Amid growing COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York, officials are revising indoor dining guidelines to include new restrictions if the rate doesn’t stabilize.
Further, the government’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci is sounding the alarm about a possible “dark” January “without substantial mitigation,” Bloomberg reported.
“Without substantial mitigation, the middle of January could be a really dark time for us,” Fauci said.
The Christmas season could end up igniting the spread of the coronavirus beyond Thanksgiving’s acceleration, Fauci said at a news briefing held by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday (Dec. 7).
Cuomo tweeted that if the hospitalization rate hasn’t stabilized within five days, indoor dining will be entirely closed in New York City and reduced to 25 percent capacity in the rest of the state. The closure could come as early as next Monday (Dec. 14), he said at the briefing, per several news outlets.
Former FDA Chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday that he doesn’t feel safe eating at restaurants indoors.
“I will not eat indoors in a restaurant. I think the risk is too high to be in a confined space without a mask on with other people eating in that same location right now,” Gottlieb said on “Squawk Box.”
A November study indicated that one-third of all restaurants could shutter by the end of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. One in six U.S. restaurants have already closed for good.
The National Restaurant Association said the industry is being unfairly blamed for spreading new COVID-19 cases. National Restaurant Association head Tom Bene sent a letter to the National Governors Association stating that data “has yet to emerge,” that connects restaurants and “systemic community outbreaks” of the virus.
New dining restrictions are being enacted across the country as the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase.