New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday suspended plans to resume indoor dining in the city next week, as the coronavirus has spiked with a vengeance in much of the country in recent weeks.
At a news conference the mayor said he was concerned that allowing indoor dining again right now might spark a similar spike in New York City. In recent weeks the city has successfully gotten its coronavirus infection numbers under control.
The percentage of people testing positive for covid-19 in the city has stood around 2% in recent days, which is a “very, very good number,” de Blasio said.
The rate has stayed below the city’s threshold of 15% since early May, CNBC reports.
“Honestly, even a week ago, I was hopeful we could” commence indoor dining, de Blasio said. “But the news we have gotten from around the country gets worse and worse all the time.”
Outdoor dining, which began about two weeks ago, can continue, he said.
“We see a lot of problems and we particularly see problems revolving around people going back to bars and restaurants indoors. Indoors is the problem more and more; the science is showing it more and more,” de Blasio said.
The U.S. has recorded 2.6 million infections, almost double the amount of World No. 2 Brazil. The U.S. has experienced more than 127,000 deaths. Among big states, Florida and Texas are seeing coronavirus cases rise particularly fast in recent weeks.
New York is in Phase 2 of its reopening and is expected to commence Phase 3 Monday.