No decline yet in coronavirus hotspots in New York City, says Cuomo

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NEW YORK CITY – The increased focus on coronavirus clusters in Brooklyn and Queens has yet to lead to a drop in cases, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

“But it’s also too early to see it in the data,” he said on Friday. “You know the trajectory of this virus – you come into contact with someone whose symptoms you have for up to three or four days, and then it could take another week for the symptoms to appear. ”

Those areas now under a three-level variable lockdown area will remain so for 14 days to give the virus a chance to run its course and actions to take effect, Cuomo said.

The clusters developed over the two weeks and prompted Mayor Bill de Blasio to call for localized closings. Cuomo responded with a state plan focused on the clusters themselves, rather than zip codes like the proposed city, which was confusing at first but fell into place on Thursday.

The hardest hit areas in New York and dotted around the state are called “red zones.” Cuomo said they made up 2.8% of the state’s population but accounted for 20% of its total coronavirus cases.

Red zone positivity rates stand at 6.6% overall, Cuomo said. Without the hotspots, the state’s rate would be 0.9%, he said.

New York’s rate is 1.2%.

Cuomo has once again defended lockdowns in New York, which primarily cover Orthodox Jewish areas and have occasionally sparked violent protests from those communities.

The new lockouts are less restrictive than the old spring shutdown rules, Cuomo said. He said the problem was now applied.

No community is singled out, he said, denouncing previous enforcement action taken against restaurants, bars and colleges where there were concerns about the coronavirus.

“Whenever there is a cluster, we attacked it, so it’s nothing new,” he said.

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