With growing infection rates statewide and outbreaks in a number of locations upstate and downstate, public health experts are sounding the alarm about the beginning of a second wave of Covid-19. Governor Cuomo is striking a balanced tone, warning of potential trouble ahead and urging continued compliance with public health restrictions while identifying the specific locations of the hotspots driving the spike in infection rates and aggressively attacking the outbreak clusters.
The State has identified clusters of Covid-19 outbreaks in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City, in Orange and Rockland Counties, and in Binghamton. To stop the spread of clusters to the greater population the State is launching a “Cluster Action Initiative,” which will take dramatic actions within the cluster and precautionary measures in surrounding areas.
Clusters will be labeled with colors based on their positivity rates. The cluster zones will be designated with three different levels based on proximity to the cluster: red, orange, and yellow. Within each color code there will be new restrictions imposed:
Red zone (within 1 mile of the cluster) – dining for takeout/delivery only, in-person school closed/remote classes only, non-essential businesses must close, mass gatherings prohibited, religious gatherings limited to 25% occupancy with a maximum of 10 people
Orange zone (within 1.5 mile of the cluster) – outdoor dining only/tables limited to 4 people, in-person school closed/remote classes only, closing high-risk non-essential businesses (gyms, salons, etc.), mass gatherings limited to 10 people indoors & outdoors, religious gatherings limited to 33% occupancy with a maximum of 25 people
Yellow zone (within 2 miles of the cluster) – indoor & outdoor dining/tables limited to 4 people, in-person school open/mandatory testing required, mass gatherings limited to 25 people indoors & outdoors, religious gatherings limited to 50% occupancy
Takeout and delivery will continue to be permitted in the Orange and Yellow zones and cocktails-to-go continues statewide through at least November 3rd.
The state has set up this website where you can check to see if you’re covered by the new cluster restrictions: https://covidhotspotlookup.health.ny.gov/#/home.