WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It’s not what restaurant owners or patrons want to hear - capacity at eateries could drop to 25 percent as early as next week if the current COVID trend continues.
With hospitalizations rising, Governor Andrew Cuomo may implement further restrictions on indoor dining, reducing the capacity from 50 percent of normal to 25 percent. The governor will do this in regions of the state where hospitalization rates are not stable.
“It’s region by region. That region’s rate would have to be stable,” said Cuomo.
Albany will monitor each region over the next five days. State data indicates a spike in north country hospitalizations in November with about 40 COVID patients hospitalized.
Further reductions in customers isn’t what the co-owner of Garland City Beer Works in Watertown wants to hear.
“So at 25 percent, we can still have 50 people in our restaurant and brewery. But whether those people come out is another story. We still question whether we can make money on that and pay our bills, but we’ll sure give it a try,” said Nancy Henry, co-owner of Garland City Beer Works.
The bar manager at Spook Hill Bar and Grill in Adams Center is also ready to play by new rules, if the governor makes changes. Meghan Metheney is a little worried about the business’ bottom line though.
“It’s definitely going to be hard on all of us, but we’ll make the necessary adjustments where we need to and we’re just going to get through it to do everything we can to stay afloat,” she said.
If the governor makes further reductions, Metheney says they’ll monitor the door to obey capacity rules and the business may have to cut back on staffing.
If the new new restrictions happen, they would be lifted as soon as hospitalization rates come back down. Again, this could happen as soon as next week so restaurant owners are hoping COVID numbers don’t get worse over the next few days.