New data from the Governor’s Office shows there were 4,820 positive COVID cases reported Tuesday. That’s 2.93 percent of tests taken.
“We’re seeing a national and global COVID surge. And New York is a ship on the COVID tide,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Starting 10 p.m. on Friday, new statewide restrictions will take effect. The first is that bars and restaurants must close their doors every night for dining at 10 p.m.
“In theory, indoor dining, outdoor dining you’re at a table, you only take down the mask to eat or drink, but what happens is that setting it’s very hard to police; it’s very hard for people to maintain the discipline of sitting and drinking and chatting and having a good time and laughing and keeping a mask on,” the Governor said.
Restaurants can serve food only by curbside pickup after 10 p.m.
In a statement Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) said:
“Today’s news is a huge blow to the restaurant industry that is desperately trying to stay afloat. Our members have put in place procedures and protocols to mitigate the spread, and we’ll continue to do so to ensure the safety of our employees and patrons. We understand the logic behind micro-cluster restrictions, but at this time we have concerns about blanket statewide restrictions like this.”
Gyms also must close at 10 p.m. every night.
And parties at private residences must be capped at 10 people.
“Halloween parties, football parties, just ‘let’s get together and have a party.’ This is the third, one of the three great spreaders, as identified by our contact tracing,” the Governor said.
During Wednesday’s press briefing, the Governor was asked what he would say to establishments that are following the rules but are now faced with further restrictions.
“Look, it’s tough on bars and restaurants, it’s tough on gyms, it’s tough on everyone… I would say we are within sight of the finish line. The vaccine has been discovered, it has to be perfected, it has to be operationalized, but we see the finish line,” he said.
New York isn’t the only state tightening its COVID related rules. Vermont is requiring a 14-day quarantine for out of state travel or seven days with a PCR test.