Neighborhoods in Staten Island, which has seen an uptick in coronavirus cases, will be labeled yellow zones, indicating a level of increased caution, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced at his press conference.
In yellow zones, houses of worship can open at 50% capacity, and schools and businesses remain open.
Staten Island’s positivity rate has been hovering between 3.8-4.8%, while Brooklyn’s is under 3%.
Cuomo did not specify which areas of Staten Island would fall under the yellow zone. He noted that many Staten Island residents work in New Jersey, and travel back and forth between New Jersey and New York daily. New Jersey is currently seeing a rise of coronavirus cases, as is Connecticut, which borders New York state.
“What we’re seeing is what they predicted for months,” Cuomo said. “New York is a ship on the COVID tide.”
The governor also stated that, in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, all restaurants, bars and exercise facilities will have to close by 10 PM. There are no restrictions on takeout or delivery for restaurants; the 10 PM curfew refers to sit-down dining only.
All personal gatherings will be capped at ten people. If a household already exceeds ten people, that is not an issue because all the individuals are already together. Any private gatherings with friends or others in a person’s home cannot exceed ten people. The limit until now had been 50 people.
Studies have shown eateries, gyms, and large private gatherings all have potential to become superspreaders. A recent outbreak on Long Island has been traced to one wedding party.
“It’s tough on bars and restaurants. It’s tough in gyms. It’s tough on everyone. It’s tough on everyone,” Cuomo said. “I would say we are within sight of the finish line. The vaccine has been discovered. It has to be perfected, it had to be operationalized, but we see the finish line.”
The new restrictions go into effect on Friday.
Updated Wednesday, November 11, 2020 at 4:26 pm .