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Yellow, Orange and Red Zones: here's what NYS cluster restrictions look like

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Posted at 11:44 AM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 15:47:16-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As part of New York State's "Cluster Action Initiative" announced in October, the state can designate geographic areas across the state as Yellow, Orange or Red micro-cluster zones in response to a rising number of COVID-19 cases.

The designation as a micro-cluster places temporary restrictions on businesses and social activities in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19. The level of restriction is dependent upon the color zone to which the micro-cluster is assigned.

The governor's office says the initiative is a three-step process:

  1. Take dramatic action within the cluster.
  2. Take action in the areas surrounding the cluster to stop the spread.
  3. Take precautionary action in the outlying communities.

Below are the restrictions for each zone, according to the governor's office.

Yellow Zone:

  • Houses of worship operate at 50% capacity.
  • Mass gatherings limited to 25 people indoors and outdoors.
  • Businesses remain open.
  • Restaurants can offer indoor and outdoor dining but must only have four people per table.
  • Schools remain open but must have weekly COVID-19 testing for students/teachers/staff for in-person settings.

Orange Zone:

  • Houses of worship operate at 33% capacity or 25 people maximum.
  • Mass gatherings limited to 10 people indoors and outdoors.
  • High-risk nonessential businesses close (gyms, personal care, etc.)
  • Restaurants can only offer outdoor dining and takeout, four person maximum per table for outdoor dining.
  • Schools are closed and shift to remote learning.

Red Zone:

  • Houses of worship operate at 25% capacity or 10 people maximum.
  • Mass gatherings are prohibited.
  • Only essential business can be open.
  • Restaurants can only offer takeout.
  • Schools are closed and shift to remote learning.