x

Society

Cuomo Raises Alarm about New Coronavirus Hot Spots

September 29, 2020

ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised alarm Monday about the emergence of a handful of coronavirus hot spots in New York, saying just 10 ZIP codes represented more than a quarter of the state's new infections in recent testing.

New York has reported just over 11,500 new COVID-19 infections over the past two weeks, according to state figures.

A disproportionate number of new cases have come from a handful of communities in New York City and its northern suburbs that are home to many Orthodox Jews, who on Monday were marking the high holiday of Yom Kippur.

Of the 834 new cases reported Sunday, 27% were in a group of 10 ZIP codes that included several Orthodox neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens and in several Hasidic communities in Rockland County. 

The state also reported an unusual number of positive tests in an area north of Binghamton in New York's Southern Tier, a region Cuomo has warned is seeing clusters stemming from a Steuben County nursing home, a church gathering in Chemung County and a pub in Broome County.

Health officials in the city and in Rockland and Orange counties have previously raised concerns about rising rates in Hasidic communities, which saw students at religious schools return to in-person learning in early September. Public schools in the city are rolling out in-person learning this week.

Cuomo declined to single out any particular group for the spike.

"Whatever the population, the answer's going to be the same — it's compliance," Cuomo told reporters Monday afternoon.

He urged school leaders to put in requests now for rapid testing machines, which Cuomo said have a 15 minute turnaround for results. The governor said the state has 200 rapid testing machines available for those communities.

"The key with these clusters is to jump on them quickly, attack on all sides," he said. 

Cuomo also called on local government officials to better enforce COVID-19 restrictions in bars, restaurants and other gatherings.

New York City health officials have said they are considering re-imposing restrictions on gatherings in select city neighborhoods where the virus was spreading.

Cuomo acknowledged people are getting sick of wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart, but cautioned, "You'll offend them even more deeply if you start doing close-downs, and that's what's going to happen." 

Statewide, about 1.5% of people who sought COVID-19 tests wound up testing positive in results reported Sunday. Cuomo warned though that in a handful of ZIP codes, that rate is now up over 20%.

Cuomo warned his administration could close schools in areas where too many people are testing positive for the virus.

Still, New York's rate of new infections is far lower than many states: the state reported about four new cases per 100,000 New Yorkers over the past week. That seven-day average reached nearly 50 in April.

New York hospitals reported 543 COVID-19 patients as of Sunday, the most since Aug. 18 but only a fraction of the nearly 19,000 who were in the hospital at the pandemic's April peak.

RELATED

WASHINGTON — An Iranian operative has been charged in a plot to murder former Trump administration national security John Bolton in presumed retaliation for a U.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Greek-American Cornell Student Rescues Man on Subway Tracks in the Bronx

NEW YORK – Greek-American Cornell University senior Bryce Demopoulos rescued a man who had fallen on the subway tracks at the Third Avenue-138 Street station on the No.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.