WNY COVID-19 numbers highest in the state

NY to end most COVID occupancy limits May 19

With capacity limits largely gone, the state will continue to emphasize social distancing, per CDC recommendation, except at events where all those in attendance can present proof of full immunization or recent negative COVID test results. The six-foot social distancing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will remain in effect at these places, which could still limit capacity depending on the space available.

New York will drop capacity limits and almost all other restrictions on restaurants starting May 19, the same day New Jersey and CT lift their curbs on dining out, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

The state's single-day positivity rate on Saturday was 1.49%, the lowest level since October 28, Cuomo said.

"They may make their own economic decision as to when they reopen", Cuomo said. The percentage of New Yorkers testing positive for the coronavirus dropped 50% over the last month, and hospitalizations decreased by 37% during the same period, he told a news conference. Large-scale outdoor event venues will operate at 33 percent. The indoor social gathering limit rises to 250 people on May 19, up from 100. The current mandatory closing time of midnight ends May 17 for outdoor dining areas and May 31 for indoor dining.

The outdoor social gathering limit increases to 500 people on May 10, up from 200. On April 30, Governor Cuomo announced that New York City indoor dining will expand to 75 percent capacity beginning May 7, bringing New York City in line with the rest of New York. Last May, Cuomo announced the subway would not run between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. as part of a nightly disinfection plan in response to the pandemic.

Cuomo's announcement comes just weeks after restaurants in many areas of NY were urging the governor to lift lighter restrictions as the nightly curfew and a prohibition against using bar stools for seating.

"We take our duty to keep riders safe seriously - which is why our mask mandate and disinfecting regimen will continue, and we will keep pressing the City to provide the police and mental health resources needed to accommodate returning customers".