Oct 31, 2020
- Tomorrow is Halloween and I hope New Yorkers enjoy the holiday in a way that's safe for their families and the community. To help New Yorkers make informed decisions on Halloween activities, the NYS Department of Health published Halloween guidance, with recommended activities and Do's and Don'ts for a safe Halloween. We advise New Yorkers to refrain from traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed out at the door and where it would be difficult to maintain social distance. Don't trick-or-treat indoors (for example, in apartment buildings). Also, it's important to keep in mind that a Halloween mask is not a substitute for a full cloth or surgical mask that covers the mouth and nose. Have a Happy Halloween and stay safe.
Photo of the Day: Actors Selena Gomez, Mark Hamill, Ben Stiller and Mark Ruffalo participate in the NY-led "#MaskUp challenge."
Join in by posting a selfie with a mask and the hashtag #MaskUp, share why you wear a mask, and tag five friends to take the challenge.
1. Total hospitalizations are flat. The positivity rate in the "micro-cluster" focus areas was 2.75 percent yesterday. The statewide positivity rate excluding these areas was 1.38 percent. Of the 146,885 tests reported yesterday, 2,255, or 1.53 percent, were positive. Total hospitalizations remain at 1,085. Sadly we lost 12 New Yorkers to the virus.
2. Today, we launched the New York State Flu Tracker to prepare for flu season. As we continue the fight against COVID-19, we can't let flu season make matters worse. The tracker displays daily and weekly flu data and provides timely information about local, regional and statewide flu activity. I encourage you to get a flu shot if you haven't already.
3. Sunday is the last day of Early Voting. There are two days left to participate in New York's Early Voting period, which ends Sunday, November 1st. If you have an absentee ballot and you haven't cast it yet, don't mail it—instead drop it off in person. You can drop off absentee ballots at any polling place (there are expedited, dedicated lines for doing so) or at your local Board of Elections office. New Yorkers can also, of course, vote in-person on Election Day on Tuesday, November 3rd. Find your local polling place here.
4. Schools in Red and Orange Zones can reopen if they complete testing protocols. Today we announced an agreement on testing protocols that will allow public and private schools in Red and Orange "micro-cluster" zones to reopen—if they perform mass testing before the school reopens and follow it with weekly surveillance testing. Impacted schools can reopen as early as Monday, but students and faculty must be able to provide a negative COVID-19 test result prior to going back to the classroom. The State will provide free rapid-result test kits for schools wishing to participate.