New Jersey announced a pause on indoor dining, which was set to begin Thursday, while a similar move could be made in New York City, with an official decision later this week.
Governors Andrew Cuomo and Phil Murphy along with Mayor Bill de Blasio point out that indoor dining been problematic around the country since some patrons do not observe mask or social distancing recommendations.
Cuomo announced Monday just seven new deaths and the lowest hospitalizations since March 18, while Murphy reported 18 additional deaths. Meantime, indoor shopping malls in New Jersey are back in business.
NEW YORK CITY
Mayor Bill de Blasio said while outdoor dining is working in New York City, he confirmed Monday that the reopening of indoor dining may be paused due to coronavirus concerns.
He announced the number of New York City residents who tested positive was under the threshold at 2%, while hospitalizations and the number of ICU patients are also under the threshold at 51 admissions and 297 ICU patients.
De Blasio also said barbecuing will be allowed in parks in the coming days.
The shutdown on Broadway has been extended again, until at least early January. Although an exact date for performances to resume has yet to be determined, Broadway producers are now offering refunds and exchanges for tickets purchased for shows through January 3.
Alternate side street parking resumed Monday, reduced to only once a week, and New York Waterway is resuming modified service, including ferries leaving Port Imperial in Weekhawken, New Jersey once every 20 minutes.
The 2020 Video Music Awards (VMAs) ceremony will return to New York City on Sunday, August 30 at the Barclays Center, Gov. Cuomo announced Monday. The event will follow all safety guidance, including limited or no audience.
NEW YORK STATE
Governor Andrew Cuomo also questioned reopening indoor dining in the city, while reporting new lows in deaths and hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic.
“Indoor dining has been problematic in the past,” Cuomo told NY1. “I’m going to be speaking to business owners today in New York City and elected officials in New York City. But the restaurants and the indoor dining can be problematic.”
At least 14 new cases have been confirmed from the high school graduation ceremony in Westchester County believed to be the source of a coronavirus spread that has health officials concerned.
Cuomo also called out President Donald Trump to sign an executive order directing everyone to wear mask in public as cases increase around the nation.
Western New York is set to move to Phase 4 on Tuesday.
Indoor shopping malls in New Jersey are back in business, but Governor Phil Murphy announced the state is pausing plans to allow outdoor dining. It was supposed to begin Thursday but will be postponed, with no new date set.
“We had planned to loosen restrictions this week,” Muphy said on Twitter. “However, after #COVID19 spikes in other states driven by, in part, the return of indoor dining, we have decided to postpone indoor dining indefinitely.”
Retail stores located in the interior of malls must comply with new state safety requirements.
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission reopened Monday for student driver tests and inspections only, after in-person transactions were delayed until July 7 due to a problem with a new text message system that’s intended to prevent overcrowding.
New Jersey reported 156 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 171,272. An additional 18 deaths brings the state toll to 13,138.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on Monday unveiled a $33 million plan, which includes both state and federal resources, to provide emergency help for renters, homeowners, and residential landlords affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The package includes $10 million in rental assistance, in the form of payments to landlords on behalf of approved tenants, with a priority on lower-income households who have been denied unemployment insurance. There’s also $5 million to help renters who were in the process of being evicted before the COVID-19 public health emergency was declared, while extending the residential eviction moratorium to Aug. 25.
Lamont announced last week the state plans for a full-time, in-school education framework in the fall, as long as public health data continues to support the model.
CORONAVIRUS DEATHS SURPASS 500,000
Deaths due to the coronavirus have now surpassed 500,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The school’s website which tracks the coronavirus pandemic says 500,108 deaths have been reported globally.
The U.S. has reported the most deaths by any country by far at 125,714.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is now 10,063,319 worldwide.
CALIFORNIA CLOSES BARS
California is ordering bars to close in seven counties due to to the rising spread of COVID-19, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Sunday.
In a tweet, Newsom said bars in Los Angeles, Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, San Joaqun and Tulare counties are ordered closed. Bars in another eight counties, covering much of suburban Southern California and parts of the Bay Area, were also recommended to close. Those counties included Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and Ventura.
This week the state reported thousands of new cases of COVID-19 each day. On Friday, California announced 5,972 new positive cases.
On June 18, Newsom issued a mandatory mask order amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.
COVID INCREASES ACROSS THE SOUTH
On Saturday, the state of Florida set another record in daily confirmed coronavirus cases.
Florida health officials reported more than 9,500 new COVID-19 cases, surpassing the previous day’s total by more than 600 confirmed cases. The figures come as officials move to reclose beaches and discourage bar gatherings.
In addition to Florida and South Carolina, the COVID Tracking Project reports that Nevada and Georgia also hit record high numbers of cases today (with Nevada more than doubling their highest daily total.)
Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign events in Arizona and Florida this coming week have been postponed “out of an abundance of caution,” a Trump campaign official confirmed to ABC News. Both states are seeing an increase in rates of positivity, hospitalizations, and deaths, according to an ABC News analysis.
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