NY winter virus plan will eye hospitalizations

Northeast

In this Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020 photo provided by the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Gov. Cuomo holds a press briefing on the coronavirus in the Red Room at the State Capitol in Albany, N.Y. During the news conference, Cuomo predicted a “tremendous spike” in COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving as he pleaded with people not to be lulled into a false sense of safety over the holiday. (Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said officials are working on a winter plan for the coronavirus that will add metrics for how the state designates virus hot zones.

On Thursday, Cuomo said the state will continue homing in on small geographic areas where virus cases are a particular problem to avoid imposing broad statewide restrictions, considering factors such as the hospitalization rate and the availability of ICU beds.

The new plan will add factors like the hospitalization rate and the availability of ICU beds to determine the location of the hot spots.

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

Cuomo spoke a day after the state recorded nearly 7,000 new coronavirus cases and 67 new deaths — 15 of which occurred in Erie County, which includes Buffalo and has continued to see spiking numbers.

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