Shutdowns loom as hospital cases rise in the city
The more the number of hospitalizations go up in the city due to COVID-19, the closer the city is to shutting down shopping and dining.
Mayor Bill De Blasio says it's inevitable that restrictions are on the way due to high numbers. Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is stressing the need to ensure hospital preparation.
The seven-day average in New York City shows 19% of hospital beds are available and 26% of ICU beds are available, according to Gov. Cuomo. The percentage of free ICU beds has dropped by 1% since Monday.
Earlier this week, the governor said restrictions would go into effect if that availability drops to 10%. Nonessential business would be shut down, including dining.
Mayor De Blasio said Tuesday he empathizes with the struggling business owners but feels it's the only way to get a handle on the numbers.
NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is also calling for a shutdown immediately -- but says there needs to be financial assistance.
"The type of help they need is not another two to three days of being open," Williams said. "They need support from the state and federal government to help pay their bills. We should focus on that, but not make it worse for everyone else by allowing more time for the virus to spread and any shutdown to have to happen for a longer time period."
The New York State Restaurant Association echoes the need for financial assistance for restaurant owners.