Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday warned that Upper Manhattan and parts of Staten Island and Long Island will revert to restricted COVID-19 areas this week.
Recently targeted areas suffer from alarmingly high rates of infection.
“We have many societies on the alarm track,” Cuomo said in a press briefing. “Right now … unless they drastically change the course of the infection rate, this week, they’re going to those areas.
“Parts of Staten Island will go into the orange zone. Parts of Staten Island will go into the red at the current rate.”
“Staten Island is a serious problem,” said Cuomo – last week the town faced an average seven-day infection rate of 4.5 percent, the highest in the city.
“Staten Island is also a hospital overburden problem, and we are facing a hospital capacity problem on Staten Island that we have to deal with in the coming days.”
Meanwhile, “Upper Manhattan will go to the Yellow Zone,” and so will Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island if the numbers’ trends do not change drastically, the governor added, without elaborating on the details that would affect the neighborhoods of Big Apple.
Yellow areas, less restricted, are limited to personal dining in restaurants with four people per table while overall indoor capacity remains 25 percent. New York City restaurants have already reached the internal limit of 25 percent.
Last week, the governor also ordered bars and restaurants with licenses to sell liquor to close at 10 pm every day in an effort to curb the rising infection rates.
Under the yellow zone restrictions, the number of indoor and outdoor gatherings could reach a maximum of 25 – although the governor has already issued an order exceeding that limit, saying last week that groups cannot exceed 10.
Houses of worship will remain 50 percent in yellow areas.
Cuomo said schools could remain open, but that there would be mandatory testing for 20 percent of staff and students within the school.
Public schools in New York City are currently closed due to the coronavirus surge, Mayor Bill de Blasio said last week.
In orange areas, indoor dining at restaurants will be suspended, while businesses deemed non-essential and high-risk, such as gyms and hair salons, will be closed. The capacity of the houses of worship will be reduced to 33 percent indoors, while gatherings will be limited to 10 people.
Cuomo said schools will operate remotely unless they follow a mandatory testing plan.
Under the most restrictive classification, Red, there would be a ban on even outdoor dining at restaurants, which would only go outside and deliver. All non-essential business will also be closed, and churches will have a maximum of 10 personal congregants.
Schools will switch remotely unless they agree to a mandatory testing plan.