ALBANY (WCBS 880) — New York State reported over 6,900 new coronavirus cases on Thursday as officials prepared to release a new "winter plan" in combatting the pandemic.
On Thursday, a total of 6,933 cases were reported to the state, the highest number of COVID-19 cases reported in a single day since late April, when New York was still at the height of the pandemic.
The new cases brought the statewide positivity rate to 3.18% as hospitalizations also surpassed 3,000 for the first time since June.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, during a press conference with reporters, said the state was fully bracing for a surge in new cases following the holiday, but notes it’s not yet clear how bad the surge will be.
“We know what's going on and the numbers tell the same story, because we've seen the movie in New York. We've seen the movie across the country,” the governor said. “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.”
New York is working on a plan to slow the spread of the virus as we enter the winter months again.
According to the governor, the plan will have three parts.
The first will including sticking to the state’s current micro-cluster approach with labels certain communities as red, orange or yellow zones.
The second will be keeping schools open by establishing a “safe positivity rate” and increasing the testing rate in schools.
“All the data says the schools are safer than the surrounding community. We want to continue testing in the schools, but we need a sustainable testing rate in the schools,” the governor said. “In other words, if we want to keep the schools open, there has to be a level of testing that the local school districts can provide for a prolonged period of time.”
The third part with be to come up with a distribution plan that prioritizes the medicine “in the most judicious way.”
Cuomo says the plan should be released shortly and adds that residents should understand that the coronavirus has phases.
“This virus has phases. As the phase changes, your plan should change,” he said.