Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a slate of new restrictions targeting restaurants, bars, gyms and private home gathering, right before Thanksgiving's day holiday. He also established a yellow micro-cluster zone within Staten Island.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this new slate of new restrictions targeting restaurants, bars, gyms and private home gatherings Wednesday; he also established a yellow micro-cluster zone within Staten Island . He also updated New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A rise in cases during the fall and winter was to be expected and New Yorkers are urged to wear masks, socially distance and wash their hands and to be wary of gatherings.
The stark developments come amid a U.S. surge that continues unabated; at the current rate, the nation could see 20 million cases by Christmas, almost 2x its highest-in-the-globe total now, NBC says
New York State's position during the pandemic is affected by an ongoing surge of COVID-19 throughout the United States. According to Johns Hopkins University, New York State has had the nation's third-lowest positivity rate over the past week, behind Vermont and Maine.
"While New York's COVID positivity remains the third-lowest in the nation, we continue to see increases in both new positive cases and hospital admissions, demonstrating we are not immune to the surge we are seeing throughout the rest of the nation," Governor Cuomo said. "While we may be tired of COVID, it is not tired of us. It's clear that COVID fatigue and a lack of compliance leads to viral spread, so it's more important than ever that as we prepare for winter, each of us stays smart and New York Tough by taking simple everyday actions like washing hands, wearing masks and socially distancing. Likewise, local governments need to be vigilant and actively enforce public health law throughout the state."
NEW TARGETED RESTRICTIONS
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has imposed a new slate of restrictions on three key sources of COVID spread in New York, citing spiraling viral rates in the nation and across the globe that threaten to exacerbate numbers locally as the holidays approach:
The governor announced today but they take effect Friday.
Bars, restaurants and bowling alleys, must close indoor areas at 10 p.m.; they can do curbside food-only pickup afterward. (Any establishment licensed by the State Liquor Authority must adhere)
Gyms must also close at 10 p.m.
Small social gatherings at private homes are capped at 10.
Because, they are "great spreader" identified by contract tracing, Cuomo said. This starts Friday too
Local governments will be tasked with enforcement, which is in and of itself an ongoing point of contention between the New York state and local municipalities.
"If these measures aren't sufficient to slow the spread, we will turn the valve more and part of that would be reducing the number of people in indoor dining," Cuomo said, referring to the current 50 percent statewide capacity cap excluding NYC, where it's 25 percent. "If that doesn't work, if numbers keep going crazy, there are some scientists who believe we should close down. I hope that doesn't happen."
A new study from Stanford University suggests a handful of venues have played a large role in the spread of COVID-19. The study also suggests capping maximum occupancy at 20 percent could reduce infections by 80.
"We're seeing a global COVID surge and New York is a ship on the COVID tide," the governor added. "Today, we've seen the country set a new record in terms of COVID cases. It is really getting much, much worse by the day."
New reported cases in New York and New Jersey have nearly doubled in just the last week.
Mayor Bill de Blasio reporting a 2.52 percent seven-day rolling positivity rate as of Wednesday. That marks a 14 percent increase in the last two days. De Blasio has said schools will have to switch all-remote for a time if it hits 3 percent.
The mayor has cited parts of Staten Island as being particularly problematic; on Wednesday, Cuomo said he would transition a narrow geographic area of that borough to a yellow zone, which mandates randomized weekly school testing of students and staff but allows nonessential businesses to remain open. He indicated Staten Island's rising rates could be due to its proximity to New Jersey.
New York reported nearly 5,000 new COVID cases Wednesday (4,820), nearly half the number it was seeing daily at the peak of the crisis and a 21.5 percent increase over the previous day. The daily positivity rate dipped slightly, to 2.9 percent, on Wednesday. The seven-day rolling positivity rate, which provides a more accurate picture over time, is at its highest level (2.43 percent) since May 31.
In New York City, the rolling rate hit 2.52 percent Wednesday. A day earlier, de Blasio doubled down on his threat to move schools all-remote if it reaches 3 percent. Large-scale closures could be on tap if it continues to climb above that.
The city's daily case average has also soared considerably since the start of November. Last week, it hit 600 for the first time since early June. By Wednesday, it was 817. It has climbed every single day since Oct. 30, city data shows.
The numbers are nowhere near what they were in April, at the peak of the crisis, officials emphasize.
One in every 800 New Yorkers has tested positive in the last week.
Daily Percentage of Positive Tests by New York Region
Gov. Andrew Cuomo breaks the state into 10 regions for testing purposes and tracks positivity rates to identify potential hotspots. Here's the latest tracking data by region and for the five boroughs.
What You Need to Know
New travel guidelines are in effect that allow out-of-state travelers to “test out” of the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
A new cluster action initiative is addressing COVID-19 hot spots that have cropped up across the state.
Go to New York's COVID Report Card hosted by the Department of Health to find COVID-19 positive case data for every school district in the state.
Movie theaters outside of New York City can reopen starting October 23 at 25% capacity with no more than 50 people allowed in front of each screen. Theaters can only open outside of New York City in counties that have COVID-19 positivity rates of less than 2% on a 14-day average and do not have any cluster zones.
Ski resorts can reopen with 50 percent indoor capacity and with strict health and safety protocols under state-issued guidance starting Friday, November 6.
To report violations of health and safety restrictions and requirements for businesses, gatherings and individuals, please choose the appropriate link below:
Go to forward.ny.gov to find: Industry guidance on re-opening; regional dashboards for monitoring how the virus is being contained; and information on loans for small businesses.
New Yorkers without health insurance can apply through NY State of Health through December 31, 2020; must apply within 60 days of losing coverage.
Health care workers can text NYFRONTLINE to 741-741 to access 24/7 emotional support services. Any New Yorker can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling.