“I urge New Yorkers to continue wearing masks, social distancing and washing their hands, and local governments must continue to enforce the state’s public health guide,” Cuomo said. “By staying alert and smart, we can beat COVID together.”
Once the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, New York had boasted a positive test rate – the percentage of tests run that come back positive for the virus – of less than 1% for more than a month. That rate broke 1% on Saturday when Cuomo reminded New Yorkers “we can’t let our guard down.”
Although the rate of positive tests is still low compared to other states, the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn are seeing cases “continue to grow at an alarming rate,”
The city’s public schools are returning to the classroom for the first time this week, but officials may decide to close schools, restrict meetings and issue fines for not wearing masks.
“For the first time in the city’s recovery period, there could be immediate downsizing of activities in these zip codes if no progress is made by Monday evening,” the Department of Health said last week.
States reach new highs
New York isn’t the only state to report that case counts are headed in the wrong direction.
Wisconsin reported its highest increase in single-day cases on Saturday with 2,817 new cases reported, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health. The previous record was 2,533 on Sept. 18, according to the state health department’s website.
Last week, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued an executive order requiring face covering in an attempt to contain infections. In a press release, his office attributed the increase in cases primarily to infections between the ages of 18 and 24 and said the state is “facing a dangerous new phase” of the pandemic.
“We need your help to stop the spread of this virus, and we all need to do it together,” Evers said.
Meanwhile, Florida cases have surpassed 700,000, although it is one of 10 states reporting fewer new cases this week than last. It is flanked by Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia.
The number of new cases reported remains stable in 19 states. Twenty-one are seeing more new cases reported than last week: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota , Texas, Utah, Washington state, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
The authorities interrupt the large rallies
To avoid another wave, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci stressed that masking, staving off and avoiding crowds. But the authorities have had to intervene as some continue to congregate in large groups.
On Friday night, deputies from the New York City sheriff’s office dissolved a marriage of about 300 people in Queens, the office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN. Both the owner and the manager of the venue received subpoenas for multiple felony offenses.
Weddings and other large social gatherings have led to numerous coronavirus outbreaks in recent months, and authorities have turned their attention to deterring these events and enforcing measures against them.
A Maryland man was sentenced to one year in prison on Friday after holding two large parties in late March against the state’s social distancing rules, which had banned meetings of more than 10 people, according to Governor Larry Hogan’s office.
The man became argumentative after being told to disband his first group of about 50 people, the state attorney’s office said. And five days later, he held a second party of more than 50 people that he refused to end, saying they had the right to reunite and ordering his guests to stay, according to a press release.
Laura Ly, Sheena Jones, Anna Sturla, Dakin Andone, and CNN’s Chuck Johnston contributed to this report.