New York Restaurants Facing More COVID-19 Restrictions, Closures
In a matter of days, restaurants across New York State will likely soon be shut down or face stricter COVID-19 restrictions.
On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced, following updated guidance from the CDC, if a region's hospitalization rate does not stabilize in the next five days, additional restrictions will be applied to indoor dining across New York State.
If the hospitalization rate does not stabilize in New York City in the next five days, indoor dining will be suspended. If the rate does not stabilize in regions outside New York City, like the Mid-Hudson Region, capacity restrictions will be reduced from 50 percent to 25 percent, Cuomo confirmed.
Gyms and hair salons will stay open across New York State, even if indoor dining is restricted or closed, Cuomo added.
Cuomo also directed the New York State Department of Health to begin implementing the state's "surge and flex" protocol and mandate all hospitals begin expanding their bed capacity by 25 percent to further prepare hospitals for a future COVID-19 surge. Hospitals had previously been preparing plans for this action as part of New York's Winter COVID Plan.
Additionally, the Governor issued a call to all retired doctors and nurses urging them to return to service if they are able to do so. A registration will be renewed at no cost for an individual who completes the questionnaire through the volunteer portal, set up by the state Department of Health, official say.
Finally, Cuomo also announced that regions that reach critical hospital capacity will be designated as a Red Zone under New York's micro-cluster strategy. Specifically, following the implementation of the state's "surge and flex" program, if a region's 7-day average hospitalization growth rate shows that the region will reach 90 percent within the next three weeks, the region will become a Red Zone.
"Right now, the data is showing us that the highest percent of hospitalization is actually upstate - Finger Lakes, that's Monroe, Rochester area. Buffalo, Western New York, Central New York. You come down to New York City, Long Island, we actually have a lower rate hospitalized than upstate, which is an exact flip of where we were in the spring. In the spring, we had a largely downstate situation and upstate the situation was much better," Cuomo said. "We've done a couple of things that are different than other states. In New York, the state sets all the policies and keeps numbers that are determinative of the policies. Now, we close down if you hit critical hospital capacity."