Gov. Cuomo: Steuben County area identified as new ‘yellow’ COVID-19 cluster

New York State

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a briefing Wednesday to give update on the state’s ongoing coronavirus response efforts.

For Wednesday’s update, the governor provided the following data:

  • 1.62% infection rate in red zone areas
  • 1.42% infection rate outside of red zone areas
  • 1.62% overall infection rate statewide
  • 124,789 tests processed Tuesday
  • 7 new COVID-19 deaths in New York
  • 950 New Yorkers hospitalized
  • 201 in ICU
  • 103 intubated

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the nation, the governor says New York state is currently situated as well. Over the past week, New York state has had an overall infection rate of 1.2%, third lowest in the country. Maine was the only state under 1% over the past seven days.

While New York has held steady in recent weeks, the governor offered some concern over micro-clusters that continue to pop up in different spots throughout the state.

The governor mentioned an infection rate of 7% in Cortland County during Tuesday’s conference call with media. Wednesday he mentioned areas of Chemung and Steuben Counties of places of interest. He said over the past three weeks, Chemung has had an infection rate of approximately 5%, while Steuben has been around 4%.

Gov. Cuomo said these new micro-clusters are becoming more common around the New York-Pennsylvania border.

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The governor said the rise in cases at these locations appear to be community spread, but he said the New York State Department of Health is investigating if there have been any large-scale events or gatherings where these COVID-19 cases could have came from.

While the state monitors the hotspot clusters, most of which are currently downstate or in the Southern Tier region, the governor announced a new adjustment on restrictions for micro-clusters, which are currently regulated under a color-coordinated plan:

  • To exit a red zone, the infection rate must be under 3% after 10 days, or 4% in less populated areas.
  • To exit a yellow zone, the infection rate must be under 2% after 10 days, or 3% in less populated areas.
  • To exit an orange zone, the infection rate must be under 1.5% after 10 days, or 2% in less populated areas.

The governor said that other considerations to life restrictions will include local government enforcement and compliance, as well as hospitalizations in those areas.

When asked if New York could see another statewide shutdown if cases continue to rise, the governor said he thinks the state would be better off with a micro-cluster targeted approach.

The governor also said he didn’t believe that a vaccine would be ready by December.

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