New York City is set to enter Phase 3 of reopening its economy as of Monday, July 6, though it’s unclear whether reopening indoor dining will be advisable, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
During a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing on Monday, June 29 in Manhattan, Cuomo said that the state is monitoring the data and will make a determination this week on how to best move forward with indoor dining in the densely populated New York City.
“One of the issues we're working on in New York, indoor dining has shown that it has been problematic,” Cuomo said. “That a virus spreads in closed, indoor areas that have air-conditioning systems.
“We know that indoor dining has been problematic. Outdoor dining has worked very well all across the state, New York City included. The state's going to be reviewing the data and consulting with stakeholders in New York City.”
Cuomo said that he and his health experts expect to make a decision on indoor dining no later than Wednesday, July 1.
“We're not going backward, we're going forwards,” he said during the briefing. “A lot of these other states have actually had to go backward. They started to reopen and they had to stop.
“I’m talking to businesses about it, but, we want to study this issue primarily New York City on indoor dining and we'll have a final decision by Wednesday so people who operate those types of businesses will know what we're doing.”
Cuomo said that on Sunday, June 28, 46,428 more New Yorkers were tested for COVID-19, with 391 (0.84 percent) coming back positive, the lowest number to date. The three-day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths in New York is down to eight, also the lowest since the pandemic broke out more than three months ago.
"This nation ... this state ... we're figuring it out as we go. My MO has always been to get all the information you can, study the other states and see what's happening before making a decision," he said. "It's not just indoor dining alone, it's indoor dining in New York City, where you already had issues with high congregations (of people).
"There have been issues of people clearly violating social distancing, and you now have the added factor of a viral spread all across the nation and high likelihood those people will come to New York City."
There are currently 853 COVID-19 patients in the state still hospitalized after peaking at 18,825 in April. A breakdown of the five day rolling average of New York City residents tested for the virus, by borough, can be found above.
“The increase in viral spread across the nation is also a problem. Especially in New York City,” Cuomo stated. “New York City is where most of the flights come. New York City is where most of the travelers come.
“We have offered help to any state that is experiencing a spike. We have personnel who know this better than anyone in the United States,” he added. “We learned it the hard way. We have the equipment. We have the testing capacity.
“Any state that needs help, we stand ready. I will never forget how good this country was to New York when we needed help. The door swings both ways in life. Relationships work both ways.”
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