Micro-cluster strategy works well in NYS as COVID-19 test positivity rate down to lowest level: governor

By Xia Lin

NEW YORK, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- A total of 128,763 COVID-19 tests were reported to the New York State Government on Saturday, with 1,390 being positive, or 1.08 percent, Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted on Sunday.

It was the lowest rate for NYS for days, which bore out the success of the micro-cluster strategy adopted by the state to counter the pandemic, the governor told his daily press conference.

The other U.S. states would like to do anything to be as low as 1 percent, he added.

With such a strategy, the state has implemented rules and restrictions directly targeted to areas with the highest concentration of COVID-19 cases known as "Red Zones," and put in place less severe restrictions in surrounding communities known as "Orange Zones" and "Yellow Zones", which serve as a buffer to ensure the virus does not spread beyond the central focus area. Enhanced focused testing and enforcement will follow.

The COVID-19 test positivity rate in the "Red Zone" focus areas, where the pandemic has been the most severe, was 3.19 percent on Saturday, and the statewide positivity rate excluding Red Zones is 1.0 percent, said the governor.

Total hospitalizations were at 913, and there were seven COVID-19 fatalities, he added.

The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University reported 33,347 coronavirus death in the state as of Sunday afternoon, the worst in the United States.

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