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NYS governor warns of COVID-19 cases surge in holiday season

NYS governor warns of COVID-19 cases surge in holiday season

Nov 23, 2020

New York (US), November 23: There might be more COVID-19 cases between now and January, as holidays come one after another and people tend to travel a lot to meet and celebrate, which is just one of the main reasons fueling the spread of the pandemic, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo warned on Sunday.
"Between now and January, there will be increased social interaction, and the consequence, I believe, will be an increase in the rate of cases. The only question of how much and how fast is up to you," Cuomo told a press conference held in Albany, the capital city of the state.
"You can change what you do, and you can change how your community acts. We have several communities across the state in the warning track to yellow zones or become red or orange zones this week and while a vaccine is expected to come in December or January, we cannot let our guard down," said the governor.
The vaccine will be first distributed for high-need populations, but it will be six months at a minimum before it is widely available, so people simply cannot afford six months of a sustained increase in cases, he stressed.
"The post-holiday increase is purely a function of what we do and New Yorkers have already proven their toughness, but as Thanksgiving and the holiday season approaches, we need to stay the course," he added.
Meanwhile, he announced that the COVID-19 test positivity rate in the focus areas under New York State's micro-cluster strategy, where the outbreak is targeted by the state for its severity and potential of spread, was 4.39 percent on Saturday, slightly up from 4.34 percent one day earlier.
The statewide positivity rate excluding these focus areas was 2.29 percent, down from 2.49 percent on Friday; of the 196,608 tests reported on Saturday, 5,391 were positive, or 2.74 percent of the total, down from 2.87 percent one day earlier, he added.
The governor also said that New York now ranked the fourth lowest state of COVID-19 test positivity rate, with 2.90 percent on 7-day average, after Vermont, Hawaii and Maine.
As of Sunday evening, the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University reported 34,319 coronavirus deaths so far in New York State, the worst in the country.
Nationwide, more than 12.2 million cases have been recorded with more than 256,000 related deaths as of Sunday evening, according to the real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University. It took only six days for the country to add over 1 million infections to a record high of 11 million cases on Nov. 15.
Source: Xinhua