Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced new restrictions on businesses and social events on Staten Island and imposed a 10 pm curfew on restaurants, bars and gyms statewide in response to a significant uptick in coronavirus infections.
Additionally, Cuomo announced a new 10-person cap on parties and other gatherings in private residences, including apartments and houses.
The restaurant and gym rules take effect Friday at 10 pm.
Eateries will have to clear customers out by 10 p.m. However, their kitchens can remain open for takeout and delivery, a Cuomo official later clarified.
And if that doesn’t work, the three-term governor threatened that further measures could be on the table — including nixing indoor dining at bars and restaurants — to get the spread of COVID-19 back under control.
“If these measures aren’t sufficient to reduce the spread — we’ll turn the valve more and part of that would be reducing the number of people indoor dining,” Cuomo told reporters during a Veterans Day press briefing.
“If that doesn’t work, if these numbers keep going crazy … you will go back to a closedown,” he said, of indoor dining and gyms.
Restaurants will only be able to remain open after 10 pm for takeout meals and delivery service.
Cuomo’s slew of announcements came as the state reported that 2.9 percent of tests from across the state came back positive Tuesday. The rate only fell to 2.5 percent when removing the state’s COVID ‘hot zones,” another worrisome sign of the disease’s potentially wider spread.
In the five boroughs, the picture is also continuing to worsen — though Gotham remains in relatively better shape.
Figures from the city Health Department show that the average positivity rate for coronavirus tests taken over the last seven days has climbed to 2.52 percent — the highest rate since the Big Apple recorded a 2.61 percent positivity rate on June 9.
New York’s new COVID headache comes as the virus continues to spread out of control in many other parts of the country and is still killing more than 1,000 people daily.
All told, 241,000 have perished since the outbreak began in March, including more than 24,000 in New York City alone.
Cuomo said the State Liquor Authority will take the lead on enforcing the new rules, but admitted there are not enough state agents to patrol New York City — and, again, hammered Mayor Bill de Blasio for not using the 34,000-strong NYPD to enforce social distancing measures.
“I think this should be a relatively simple activity because, what’s the alternative? We’re going to run New York City without the NYPD? Doesn’t work! Doesn’t work on any level,” Cuomo told reporters during the Veterans Day briefing. “One hundred and fifty sheriffs are going to substitute for 33,000 NYPD? Doesn’t work. It is an impossible situation.”
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