Cuomo still pushing for COVID-19 compliance as infection rate drops

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo by Mark Hallum)

Updating New Yorkers on the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in hotspots across the state on Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the current high is still pretty low.

While the trouble in parts of the city, upstate and western New York remain a concern, Cuomo said the overall infection rate beats other states and he again appealed to the Orthodox Jewish communities in those hotspots to follow the lockdown orders in place in these sections of the state.

Without the hotspots the statewide infection rate is 0.84%, and 0.96% when the hotspot figures are included in the equation. The average for clusters alone, grouped together is 5.7%, something Cuomo fronted as an optimistic finding due these communities in Queens, Brooklyn and other counties still representing a lower infection rate than most states still struggling to contain the virus.

Infections rates statewide have not been this low since Sept. 21. Brooklyn’s hotspot sections, however, have an infection rate of 1.5%.

“We are not tracking clusters in two or three percent of the population. No other state has this discussion because no other state has the ability to target the way we do and that’s a good thing, because when you can target a specific cluster it means you can attack a specific cluster. Attacking a cluster is much easier than trying to attack a statewide increasing rate. A rifle is more targeted that a shotgun, right?” Cuomo said.

According to the Cuomo administration, five New Yorkers died from COVID-19 on Oct. 10, while over 800 remain hospitalized.

Regarding the ongoing outcry from the Orthodox Jewish communities of Brooklyn against the restrictions on gatherings at houses of worship, Cuomo’s message to the faithful was an appeal with teachings from their own religion.

“It as a matter of fact jeopardizes human life… the number of infections are coming from these hotspots,” Cuomo said on a Sunday press call. “I say to my friends in the Hasidic community, the Hebrew faith teaches us [speaks Yiddish] ‘save a life.’ Participation in a religious ceremony can be excused for a matter of health, life and safety.”

Orthodox community leaders have been protesting the governor’s orders to shut down restaurants and restrict houses of worship to gatherings of less than 10, claiming they have been singled out in enforcement — alleging that Cuomo’s actions and rhetoric promote anti-Semitism.

Two federal judges denied Friday restraining order requests by both Orthodox and Catholic religious leaders to prevent the new regulations from being implemented.

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