NYC lawmakers call on Cuomo to end indoor dining, close nonessential offices

Two councilmembers and two state legislators want the city to be an “orange zone”

From left:  Councilmember Mark Levine, Sen. Gustavo Rivera, Councilmember Carlina Rivera and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (Getty; New York City Council)
From left:  Councilmember Mark Levine, Sen. Gustavo Rivera, Councilmember Carlina Rivera and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (Getty; New York City Council)

Four elected officials in New York City have called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to designate the entire city an “orange zone,” which would impose stricter Covid restrictions, including ending indoor dining and closing gyms.

In a statement issued Sunday night, first reported by the New York Daily News, the legislators also called for all non-essential offices to be closed.

“New York City is facing a perilous surge in COVID-19,” the statement reads. “To avoid overcrowded hospitals and needless loss of life, we are calling for immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19 in New York City.”

The message was issued by City Councilmembers Mark Levine, who chairs the Council’s Health Committee, and Carlina Rivera, who heads the Hospitals Committee, as well as State Sen. Gustavo Rivera, who chairs the Democratic Health Committee, and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who leads the Assembly’s Health Committee.

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“Covid is spiking in NYC. Hospitalizations rising fast. We need dramatic action to slow this,” Levine tweeted on Sunday.

Under Cuomo’s guidelines, an area in New York City would become an orange zone if the seven-day average positivity rate of coronavirus tests reaches 3 percent. The threshold for a red zone with strict lockdown rules is 4 percent.

Last week, the seven-day positivity rate citywide exceeded 5 percent.

Over the past few weeks, as reported Covid-19 cases have spiked throughout the city, parts of Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens have been given the orange zone designation; six other neighborhoods throughout the city less-restrictive yellow zones.

Other states have imposed strict stay-at-home orders in an attempt to stop the surge in rising Covid cases. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has targeted travel and in-person shopping, among other activities.

[NYDN] — Akiko Matsuda