Coronavirus NY: With metrics improving, New York to ease on certain COVID restrictions

Coronavirus Update for New York

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021
With metrics improving, NY to ease on certain COVID restrictions
Jim Dolan reports that with statewide metrics improving, Gov. Cuomo said he will ease some COVID restrictions in New York.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- With statewide metrics improving, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will soon ease some COVID restrictions in New York state.

Cuomo says he will have announcements on Wednesday, and anticipates the state will start to open up more economic activity and reduce some of the restrictions and micro-cluster zones.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will make an announcement on micro-cluster zones on Wednesday.

The changes will be made to existing micro-cluster zones, but not to indoor dinning in New York City.

"We are focusing now on the micro-cluster zones, which are yellow and orange zones," he said. "That's what I was talking about. Indoor dining in NYC is NYC specific condition. We are not at this point contemplating any change."

Andrew Rigie, the executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, 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."

Since the holiday coronavirus spike, the governor says officials have seen a drop off in the positivity rate.

RELATED: COVID vaccination pace slows as New York awaits more supply

New York State officials are hopeful they will get more COVID vaccine later this week. They have already administered 88 percent of the doses they have received.

"We said we hoped the spike would end after January 1 when people stopped socializing as much," he said. "We talked about mid-and-late-January, when you would see the spike dropping, and that's where we are, frankly. We are seeing that spike come down."

The governor said the state can start making "adjustments."

"I talk about open the valve, close the valve," he said. "When the positivity rate is down and the hospitalization rate is down, infection rate is down, and the RT rate is down, then you can increase economic activity. We are through that holiday period. By the way, other states had a much higher rate of infection during the holiday period."

Cuomo says "New Yorkers were smart about it," and that's why the positivity rate did not go up like it did in other places.

However, for Long Island, the Bronx and the Finger Lakes, Cuomo says they are all "statewide areas of concern."

"The good news is the number is down and it has been continuing to decline," he said. "Our high point was 7.9% in the beginning of January. We are down to about 5.85%. That then tracks to the hospitalization rate, these are all connected. Infection rate, a few days later, person goes into the hospital, but the the number of people hospitalized has gone down. This is true all across the state."

The governor also announced that elective surgeries can resume in Erie County following a sustained decline in Western New York's positivity rate.

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