On Monday evening, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo suggested new standards for shuttering Indoor Diners, owing to the resurgence of cases in New York. In the next five days, if the citywide hospitalization rate doesn’t decline, indoor dining will, once again, be put on lock.
As New York state hit a recent high in daily deaths on Monday with a toll standing at 80, Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a new standard that ties regional hospitalization rates to indoor dining availability. Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who joined Cuomo at his briefing Monday, said he expects the post-holiday effect to fully materialize by mid-January. Without substantial mitigation, he says times could turn really dark.
As of Monday, New York state had 4,602 total hospitalizations, its highest total since May 22 but a mere fraction of the 19,000 or so admitted at the peak of the crisis. The state’s rate of transmission is about 1.2 right now, Cuomo said Monday, meaning every infected person infects more than one other person.
At the briefing yesterday, Cuomo referred to the new CDC guidance that identifies indoor dining as a key COVID spreader, the governor said dine-in would shut down completely in New York City, where it is currently open at 25 percent capacity if the citywide hospitalization rate doesn’t stabilize over the next five days.
“There’s no singular hospitalization rate threshold:, Cuomo said. “It’s simply a matter of avoiding further increase…Stabilization is stabilization. Where you are now — stabilize, instead of going up. If your hospitalization rate is 4 percent, instead of going from 4 to 5, you have to stay at 4 and stabilize. Right now it’s increasing.” If the current hospitalization trends hold, indoor dining could be closed in the five boroughs as early as next Monday, with no plans in place for a reopening scheduled as of now.
For the rest of the state, indoor dining would be reduced to 50 percent or 25 percent capacity if the regional hospitalization rates are unstable for more than five days. This excludes orange cluster zones, where indoor dining is already closed.