Public Health

When Will NYC Reopen? Red, Yellow & Orange Zones

Khang T. Vuong, MHA
Khang T. Vuong, MHA20 Dec 2020
Reviewed and Fact Checked ✔️

When Will NYC Reopen? Red, Yellow & Orange Zones


NYC Situation Awareness Updates- December 3, 2020

New York City is facing a rise in coronavirus cases as of December 3rd, 2020. NYC reopening guidelines are as follows:

Public Gatherings: Indoor and outdoor gatherings statewide at private residences will be limited to no more than 10 people beginning Friday, November 13, at 10 p.m. Existing non-essential gathering limits are in effect otherwise.

Bars, Restaurants, Gyms: Bars, restaurants, gyms, and fitness centers, as well as any State Liquor Authority-licensed establishment, must close in-person service from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily effective November 13 at 10 p.m.

Masks & Face Coverings: Individuals must wear face coverings when they are in a public and are: within six feet of distance from other individuals; or in a situation or setting where they are unable to maintain six feet of distance from other individuals; or in a public or private transportation carrier or for-hire vehicle.

Executive Order 202.16 directs employers to provide essential workers with masks free of charge to wear when interacting with the public.

Business operations: Executive Order 202.34 authorizes businesses to deny entry to individuals who do not wear masks or face-coverings. 

Movie theaters outside of New York City reopened on October 23, 2020, at 25% capacity with no more than 50 people allowed in front of each screen. Theaters can only open outside of New York City in counties that have COVID-19 positivity rates of less than 2 percent on a 14-day average and do not have any cluster zones.

School Graduations: Outdoor, socially distanced graduations of up to 150 people were allowed beginning June 26, 2020, subject to any outbreaks or significant changes in the metrics. Schools will also be permitted to hold drive-in and drive-through graduation ceremonies this year.

Higher Education: The State will issue guidance to colleges and universities to allow some in-person instruction and on-campus housing and for the fall semester. Campuses must develop a plan, which attests to meeting the guidance and file plans with the State.

Youth Sports: Low-risk youth sports for regions in phase three of reopening began on July 6, 2020, with up to two spectators allowed per child.

Veterinarians: Practices were permitted to open in all regions of the state on May 26, 2020.

Hospital Visitation: Hospitals and group homes were allowed to accept visitors at their discretion starting June 16, 2020. Any facility that chooses to allow visitors must follow state guidelines, including time-limited visits and requiring visitors to wear PPE and be subject to symptom and temperature checks. The prohibition on nursing home visitors remains in place as the state Department of Health continues to review.

These industries were already allowed to open in previous phases 1, 2, and 3 as well as yellow zones. They will remain open unless Governor Cuomo advises a yellow, orange, or red zone:

  • Commercial Building Management
  • Hair Salons & Barbershops
  • Outdoor and Take-Out/Delivery Food Services
  • Offices
  • Real Estate Services
  • In-Store Retail
  • Vehicle Sales
  • Retail Rental, Repair & Cleaning

Due to large numbers of people gathering outside restaurants and bars over the past weeks, Governor Cuomo amended Executive Order 202.43 (EO) to requires businesses selling or serving alcohol to inform their patrons comply with social distancing and face-covering guidelines, and open-container rules. Additionally, customers who buy alcohol must also buy food in an effort to decrease large gatherings.

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Khang T. Vuong, MHA

Khang T. Vuong received his Master of Healthcare Administration from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. He was named Forbes Healthcare 2021 30 under 30. Vuong spoke at Stanford Medicine X, HIMSS conference, and served as a Fellow at the Bon Secours Health System.

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