New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo has warned that there might be a fresh Covid-19 resurgence “between now and January”, as holidays come one after another and people tend to travel a lot to meet and celebrate, which is just one of the main reasons fueling the spread of the pandemic.
“Between now and January, there will be increased social interaction, and the consequence, I believe, will be an increase in the rate of cases. The only question of how much and how fast is up to you,” Xinhua news agency quoted Cuomo as saying at a press conference on Sunday.
“You can change what you do, and you can change how your community acts. We have several communities across the state in the warning track to yellow zones or become red or orange zones this week and while a vaccine is expected to come in December or January, we cannot let our guard down,” said the Governor.
The vaccine will be first distributed for high-need populations, but it will be six months at a minimum before it is widely available, so people simply cannot afford six months of a sustained increase in cases, he stressed.
“The post-holiday increase is purely a function of what we do and New Yorkers have already proven their toughness, but as Thanksgiving and the holiday season approaches, we need to stay the course,” he added.
Cuomo also announced that the Covid-19 test positivity rate in the focus areas under New York state’s micro-cluster strategy, where the outbreak is targeted by the state for its severity and potential of spread, was 4.39 per cent on November 21, slightly up from 4.34 per cent a day earlier.
The state-wide positivity rate excluding these focus areas was 2.29 percent, down from 2.49 percent on November 20; of the 196,608 tests reported November 21, 5,391 were positive, or 2.74 per cent of the total, down from 2.87 per cent one day earlier, he added.
The governor also said that New York now ranked the fourth lowest state of Covid-19 test positivity rate, with 2.90 per cent on 7-day average, after Vermont, Hawaii and Maine.
As of Sunday evening, the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University reported 34,319 coronavirus deaths so far in New York State, the worst in the country, while the caseload has increased to more than 601,000.
In its latest update on Monday, the Center revealed that the country’s caseload and death toll stood at 12,226,643 and 256,741, respectively.
It took only six days for the country to add over 1 million infections to a record high of 11 million cases on November 15.