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New York’s Cuomo lifts Covid restrictions but worries new strains could undermine progress


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wears a protecting face masks as he arrives to talk throughout a each day briefing following the outbreak of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., July 13, 2020.

Mike Segar | Reuters

New York has seen the worst of its post-holiday coronavirus outbreak and can start lifting restrictions on a lot of the state, but extra contagious strains of the virus which have just lately emerged could impede that progress, Gov. Andrew Cuomo mentioned on Wednesday.

Triggered by dinners with household and mates, the vacation surge seems to have peaked in New York on Jan. four when the positivity price, or the share of Covid assessments returning optimistic, reached about 8% throughout the state. That determine has since dipped to roughly 5.6%, Cuomo mentioned.

“I think at this point it’s safe to say the holiday surge was anticipated, the holiday surge did happen, but the holiday surge is over,” Cuomo mentioned throughout a press briefing in Albany.

The Democratic governor mentioned the state will raise restrictions on gatherings and a few nonessential companies throughout a lot of the state — besides in components of the higher New York City-area, together with Washington Heights, the Bronx and Queens, and the Newburgh space upstate.

Those areas are nonetheless thought of “yellow zones” beneath New York’s micro-cluster technique, an effort to focus on financial restrictions to particular areas the place the virus is spreading extra. New York will raise restrictions on all remaining orange and yellow zones, which can get rid of harsher limits on indoor eating, gathering sizes and companies like gyms, barbershops and hair salons.

Existing Zones in New York State

Source: The State of New York

Under the state’s reopening technique, New York City eating places are solely allowed to supply out of doors eating or take-out and supply. Cuomo mentioned he plans to fulfill with Mayor Bill de Blasio and well being officers to debate find out how to reopen indoor eating within the metropolis, and he’ll present extra particulars later this week.

However, there’s nonetheless a looming concern that new, extra contagious variants of the coronavirus first recognized within the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil could take maintain and threaten the state’s capability to deal with an inflow of Covid-19 sufferers.

“The new strains are a real concern, and the Covid threat is not over,” Cuomo mentioned.

A current examine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the variant discovered within the U.Okay., often called B.1.1.7, could turn into the dominant pressure of the virus by March. So far, New York has recognized 22 Covid-19 instances with the mutated pressure, based on current knowledge compiled by the CDC.

However, the federal company warns that determine is predicated on sampling, and does not symbolize the whole variety of B.1.1.7 instances that could be circulating.

Cuomo mentioned that increasing the variety of accessible hospital beds is not the state’s major concern, but slightly the shortage of health-care staff to deal with a wave of new sufferers in the event that they had been to get contaminated with the virus themselves.

“Yes, it creates anxiety, and all I can tell you is that we watch it and we adapt,” Cuomo mentioned. “If it changes, we will change.”



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