By Mark Hallum
Warning that a full shutdown of non-essential businesses is on the table if New York’s COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates do not come down, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that January 2021 could look something like spring 2020.
With a statewide infection rate of 5.66%, or 4,04% average for the five boroughs, Cuomo said the end of indoor dining will only be the beginning of tighter restrictions in the name of keeping hospital capacity relatively low.
Manhattan’s infection rate was held in stark contrast to Staten Island, with the former sporting 2.6% and the latter with 5.6%.
“We could very well be headed to shut down and a shutdown is something to worry about,” Cuomo said. “This is something to really worry about how do you change your trajectory do two things. Number one was simultaneously trying to increase hospital capacity and frankly hospital management. We saw what happened in the spring, it can’t happen again. We’ve given the hospitals flexibility, adding 25% more beds … [and] reducing elective surgery.”
The trigger for a full shutdown like what was seen in the spring could be if a region’s hospital capacity hits 90% and stay-at-home orders would come an estimated three weeks from hospitals reaching that benchmark.
Cuomo recommends that even indoor gatherings among family members should be socially distanced or with masks. New Yorkers, he said, should not be mingling with others outside their household on a regular basis.