Cuomo on cluster zones: 2.8% of NY population represents 20% of state's COVID cases

Several New York lawmakers are calling on Governor Cuomo to come up with a statewide testing plan ahead of the decision to reopen schools. (PHOTO: Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Photo: Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo)

Albany, N.Y. – While New York’s COVID-19 rates continue to remain stable in most regions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says there are still problems stemming from cluster zones in specific portions of the state.

During a conference call, the governor said these cluster zones represent about 2.8% of the population – yet those zones also represent about 20% of the state’s overall infection rate.

The state conducted about 139,000 tests Thursday. In the top 20 hot spot zip codes, the infection rate was 5.4%. Without the over-sampling of hot spots in the hot spots, the state’s overall rate was 0.9%. With the over-sampling included, that rate was 1.1%.

The infection rate for all hot spot zones was 6.6%.

The state continues to address spikes in downstate regions including Brooklyn, Orange County and Rockland County. In many upstate regions, infection rates appear stable, with a 0.8% rate in the Finger Lakes, 0.9% in Central New York, 0.7% in the Capital region and 0.3% in the North Country.

Regions with higher infection rates included Western New York with 1.3%, Mid-Hudson with 2.1%, New York City with 1.2% and the Southern Tier and Long Island, each with 1%.

Cuomo said the state is working to mitigate a spike in Orthodox communities downstate.

During the conference call, Cuomo played a robocall recording which purportedly encouraged citizens to protest in New York City against the governor, encouraging them to hold signs reading “Cuomo killed thousands”. That recording purportedly stated that organizers of the protest had been in touch with members of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.

“The Trump campaign is urging us to hold as many and as big signs as possible,” the recording purportedly said.

Cuomo criticized Trump, alleging the president “exploits divisions” and has tried to make COVID-19 mitigation efforts political.

“New Yorkers should be outraged by this kind of racist, vitriolic poison that is being spread,” said Cuomo. “Yeah, the Trump campaign is fostering it; I’m not surprised. New Yorkers are repeating it; I’m surprised. All good, decent New Yorkers should be outraged.”