“All the world’s experts say the same thing: This virus has phases, and as the phase changes, your plan should change. We are seeing an increase with the numbers across the country and in our own state. It started with the fall, and it’s going to continue and probably get worse in the winter, ”Cuomo said. “As we go through the holidays and winter months, it will be more imperative than ever for New Yorkers to wear their masks, wash their hands, avoid gatherings large and small and stay in New York City. . “
The statewide positivity rate was 3.72% and a total of 219,442 were reported.
Cuomo said the rate of positive tests in the state’s micro-cluster concentration areas was 5.69%, while in areas outside of those areas it was 3.13%.
Officials are also closely monitoring the number of hospitalizations.
The state reported 471 new COVID-19 patients treated in New York City hospitals, bringing the state’s total to 3,103.
Additionally, 39 new coronavirus-related deaths have been reported.
MORE: Cuomo: Micro-cluster areas, schools and vaccines targeted by New York’s winter COVID plan
On Thursday, Cuomo said officials were working on a winter plan for the coronavirus that will add parameters on how the state designates areas susceptible to the virus.
Cuomo said the state will continue to focus on small geographies where virus cases are a particular problem to avoid imposing broad statewide restrictions, given factors such as the rate hospitalization and the availability of intensive care beds.
“We will stay with the micro-cluster approach because it targets the spread, minimizes the economic impact and emphasizes individual and community responsibility,” said the governor. “It works really well, and all the experts think it’s state of the art.”
Cuomo insisted that New York City “is doing incredibly well” compared to the rest of the country.
The Democrat said New York’s winter plan will also examine ways to keep schools open by assessing a safe positivity rate and determining the levels of testing needed in schools during the winter months. The winter plan will also describe how vaccines will be distributed as they become available.
READ ALSO: ‘Not relevant’: Cuomo reacts to Supreme Court ruling on religious restrictions
A 5-4 Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday banned the state from applying certain limits on church and synagogues attendance in areas that had been labeled as virus-susceptible areas. The High Court sided with religious organizations in the state who said that while attendance was limited for worshipers, other businesses in state-designated red zones could remain open without capacity limits.
Cuomo said the decision was “unrelated to any practical impact” since the red zone restrictions were removed, and was “more representative of the Supreme Court than anything else.”
“Why rule on a moot case and come to a different decision from the one you made several months ago on the same issue? You have a different tribunal. And I think that was the statement the tribunal made. “, he said.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn welcomed the decision, saying the limitations “don’t really make sense when you look at the amount of space we have in our churches.”
“Our diocese has been very strict in applying the rules that ensure the safety of people,” DiMarzio told reporters. “We don’t want people to get sick in our churches in any way.”
MORE COVID NEWS: ‘COVID-tested’ flights to take off from JFK airports, Newark next month
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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