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Cuomo Fears ‘Nightmare of Overwhelmed Hospitals’ as Virus Cases Spike

Despite rising rates of infection, Mr. Cuomo has resisted implementing the kind of widespread shutdowns seen in March, when hundreds of New Yorkers began to die every week, and much of New York’s economic activity ground to a complete halt.

Rather, Mr. Cuomo’s strategy has been to utilize targeted restrictions on individual areas — known as his “micro-cluster initiative” — which has now expanded to nearly 30 locations around the state, including in all five boroughs of New York City, its suburban counties, and major upstate population centers.

The announcement on Monday came after weeks of steadily more worrying news in New York. The state’s daily rate of positive tests on Sunday topped 4 percent for the first time since May, and the number of more serious cases continued to grow. The positivity rate was reported to be 4.57 percent on Monday.

The death toll has also started to rise again: On Monday, the governor said 54 deaths were reported by the state. All told, almost 1,000 people died in New York this month, according to The New York Times’s tally, making November the deadliest month since June. The state has suffered more than 34,000 deaths since the discovery of the first case in March 1, the most of any state.

In his remarks on Monday, Mr. Cuomo noted that the current surge of cases has been more widespread than in the spring, when cases and deaths were largely concentrated in New York City and its suburbs.

He recalled how some upstate regions sent reinforcements and resources to downstate medical facilities in the spring, and suggested that would be difficult now. “Every region is dealing with a hospital issue,” he said.

Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, has been touting the state’s response to the crisis for months, releasing a book in October about “leadership lessons” drawn from his experiences. The governor has also repeatedly made a point of saying that New York is doing well in comparison with other states.

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