As the COVID-19 cases continue to spike in New York, parts of Staten Island have now entered the orange zone. This means that more restrictions were implemented on Wednesday, causing more angst for residents and many business owners.
Governor Andrew Cuomo explained that his “winter plan” identifies the worst impacted zones and provides more hospital resources for them.
“We do more tests than any state in the nation, so we just have more data to make decisions on. Everybody has an opinion on COVID. We have facts,” he said.
However, the micro-cluster strategy is proving to be unpopular in parts of Staten Island, where some businesses, including nail salons and fitness centers, have reluctantly complied while a few have pushed back.
“We don’t want to go through another shutdown. Everybody is just trying to get back on the road, man,” Xavier Rodriguez, a Staten Island resident, said.
Mac’s Public House restaurant in Grant City has promised to defy the new restrictions, and there are signs and markings put up that declare the restaurant an “autonomous zone.”
“We refuse to abide by any rules and regulations put forth by the Mayor of NYC and Governor of NY State,” a sign posted on the door reads.
Mimi Kim, owner of Coco Nails, closed her business, and stated: “It’s horrible, horrible, horrible. I need to open as soon as possible.”
New Dorp resident Frank Natoli talked about the restrictions, saying: “It’s ruining lives because you’re not making any money. Orange, pink, blue and green [zones], it doesn’t matter. So if I step on an orange or yellow code that means I’m OK? It doesn’t make any sense to me. To me, it doesn’t make any sense.”
The orange zone means that some non-essential businesses have to close down, restaurants are restricted to delivery and takeout only, and houses of worship have a restricted capacity of 25 people.
“Either you close down the whole island or you keep the whole island open, because people are going to travel from one side to the other,” Debbie Miniero said.
However, some support the new restrictions.
“It’s for the safety of everyone because everybody is coming in there and that’s why people are getting sick. People aren’t wearing masks, so I feel like they have to do what they have to do. It might be inconvenient, we’re used to doing these things, but these people protesting and fighting about this, it just makes no sense,” resident Serena Alston said.
Sources: America Now