Cuomo: Indoor dining in NYC will end if hospitalization rate does not stabilize

US Economy Services

FILE – In this Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020 file photo, customers have lunch outside next to a table set up for proper social distancing inside a restaurant in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NEW YORK — The fate of indoor dining in New York will lie in the state’s hospitalization rates, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

Any region with an unstable hospitalization rate for more than five days will see new restrictions on indoor dining, according to the governor.

In New York City, indoor dining would close entirely. In rest of the state, indoor dining would be reduced to 25% capacity.

Cuomo also warned New York City could see the new restrictions as early as Monday if hospitalization rates don’t stabilize.

More than 4,600 COVID-19 patients are now hospitalized statewide, double the amount reported Nov. 18.

The Department of Health on Monday ordered hospitals to increase bed capacity by 25% and leave additional 25% capacity in reserve, Cuomo said.

The governor also acknowledged staffing issues and has called for all able nurse and doctor retirees to return to service.

If a region’s hospital capacity becomes critical, it will be designated a “red zone” and all non-essential businesses will be forced to closed down, according to the governor.

Critical hospital capacity is determined by a region’s surge and flex response plan. If the region’s seven-day average hospitalization rate shows that within three weeks the region will hit critical hospital capacity or 90% hospital capacity, “NY Pause” will enacted.

Cuomo said the state isn’t yet at a critical level of COVID-19 patients, but the continued growth is worrying.

This story comprises reporting from The Associated Press.

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