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Teddy Wolff
November 18, 2020
What's Up With NYC’s Restaurant Restrictions?
Cuomo and de Blasio are reporting different testing data, leaving everyone confused. For now, indoor dining at a 25% capacity remains intact.

According to the city’s data, NYC reached its 3% seven-day average threshold on Wednesday, prompting Mayor de Blasio to close down all public schools for in-person learning starting Thursday.

And yet there’s still no word about indoor dining closures, a decision that’s coming from the state, not the city. In a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, de Blasio assured, "the state has made it very clear that additional restrictions are coming soon.”

The problem (well, one of the many problems) is that de Blasio and Cuomo are reporting different testing data. In the city’s eyes, we’re above 3% - in the state’s eyes, we’re still below it. De Blasio explained that the city batches its testing reports based on when the test was taken, not when the test results come out.

On Wednesday (the same day that de Blasio announced the city had hit a 3% seven-day average positivity rate), Cuomo announced a statewide seven-day average of 2.8% and an NYC seven-day average of 2.5%.

The governor has indicated that the city will transition to orange-zone restrictions if their data shows NYC at or above a 3% seven-day average. Being in an orange zone means closing all indoor dining and limits outdoor dining table sizes to a maximum of four people.

In other words, this is a hot mess.

With all the uncertainty and rising cases, restaurants continue to suffer. Many are closing. You can support your favorite restaurant by ordering takeout or checking out outdoor dining. Make sure to keep track of the city’s permanently-closed spots here, and learn more about the Independent Restaurant Coalition’s federal stimulus advocacy work here.

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