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NYC mayor suggests indoor dining will likely shut down soon

November 19, 2020 Associated Press
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New York City’s public schools are closed. Will restaurants and bars be next?

The day after he announced that New York City schools would close to in-person learning, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that other businesses will likely shut down within a week or two as well to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

De Blasio noted that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has indicated that all of New York City could be declared an orange zone under the state’s guidelines, which would trigger the shutdown of gyms as well as indoor service at bars and restaurants.

Private schools might have to meet new virus testing requirements for pupils. Attendance at houses of worship would be capped at 25 people.

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“I think from what the governor said yesterday, and the numbers certainly reflect it, I don’t think it’s if the city is going into an orange zone, it’s a when the city’s going into an orange zone,” the mayor said.

Under Cuomo’s guidelines, the governor can designate parts of the state where 3 percent of COVID-19 tests come back positive over seven days as orange zones. The state’s current orange zones include parts of Chemung County and Westchester County.

When de Blasio announced Wednesday that the city’s public school buildings would all be closed at least through Thanksgiving weekend, some parents wondered why the schools were closing when restaurants were still open.

De Blasio said he was sympathetic to those complaints, but added: “Looking at the state’s own number system, we’re talking a week or two before we’re in that orange zone status.”

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