ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a conference call with media Monday to give an update on the state’s ongoing coronavirus response efforts.

On day 254 of the pandemic in New York state, the governor reported that the state’s microclusters positivity rate was 4.3%, the statewide positivity rate including the microclusters was 2.8%, and the statewide positivity rate without the microclusters was 2.6%.

The governor added that 26 New Yorkers died from COVID-19 Sunday, 1,400 New Yorkers are hospitalized with the virus, including 282 in an ICU, and 125 intubated.

The governor’s office reported that 111,416 tests were processed statewide Sunday, with 3,144 new positive cases confirmed.

As cases continue to rise across the state, including here in Monroe County, the governor says the microcluster approach is working.

“We are doing very, very well, but as I said we’re very aggressive and we want no one sick,” Gov. Cuomo said. “The microcluster approach works. Microcluster approach is inarguable. Do more testing, more targeting as soon as you see any increase, be more aggressive. There’s nothing more you can do, but that’s everything that you can do. Watch a small increase, attack a small increase, and it works.”

The governor pointed to the Southern Tier’s Broome County as an example of how microcluster focus worked.

MORE | Gov. Cuomo on rising COVID-19 cases: ‘Serious caution flag’ in Rochester, Finger Lakes

“Broome County was at 8%, so we declared it a microcluster,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Broome has gone from 8% to 3.5%. Those cases are interesting to me because they are more rural and suburban cases. Brooklyn which is a truly urban area as we all know. Brooklyn has made great progress and we reduce the red zone by 50% last week based on the progress. the progress has continued ad not we’re announcing for Brooklyn the red zone will be all eliminated and what is now the Brooklyn red zone will go to an orange zone.”

The governor then said portions of Monroe County met the criteria to be determined a “yellow zone” microcluster.

“Yellow zones have certain restrictions,” Gov. Cuomo said. “25 person max for gatherings, four people at a table for dining, schools get 25% testing, bars and restaurants close at midnight.”

MORE | Bello, Dr. Mendoza on COVID-19 yellow zone: ‘It’s a wake up call for the community’

The impacted areas of the yellow zone restrictions include:

  • City of Rochester
  • Irondequoit
  • Greece
  • Webster
  • Penfield
  • Perinton
  • East Rochester
  • Pittsford
  • Brighton
  • Henrietta
  • Chili
  • Gates

Gov. Cuomo said his team worked with local officials, including Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, to work on the parameters. The governor added that yellow zones were also added for parts of Erie and Onondaga Counties.

According to the New York State Department of Health’s website:

Yellow Zone — Precautionary/Buffer: A “Yellow Zone” area either is put in place as a broader buffer area to ensure COVID outbreak is not spreading into the broader community (“Yellow Buffer Zone”) OR is implemented independently based on the below metrics (“Yellow Precautionary Zone”). The purpose of a Yellow Buffer Zone is to 1) restrict some activity to help prevent further spread from Red and/or Orange Warning Zone area; 2) provide a larger defined geographic area where metrics can be monitored daily to ensure COVID is not spreading beyond the Red Zone or Orange Warning Zone. “

MORE | Dr. Mendoza on COVID-19: ‘We are heading to a slippery slope that will be hard to turn back from’

Metrics to Exit a Focus Zone, according to NYS DOH:

“After 14 days from being placed in a focus zone, the State DOH, in coordination with the local health department, and in consultation with global health experts, will determine whether data sufficiently demonstrate that the area has successfully reduced viral spread to a level able to be contained given testing, contact tracing and other health system metrics. Based on the below metrics and expert advisement, the State DOH will decide whether the Focus Zone will be extended, modified (redrawn geographic boundaries based on case prevalence and positivity data), or ended. For Orange and Yellow Zones that are put in place solely as “buffer zones” to monitor case spread beyond a designated focus zone, these will be evaluated based on positivity data, cases per capita, and daily hospital admissions over the entire 14 day period to ensure there are no signs of broader spread from the focus area that prompted the zone creation. If after 14 days there has been no notable increase in positivity, new cases, or new hospital admissions from the buffer zone, the buffer zone will – based on other epidemiological factors – become eligible to qualify for a new zone designation, or ending a zone designation, if appropriate.”

Monday’s data is summarized briefly below:

  • Patient Hospitalization – 1,444 (+48)
  • Patients Newly Admitted – 185
  • Hospital Counties – 47
  • Number ICU – 282 (-13)
  • Number ICU with Intubation – 125 (-6)
  • Total Discharges – 80,764 (+118)
  • Deaths – 26
  • Total Deaths – 25,973

Each region’s percentage of positive test results reported over the last three days is as follows:

Capital Region1.7%1.1%2.0%
Central New York2.6%2.6%3.2%
Rochester & Finger Lakes3.2%3.5%4.8%
Long Island2.5%2.6%3.4%
Mohawk Valley1.5%1.1%1.9%
New York City1.8%2.2%2.5%
North Country1.6%1.7%2.2%
Southern Tier1.2%1.3%0.7%
Western New York4.3%4.8%5.3%

Full audio: Gov. Cuomo’s conference call

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.