NYS sets block-by-block strategy against COVID-19 spread: Governor
New York: New York will target individual blocks rather than entire neighbourhoods as the state tries to fight the coronavirus in fall and winter, said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“You draw a very tight focus, bring it down within that targeted area and you don’t disrupt anyone else in the meantime,” said Cuomo on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.
This approach will allow businesses to reopen once the clusters on their block are controlled, he said, adding that with contact tracing, the state will be able to identify exactly where the cases are coming from, and which businesses or places are not contributing to the spread.
Once a block with a high infection rate is designated, an increase in testing would take place with stricter enforcement, according to the governor.
“If there’s a cluster it means there wasn’t compliance,” he added.
“No other state has tried such a granular approach to rising cases,” The New York Times on Friday quoted public health experts as saying. “New York State’s plan cuts through city neighbourhoods, ZIP codes and, in some cases, even streets.”
State and city officials hope this approach will prevent the need for any new citywide lockdowns, which would further devastate the local economy, the paper added.
NYS’s positivity rate in coronavirus “Red Zones” has dropped slightly to 4.34 per cent, while the state’s overall infection rate remains low, at 1.1 per cent, with over 1,784 new cases.
The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University reported 33,347 coronavirus deaths in the state as of Saturday afternoon, the worst in the United States.