Cuomo: NYS has “COVID cluster problem,” introduces closures to stop further spread

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Starting Wednesday, areas of New York State where there are COVID-19 clusters will face shutdowns as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new “Cluster Action Initiative.”

This will group the small outbreaks into three categories: red, orange and yellow. Red is where the cluster is located, orange is a warning zone bordering the cluster and yellow is the precautionary zone.

Those in the three clusters must shut down based on the severity, with red being the strictest. It prohibits mass gatherings, houses of worship can only allow up to 10 people, restaurants must pivot back to take-out only and schools have to switch to remote only learning.

A full breakdown of the closures based on zone can be seen here:

Although Western New York is not affected by these closures, this announcement comes on the heels of the Governor calling the region a “hot spot.” He says it’s now up to the local governments to enforce these closures, including appointing people to a state task force as part of this new initiative.

There are currently seven areas across New York State where there are clusters, the closest to Western New York being Binghamton.

Those places must follow through with the closures by Friday. They will be shut down for two weeks before state officials will then review their infection rate before moving forward.

Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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