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Cuomo says the state will enforce COVID-19 guidance in 'hot spot' areas 

click to enlarge An illustration of the coronavirus, COVID-19. - PHOTO PROVIDED BY CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
  • PHOTO PROVIDED BY CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
  • An illustration of the coronavirus, COVID-19.
New York state will be getting more aggressive about businesses violating COVID-19 guidelines in the hot spots where the virus has recently flared up. That's what Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters during a briefing on Sunday.

He said that if businesses are not following the rules in those areas, which are mostly in the New York City area and suburbs, then the state will step in.

“Local businesses that are in violation of the law will be fined and can be closed, just like the bars and restaurants. If there are businesses that are violating the gathering rules, they can be fined and they will be closed.” Cuomo also said that state officials want to see more testing for COVID-19 in the schools that are in those hot spot areas, saying that schools can be a source for transmitting the virus.

New York City's mayor said Sunday that he has asked the state for permission to close schools and reinstate restrictions on nonessential businesses in several neighborhoods because of a resurgence of the coronavirus.

The action, if approved, would mark a disheartening retreat for a city that enjoyed a summer with less spread of the virus than most other parts of the country, and had only recently celebrated the return of students citywide to in-person learning in classrooms.

Shutdowns would happen starting Wednesday in nine ZIP codes in the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The latest numbers on positive COVID-19 cases in New York state released Sunday show the high infection rates in those hot spot zip codes, in the New York city area and some suburbs. Cuomo says those areas have a 4.8% positivity rate. He says in the rest of the state, the infection rate is .91%. The Finger Lakes region, as of Saturday, had a positivity rate of .6%.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Randy Gorbman is the news director at WXXI News, a media partner of CITY. He can be reached at rgorbman@wxxi.org.
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