The struggling New York City restaurant industry was dealt a blow on Friday (Dec. 11) when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered indoor dining to cease effective Monday (Dec. 14) due to the acceleration of the coronavirus.
“You’re going to see a bad December, a bad January. How bad is the question,” Cuomo said during a news conference in Albany, per numerous news outlets. He added that he doesn’t anticipate the number of coronavirus cases leveling off until sometime in January.
“In New York City, you put the CDC caution on indoor dining, together with the rate of transmission and the density and the crowding, that is a bad situation. The hospitalizations have continued to increase in New York City,” Cuomo said.
New York surpassed 10,000 cases for the first time since the spring. As of Friday (Dec. 11), 1,668 people were hospitalized with the virus in New York City, and 5,321 people statewide.
Compared to the spring, however, hospitalizations requiring intensive care units are now 30 percent lower, Cuomo said. The average hospital stay is also down to five days from 11 days.
The governor added that restaurants can continue to offer takeout, curbside pickup and outdoor dining, and he called on the federal government for help. “The federal government must provide relief to these bars and restaurants in this next package,” Cuomo said.
He noted that indoor dining is responsible for 1.43 percent of the recent spread, but as much as 74 percent was caused by indoor gatherings in private homes.
Indoor dining resumed in New York City at the end of September after being closed in March when the state closed nonessential businesses due to the quickly spreading virus.
At Monday’s press briefing with Cuomo, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that there could be a “dark” January “without substantial mitigation.” Cuomo warned that if hospitalizations don’t stabilize, indoor dining in New York City would have to stop.