With the post-holiday COVID-19 surge a thing of the past, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has lifted certain economic restrictions that had been placed on certain areas where the infection rate spiked before the holiday season.
Cuomo announced on Wednesday, Jan. 27 that he was lifting all of the state’s COVID-19 “orange zones,” while only four “yellow zones” remain in effect as the state adjusts to the data surrounding the virus.
Yellow zones remain in parts of Newburgh (Orange County), Queens, Washington Heights (Manhattan), and the Bronx.
Cuomo said the state will continue to monitor those areas, and the restrictions could be lifted, and if the situation changes elsewhere across the state, other communities could find themselves back in a yellow zone.
In a yellow zone, there are additional restrictions placed on indoor dining, limits on religious or social gatherings, and schools must conduct more student testing. All other requirements that were put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic also remain in effect.
“It’s safe to say the holiday surge was anticipated … the holiday surge happened … and now the holiday surge is over,” he said during a COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday. “We’ve seen a dramatic turn all across the board, and we’ve seen a sharp drop in both orange and yellow zones.
“So in those orange and yellow zones, the restrictions are lifted.”
Cuomo noted that in each of the state’s 10 regions, after spiking earlier this month, the infection rate, rate of transmission, and hospitalization rate has all precipitously dropped, which allowed the Department of Health to lift the restrictions in those zones.
“We make our decisions based on the facts we have today. We know we’re talking about peoples’ livelihoods and the economy and billions of dollars,” he said. “We anticipated this surge, and now it’s over, but we’re not back to where we were.
“I think these measures are justified,” Cuomo continued. “They were taken because of the surge that was coming, it’s over, and we’re making our decisions on the facts from today.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.