Governor Andrew Cuomo in an interview with MSNBC on Monday morning did not rule out making further changes to New York City indoor dining rules as COVID-19 cases continues to rise in New York and around the country.
At the moment, indoor dining in New York City is limited to 25% occupancy.
"On indoor dining, they're at 25%. They were supposed to go to 50%, I stopped that and I just closed them at 10 p.m. and if the numbers continue to go up, we're going to clamp down even more," Cuomo said in the interview.
This is part and parcel with what has been the evolving and ever-changing plan as the pandemic continues: Targeted closures as opposed to the hammer approach of a statewide shutdown earlier this spring.
State officials have indicated they feel more knowledgeable about how the virus has spread, in part thanks to contact tracing. Cuomo in particular has focused on bars, restaurants and gyms with the 10 p.m. curfew time for closure.
Throughout this Cuomo has compared the effort to control the virus -- and in effect controlling human activity -- like a pressure release valve. Turn the valve in one direction to open things back up, turn it back when things become too dicey.
At the heart appears to be an effort to minimize further disruption and create another surge in unemployment while another COVID-19 stimulus bill stalls in Congress. Closing schools, for example, would create that disruption, Cuomo has said, as New York City is close to doing so as the positive rate in the city inches toward its 3% benchmark set by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
"You build a consensus because this is all voluntary. People have to agree and you have to bring them along," Cuomo said. "I think there's a very good case to say add a new element for the infection rate in this school and then we'll have two elements. We have that now under a State program where we do override the locality if we have a high infection rate in a neighborhood."