October 21, 2020.
Dear New York,
New York’s micro-cluster strategy is designed to reduce the spread of COVID with the least disruption and the most targeted approach. Today, after 14 days of data monitoring, we are modifying existing cluster zones and adding new ones in Steuben and Chemung Counties — areas that have seen recent upticks in positive cases.
“Cluster zones” can be either Red, Orange or Yellow and each carries different restrictions. The boundaries are set based on actual COVID cases using sophisticated mapping software. Defined criteria determine when an area will enter or exit a zone. These changes, and the new cluster zones, take effect tomorrow (Thursday, October 22nd) for impacted businesses and houses of worship. The changes take effect on Monday, October 25th for impacted schools.
Photo of the Day: The It’s Up to Us, New York campaign displayed at Times Square (Photo by Susan Segrest)
Here’s what else you need to know tonight:
1. The positivity rate in the “Red Zone” focus areas rose to 6.61 percent. The statewide positivity rate excluding these areas was 1.42 percent. There were 950 total hospitalizations. Of the 124,789 tests reported yesterday, 2,026, or 1.6 percent, were positive. Sadly, we lost seven New Yorkers to the virus yesterday.
2. The test positivity rate remains below 3 percent in every region of the state. In New York City, the positivity rate yesterday was 1.6 percent. In Long Island, it was 1.6 percent. In the Capital Region, 0.8 percent. In Central New York, 1.9 percent. In the Finger Lakes, 1.7 percent. In the Mid-Hudson Region, 2.6 percent. In Mohawk Valley, 0.5 percent. In the North Country, 0.6 percent. In Western New York, it was 2.0 percent. And finally in the Southern Tier, 1.3 percent. Remember that you can look at updated regional COVID data anytime online. New York has one of the lowest test positivity rates in the nation. Among all 50 states, New York’s test positivity rate on a 7-day rolling average — 1.17 percent — is the third lowest of any state.
3. Two states were added to New York’s COVID-19 travel advisory. Individuals traveling to New York from Arizona and Maryland must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania meet the criteria for the travel advisory but due to the region’s interconnectedness, quarantine is not practically viable. As such, we highly discourage non-essential travel between these states and New York to the extent practical.
4. The moratorium on commercial evictions is extended until January 1st. This measure extends protections already in place for commercial tenants and mortgagors in recognition of the financial toll the pandemic has taken on business owners, including retail establishments and restaurants. This date aligns with the moratorium on residential evictions.
5. Today, the MTA launched a new digital map of the New York City subway. This map features live data streams to show the current status of all subway lines through the NYC Transit System. You can even see trains pull in and out of stations in real time. Remember that mask wearing is mandatory on public transit. If you do not have a mask with you, visit any station manager where you can request a free mask.
Tonight’s “Deep Breath Moment”: A small Chihuahua called “Kenz” was named the 2020 American Hero Dog by the Humane Society for helping and mothering countless disabled animals at the Mia Foundation in Rochester, NY. Even though Kenx was born with a cleft-palate, she has served as a mother figure to a myriad of young animals who could not stay with their mothers due to medical issues. From puppies to kittens and even a squirrel, Kenz nurtures baby animals regardless of species or size.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo