What to Know
- Cuomo extended the sales tax deadline for New York restaurants ordered to shut down indoor dining in designated orange zones
- Restaurants and bars temporarily shut down in recent weeks have a 91-day extension, the governor's order states
- For the fifth day in a week, the state reported over 100 deaths in a single day -- 127 New Yorkers died on Friday
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed his latest executive order under the state's pandemic emergency order extending the sales tax deadline for New York restaurants ordered to shut down indoor dining in designated orange zones.
Restaurants and bars temporarily shut down in recent weeks have a 91-day extension, Cuomo's order detailed Friday. The previous deadline, seemingly still in place for restaurants allowed to stay open for business, is Dec. 21.
"With the finish line in sight, we will continue to support New Yorkers wherever possible and fight to get the federal government to deliver real relief for those who are struggling," the governor said in a press release Saturday announcing the executive order. (Read the full executive order here.)
In addition to the closure of all indoor dining through New York City, at least five other communities throughout the state are within an orange zone as of Cuomo's latest briefing on cluster zones. Affected establishment requesting relief can visit the state's tax website.
Included in the governor's Friday order was the continuation of property tax exemptions for low-income senior citizens and persons with disabilities. The principle change: local governments can automatically renew 2021 benefits without requiring residents to renew in-person, therefore limiting COVID exposure to more vulnerable communities.
Cuomo followed up his executive order by sending a letter to President Donald Trump asking for immediate intervention on a COVID relief bill. By Saturday evening, Congress had yet to agree on and approve such a bill.
The governor's letter calls upon the president to use his power and influence over the Republican Party to pass stimulus checks, negotiate the party's demands on corporate liability limitations and provide funding for local and state governments.
"In addition, without state and local funding, the vaccine distribution process will be delayed. You will be held accountable for that delay, which will lead to more deaths and make the federal vaccine program a debacle," Cuomo said in his letter.
While attention is turned to national assistance and the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, the number of dead and sick from the virus continue to rise in New York. For the fifth day in a week, the state reported over 100 deaths in a single day -- 127 died on Friday.
Cuomo continues to insist a new shutdown is not inevitable, even as the state set a new single-day case record Friday (along with a record number of tests) and Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to insist that another round of restrictions is not only necessary in New York City but needs to come soon.
Cuomo puts the ultimate responsibility for shutdown aversion on the backs of New Yorkers themselves, saying it's their actions -- as far as masks, social distancing and holiday gatherings -- that will decide what happens. He is hopeful they will have learned lessons from the Thanksgiving surge and act differently.
Daily Percentage of Positive Tests by New York Region
Gov. Andrew Cuomo breaks the state into 10 regions for testing purposes and tracks positivity rates to identify potential hotspots. Here's the latest tracking data by region and for the five boroughs. For the latest county-level results statewide, click here