The Governor held a press conference today and announced new Micro-Cluster zones as well as changes to existing designations. Significantly, portions of Erie County are being moved from a yellow zone to an orange zone. Portions of Niagara County are being designated as a yellow zone.

A yellow zone designation means mass gatherings will be limited to 25 people maximum whether indoor or outdoor; 50% capacity for houses of worship; all businesses will remain open; dining will be allowed indoor or outdoor, with a 4-person per table limit, bars and restaurants close at 10:00 p.m. for on-premises consumption; and schools will remain open—however, there will be mandatory weekly testing of students, teachers, and staff for in-person settings.  

An orange zone designation means that mass gatherings will be limited to 10 people maximum whether indoor or outdoor; there will be 33% capacity, or 25 people maximum, for houses of worship; high-risk businesses (gyms, personal care, etc.) will be closed; dining will be takeout or outdoor only, with a 4-person per table limit, bars and restaurants close at 10:00 p.m. for on-premises consumption; and schools will operate remotely. The Governor noted that for orange zones, the schools must remain closed for 4 calendar days after the zone designation and may re-open as early as the 5th calendar day. In order to reopen on the 5th day, the school must ensure that no person will attend in-person on the campus without first receiving a negative test result, this applies to faculty/staff, as well as students.

In addition, parts of the Bronx will be moved to the yellow zone, the Queens yellow zone will be expanded to include Astoria, the Brooklyn orange zone is moving to a yellow zone, and Broome County and Orange County are cleared of their yellow zone restrictions. Monroe County remains a yellow zone.

The exact maps of each zone can be found at this link once they are released.

If you have additional questions about this update, please reach out to a member of our Government Affairs practice group for assistance:

Amy J. Kellogg
John M. Jennings

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