Cuomo To Start ‘Aggressive Enforcement’ of COVID-19 in Mid-Hudson
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he plans to start aggressive enforcement in COVID-19 hot spots in the Hudson Valley and across New York.
On Sunday, Cuomo said in the top 20 ZIP codes in areas that have seen recent outbreaks, Orange County, Rockland County, Brooklyn and Queens, 5,392 tests were conducted, yielding 261 positives or a 4.8 percent positivity rate. In the remainder of the state, 104,937 tests were conducted yielding 961 positives or a 0.91 percent positivity rate.
"Local governments have not done an effective job of enforcement in these hot spot ZIP codes. The State will be doing aggressive enforcement starting tomorrow," Cuomo said on Sunday. "As we saw with bars and restaurants, when the State initiated enforcement actions compliance greatly increased. However, the State cannot take over effective enforcement for every jurisdiction and if a local jurisdiction cannot or will not perform effective enforcement of violating entities, notify the State and we will close all business activity in the hot spots where the local governments cannot do compliance.
Three ZIP codes from the Hudson Valley, 10950, 10952, and 10977, reported the highest positivity rate on Sunday as well as over the past two weeks.
COVID-19 Positive % on 10/3
- Zip Code 10950: 13.7% (Orange County)
- Zip Code 10952: 15.1% (Rockland County)
- Zip Code 10977: 8.6% (Rockland County)
COVID-19 Positive % on 3 Day Average
- Zip Code 10950: 21.2% (Orange County)
- Zip Code 10952: 11.2% (Rockland County)
- Zip Code 10977: 11.4% (Rockland County)
COVID-19 Positive % on 7 Day Average
- Zip Code 10950: 18.4% (Orange County)
- Zip Code 10952: 13.5% (Rockland County)
- Zip Code 10977: 13.1% (Rockland County)
COVID-19 Positive % on 14 Day Average
- Zip Code 10950: 17.3% (Orange County)
- Zip Code 10952: 12.8% (Rockland County)
- Zip Code 10977: 11.8% (Rockland County)
Cuomo also threatened to close schools down in those areas if action and increased testing isn't taken.
"I'm concerned about the lack of testing in the schools," Cuomo said. "If the localities do not do testing immediately in the schools in those areas, the State will close them immediately. We all want schools to reopen IF they can reopen safely. I have assured the parents of this State that I would not send my child to a school that I didn't know was safe. Without testing we can't assure parents and teachers of the safety of that school."
The governor also announced that New York State will deploy personnel to directly enforce state guidance within the hot spot ZIP codes. Enforcement has already begun and will increase this week, officials say. The new effort is modeled on the State Liquor Authority and State Police Task Force that has been enforcing state guidance at bars and restaurants in New York City and on Long Island. Local businesses that violate the law can be subject to fines and closures.
Areas in hot spot communities, predominantly in Brooklyn, Queens and Rockland and Orange Counties, will continue to be subject of focused testing efforts including access to rapid testing machines, officials say.