Gov. Cuomo to Meet Orthodox Jewish Community Leaders to Address COVID-19 Clusters

NEW YORK -
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wears a mask during a news conference in July. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, FIle)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that he will meet with Orthodox Jewish leaders to address COVID-19 clusters in communities downstate.

“I’m going to be meeting with religious leaders of the Orthodox community and local officials. If you look at those clusters and you look at those zip codes, you will see there’s an overlap with large Orthodox Jewish communities. That is a fact. I will be meeting with them to talk about it. This is a public health concern for their community. It’s also a public health concern for surrounding communities. I’ve said from day one, these public health rules apply to every religion, atheists – it just applies to every citizen of the State of New York, period,” Cuomo said.

“We have seen hotspots before, but this is probably the largest cluster that we have addressed before, and the clusters are Brooklyn, Orange, Rockland. The activity in the cluster is very different than what’s going on in the rest of the state. That’s actually good news in some ways because you have effectively identified the genesis of the potential growth of the virus. Once you have the information, you aggressively target these clusters. These are embers that are starting to catch fire in dry grass. Send all the firefighting equipment and personnel to those embers and stamp out the embers right away. That’s what this data does. Local governments are the first line of defense and they must respond. Competent government must do compliance and enforcement. A cluster today can be community spread tomorrow.”

The governor also announced that Colorado has been added to New York State’s COVID-19 travel advisory. Arizona, Illinois and Virginia have been removed. The advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average or an area with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average.

Cuomo last week urged New Yorkers to remain vigilant in mask-wearing and warned of consequences if they do not.

“It’s not time to get tired because the virus isn’t tired,” he said.