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Cuomo: 'Buffalo and surrounding towns on track for Red Zone'

During the press conference, Cuomo warned that parts of Erie County are on track to be upgraded from an Orange Zone to a Red Zone.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo provided an update into the state's progress on the COVID-19 pandemic late Monday morning during a televised press briefing. 

During the press conference, Cuomo warned that parts of Erie County are on track to be upgraded from an Orange Zone to a Red Zone.

One of the areas the governor highlighted was the Town of Lancaster.  He says Lancaster has the highest positive rate in the state with 9.68%.

Below is what changes in a Red Zone:

Red Zone:

  • Houses of worship operate at 25% capacity or 10 people maximum
  • Mass gatherings are prohibited
  • Only essential business can be open
  • Restaurants can only offer takeout
  • Schools are closed and shift to remote learning

Last week, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz stressed that a Red Zone is a possibility if cases did not start to go down across the county.

"I am very worried about where we will be in the next few days," Poloncarz stated, adding that hospitalizations are close to what they were in April in Erie County. "There has been rapid increase in hospitalizations in the last few days."

When asked about the possibility of Erie County going to a 'Red Zone' soon, Poloncarz said the state will make that call on Wednesday, if they need to.

"What we are seeing is the state will be analyzing the data Monday and Tuesday and will make an announcement on Wednesday," he said. The state will be looking at if there are changes after a full week's worth of data under the new restrictions to make that decision. 

"We're not happy with the positivity rate and hospitalizations going higher," he added. "If there are going to be changes to any zone, the Governor or state will make it on Wednesdays."

We will update this story when more information is released from the state.

You can watch the full press conference below: