard is smart."
He had said during a radio interview that his mother and two of his daughters would be coming to Albany for the holiday, but that news drew a quick backlash and those plans quickly changed.
The governor said this Thanksgiving provided an opportunity to give thanks and to honor people who sacrificed for us this past year.
"There are there are people who gave their lives to get us through COVID. There are nurses who died to get us through COVID. There are doctors who died to get us through COVID there are police officers who died to get us through COVID. There are National Guard's people who died to get us through COVID. That's why this is a special Thanksgiving," he said.
Cuomo said New Yorkers who avoid Thanksgiving gatherings could help control the spread of COVID-19 as hospitalizations surge. The number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals increased to about 2,900 patients, which is almost one and a half times the number hospitalized on Nov. 1. New York has reported an average of about 5,500 new coronavirus cases per day over the last seven days, up 70% from two weeks ago.
Despite the repeated warnings about indoor capacities on Thanksgiving, Cuomo also assured New Yorkers "nobody can enforce how many people you invite home for Thanksgiving. nobody is going to come knock on your door and say let me count how many people you have at your home."
He said nobody will knock on your door and he won't be looking in the window, referring to the cartoon sticker made of him by a company in Buffalo.
"I'm not looking in your window at Thanksgiving. Nobody is looking in your window on Thanksgiving. You know what I know. It's up to you and the results are going to be decided by you."
Cuomo warned that the holidays could result in NYC's positivity rate reaching 9.43% and the state's rate reaching 12.46% by January 2.
Submit a News Tip