ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Members of the Democratic Caucus in the Monroe County Legislature are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to institute more “equitable policy” for restaurants impacted by the state’s COVID-19 zone designations.

Due to a high positivity rate for coronavirus, portions of Monroe County have been under an orange zone designation since late November, which prohibits indoor dining.

Caucus members say restaurants in both zones are facing difficulties with the state’s restrictions, but orange zone businesses are being hit even hard — businesses like Jine’s Restaurant on Park Avenue which has temporarily closed.

MORE | Check which COVID-19 zone you’re in with this online tool

“Jines is a beloved staple of Park Avenue for decades,” said Legislator Linda Hasma (D-23) in a press release. “This is a wake-up call that we must do more to protect our restaurants that are a big part of the identity and flavor of our neighborhoods.”

Caucus members say the zone restrictions are unfair, in that businesses in the orange can’t open for indoor dining while residents can drive just a few minutes away to eat out at businesses in the yellow zone. The state has not updated its zone designations in weeks, even as Monroe County’s whole positivity rate has been steadily rising since late November when the zones were initiated.

Caucus members say the state or federal government should compensate restaurants forced to close during the pandemic, and thy say the state should make all of Monroe County the same COVID-19 zone.

“It’s clear we could lose many of our restaurants by the end of the year. Let’s come up with a
better way to protect the small businesses and public health,” said Minority Leader Yversha
Roman (D-26).