New York will order bars and restaurants with state liquor licenses closed at 10 p.m. along with gyms, and limit indoor gatherings to 10 people, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
“If these measures are not sufficient to stem the spread, we will turn the valve more,” Cuomo said Wednesday during a call with reporters to brief them on the coronavirus. The rules, which begin Friday, came as cases jumped to the highest since April.
Cuomo said he is hoping to avoid a full lockdown. The state has seen a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in recent weeks with kids returning to school and colder weather keeping more people indoors. Bars, restaurants, gyms and small parties are big contributors. “If you look at where the cases are coming from, you see they’re coming from three main areas and we’re going to act on those three areas,” the governor said.
On Wednesday, New York reported 4,820 additional virus cases and 21 deaths. At the beginning of September it was reporting between 700 and 800 daily cases. The rate of positive tests has climbed to 2.9%, from less than 1%. The state has 1,628 people hospitalized for Covid, twice as many as a month ago.
The state’s elevated infection rates are especially pronounced in areas adjacent to New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, where outbreaks are more severe than in New York, the governor said. He decided to impose the 10 p.m. restriction to avoid traffic from New Jersey, where Governor Phil Murphy has ordered a similar limit, Cuomo said.
“Scientists predicted a national and global surge, and New York is a ship on the Covid tide,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo called upon New York City’s police department to enforce the 10 p.m. closures and other restrictions, saying the state didn’t have enough resources to ensure enforcement.
“The rules are only as good as individual discipline and local enforcement,” he said.
As for the restrictions’ economic consequences, Cuomo said: “It’s been hard on everyone and it’s been hardest on those families who have lost a loved one. Losing money hurts, but losing a loved one lasts forever.”
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