Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new COVID restrictions on Wednesday, including requiring bars and restaurants with liquor licenses to close at 10:00 P.M., and limiting home gatherings to ten people.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced new COVID restrictions, citing a spike in virus numbers across the globe that may continue to rise over the holidays.
In a teleconference with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Cuomo said contact tracing efforts linked the state’s recent COVID-19 surge to three “main areas”: bars and restaurants, gyms and house parties.
“That’s where it’s coming from, primarily. And those are the ones that we can address,” he said.
According to the new guidelines, bars and restaurants licensed by the State Liquor Authority must not remain open for indoor activity past 10:00 PM. They may continue providing curbside pick up for food only after 10:00 PM.
Gyms must also close at 10:00 PM.
Cuomo also said that home gatherings may not exceed 10 people, as house parties are a “great spreader” of the virus.
These new guidelines will take effect on Friday.
“We’re seeing a global COVID surge and New York is a ship on the COVID tide,” Cuomo said. “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.”
“If that doesn’t work, if these numbers keep going crazy, you have some scientists who believe we’re going back to a close-down,” he added. “I’m just praying that doesn’t happen.”
New virus cases in New York and New Jersey have reportedly doubled in the past week alone.
Schools in NYC are once again at the brink of closure, as the city is seeing a 2.52 percent seven-day rolling positivity rate. Mayor De Blasio has said schools will have to temporarily switch to all-remote learning if it hits 3 percent.
Gov. Cuomo also announced that parts of Staten Island will now be classified as a Yellow Zone, a less restrictive classification. This would allow for non-essential businesses to remain open, however randomized weekly school testing of students and staff would be required in those areas.