ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new rules for gyms, bars and restaurants in New York State in a conference call on Wednesday afternoon, as coronavirus cases continue to rise statewide.
Testing data released Wednesday indicated a 2.93% positivity rate statewide. The positivity rate in New York's clusters-- which includes part of Erie County-- was 4.96%.
Starting Friday, gyms must close at 10 p.m. bars and restaurants must close at 10 p.m. to dine-in customers, but can continue to offer curbside pickup after 10.
NYS is taking action to stop the spread in response to rising COVID numbers.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) November 11, 2020
Any establishment with a state liquor license, including bars and restaurants, must close at 10pm.
Gyms must also close at 10pm.
These new statewide rules will take effect Friday, 10pm.
The announcement affects businesses across the state, regardless of the positivity rate in each region.
Shortly after the announcement, Governor Cuomo called the rise in cases "the fall surge" on Twitter.
COVID is getting worse by the day.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) November 11, 2020
All around the country.
The fall surge is here.
We are taking action but we need New Yorkers to do their part.
Wear a mask. Get tested. Follow all health guidelines. Take this seriously.
Both industries have already been running with restrictions due to COVID-19. Gyms reopened in Erie County on August 24, with all occupants required to wear masks at all times. Capacity is limited, and gyms had to undergo inspections in order to host indoor classes.
In the early stages of the pandemic, all bars and restaurants were limited to takeout only. Outdoor dining resumed in Western New York in June, followed by indoor dining shortly after. Similar to gyms, bars and restaurants are also under limited capacity. Bars must serve food in order to serve patrons.
Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association released the following statement on the matter:
“Today’s news is a huge blow to the restaurant industry that is desperately trying to stay afloat. Our members have put in place procedures and protocols to mitigate the spread, and we’ll continue to do so to ensure the safety of our employees and patrons. We understand the logic behind micro-cluster restrictions, but at this time we have concerns about blanket statewide restrictions like this.”
In addition to the new mandates surrounding bars, restaurants and gyms, the Governor is also requesting that private household parties be limited to no more than ten people. During his conference call on Wednesday, Cuomo cited private, household parties as a major driver behind increasing infection rates.