‘NY responding to growing Covid-19 clusters in 20 hotspot ZIP codes’

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that the state was responding to growing coronavirus clusters in 20 “hotspot” ZIP codes, as infection rates continue to soar just days after it restarted indoor dining and allowed more children to resume in-person classes.

A statement issued by Cuomo’s office on Saturday said the 20 ZIP codes are located in Brooklyn, Queens, and Rockland and Orange Counties.

According to the statement, 8,676 tests have been conducted in these areas, yielding 450 positives or a 5.2 per cent positivity rate.

In the remainder of the state, 125,591 tests were conducted, yielding 1,281 positives or a 1.01 per cent positivity rate, it further said.

“This pandemic is not over. We continue to closely monitor the data throughout the state, push our testing capacity to new highs and keep an especially close eye on the ZIP codes in hotspot areas, which represented 26 per cent of yesterday’s (Friday) cases despite being home to 6.7 of the population,” Governor Cuomo was quoted as saying in the statement.

“We know that washing hands, socially distancing and wearing masks makes all the difference in our ability to tame this beast.

“So my message to New Yorkers is please stay vigilant and my message to local governments is do the enforcement. We can beat this thing if we work together and stay ‘New York Tough’,” he added.

Taking to Twitter on Saturday night, Tom Frieden, the former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said: “NYC is on the edge of a precipice. We’re seeing extensive, ongoing spread in religious communities and there’s a high risk of Covid-19 resurgence, even in areas that were hit hard in the spring.

Once the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US, New York state has reported more than 468,000 Covid-19 cases, of which New York City accounted for over 251,000.

The death toll in the state stood at 32,794.

As of Sunday, the US continued as the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 7,379,614 and 209,335, respectively, according to the Johns Hopkins University.