11 p.m. curfew for bars, restaurants extended to midnight beginning Monday; Guidance on auto and horse racing events released

State News

ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a conference call with media at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday to give an update on the state’s ongoing coronavirus response efforts.

The governor announced the state is extending the 11 p.m. curfew for food and drink service to midnight beginning Monday, April 19. Catered events will extend from midnight to 1 a.m.

“As the numbers are down on COVID, we talk about adjusting the valve,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We caution New Yorkers, don’t get cocky. The disease is still very much with us. We have to stay smart until COVID is crushed and it won’t be crushed until we get herd immunity and we won’t get herd immunity until we’re finished vaccinating everyone.”

The governor announced the following coronavirus data:

  • 208,163 COVID-19 tests reported statewide Tuesday
  • 6,192 new confirmed cases
  • 2.97% statewide positivity rate
  • 43 new COVID-19 deaths
  • 4,091 hospitalized
  • 887 in ICU
  • 563 intubated

The governor said Western New York was the region with the highest current seven-day average positivity rate (4.8%), followed by Mid-Huson (3.7%), Long Island (3.7%), and New York City (3%).

The governor said, as of Wednesday afternoon, New York had administered more than 12.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, adding that more than 5 million New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, and that 39% of the state population has received at least one dose, but the governor urged those who haven’t been vaccinated to schedule an appointment.

“It is a civic duty in my opinion,” Gov. Cuomo said. “you take the vaccine, not just for yourself, you take it to keep others safe.”

Regarding the pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, due to rare instances of blood clots, the governor said the state is abiding by the CDC and FDA recommendations, and the state will continue to monitor as more data becomes available.

“It is a peculiar situation,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Out of 6.8 million J&J doses, they have six women who had an adverse reaction. One of them passed away, but that is literally one in a million. They wanted to pause so they could communicate with the health care community and it is open as to how long that pause will be.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Cuomo announced that auto and horse racing events can have up to 20 percent capacity in New York, beginning on Thursday, April 22. Spectators will be subject to the state’s strict guidance, which is currently in effect for other professional sports competitions with fans. Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry and are subject to the state’s health and safety protocols on face coverings, social distancing, and health screening.

To give you an idea of what that means locally, Watkins Glen International has a 38,900 capacity, which would be 7,780 fans for the August Go Bowling at The Glen NASCAR race.

The Governor announced that more guidance will be released for these events, but that they will be similar to other sporting events in New York, such as facemask wearing and social distancing.

There are currently guidelines for horseracing events on the New York Forward website, but not for auto racing. There has been a section set up for auto racing.

The governor said the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by a police officer in Minnesota is another example of a flawed system between law enforcement and the community it’s sworn to protect.

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