NEW YORK — Upper Manhattan and Staten Island are headed for renewed coronavirus restrictions this week as infection numbers continue to increase, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.
“We have several communities that are (on) the warning track,” he said at a Manhattan press conference.
“Parts of Staten Island will go into an orange zone. Parts of Staten Island will go into a red zone, at the current rate,” he warned. “Staten Island is a serious problem.”
The borough’s hospital system is coming under strain, Cuomo noted.
Upper Manhattan is at risk of becoming a “yellow zone,” as are Nassau and Suffolk County, he added.
“Unless they dramatically change the trajectory of the infection rate, this week they will go into those zones,” Cuomo said.
He was referring to the state’s color-coded system for applying rules to hot spots.
In “red zones,” all non-essential businesses close, restaurants can only do delivery and take-out, mass gatherings are not allowed, houses of worship are limited to 25% capacity and schools are closed, though they can reopen if students are tested and negative results are found.
In “orange zones,” “high-risk” businesses like gyms and salons are closed, restaurants are limited to outdoor dining, houses of worship are limited to 33% capacity and the same rules for schools apply as in red zones.
“Yellow zones” have more limited restrictions — houses of worship at 50% capacity, gatherings capped at 25 people and restaurants limited to four guests per table.
People wear personal protective equipment while maintaining social distancing as they wait in line for a COVID-19 test at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens.
People wear personal protective equipment while maintaining social distancing as they wait in line for a COVID-19 test at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens. (John Minchillo/AP Photo)
A large swath of Staten Island was categorized as a yellow zone earlier this month. Parts of Brooklyn and Queens have had yellow and orange zones for weeks. The Bronx also has two yellow zones.
Last week, the city abruptly ended in-person learning. Cuomo has imposed a 10 p.m. curfew on bars, restaurants and gyms in the Big Apple.
Statewide, 30 people died of COVID on Saturday, the governor said.
While authorities have urged people to avoid gatherings and travel for the holidays, Cuomo said the week after Thanksgiving could be decisive for the next stage of the outbreak.
“You could see our whole scale change by the time this is over,” he said. “I would not be shocked If they said on Jan. 10, Jan. 15, we’re up at 7, 8, 9, 10%. That could very easily happen if we are irresponsible.”
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