The state continues to take action to address the micro-clusters where positivity rates are far higher that the statewide average. Enforcement by local governments of public health laws — including the new measures to contain these micro-clusters — has been uneven at best. So today we are sending a notification to local governments that they must enforce public health law under Section 16 in the designated cluster zones, or else they will lose state funding. Separately, we sent a letter telling public and private schools in cluster zones that if they fail to comply with state regulations, they will also lose state funding.
It is no longer a question of public awareness. The public is aware. The question is now one of enforcement. And we know from experience that the consequences of failing to enforce these health regulations are dire. We must keep these hotspot areas contained in order to protect our state's progress and prevent further spread. We've come too far, and New Yorkers have made too many sacrifices, to allow this uptick in these hotspots to turn into a full-on outbreak. We will not allow other New Yorkers to be put at risk because of a lack of compliance.
Photo of the Day: Over the weekend, the Cliffside Coaster, the longest mountain coaster in the country, opened at the Lake Placid Olympic Site.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. The statewide infection rate is just over one percent. Yesterday, there were 938 hospitalizations. Of the 111,744 tests reported yesterday, 1,232, or 1.1 percent, were positive. The test positivity rate in the "Red Zone" focus areas is 6.29 percent, while the statewide positivity rate excluding these areas is 0.95 percent. Sadly, we lost seven New Yorkers to the virus.
2. Due to the pandemic, New York State is experiencing a severe shortage of blood and donations are needed. Giving blood is safe and blood donation centers have implemented precautions to minimize density and ensure the safety of donors and staff, including requiring donors to make an appointment. Learn more here.
3. A single bar is the source of much of the recent surge in Broome County, contact tracers have determined. The county had 69 new positive cases yesterday. Parts of the county, including areas in Binghamton and Endicott, are in a "yellow zone" requiring precautionary measures that include 50 percent maximum capacity in houses of worship, a maximum of 25 people for non-essential gatherings and mandatory weekly testing at schools of both students and personnel.
4. The deadline to respond to the Census is this Friday, October 16th at 6 A.M. New York's future is in your hands and your response matters now more than ever. If you haven't yet, complete the Census now — it only takes 10 minutes — and please encourage your friends and family to complete their Census form too.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": To show appreciation for disabled service members, Long Island non-profit Paws of War held their first "Veteran Appreciation Grooming Day." Volunteers visited veterans with service dogs to give their canine companions baths, trim the dogs' nails and provide other grooming services — all completely free. Paws of War groomed 12 dogs at their first event and hopes to schedule another Veteran Appreciation Grooming Day soon to help more disabled veterans and their service animals.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo