New coronavirus cluster areas possible Monday after new rules announced by Cuomo

Albany, NY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he will announce possible changes to the state coronavirus cluster zones Monday after managers spent the weekend reviewing the data.

It is not known what this could mean for the yellow and orange areas of Onondaga County.

Cuomo today unveiled new rules for determining when it will order cluster zones, all of which have varying levels of additional restrictions intended to slow the spread of the virus in areas with peaks. Parts of Onondaga County have been living under the yellow and orange zone rules since November.

Here are the new rules for when zones are ordered in the future:

  • Yellow area: An area has a positive test percentage for the virus of 3% or more in the past 10 days. The region is also expected to be in the top 10% for hospital admissions per capita over the past week and for week-over-week growth in daily admissions.
  • Orange area: An area has a positive test percentage of 4% or more in the last 10 days. The area must also account for 85% of its total hospital capacity or ask the state health department to determine that its hospitalization rate is too high.
  • Red zone: Projections show that the region will reach 90% of its hospital capacity in 21 days.

So far, Cuomo has used a combination of positive test rates, cases per capita, and other factors to determine when to order cluster areas. He has been saying for weeks that he plans to make hospitalizations a more important factor in deciding where and when to impose zones.

Cuomo again today warned of the dangers of overwhelming the state’s hospital system, calling it “the ultimate cause of concern.” But he also said the facilities were in better shape than they were during the first push in the spring.

Yesterday, 5,321 people were in New York City hospitals with the virus, up 157. This is the highest total since the end of May, but still well below the peak of more than 18,000 in April.

The average length of stay in a hospital has dropped from 11 days in the spring to five days now, Cuomo said. And the inpatient death rate has dropped from 23% to 8%.

Fewer people are now intubated and in intensive care unit compared to the spring.

Doctors and nurses have improved in treating Covid-19, but the pandemic is not yet over, Cuomo said.

“We cannot relax until Covid relaxes. And Covid is not relaxing, ”he said. “We have to finish the game and we have to end the war. We don’t want to lose people we don’t need to lose.

“We have to make sure that we are doing all we can to protect every life that we can.”


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