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Cuomo acts to contain COVID-19 clusters


  • Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Governor Andrew Cuomo says he’s acting “aggressively” to control clusters of COVID-19 outbreaks in 20 zip codes in New York City and the lower Hudson Valley.

The average rate of transmission of the virus in the state remains one of the lowest in the nation, at just over 1% . But in some neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens and in Rockland and Orange Counties the incidences of coronavirus are continuing to spike.

Cuomo says he does not want the clusters to lead to community spread of the disease, and is focusing attention on those neighborhoods, some of which are home to Orthodox Jewish communities. The governor says he’s meeting, virtually, with religious leaders about improving compliance with mask wearing and social distancing rules. He has already started sending rapid testing machines to the effected communities.

“These are embers that are starting to catch fire in dry grass,” said Cuomo “Send all the firefighting equipment and personnel to those embers, and stamp out the embers right away.”

Cuomo says he blames local governments, including New York City and county leaders in Orange and Rockland, for not enforcing compliance with safety rules earlier.

The governor, who threatened potential shut downs Monday, now says he’s “not there yet” on issuing any closures, and hopes his actions will quell the rapid spread in the clusters.

Karen DeWitt is Albany correspondent for WXXI News.