Cuomo Closing Some Schools in New York COVID-19 Hotspots
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced some schools in COVID-19 hotspots in New York must close.
On Monday, Gov Cuomo said in the top-20 hotspot ZIP codes, which includes parts of the Hudson Valley, 5.5 percent of Sunday's tests came back positive. The rest of the state's positive rate was 1.01 percent.
On Sunday, Cuomo announced the state would start taking "aggressive enforcement" on the top-20 hotspot ZIP codes, which includes parts of Orange and Rockland counties.
Three ZIP codes from the Hudson Valley, 10950, 10952, and 10977, reported the highest positivity rate on Sunday as well as over the past two weeks. COVID hotspots have also been reported in Western New York, Brooklyn and Queens.
Cuomo again classified Orange and Rockland counties as "hotspots." 4.7 percent of COVID-19 tests on Sunday came back positive in Orange County and 6.2 percent in Rockland County.
"The context, beware the fall, has been right," Cuomo said. "You have to attack the clusters. How do you attack the clusters? Testing, testing, testing, data analysis and enforcement."
Cuomo once again called on local governments to enforce COVID-19 regulations. He added COVID-19 rules are only as good as the enforcement.
Cuomo says COVID-19 mainly spreads in areas where different communities come together like schools, sporting events, religious gatherings, weddings, events (indoor and outdoor), public spaces and businesses.
"The key to all of these areas is enforcement. We have rules for all of these areas. How is it increasing? Because people aren't enforcing," Cuomo said.
An issue with school safety in the top-20 hotspot ZIP codes is testing, according to Cuomo. Cuomo said many schools aren't testing enough. He added those areas need more data.
Schools in hotspot areas that aren't testing enough must close on Tuesday, Cuomo announced.
“Better safe than sorry," Cuomo said. "I would not send my child to a school in a hot spot cluster that has not been tested.”
Late in his press conference, Cuomo confirmed, as of now, the schools being closed in the hotspots are only in New York City.
When asked if he will be closing schools in Orange and Rockland counties he said "we may" but added more research needs to be done before a decision is made.
"We may close those schools," Cuomo said about closing some schools in Orange and Rockland counties. "We don’t have the same level of (testing) problems."
Cuomo added he will be talking with community leaders from the Hudson Valley on Tuesday.
Cuomo says a plan to reopen schools that are being forced to close must be made.
Cuomo also said officials will meet with religious leaders in New York and if they don't agree to enforce COVID-19 regulation, New York will shut down religious institutions.
He also announced the state will oversee enforcement in statewide hotspot clusters.
On Sunday, Cuomo noted these 20 ZIP codes as hotspots
Cuomo noted COVID-19 is spiking everywhere across the United States, besides in New York.