Bill de Blasio says NYC will face new COVID-19 restrictions in a ‘matter of days’ after Gov. Cuomo warns indoor dining will shut if hospitalizations don’t stabilize – as Mayor says it’s NOT just Staten Island contributing to surge
- Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that NYC will face new COVID-19 restrictions within days but would not elaborate on what they would be
- He doubled down on Gov Andrew Cuomo’s warning a day earlier that restaurants will have to stop indoor dining if hospitalization rates don’t stabilize
- De Blasio was specifically asked whether Staten Island would face tougher restrictions than other boroughs because it has a higher positivity rate
- He said that while Staten Island’s numbers were worrisome, the problem was more widespread than that specific borough
- In Manhattan the positivity rate is 2.56% whereas it is 6.3% in Staten Island
De Blasio would not elaborate on what those new restrictions would be during his daily press briefing on Tuesday.
He just doubled down on Gov Andrew Cuomo‘s warning a day earlier that restaurants will have to stop indoor dining if hospitalization rates don’t stabilize within five days.
‘I do expect restrictions in a matter of days and, from there, we’ll see what else needs to be done,’ de Blasio said.
Despite saying the city was in constant contact with Cuomo’s office, de Blasio offered no further specifics on what restrictions would be coming.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said new COVID-19 restrictions were coming in a ‘matter of days’ but he would not elaborate on what those new restrictions would be during his daily press briefing on Tuesday
‘No one is happy about it. I feel for the small businesses that might be affected… but this health situation has to be addressed. I do think we’re going to see new restrictions coming,’ De Blasio said.
‘We want people to have their livelihoods, we want people to be able to have their jobs but we have to stop this new surge that we’re facing. This is the last big battle.’
De Blasio was specifically asked whether Staten Island would face tougher restrictions than other boroughs because it has a higher positivity rate.
‘We’re definitely seeing some distressing numbers in Staten Island. The problem goes far beyond on Staten Island,’ he said.
The city-wide test positivity rate in New York City is currently 4 percent and it varies between boroughs. In Manhattan it is 2.56 percent but it is 6.3 percent in Staten Island.
During the initial peak of the pandemic in the spring, New York City’s hospitalizations were at 12,000. Currently, there are 1,416 patients hospitalized across the city.
The percentage of positive tests in New York over a seven-day rolling average is 4.9 percent
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.
New York City has one of the lowest hospitalizations per capita rate though in the state. The current rate means that 0.02 percent of NYC’s population is in the hospital with COVID, whereas that number is 0.05 percent in the Finger Lakes and 0.04 percent in Western New York.
New York has one of the lowest infection rates in the country but a recent significant rise in cases hospital admissions has worried authorities.
De Blasio said that NYC would receive its first batch of a COVID-19 vaccine by next week.
‘We are 10 months into this crisis. But for the first time, we can really see the end in sight,’ he said.
‘Why? Because the vaccine is coming next week. Next week, the vaccine will be here in New York City, because the vaccine is being produced in huge quantities for this city and for this whole country.’
Cuomo has previously said the state will receive about 170,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine on December 15.
An FDA advisory group is expected to approve Pfizer’s vaccine on Thursday.
De Blasio said that widespread vaccine distribution was key to NYC’s recovery.
‘This is the final phase of the war against coronavirus,’ de Blasio said. ‘We have one more big battle ahead.’