ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Closing time for bars and restaurants in New York has been extended an extra hour.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that starting Sunday February 14, bars and restaurants can remain open until 11 p.m. statewide due to the continuing decline of COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates.
“Our decisions are based on science and data and we adjust as the virus adjusts. The infection rate and hospitalizations have continued to significantly decline,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. “Accordingly, we have adjusted with arena and catering hall openings with rigorous testing and limited capacity indoor dining openings in New York City. We will also move the restaurant and bar closing hour from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. statewide on Sunday. We will continue to follow the science and react accordingly. If we keep the infections down and vaccinations up, we will continue to stay ahead in the footrace against this invisible enemy.”
Chuck Cerankosky owns Restaurant Good Luck. He said extending the closing time is step in the right direction, but hopes it’s lifted altogether soon. “I would hope closing times would be forgotten about and left alone because it does make scheduling and staffing and revenue more difficult to achieve. I would like to see those hours removed before other restrictions are removed.”
Dozens of restaurants and bars in Monroe and Erie County have sued the state over the curfew. A judge originally issued a temporary restraining order, lifting the curfew for those who were part of the lawsuit. However on Wednesday, the curfew was reinstated for those in the lawsuit.
Now a second group of restaurants, including Windjammers in Charlotte, is suing too.
“It’s really sad when you got a full bar everybody in the chairs and everything and 10 minutes to 10 you gotta go, you gotta leave, it’s disgusting. This lawsuit I think it’s too bad we have to do it through a lawsuit but we have to bring attention to us,” said Lee Selover, the owner of Windjammers.
Now last call will be at 11 instead of 10 but many restaurants and bars are typically open until midnight or 2 a.m. Scott Thyroff owns Pittsford Pub.
“The extra hour helps, it seems like every night of the week at quarter to 10 I’m turning up the lights turning the TVs off cause we still have people sitting at the bar so I’m sure they would continue to stay if we were able to stay open longer, so at least now we get another hour out of it,” Thyroff said.
The restaurants in the first round of the lawsuit are in court again on Tuesday to try to reverse the curfew again.
The 10 p.m. curfew has been in effect across New York state since November 11, 2020.
COVID-19 orange and yellow zone restrictions were lifted in the Finger Lakes Region and across upstate New York in late January, but some limitations remained still in place — including curfews for bars and restaurants.
New York’s seven day rolling average of positive cases on Friday was 4.04% with 7,068 patients hospitalized, a decline in 274 patients. An additional 834 patients were discharged from the hospital and 135 patients passed away, raising the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 36,882.
The regional hospital bed capacity and occupancy numbers, including the number of hospitalizations as a percent of the region’s population, is as follows:
|Region||COVID Patients Currently in Hospital in Region||COVID Patients as Percent of Region Population||Percent of Hospital Beds Available Within 7 Days Under Surge Plan|
|Central New York||155||0.02%||31%|
|New York City||3,560||0.04%||30%|
|Western New York||331||0.02%||35%|
The regional ICU bed capacity and occupancy numbers are as follows:
|Region||Total ICU Beds in Region||Total Occupied ICU Beds in Region||Percent of ICU Beds Available in Region (7-day Avg)|
|Central New York||262||179||29%|
|New York City||2,599||2,086||20%|
|Western New York||545||347||37%|
Yesterday, 237,134 test results were reported to New York State, and 3.54 percent were positive. Each region’s 7-day average percentage of positive test results reported over the last three days is as follows:
|Central New York||1.85%||1.79%||1.74%|
|New York City||5.08%||4.95%||4.75%|
|Western New York||4.04%||3.51%||3.57%|
Each New York City borough’s 7-day average percentage of positive test results reported over the last three days is as follows:
Of the 1,512,690 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows:
|County||Total Positive||New Positive|
Yesterday, 135 New Yorkers died due to COVID-19 in New York State, bringing the total to 36,882. A geographic breakdown is as follows, by county of residence:
|Deaths by County of Residence|