New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the federal government has waved the white flag amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the state unveils a new method of combating the virus.
With fall bringing a rise in COVID-19 cases across the country, Cuomo said that New York will be deploying a new strategy targeting viral “micro-clusters” that have cropped up across the state, including Queens, Brooklyn, Orange, and Rockland counties.
“You can control (the virus) when you see it spreading, when you see small spreads … you have to stop them from becoming larger spreads, that’s what we call the micro-cluster strategy,” Cuomo said during a COVID-19 briefing on Monday, Oct. 26 in Albany.
“When you see a little spread in one part of the state, you run and attack the fire and put it out,” he continued. “You are the firefighter and when you see the small spreads, you have to run and attack them.”
Cuomo said that with the new strategy, there will be small peaks in the number of new cases, but if the state didn’t employ the new plan, the numbers would rise exponentially.
“Monitoring micro-clusters involves increasing the testing regimen to identify low-level spreads on a small geographic footprint,” Cuomo wrote in an op-ed in the Daily News over the weekend. “This allows containment before a large number of people are infected and reduces the economic and political disruption in implementing new restrictions.”
On Monday, Cuomo likened the new strategy to “COVID Whack-a-Mole.”
“We keep putting up these flames, but when one pops up, ‘bang,’ another pops up, ‘bang,’ another pops up, ‘bang,’ you have to be quick, and the government has to be competent in controlling the spread of the virus,” he said.
Cuomo specifically mentioned specific incidents on Long Island and upstate New York that led to a super spreader causing dozens of cases in individual incidents.
“Once a micro-cluster is detected, targeted remedial actions include increasing testing and contact-tracing, a reduction in the size of mass gatherings, restaurant and bar limitations, and most importantly, increased enforcement activity,” he said.
“How we detect and manage these micro-clusters will determine how effectively we can keep COVID under control through the fall and until a proven vaccine has fully defeated the virus.”
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