Coronavirus NY: COVID rates drop, but no relief for NYC restaurants

New York News
NEW YORK (WABC) — Both the positivity rate and the rate of hospitalization is down across New York, and Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to ease some restrictions tomorrow.

But that will not apply to indoor dining in New York City, and restaurant owners are not happy.

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So many restaurants in the city have turned to constructing semi-outdoor seating areas, complete with doors, windows, even a roof – and it looks like these will be sticking around for a while.

There are still no plans for indoor dining to return in the city, despite the fact that that the COVID positivity rate in the city is now below 6 percent.

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In Manhattan, it’s even lower, with just 3.5 percent of people testing positive.

That’s among the lowest anywhere – but diners still have to take their meals outside.

The governor blames the city’s density, but restaurant owners and workers are outraged.

“We feel villainized and victimized and attacked and bullied, when we’re just trying to survive and do the right thing,” said one restaurant owner.

Restaurants in Erie County sued the state for shutting down indoor dining there, and a judge sided with the restaurants, allowing them to reopen.

The New York City Hospitality Alliance says it, too, will be filing lawsuits.

Andrew Rigie, the group’s executive director, released the following statement:

“Governor Cuomo’s never-ending restrictions keeping indoor dining closed at New York City restaurants, while keeping it open around the rest of the state where infection and hospitalization rates are higher than in New York City, is discriminatory and is destroying the livelihoods of small business owners and workers. Multiple legal actions have been filed to reopen indoor dining in New York City and we are exploring all additional legal options on behalf of the city’s restaurant industry to ensure equitable treatment and application of the Governor’s Executive Orders.”

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