Gov. Cuomo to Allow Elective Surgery, but not yet Indoor Dining
Now that the post-holiday COVID spike has passed and the rate of viral transmission is low, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said that the time has come to loosen some of the state’s restrictions.
The first step Gov. Cuomo said he will take in the re-opening of New York over the next few days is to allow elective surgery in Erie County. The state Department of Health is evaluating the data to consider what other restrictions can be lifted, although the governor said that the current ban on indoor dining in all five boroughs will continue.
"The indoor dining in New York City is a city-specific question and we're not, at this point, contemplating any changes," said the governor, who also warned the tide could turn just as easily in the other direction again, as New Yorkers all too painfully know already.
For the first time since the latest end-of-year holiday surge, however, on Monday, New York's rate of COVID virus transmission fell below 1.0, which indicated that the spread of the disease is slowing.
"When the positivity is down and the hospitalization rate is down and the infection rate is down and the Rt rate [that measures the speed at which the virus is spreading] is down then you can increase economic activity," Cuomo said Monday. "I think we're at a new place now and we can start to adjust that valve and start to open up more economic activity and reduce some of the restrictions."
(Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)
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