New York City entered Phase 4 of its’ coronavirus reopening plans on July 20. Phase 4 was supposed to include bars and restaurants, to the relief of the 25,000 restaurant owners in the city, but Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio said that indoor dining and bars would not be allowed to reopen.

While the city has effectively flattened its curve, museums and indoor dining are not allowed, but zoos and botanical gardens are open. Outdoor dining is still allowed. Citing states like Texas and Florida, the government is concerned that bars and indoor dining will lead to a surge in cases. In those states, indoor dining led to the swift spread of the disease.

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Cuomo cited multiple cases of outdoor dining run amok and has now required restaurants with outdoor dining to serve food alongside alcohol. A large gathering outside in Astoria made the governor’s point that many places as not ready to be open. Hundreds of people crowded in the street into a de facto dance club over the weekend.

Michael Gianaris, the state senator for Astoria said, “I think people are frustrated after being cooped up for months and are anxious to be out,” he said. “Younger people who feel they are invincible to the virus need to realize that, first of all, they’re not, but second of all, they’re putting everyone around them in danger. It needs to stop.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, praised New York’s virus response on PBS New Hour on July 17, “Again, we have a problem. We need to admit it and own it. But we have got to do the things that are very clear that we need to do to turn this around, remembering we can do it. We know that, when you do it properly, you bring down those cases. We have done it. We have done it in New York. New York got hit worse than any place in the world. And they did it correctly by doing the things that you’re talking about.”

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

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Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

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Catch up on our latest coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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