NEW YORK, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- A total of 217,721 COVID-19 test results, a record high, were reported on Wednesday to the New York State government, which is carrying out its winter plan against the pandemic with the micro-cluster strategy at core, said an official release issued on Thursday.
"We know what's going on with the numbers because we've seen the movie in New York, we've seen the movie across the country. The positivity goes up, more people get sick, more people go into the hospital, more people go into the ICU, more people get intubated, and the death number goes up. Relative to the rest of the country, New York State is still doing phenomenally well and that's thanks to the good actions of New Yorkers," Governor Andrew Cuomo was quoted as saying in the release.
Experts have recommended the same thing to New York which starts to develop what they call a winter plan, said Cuomo, adding that "on the winter plan, we're going to stay with the micro-cluster approach because that targets the spread, minimizes economic impact and stresses individual and community accountability. So that's working very well, and all the experts think that is state-of-the-art."
The winter plan will include three elements: First, adding more factors to the micro-clusters. Second, the schools and the testing of the schools to keep them open at a rate that's sustainable. Third, a vaccine distribution plan, according to the release.
"Happy Thanksgiving. Celebrate, please just do it safely. Let's not create more of an issue. Again, people have to appreciate the dichotomy here. The spread is going to be from pre-symptomatic people who don't even know they have the virus," said the governor.
"It's not that they're going to be malicious. It's going to be accidental and involuntary. So what appears safe is no longer safe in this crazy world," he added.
Also on Thursday, Cuomo tweeted that the COVID-19 test positivity rate in the focus areas under New York state's micro-cluster strategy, where the outbreaks are targeted for their severity and potential of spread, was 4.9 percent on Wednesday, down from 5.28 percent one day earlier.
Tuesday marked the first time that the key coronavirus rate had surpassed 5 percent since mid-October, according to the statistics released by the state government.
Meanwhile, the statewide positivity rate excluding these focus areas was 2.68 percent, down from 3.04 percent on Tuesday; the overall statewide positivity rate with all the focus areas was 3.18 percent on Wednesday, down from 3.62 percent one day earlier, said Cuomo.
Total hospitalizations were at 3,056 on Wednesday, up from 2,982 on Tuesday, said the governor, who has predicted that New York state's COVID-19 hospitalizations could reach 6,000 in three weeks based on the current trends.
As of Thursday noon, the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University reported 34,388 coronavirus deaths so far in New York State, the worst in the country.
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