NY Winter Virus Plan Will Eye Hospitalizations, ICU Beds

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo delivers a COVID-19 update in Rochester, November 25, 2020 . (Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that officials are working on a winter plan for the coronavirus that will add metrics for how it designates virus hot zones.

Cuomo said the state would continue using the approach of micro clusters, honing in on small geographic areas where virus cases are a particular problem to avoid imposing broad state-wide restrictions, and would add factors like the hospitalization rate and the availability of ICU beds.

“Because that is the worst case scenario… you run out of hospital beds,” Cuomo said in a conference call with reporters on Thursday.

Cuomo was speaking on the Thanksgiving holiday, which he and officials around the country had implored people be cautious in observing over concerns of even more coronavirus cases.

The Democrat said the winter plan would also look at ways to keep schools open by evaluating a safe positivity rate as well as determining the levels of testing at schools needed over the winter months. The winter plan will also outline how vaccines will be distributed as they become available.