New York City Indoor Dining Will Close on Monday

During his COVID-19 update, Governor Cuomo today announced that indoor dining in New York City restaurants will close beginning Monday, December 14. Outdoor dining, takeout and delivery will be permitted to continue in the City. The Governor stated that this decision was based on CDC guidance on indoor dining and the City’s hospitalization rate, population density and rate of COVID-19 transmission.

Mayor de Blasio today announced New York City is fully in a second coronavirus wave due to all three of the City’s most important pandemic tracking stats now surpassing their thresholds. These trackers are the number of COVID-19 cases in the City, the infection positivity rate and the number of new people checking into hospitals with COVID-like symptoms. Mayor de Blasio also relayed the City’s vaccination efforts, including launching a Vaccine Command Center near City Hall on Monday to ensure vaccination efforts run smoothly and equitably.

Outside of New York City and in orange zones, the State will continue to monitor indoor dining data and make policy adjustments in these areas as necessary. Finally, the Governor called on the federal government to provide bars and restaurants with financial relief.

Commercial Eviction Moratorium Extended

The Governor today announced an extension of New York State’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures. This moratorium currently sunsets on January 1, 2021. The Governor did not announce the length of today’s extension.

Gym and Salon Operation in Orange Zones

Based on current data, the Governor today announced that gyms and salons in orange zones will be permitted to operate with reduced capacity and increased COVID testing. Gyms and salons in orange zones will be allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity (reduced from 33 percent), while their employees will have to be tested weekly instead of bi-weekly.

Adjusted Metrics for Red, Orange and Yellow Zones

The Governor today stated that COVID-related restrictions in New York State will be based on data including positivity rates, hospitalization rates and capacities, population density and rate of transmission, and the risk level of economic activity. Accordingly, the State’s red, orange and yellow zone criteria has been updated and will be determined as follows:

  • Red Zone: Declared when a region is within 21 days of reaching 90 percent hospital capacity.  NY on Pause would be applied to such regions, resulting in the closing of all businesses except those designated as essential.
  • Orange Zone: Declared when an area has a 4 percent positivity rate over the past 10 days while reaching 85 percent of hospital capacity, or if the NYS Department of Health determines that the region has an unacceptably high rate of hospital admissions.
  • Yellow Zone: Declared when an area has a 3 percent positivity rate over the past 10 days and a cluster is in the top 10 percent for hospital admissions per capita over the past week and week-over-week growth in daily admissions.

Using these metrics, the State may announce any new zones on Monday, December 14.

New Statewide Hospital Rules

The Governor announced that hospitals must remain below 85% of their bed capacity either by adding 25 percent capacity or reducing elective surgeries, or by combining both approaches. Hospitals also must have a 90-day stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE).

New York State Approves Pfizer Vaccine

The Governor today announced that the NYS Clinical Advisory Task Force unanimously has approved the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. This approval permits the distribution and administration of the vaccine according to the State’s previously announced plan, which can be found here.

In addition to the 170,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that are expected imminently, the State expects to receive 346,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine during the week of December 21.

Statewide Contact Tracing Data

The Governor today discussed contact tracing data across New York State.  According to the State, approximately 74 percent of New Yorkers’ exposures to COVID-19 during September through November came from private household gatherings.  The State’s data chart can be found below:

New York State COVID-19 Numbers The statewide positivity rate yesterday was 4.98% with 5,321 hospitalizations, an increase of 157. There were 87 COVID-19 deaths in New York State yesterday.