Mayor says indoor dining is off the table as Phase Three of reopening approaches

Indoor dining was scheduled to return on July 6 as a part of New York state’s Phase Three reopening plan.

Indoor dining will be postponed in New York City to prevent a spike in novel coronavirus infections, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday.

Initially, limited-capacity indoor dining was scheduled to return on July 6 as a part of New York state’s Phase Three reopening plan but was scrapped due to multiple states linking alarming jumps in new cases to gatherings at indoor bars and restaurants.  

“We know a lot of other parts of this country have very sadly made decisions based on something other than the data in the heat of the moment,” de Blasio said during a Wednesday press conference. “The news that we have gotten around the country gets worse and worse all the time.”

Yesterday, Michigan health officials linked 85 new coronavirus cases to one bar in East Lansing. Earlier this week, California Governor Gavin Newsom order bars and restaurants closed in seven counties where the infection rates of the virus were growing rapidly. Bar owners in Florida and Texas are closing their doors again because of a surge in virus cases. 

Instead, the city will expand its current outdoor dining plan launched in mid-June as part of Phase Two reopening. The de Blasio administration’s daily coronavirus numbers remain low. On Wednesday, the mayor’s office reported that 61 people were admitted to a city public hospital with suspected COVID-19 cases on June 29, a slight uptick from June 27 data.

There are 293 people in a public hospital intensive care unit suffering from possible COVID-19 complications and the number of city residents testing positive for the virus bumped up to 2 percent. On June 27, the city reached an all-time low rate of infection. Only 1 percent of New Yorkers tested positive for the virus. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed the decision during a press briefing on Wednesday morning.

This story first appeared on AMNY.com