In a Monday morning conference call, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is placing parts of Erie County into his micro-cluster action initiative “yellow zone.”
In addition to the City of Buffalo, the affected areas include Clarence, Lancaster, Elma, Aurora, Amherst, Cheektowaga, West Seneca, Orchard Park, Tonawanda, Lackawanna, Hamburg and Grand Island.
In a “yellow zone” or “precautionary zone”:
√ Houses of worship are limited to 50% capacity.
√ Mass gatherings are 25 people maximum, indoor or outdoor.
√ Businesses remain open.
√ Indoor and outdoor dining is restricted to four persons maximum per table. Bars and restaurants must close at midnight.
√ Schools are open, but with mandatory weekly testing of 20% of students and teachers/staff for in-person settings.
Be vigilant: #WearAMask #WashYourHands #BeAGoodNeighbor
Cuomo said he came to this conclusion after speaking with Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and the Erie County Department of Health over the weekend.
Erie County was among the state leaders last week in total number of new coronavirus infections. On Friday, the Department of Health confirmed 385 new coronavirus cases. That was the highest daily case total among residents since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and exceeded the previous high total of 277 new cases set on May 4.
Western New York also was tops in percentage of new cases, at 4.3% Friday and 4.8% Saturday. Per New York state reporting, Erie County hit 5.8% Saturday (271 positives among 4,678 tested). The ECDOH stated the rate was above 6%.
Poloncarz also tweeted, “NYS will also be assisting @ECDOH inspectors to inspect bars, restaurants, supermarkets and big-box stores to ensure they are following all NY Forward guidelines.”
And, later in the day, he wrote, “A significant portion of Erie County is now in a ‘Yellow’ Cluster Zone due to increasing COVID-19 cases. We have an opportunity to do better before businesses and schools are closed. We must do better. Please be vigilant: #WearAMask #WashYourHands #BeAGoodNeighbor”