New York City halts indoor dining over pandemic spread

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New York City will stop indoor dining from next week as it tries to slow the spread of rising coronavirus infections, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday.

The rollback marks the latest blow to the Big Apple's famed restaurants and economy, which have been ravaged by pandemic shutdowns.

"We're going to close indoor dining in New York City on Monday. Outdoor dining and take-out continues," Cuomo told reporters.

The governor warned on Monday that restaurants in America's largest would have to halt indoor dining if failed for stabilize within five days.

He announced Friday that statewide hospitalizations had risen to more than 5,300, way down from a peak of almost 19,000 in April but significantly up from a low of just over 400 in early September.

"Hospitalizations have not stabilized, and with a rising infection rate and NYC's density, this means that indoor dining is too high of a risk," Cuomo said.

Restaurants had been allowed to seat customers inside at 25 percent capacity.

COVID-19 has killed more than 35,000 people in New York state, the vast majority in New York City.

Most deaths occurred in the spring and when the state was the epicenter of America's initial outbreak.

Cuomo added that 346,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected to be delivered to New York state the week of December 21, in addition to the 170,000 Pfizer doses coming this weekend, pending FDA approval.

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© 2020 AFP

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