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Cuomo says New York could close in days if hospitalizations continue to rise

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that New York is just days away from a second lockdown if coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to rise during the holiday season.

“If you go over the capacity of the hospital, you’ll have to start shutting down again,” Cuomo said at a press conference Monday in New York City. “There are no options.”

Hospitalizations across the Empire State skyrocketed last month after freezing temperatures forced residents inside and New Yorkers flocked for the holidays despite warnings from health officials.

Cuomo previously closed indoor restaurants in the state’s red and orange coronavirus cluster areas. But to fight the new wave, Cuomo has revealed a series of restrictive new warrants that could go into effect as early as Friday.

The governor said if hospitalization rates across the Empire State do not stabilize within the next five days, dining halls will have a 25% occupancy limit and will be fully closed at New York. And if cases continue to skyrocket, Cuomo said the state would shut down areas that have seven-day COVID-19 case averages indicating “critical hospital capacity” within three weeks. The plan is similar to that in California, where a new stay-at-home order went into effect Sunday for Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley, after the intensive care unit’s capacity fell in below 15 percent.

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