Nov 19, 2020
- What I've seen from this virus after battling it for 260-plus straight days is that in some ways its course is predictable. So it is clear that as people travel for the Thanksgiving holidayâso will the virus. Travel is a real concern because New York State has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. If people travel here from states with higher infection rates, that poses a great risk.
The CDC is strongly urging Americans, as are we, to avoid Thanksgiving travel. Celebrate this American tradition with just your immediate household to help ensure the safety of your loved ones and your community. Love is sometimes doing what's hard and this year, if you love someone, it is smarter and better to stay away. It's tough to hear but it's better to be safe than sorryâand we can still spread thanks without spreading COVID.
Here's what else you need to know tonight:
1. The positivity rate in the micro-cluster focus areas dropped slightly to 4.11 percent. Excluding these areas, it was 2.38 percent. Of the 195,239 tests reported yesterday, 5,310, or 2.72 percent, were positive. Total hospitalizations rose to 2,276. Sadly, we lost 31 New Yorkers to the virus.
2. New York updated the COVID-19 micro-cluster focus zones. Rockland County's Yellow Zone will be expanded, and parts of Orange and Westchester counties will become Yellow Zones due to increased cases, positivity, and hospital admissions from these areas. All the maps of the current micro-cluster focus zones are available here.
3. I met with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and fellow governors to discuss the ongoing COVID response. We look forward to a strong federal-state partnership and to working hand-in-hand in the months ahead. Topics of discussion included how to achieve a fast and equitable vaccine distribution, how to help our communities recover economically and more.
4. Round two of the successful Nourish NY program is underway. So far, 1.7 million pounds of raw milk has been turned into dairy products and distributed by food banks, in addition to 210,000 pounds of produce. Over 940,000 households have received products sourced from New York farms through this initiative, which is helping keep businesses and families afloat.
5. A smaller Thanksgiving celebration doesn't mean you have to skip out on the great food. To help New Yorkers plan for smaller holiday gatherings, I Love NY created a list of scaled-down recipes that are great for smaller Thanksgiving celebrations.
Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": While the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was being installed, workers discovered that an unexpected traveler had hitched a ride during the tree's two-day trip from Oneonta, NY, to New York City. Staff who worked for the transportation company found a small baby Saw-whet owl, the smallest owl in the northeast, in the tree. The baby owl, dubbed Rockefeller, was moved to the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, where he will be cared for until he's ready to be released into the wild.
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