Today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that more areas of New York are now subject to the yellow zone Coronavirus restrictions. Governor Cuomo noted that parts of Onondaga County are included in the yellow zone.
In October, New York began identifying regions in the state with increasing COVID-19 infections by one of three colors (red, orange, and yellow), with restrictions increasing based on the severity of the region’s infection rate. These zones are not based on zip codes, but on data that illustrates where the COVID-19 infections are occurring.
When a region is deemed a red zone, schools are closed for in-person classes. Non-essential businesses must close, and mass gatherings are prohibited. Restaurants may provide takeout, but houses of worship are limited to 25% capacity, with a maximum of 10 people.
In orange zones schools can only open for in-person learning if all students and staff undergo COVID-19 testing, and 25% of the students and staff are randomly tested each week. Some businesses may remain open, but high-risk businesses such as gyms and nail salons must close. Restaurants can offer outdoor dining, with a maximum of four patrons per table. Mass gatherings are limited to 10 people and houses of worship are limited to 33% capacity, with a maximum of 25 people.
In yellow zones, schools must randomly test 20% of all people on campus on a weekly basis. Businesses can remain open in a yellow zone, however, restaurants must limit tables to 4 people and must close at midnight. Mass gatherings are limited to 25 people, and houses of worship are limited to 50% capacity.
Once a geographic area is given a zone classification, the area will remain in that zone classification for at least 14 days before the state will consider lifting the restrictions. For a zone in a heavily populated area to be lifted, the 7-day average of the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 must decline steadily over 1 day and will have to be below 1.5% for three consecutive days. For a zone in a less populated area to be lifted, the 7-day average of the positive test rate in the zone will have to decline over 10 days, and the rate will have to below 2% for three consecutive days.
As of November 6, 2020, Brooklyn, Rockland County, Orange County, and Chemung County had microcluster restrictions. Parts of Broome, Chemung, Erie, Monroe, Queens, Steuben, and Westchester County have areas that are yellow-zones.
You can check to your location’s zone designation by entering your address here (https://covidhotspotlookup.health.ny.gov/#/home). Governor Cuomo has released the following maps displaying the yellow-zoned areas of Erie, Monroe, and Onondaga County.