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Coronavirus Latest: N.Y. Bar Owners Ask To Ease Curfew; Conn. Could Begin 65+ Vaccination Next Week

Image by Veeka Skaya from Pixabay

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus outbreak in the region:

Restaurants in New York have called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to follow Connecticut’s example and push back the 10 p.m. COVID-19 curfew on bars and restaurants ahead of Super Bowl Sunday this weekend. A judge blocked Cuomo’s restrictions for some upstate restaurants Friday.

"Restaurant and tavern owners and their workers can safely operate their establishment at any time. Compliance with the governments restrictions is dependent on their commitment to following the rules and they can do that as well at 9 p.m. as they can do at 11 p.m.,” wrote Scott Wexler, the executive director of the Empire State Tavern Association, in a letter to Cuomo.

“Lifting the curfew for even two hours would provide an additional table turn for restaurants and will let patrons stay to watch the end of the game, rather than being thrown out at 10 p.m. and gathering with friends to watch the second half or third at someone’s home,” the letter continued.

On Long Island, the seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate has fallen to 5.6%. The rest of New York dropped to 4.6%. An outbreak of 60 cases have delayed procedures at Long Island courthouses, despite most operations being held online.

The seven-day positivity rate in Connecticut dipped to 3.7%. Governor Ned Lamont said the state could be ready to allow Connecticut residents 65 and older to begin registering for COVID-19 vaccines as early as next week.

Advocates want Lamont to open the state’s public health care program, HUSKY, to cover Connecticut’s undocumented population. A bill in the state legislature would open health coverage to uninsured people regardless of their immigration status.

Hospitalization rates are more than three times higher for Hispanics or Latinos and over twice as high for Blacks compared to white people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.