New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Wednesday lifted coronavirus restrictions across most of the state, becoming the latest governor to ease rules aimed at combating the spread of the deadly illness.
Nearly all of New York’s Covid-19 cluster zones and the extra restrictions that go with them have been lifted. That includes the yellow and orange zones in Onondaga County and a yellow zone in Oneida County. It also applies to zones in the Buffalo and Rochester areas and other parts of Upstate New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the move today during a press conference in Albany. The state launched the cluster zone strategy in the fall in an effort to control the coronavirus in areas seeing spikes.
“I think at this point it’s safe to say the holiday surge was anticipated, the holiday surge did happen, but the holiday surge is over,” Cuomo told reporters.
New York state officials are looking at whether to loosen rules that require restaurants and bars to close at 10:00 p.m.
“When you keep the restaurants open late, that tends to be more problematic,” Cuomo stated. “There tends to be more crowding. There tends to be more drinking. And with restaurants, we’re trying to keep it to actual eating as opposed to the restaurant turning into a bar.”
The development comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) dropped some coronavirus restrictions across California even as the state struggles to curb the spread of the virus.
Health officials said hospital capacity was predicted to be greater than 15% in the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California and the Bay Area, according to four-week projections. The Sacramento region exited the stay-at-home order on Jan. 12 and the Northern California region never entered the order, a press release from the California Department of Public Health said.
The UPI contributed to this report.