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Latest coronavirus updates in New York: Saturday, October 17, 2020

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Posted at 9:16 AM, Oct 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-17 14:15:39-04

NEW YORK — Below you will find the most up-to-date information on coronavirus news impacting New York. You can find additional resources and coverage on our coronavirus page.

11:30 a.m.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a coronavirus briefing. Watch the news conference below or click here.

  • What we do should be guided by what we've learned, Cuomo said.
  • The governor repeated his criticism of the federal government's lack of leadership during the pandemic, including Trump's rhetoric over not wearing a mask.
  • "Since when did basic humanity and saving lives become a political issue?" the governor said.

Breaking updates

  • Movie theaters outside of New York City and not located in cluster zones can reopen under new capacity limits on Oct. 23. Theaters will be limited to 25% capacity with a maximum of 50 people per screen. Read more.
  • The governor is convening a task force to evaluate the safety of coronavirus vaccines as they are made available.

Plan to combat COVID-19 this fall and winter: Read more

  • The fall is a new phase, Cuomo said.
  • When you get to the fall, schools are reopening, students go back to college, people go inside.
  • "The fall itself has an effect on the spread of the virus," Cuomo said.
  • Fall: increase in transmission rate. "That is a fact," he said.
  • Winter: vaccine? "Hopefully," Cuomo said.
  • For the fall, New York health officials are deploying a microcluster strategy targeted by region.
  • "We're now going to analyze it on a block-by-block level," Cuomo said. "We know exactly where the cases are coming from."
  • "There's no more statewide regional — literally block-by-block with specific targeting," the governor said.
  • This approach requires more targeted testing and responsiveness to that specific locality with mitigation measures and then enforcement. But it has the advantage of being less disruption, Cuomo said.
  • If you have a cluster, it means you have a lack of compliance, the governor said.
  • "If people are following the rules, the virus doesn't spread," he said. "The only answer to a lack of compliance is enforcement."
  • In Queens, the percent of positive cases in the Kew Gardens orange zone for the week of Sept. 27 was 1.59%. Last week it dropped to 1.33% and so far this week it was .43%.
  • "If you're at .4(%), frankly you're in good shape," Cuomo said. "The strategy is working."
  • The governor said the zone restrictions will be tweaked as clusters show improvement.
  • All red zones in the state have a lower infection rate than they did last week, Cuomo said.
  • Brooklyn's red zone has dropped from 6.69% to 4.92%.

Current data

  • Average red zone percent of positive cases is 4.34%.
  • Statewide positivity rate without red zones is 1.02%.
  • Statewide positivity rate with red zones is 1.11%.

9 a.m.
Only 20% of New York City public school parents have signed and returned COVID-19 testing consent forms, according to city officials. Read more.

The latest official numbers:
As of Friday, there were 481,107 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 25,628 confirmed fatalities in New York, according to the Department of Health.

COVID-19 timeline: How novel coronavirus spread

Tips to protect yourself and others amid coronavirus outbreaks

The New York state coronavirus hotline is 1-888-364-3065; information is also being posted here