While the declines were not as steep as many health experts had hoped, rates of hospitalizations, new cases, infections and death are lower than they have been for several. month.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has gradually eased restrictions on gatherings, restaurants, spectator events and travel, saying he is reopening the state’s economy while adhering to sound health precautions public.
“In my opinion, some states are going too far, too fast,” Cuomo said in March. “And it’s a danger because COVID is always a risk. And you release those restrictions too far, you’ll see the beast rise again.
Yet New York’s COVID statistics have stagnated instead of continuing to decline, with its rate of positive tests, measured on average over seven days, stagnating at around 6% since late February. Other states are experiencing similar stalls, and several counties around New York City are seeing a steady increase in cases. Health experts believe that most of the renewed spread is caused by more infectious variants.
Dr Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned this week of an upcoming “fourth wave” of the virus, driven by highly infectious variants and reduced restrictions, and spoke of a sense of “impending doom “.
President Joe Biden called on state governors to put their reopening plans on hold and reinstate mask warrants, if they had canceled them. (New York still has a mask requirement.)
“Please, this is not politics, reinstate the warrant if you drop it,” Biden said on Monday.
Some health experts and politicians are concerned that New York is one of the states moving too fast to reopen, in some cases, expressing concern that Cuomo is relaxing COVID-19 restrictions to score political points then that he tackles multiple scandals.
“Is this done because of what the data and science tell us or is it done for political reasons?” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference in early March. “Because it seems a lot of these decisions are made by the governor because of his political needs.”
Cuomo has linked the relaxed restrictions on COVID-19 vaccines and the state’s expanding immunization program. Currently, New Yorkers aged 30 and over are eligible for the vaccine, as are a wide range of professions and medical conditions. About 31% of state residents aged 18 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, placing New York in the middle of the pack of U.S. states and territories, according to a New York Times tally.
“New York is moving forward with reopening our economy and eagerly awaiting a post-COVID world,” Cuomo said last month. “We know the vaccine is the weapon that defeats this invisible enemy and we are getting more shots than ever before. ”
Here are the current restrictions that remain in New York City on gatherings, dining out, travel, and more.
First, residential gatherings: the ceiling for indoor gatherings remains at 10 people, while outdoor gatherings can have 25 people. Face masks and social distancing are needed.
Yet other types of indoor gatherings, such as weddings and church services, have other rules.
Religious services, including funerals, must cap attendance at 50% of the venue’s capacity. Wedding venues must also apply a 50% capacity, with a total cap of 150 people attending. Wedding guests must also show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test, and dancing is only allowed in designated areas that are large enough to have distance between dancers.
In public spaces, gatherings can accommodate up to 100 people and outdoor gatherings can accommodate up to 200 people, with masks and social distancing required.
Sports and entertainment
Spectator sports have also resumed, both indoors and outdoors, with a participation cap of 20%. Participants are also required to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test and stay in their assigned (socially remote) seats.
From April 2, theaters and other cultural venues can also reopen, with an attendance cap of 33%. If the venue requires proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test, it can accommodate up to 150 people indoors or 500 people outdoors. Without these requirements, indoor attendance is capped at 100, while outdoor attendance is limited to 200.
As of April 1, New York is relaxing a number of travel restrictions.
People arriving in New York City via domestic travel should no longer be quarantined for 14 days, although the state encourages them to do so as a precaution. Arriving travelers are also advised to monitor their symptoms for 14 days and to contact a public health authority or their health care provider if they develop symptoms.
If you are fully vaccinated and it has been at least two weeks since you received your last vaccine (and you have no symptoms of COVID-19), you do not need to quarantine.
For more information on New York travel conditions, click here.
Restaurants and shops
Cuomo is steadily increasing the indoor catering capacity of restaurants. Currently, all over New York State besides New York, restaurants can fill their indoor dining rooms to 75% of their capacity.
The capacity of New York’s indoor restaurants, however, remains at 50%. The 11pm curfew for restaurants and bars, however, remained for the time being.
As of April 5, however, the 11 p.m. curfew for places like gyms, bowling alleys, casinos and pool halls will be lifted.