Cuomo: Indoor dining in NYC could be shuttered if COVID-19 rates don't drop
Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a warning Monday that restrictions could be imposed if COVID-19 numbers keep climbing, including a shutdown of indoor dining in New York City.
The governor says if the hospitalization rate doesn't go down in five days, he will restrict indoor dining at restaurants. This would mean no indoor dining whatsoever in New York City, while elsewhere capacity would drop from 50% to 25%.
Restaurant owners say closing indoor dining could be catastrophic for business, which could lead to them laying off workers or closing altogether. Many say they've complied with every regulation handed down thus far.
State officials have asked hospitals to increase their bed capacity by 25% to deal with the increase of patients sick with COVID-19.
Cuomo has also asked retired doctors and other hospital workers to come out of retirement to help out with the increasing hospitalizations.
Cuomo also says if a certain area hits a critical hospital capacity of 90%, the state will enact New York Pause in that region.
As to why he'd restrict restaurants, Cuomo points to recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which say indoor dining presents a high risk of spreading COVID-19 because social distancing is hard to maintain.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says restaurant owners need help from the government so that they don't lose their business.
"Close the bars, keep the schools open is the best thing to do, so long as you subsidize the restaurateurs and the bar owners," he says.