NEW YORK CITY — Spiking novel coronavirus cases across the U.S. will limit the scope of New York City’s next reopening step, the mayor and governor said Thursday.
Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned New Yorkers not to expect indoor activities to return when the city enters into Phase Four Monday.
“The state is feeling cautious the city is feeling cautious,” de Blasio said. “To see so many states going in the wrong direction is causing us a lot of care in how we approach this decision.”
New Yorkers will likely not see indoor dining resume, museums or theaters reopen, or concerts return, or other "low risk" indoor activities initially included in the fourth phase of Cuomo’s plan.
But more outdoor activities, such as exterior film production, and open space venues such as the Bronx Zoo will likely return, de Blasio said.
“The separation here is between outdoor and indoor,” de Blasio said. “The indoor should proceed only with tremendous caution.”
A final decision on what Phase Four includes is expected by 4 p.m. Friday, according to Cuomo.
"We will not know until we get the final data,” the governor said.
New York City’s daily COVID-19 tracking indicators show hospitalizations, intensive care unit patients and percentages of positive test results all remain below the state-set thresholds.
On Wednesday, New York City saw 65 new COVID-19 hospitalizations, a two percent test rate and 332 ICU patients, which is closer to the 375 cap than it has been for days.
New York, once the nation's epicenter of the pandemic, continues to see low transmission rates as the number of COVID-19 cases across the nation spike — the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control reported 3.4 million cases and nearly 137,000 deaths in the U.S. as of Thursday — spurring Cuomo to require visitors from 22 states to quarantine before visiting.
Cuomo took additional steps in New York, banning its bars and restaurants from serving alcohol without food and launching a "Three Strikes and You're Closed" initiative to shut them down for social distancing violations.
The governor said there had been “significant evidence of establishments failing to comply.”