ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new rules for bars, restaurants, gyms, and private social gatherings during a conference call with media Wednesday.
The governor announced the following data:
- 164,300 COVID-19 tests conducted in New York state Tuesday
- 4,820 new cases
- 2.9% positivity rate statewide
- 4.9% positivity rate in microcluster hotspots
- 2.5% positivity rate outside microcluster hotspots
- 21 new deaths Tuesday
- 1,628 New Yorkers hospitalized with the virus
- 304 in ICU
- 135 intubated
The governor said cases are rising statewide, and across the nation, which he says scientists predicted for the fall during the summer.
“What we’re seeing is what they predicted for months — for anyone who is listening the scientists,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We’re seeing a national and global COVID surge and New York is a ship on the COVID tide. Today we’ve seen the country set a new record in terms of COVID cases, believe it or not. The old record was established on April 15 so it is really getting much, much worse by the day.”
The governor said the state is taking action to reduce the spread. The governor announced that:
- Any bar, restaurant, or establishment with New York State Liquor Authority license must close for dine-in by 10 p.m. Takeout and pickup only after 10 p.m.
- Gyms must close by 10 p.m.
- Private house gatherings reduced to 10 people
Gov. Cuomo said these rules go into effect on Friday at 10 p.m.
The governor said the restaurant and bar closure time impacts any establishment with a NYSLA license, and he used bowling alleys as an example of other kinds of businesses impacted by the new rules.
“If you look at where the cases are coming from, if you do the contact tracing, you’ll see they are coming from three main areas and we’re going to act on those three areas,” Gov. Cuomo said. “First is bars and restaurants, so we are going to have a requirement that statewide New York State SLA-licensed establishments close at 10 p.m.
“That’s one of the main spreaders of COVID,” Gov. Cuomo said. “In theory, indoor dining, outdoor dining, you are at a table, you only take down the mask to eat or drink, but what happens in that setting it’s very hard to police. I’s very hard for people to maintain the discipline.”
To reiterate, the governor said pickup and takeout could resume at dining establishments past 10 p.m. He added gyms will have the same 10 p.m. closure time.
“Gyms have to close at 10 p.m. Gyms are also identified as a spreading element,” Gov. Cuomo said.
The governor said the state would also reduce the limit of people who could attend private social gatherings, an idea he said he was borrowing from neighboring states.
“The states surrounding us have done something that I think is intelligent, and we’re going to follow suit because I try to keep symmetry with the surrounding states whenever possible,” Gov. Cuomo said. “States around us have capped parties at private residences to no more than 10 people in a residence, unless your household happens to be more than 10, then it’s your household, but Halloween parties, football parties — this is the third one of the three great spreaders as identified by our contact tracing. So the states around us have done this. We’re going to do it also because again symmetry.”
The governor said rules can only do so much, and he once again called on New Yorkers to comply in an effort to flatten the curve. He added that local governments will need to be active in the enforcement of the new rules.
“You can make rules, the rules are only as good as the enforcement,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Local governments are in charge of enforcement. There are only two fundamental truths in this situation: individual discipline and government enforcement.
“This is statewide, I don’t have the resources to do it,” Gov. Cuomo said. “So I need the local government to do it. I need the NYPD to do it in New York City: 150 sheriffs is not enough to do all COVID safety for airports, borders, trains, buses, restaurants. So I need local enforcement to do it because the rules are only as good as the enforcement.”
When asked about how new restrictions might hamper local economies, the governor emphasized the aspect of public health.
“Money can be replaced. Losing a loved one hurts forever,” Gov. Cuomo said.
Each region’s percentage of positive test results reported over the last three days is as follows:
|Central New York||3.2%||5.7%||3.2%|
|Rochester & Finger Lakes||4.8%||3.8%||4.6%|
|New York City||2.5%||2.4%||2.8%|
|Western New York||5.3%||5.7%||4.4%|
News 8 checked in with Barry’s Irish Pub, a local bar in the village of Webster. Danny Barry, the pub’s owner, had already been closing early as a safety precaution.
“One of the things that we’ve learned is that you can only control what you can control,” said Barry, “So every time there’s a new rule that comes into place you have to go above and beyond it. And so again as a community we’ll do that together.”