Amid rising COVID-19 cases nationwide and a crackdown on a wedding in Brooklyn that reportedly planned to have 10,000 attendees, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday announced a new strategy for combating COVID-19 into the fall and winter months by targeting micro-clusters.
Cuomo said that targeting coronavirus would no longer be at the statewide or regional level, but “block-by-block.”
“For fall we are going to deploy a micro-cluster strategy. We have been targeting all our actions either … statewide … or we reopened on a regional level. We are now going to analyze it block-by-block,” he said. “We have data so specific that we can’t show it because it could violate privacy conditions. We know exactly where the new cases are coming from.”
Cuomo said Orange, Rockland, Queens and Brooklyn counties contain micro-clusters.
Cuomo also detailed how New York state officials have cracked down on a planned wedding in Williamsburg which they allege would have brought together “upwards of 10,000 individuals.”
The Rockland County Sheriff’s Office tipped off authorities to the Monday wedding which would have taken place outside the state’s cluster zones in Brooklyn. An order signed by the state health commissioner was served last night by the New York City Sheriff’s Office to halt the wedding.
The governor said micro-clusters would be declared “red zones.” Areas buffering red zones would be deemed “orange zones” depending on COVID-19 cluster density and areas outside buffer zones would be “yellow zones,” also depending on cluster density.
“A cluster signifies a lack of compliance, common sense. The only answer is more enforcement,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo additionally announced that starting Oct. 23, movie theaters outside of New York City could reopen at 25% capacity with up to 50 people per screen. Mandatory social distancing and other precautions would also be enforced.
New York has one of the lowest infection rates in the nation, the governor said, at a 1.1% average as of Saturday, same as two weeks ago.
Cuomo also expressed hope that a vaccine would become available over the winter but said he was also concerned about the “complex government issue” of administering a vaccine. He also addressed what he called “COVID fatigue,” but urged New Yorkers who might be tired of social distancing measures to continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus in New York.
ABC News’ Joshua Hoyos and Jamie Aranoff contributed to this report.
NY shuts down 10,000 person wedding as Cuomo reveals new COVID-19 plan The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ ABC News.