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NYS Coronavirus Update: Orange County Cluster Exits Red Zone -- Thanksgiving Gatherings -- Mask Mandates in Schools

Oct 28, 2020

- We continue to focus our attention on the "micro-cluster" areas throughout the state and to closely watch the metrics in each area. As a given "micro-cluster" makes progress in terms of reducing the positivity rate, we reevaluate and can make adjustments to their designation. A cluster in Orange County, for example, has made good progress, and therefore some restrictions on activities will be removed. We're continuing to watch other focus areas as part of the State's Micro-Cluster Strategy to look for signs of progress.

New York's test positivity rate remains among the lowest in the country. Still, alarming surges around the country and world show how quickly the virus can take hold again in communities that let their guard down. So as New Yorkers, we must continue to take the situation very seriously.

Graphic of the Day: New York's test positivity rate is the second to lowest in the US.

Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. The positivity rate in the "micro-cluster" focus areas was 3.78 percent yesterday. The statewide positivity rate excluding these areas was 1.37 percent. Of the 129,660 tests reported yesterday, 2,031, or 1.56 percent, were positive. There were 1,085 total hospitalizations. Sadly we lost 15 New Yorkers to the virus.

2. I advise New Yorkers to avoid large family gatherings — even for Thanksgiving. If individuals wish to travel in and out of state for the holiday, or for any reason, you must follow the State's COVID Travel Advisory quarantine regulations. The best way to say "I love you" and show your thanks to your loved ones is to avoid travel and show your respect for your family members' health and safety. As an alternative, New Yorkers can hold Thanksgiving dinners with their immediate household or organize virtual events.

3. The "Red Zone" micro-cluster focus area in Orange County will shift to an "Orange Zone." Orange County's micro-cluster zone positivity rate has gone from 12 percent to 2 percent in three weeks and the rate of new daily hospital admissions has flattened. Read more here.

4. Counties will now be allowed to require mask mandates at all times in schools. We know that masks work in stopping the spread of the virus. Counties, via their local department of health, will now be allowed to require that mask mandates be extended at all times in both public and private schools under their jurisdictions.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment"
: Three frontline workers opened up a Filipino restaurant in New York City — in addition to their day jobs as nurses at Mount Sinai Hospital. Maricris Dinopol, Jude Canela and Joan Calanog, all Filipino, were unsatisfied by the food options they could find in-between shifts. So they've started a new restaurant called Bilao, which opened in August and became a hit on the Upper East Side. Bilao, located at 1437 First Avenue, has tables set up along the sidewalk and in a tented curbside area. The chef, Boji Asuncion, a friend of Dinopol's brother, serves a range of traditional Filipino fare.

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Ever Upward,
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo