BUFFALO, N.Y. — A new set of restrictions will take effect throughout much of Erie County later this week and Monday, after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that most of the towns and villages in the county are now under an Orange Zone microcluster designation.
High risk, non-essential businesses, including gyms and salons, will have to close as of Friday. Retail such as stores and malls are allowed to remain open but must continue to follow rules regarding capacity.
All schools within the Orange Zone must close and transition to remote learning.
New York State deems the following businesses as non-essential:
- Gyms, fitness centers or classes
- Barbers and hair salons
- Tattoo or piercing parlors
- Nail technicians and nail salons
- The provision of laser hair removal and electrolysis and all other personal care services
The following city and towns are included in the Orange Zone: the cities of Buffalo, Lackawanna and Tonawanda, the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Cheektowaga, Clarence, Eden, Elma, Grand Island, Hamburg, Lancaster, Orchard Park, Tonawanda and West Seneca. Villages that are located within the listed towns are also included.
Buffalo (7.30%), Hamburg (9.78%), Lancaster (9.42%), Orchard Park (7.51%), and Tonawanda (6.84%) currently have the highest rates in Western New York and are among the highest rates in all of New York State.
Here are the guidelines for being in an Orange Zone:
- Non-Residential Gatherings: 10 people maximum, indoors and outdoors
- Residential Gatherings: 10 people maximum, indoors and outdoors
- House of Worship: 33 % of maximum capacity or 25 people maximum
- Dining: Outdoor dining, takeout or delivery only, four person maximum per table, and bars and restaurants close at 10 p.m. for on-premises consumption
The rest of Erie County has now been designated as a Yellow micro cluster zone, including Alden, Boston, Brant, Colden, Collins, Concord, Holland, Marilla, Newstead, North Collins, Sardinia and Wales.
Here are the guidelines for being in a Yellow Zone:
- Houses of worship - 50% capacity
- Mass gatherings: 25 people maximum, indoors outdoors
- Businesses: Open
- Dining: Indoor and Outdoor with four persons maximum per table
- Schools: Open with mandatory weekly testing of students, teachers and staff for in-person settings
Tuesday, 516 new cases out of 7,451 tests (6.8%) for COVID-19 came back positive. As of November 16, 185 people were admitted to Western New York hospitals, 150 of them in Erie County. Forty-seven percent of those in the hospital are less than 64 years old.