Today, New York is taking further action to protect our state's progress and aggressively respond to clusters emerging in specific areas of the state.
In consultation with national public health experts including former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, Dr. Noam Ross of the EcoHealth Alliance and Dr. Michael Olsterhold of the University of Minnesota, today we announced the new Cluster Action Initiative to attack these clusters head-on with surgical precision to stop the spread. This action maps the clusters by density of cases.
The initiative consists of three steps: Take strong action within the cluster; take action in the area surrounding the cluster to stop the spread; and then take precautionary action in the outlying communities. The clusters and outlying areas are separated into red, orange and yellow colored zones with corresponding levels of restrictions as shown in the table below. (See the color-coded maps for the six clusters here: Broome County, Brooklyn, Orange County, Upper Queens, Queens/Far Rockaway and Rockland County)
The new restrictions will go into effect by Friday and will remain in place for a minimum of 14 days, after which we will reevaluate.
Chart of the Day: Areas in and surrouding clusters are separated into three categories with corresponding levels of restrictions.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. We continue to closely monitor New York's infection rate. Yesterday, there were 705 total hospitalizations. Of the 96,359 tests reported yesterday, 1,393, or 1.45 percent, were positive. Sadly, we lost nine New Yorkers to the virus.
2. New Mexico has been added to the State's COVID-19 Travel Advisory. No states or territories have been removed. See the full list here.
3. Vehicle inspection and registration expiration dates have been extended until November 3rd. Yesterday, I signed an Executive Order that extends the expiration dates of annual vehicle checks, registrations and driver's licenses that would have lapsed during the pandemic.
4. Fines for sponsors of illicit mass gatherings will be increased to $15,000. We know that large gatherings are one of the primary ways that the virus spreads. It is up to local governments to enforce compliance. Fines have been increased to reflect the danger these gatherings pose.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Niagara's iconic Maid of the Mist, which has ferried tourists through the mighty falls for over 150 years, introduced its new fleet of all-electric, zero-emission vessels today. This agreement between the New York Power Authority, New York State Parks and the Maid of the Mist Corporation aligns with New York's nation-leading goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050. Through innovation we are building back better for a greener tomorrow.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo