New Adjustments to NYS on PAUSE

After announcing last week that the State would be shifting it’s focus from positive test rates to hospitalization rates, in an attempt to keep hospitals from being overrun by future COVID-19 surges, Governor Cuomo announced new metrics today that would place a region back into NYS on PAUSE protocols. Regions that reach critical hospital capacity will be designated as a Red Zone under New York’s micro-cluster strategy. Specifically, following the implementation of the state’s “surge and flex” program, if a region’s 7-day average hospitalization growth rate shows that the region will reach 90% hospital capacity within the next three weeks, the region will become a Red Zone.

Indoor Dining in Jeopardy

Following updated guidance from the CDC, the Governor announced that if a region’s hospitalization rate does not stabilize in the next five days, additional restrictions will be applied to indoor dining. If the hospitalization rate does not stabilize in New York City in the next five days, indoor dining will be suspended; if the rate does not stabilize in regions outside New York City, capacity restrictions will be reduced to 25 percent. He noted that the New York City hospitalization rate, which is currently at 3%, would remain at 25% capacity if the rate remains flat.

In regions outside of the City where a microcluster zone is not in effect, indoor dining capacity would be reduced from 50% to 25%. Restaurants would be allowed “a couple of days” to recalibrate their business to follow these new protocols.

Surge & Flex In Action

The State today will begin implementing the previously announced “surge and flex” protocol, mandating that all hospitals begin expanding their bed capacity by 25% in preparation of a future COVID-19 surge. Hospitals had previously been preparing plans for this action as part of New York’s Winter COVID Plan. Additionally, the Governor issued a call to all retired doctors and nurses urging them to return to service if they are able to do so.

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

The statewide positivity rate yesterday was 4.79%. There were 80 COVID-19 deaths in New York State yesterday.