Micro-cluster zones, schools & vaccine focus of New York's winter COVID plan, Cuomo says

Coronavirus Update for New York
NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that officials are working on a winter plan for the coronavirus that will add metrics for how it designates virus hot zones.

Cuomo said the state would continue using the approach of micro clusters, honing in on small geographic areas where virus cases are a particular problem to avoid imposing broad state-wide restrictions, and would add factors like the hospitalization rate and the availability of ICU beds.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that officials are working on a winter plan for the coronavirus that will add metrics for how it designates virus hot zones.



"Because that is the worst case scenario... you run out of hospital beds," Cuomo said in a conference call with reporters on Thursday.

Cuomo was speaking on the Thanksgiving holiday, which he and officials around the country had implored people be cautious in observing over concerns of even more coronavirus cases.

The Democrat said the winter plan would also look at ways to keep schools open by evaluating a safe positivity rate as well as determining the levels of testing at schools needed over the winter months. The winter plan will also outline how vaccines will be distributed as they become available.

On Wednesday, a 5-4 Supreme Court decision barred the state from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas that had been labelled as virus hot zones. It sided with religious organizations in the state who said that while attendance was limited for worshippers, other businesses in state-designated red zones could remain open without capacity limits.

WATCH: 'Irrelevant': Cuomo reacts to Supreme Court religious restrictions ruling
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Derick Waller reports on Governor Andrew Cuomo's response to the SCOTUS ruling.



Cuomo said the ruling was "irrelevant from any practical impact" since the red zone restrictions have been removed, and it was "more illustrative of the Supreme Court than anything else."

"Why rule on a case that is moot and come up with a different decision than you did several months ago on the same issue? You have a different court. And I think that was the statement that the court was making," he said.

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