New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Lays Out 'Micro-Cluster' Strategy Against COVID-19 Pandemic

Cuomo stated in an article that the detection of smaller surges of cases requires a larger number of tests to be performed.

New York state is managing its Covid-19 response with a more fine-tuned approach called "micro-cluster" strategy, using data and metrics to guide decisions, state Governor Andrew Cuomo wrote in an op-ed.

"In New York, we are deploying a new strategy of targeting viral 'micro-clusters'," Xinhua news agency quoted Cuomo as saying in the article written for the New York Daily News and published on Sunday.

Examining 'Micro-clusters'

He explained that testing and contact-tracing to date have largely been used to monitor a state-wide or regional level infection spread. Once an increase is detected, the virus has already infected many people and is hard to slow, not to mention contain, and any mitigation efforts can only be employed over a large geographic area, making them highly disruptive, said the governor.

Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Wikimedia Commons

"Monitoring micro-clusters involves increasing the testing regimen to identify low-level spreads on a small geographic footprint. This allows containment before a large number of people are infected and reduces the economic and political disruption in implementing new restrictions," said Cuomo.

To detect these smaller surges, a larger number of tests must be performed, he said. "Testing must move beyond regional or even county-level data to a granular neighborhood-level analysis capable of detecting a number of cases, often in the single digits in a limited area of several square miles," he added.

Keeping the State Up to Date

The governor tweets the state's Covid-19 test positivity rates each morning or noon, keeping his people posted about the extent to which the pandemic has invaded their lives. Of the 120,829 tests reported on Saturday, 1,632 were positive, or 1.35 percent of the total, Cuomo tweeted on Sunday.

Once the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US, New York state has reported more than 500,000 Covid-19 cases, of which New York City accounted for over 263,000. The state's death toll stood at 33,418. As of Monday, the US continued as the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 8,633,194 and 225,215, respectively, according to the Johns Hopkins University.