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‘It’s not dining’: Restaurant owners push back on potential crackdown on indoor dining

On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned that indoor dining will have to reduce capacity from 50% to 25% if the region's hospitalization rate doesn't stabilize in the next five days.

News 12 Staff

Dec 8, 2020, 5:45 PM

Updated 1,292 days ago

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A warning by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that indoor dining may be reduced is putting Hudson Valley restaurant owners on edge.
On Monday, Cuomo warned that indoor dining will have to reduce capacity from 50% to 25% if the region's hospitalization rate doesn't stabilize in the next five days. In New York City, indoor dining may be completely suspended.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on indoor dining Friday, saying enclosed spaces, like restaurants, are high-risk and can accompany the possibility of more infections.
Cuomo says further restrictions aim to avoid overwhelming hospitals. He says gatherings around the holiday season pose a serious risk.
Cuomo’s surge and flex plan which means all hospitals must begin expanding their bed capacity by 25% to prepare for a future COVID-19 surge.
In Westchester County, officials tell News 12 the number of infections is closing in on what we saw back in the spring and hospitals are beginning to fill back up.
According to state officials, the Mid-Hudson region currently has well over 600 people in the hospital being treated for COVID-19. 
The governor says the restrictions on dining aim to avoid overwhelming hospitals, but some restaurant owners say they don't believe their industry is to blame. "It's interesting to me that Cuomo always goes for dining when it's been proven that it’s not dining, it’s actually in households and gatherings in households that's spreading…" says Alex Asadoorian, owner of New York Firehouse Grill.
Dory Dimos is worried. Her small restaurant, Dory's Diner, has been a favorite White Plains neighborhood spot for years. Thanks to loyal customers, she's managed to survive the COVID pandemic so far. "It's killing me already, but this is just really going to take its toll. I just hope we can just stay above water. That's all I want. I want to be here when COVID is over," says Dimos.
Gov. Cuomo says if these hospitalization rates don't level off by Friday, these new restrictions could be implemented beginning next Monday.


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