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Bars and restaurants are largest growing cluster of COVID in New York, officials say

Bars and restaurants is the largest growing cluster of known COVID cases in New York, Gov Cuomo’s office says – as Big Apple braces for indoor dining to shut due to rising hospitalizations

  • Bars and restaurants are currently the fifth or sixth highest category when it comes to contact tracing for COVID-19 cases, Cuomo’s office says 
  • Cuomo’s budget director Robert Mujica said Wednesday that the dining category was the fastest growing cluster of known cases 
  • Neither Cuomo or Mujica elaborated on what the other categories are
  • The comments were made after Cuomo was asked to provide specific data linking the spread of COVID-19 to indoor dining 
  • It comes after Cuomo warned this week that he would curtail indoor dining if hospitalizations don’t stabilize by Sunday 

New York government officials say bars and restaurants are currently in the largest growing cluster of known COVID-19 infections in the state after Gov Andrew Cuomo warned he would stop indoor dining if hospitalizations keep rising.

Bars and restaurants are currently the fifth or sixth highest category when it comes to contact tracing for COVID-19 cases, according to Cuomo’s budget director Robert Mujica.

He said during Cuomo’s daily press briefing on Wednesday that the dining category was the fastest growing.  

‘The largest growing cluster of known infections is traced back to bars and restaurants,’ he said during Cuomo’s daily press briefing on Wednesday. 

‘It make sense that as it gets colder and you move into indoor dining those numbers are growing faster than every other category.’ 

New York government officials say bars and restaurants are currently in the largest growing cluster of known COVID-19 infections in the state after Gov Andrew Cuomo warned he would stop indoor dining if hospitalizations keep rising

Neither Cuomo or Mujica elaborated on what the other categories are. 

The comments were made after Cuomo was asked to provide specific data linking the spread of COVID-19 to indoor dining following some backlash from the hospitality industry over his threat to curb it. 

Cuomo said restrictions, including 25 percent capacity, mask wearing and plexiglass, had reduced transmission.

But he said it was ‘still a source of spread’.

Indoor dining resumed at a reduced capacity of 50% in New York City at the end of October. 

Coumo’s office said it would release an overview of the link between coronavirus and indoor dining this week. 

He quoted CDC guidance released last week that urged states to avoid all non-essential indoor spaces. 

‘Indoor venues where distancing is not maintained and consistent use of face masks is not possible (eg: restaurant dining) have been identified as particularly high risk scenarios,’ Cuomo said citing the updated guidance.

The comments were made after Cuomo was asked to provide specific data linking the spread of COVID-19 to indoor dining following some backlash from the hospitality industry over his threat to curb it

It comes after Cuomo warned this week that he would curtail indoor dining if hospitalizations don’t stabilize by Sunday. 

The average positivity rate in New York City is currently 4.8 percent. Across the state, the rate was at 5.4 percent as of yesterday. 

Total COVID hospitalizations statewide are at 4,993 as of today. 

Cuomo previously vowed not to close the entire city down as a whole, saying instead he’d take a neighborhood-by-neighborhood approach. But on Monday, after being told by NYC officials that a zip code plan wouldn’t work, he broadened the scope.

He now says he’ll give it until the weekend to decide if he’ll end indoor dining in New York City, where only 25 percent capacity is currently allowed. In other parts of the state where 50 percent capacity is allowed, he will reduce it to 25 percent.   

He will also impose stricter lockdowns if hospitals reach 90 percent capacity, which is expected soon with many cases of COVID-19 expected to be reported from Thanksgiving.

Every hospital has now been told to add 25 percent capacity to avoid getting close to their limit. If they hit a 90 percent capacity, Cuomo says he’ll shut down other non-essential businesses like offices, gyms, nail salons and barber shops.

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