The initiative will divide clusters and the areas around them into three categories with successively higher restrictions within each one: Red Zones, Orange Zones and Yellow Zones.
New Metrics for Entering Cluster Zones
On December 10, Governor Cuomo announced new metrics by which micro-cluster focus zones will be determined to help control COVID-19 spread and protect hospital capacity.
Red Zone: A red zone will be implemented when a region, after the cancellation of elective procedures and a 50 percent increase in hospital capacity, is 21 days away from reaching 90 percent hospital capacity on the current 7-day growth rate.
Orange Zone: A geographic area will be eligible to an Orange Zone if it has a 4 percent positivity rate (7-day average) over the last 10 days and it is located in a region that has reached 85 percent hospital capacity. Alternatively, a geographic area may also become an Orange Zone if the State Department of Health determines the region’s rate of hospital admissions is unacceptably high and a zone designation is appropriate to control the rate of growth.
Yellow Zone: A geographic area will be eligible to enter a Yellow Zone if it has a 3 percent positivity rate (7-day average) over the past 10 days and is in the top 10 percent in the state for hospital admissions per capita over the past week and is experiencing week-over-week growth in daily admissions.
Based on these new metrics, New York State will announce new cluster zones on Monday, December 14.
Indoor Dining Suspended in NYC
Governor Cuomo announced on December 7, following updated guidance from the CDC, that if a region's hospitalization rate does not stabilize by December 12, additional restrictions will be applied to indoor dining.
Hospitalization rates have not stabilized and indoor dining in New York City will be suspended beginning Monday, December 14. Takeout, delivery and outdoor dining will continue.
Outside of New York City, indoor dining is under review and no additional restrictions are in place for now.
Cluster Zone Restrictions
The chart below is a summary and is not exhaustive.
Where permitted to operate within the cluster action initiative, businesses and other entities must continue to follow the relevant industry-specific guidelines provided by Department of Health as available on the New York Forward website for their applicable operations and activities.
|Type of Activity||Red||Orange||Yellow|
10 people maximum, indoors and outdoors
|25 people maximum, indoors and outdoors|
|Residential Gatherings||Prohibited||10 people maximum, indoors and outdoors||10 people maximum, indoors and outdoors|
|House of Worship||
25% of maximum capacity
33% of maximum capacity
|50% of maximum capacity|
|Businesses||Non-essential businesses are closed||Gyms, fitness centers and classes operate at 25% capacity; barber shops, hair salons, personal care services can provide services so long as employees performing services are tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis.||Open|
|Dining*||Takeout or delivery only||Outdoor dining, takeout or delivery only, 4 person maximum per table, and bars and restaurants close at 10:00 PM for on-premises consumption||Indoor and outdoor dining permitted, 4 person maximum per table, and bars and restaurants close at 10:00 PM for on-premises consumption|
*Indoor dining in New York City is suspended beginning December 14.
**Schools may remain open if they follow new guidelines that require testing in schools followed by vigilant symptom and exposure screening conducted daily.