Cuomo once again forbids indoor dining in New York City

Yet restaurants account for tiny share of case numbers, according to governor’s data

Updated: December 12, 2020 - 4:28pm

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday ordered New York City restaurants to shut down indoor dining, even though his office’s own data indicate that positive COVID-19 tests linked to restaurants account for a tiny share of the overall caseload in the state.

Indoor dining is “too high of a risk,” Cuomo said in a Friday tweet, citing “a rising infection rate and NYC’s density.” The governor said he would still permit takeout, delivery and outdoor dining options for city residents.

Controversially, the ban comes as the governor’s own COVID-19 data indicate that positive tests linked to restaurants constitute a very small share of New York’s overall caseload.

At a Friday press conference, Cuomo revealed that restaurants and bars comprise just 1.43% of the state’s COVID-19 sources. He grouped that source of spread as among those of “small numbers,” he said in the press conference.

Cuomo’s decision in light of that data received some pushback following his announcement on Friday.

“They are basically shutting down an industry and throwing thousands of people out of work because restaurants were linked to 1.4 percent of cases? It is criminal,” one restaurant owner told Eater.