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Rise in COVID cases, holiday travel create concerns that new restrictions could come to NYC

Posted at 10:12 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 22:12:06-05

HOWARD BEACH, Queens — With New York City’s long period of low COVID-19 numbers in the rear view mirror, it appears its further reopening is unlikely, with more restrictions possibly on the way.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is now predicting those new restrictions to be announced after Thanksgiving, including no more indoor dining.

“If it helps the curve of the virus, it has to be done,” Joe Decandia, owner of Lenny’s Clam Bar, told PIX11 News.

The popular Cross Bay Boulevard restaurant has been serving up the their famed baked clams and fried calamari to a loyal crowd at just 25% capacity for indoor dining for months.

And now the owner is worrying that with rising COVID-19 rates in New York City, indoor dining may be ending soon.

“We went through Sandy with four feet of water and we said how much worse can it get?“ Decandia told PIX11 News. “We learned our lesson. This is really challenging."

De Blasio, on the Brian Lehrer radio show, said the city has more than twice the number of reported cases needed for viral spread.

If the city's 7-day rolling positive testing average reaches 3% for 10 days in a row, it triggers a state-ordered orange zone designation, ending indoor dining, and closing personal care facilities like salons, and gyms.

“An orange zone is coming, based on the state data. That will happen, probably the first week of December,” the mayor said.

But before that, there’s Thanksgiving weekend — and travel. And while air, bus and train travel will be way down, not so with car travel.

AAA Northeast issued these COVID-19 safety travel tips:

  • Carry your own snacks and beverages
  • Sanitize at rest stops
  • Sanitize at gas pumps.

“There is no 100 safe means of travel,” Robert Sinclair Jr., senior manager of public affairs for AAA Northeast, told PIX11 News. “Even if you are driving, you have to be careful that the people you are traveling with aren’t positive cases, that they are members of your immediate family and that you know everyone is healthy."