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COVID-19 Cases On the Rise in Nearby Cities, Following Loosened Capacity Restrictions

Plus, New York lawmakers pass a bill legalizing recreational marijuana — and more intel

New York City Restaurants Face Continued Uncertainty Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

COVID-19 cases on the rise in some nearby states and cities amid restaurant, venue reopenings

Coronavirus cases are on the rise in some neighboring cities and states, with experts citing social gatherings at homes and in restaurants as two factors behind the spread. In Rockland County in upstate New York, where restaurants have operated at 75 percent indoor capacity since March 19, new cases are being driven by teenagers and people between the ages of 20 and 49 who are gathering indoors, including in restaurants, according to the New York Times. Connecticut has also seen an uptick in cases in recent weeks, where restaurants and other venues have operated at full capacity since March 19.

Here in New York, state survey data suggests that indoor dining accounts for a small percentage of coronavirus spread. Between September and November 2020, restaurants and bars accounted for just 1.4 percent of new cases in New York state. The bulk of spread — close to 74 percent — occurred at gatherings in people’s homes, according to state contact tracing data. Still, some officials warn against reopening restaurants and other venues too soon, while experts say that eating indoors can create false perceptions about health and safety.

The seven-day average of new coronavirus cases in New York City has hovered between 3,500 and 4,000 cases since mid-February. As of March 30, that number had risen to more than 6,000 cases.

In other news

— East Village restaurant Kindred is set to reopen on April 7 with a few fresh faces in its kitchen and a new outdoor dining set-up for customers. Under chef Grady Kaighn, formerly of Jean-Georges, Eleven Madison Park, and Restaurant Marc Forgione, the restaurant will expand its selection of housemade pastas with a focus on sustainable and locally sourced ingredients.

— Thai newcomer Mao Mao is gearing up for Songkran, the Thai New Year, which takes place the week of April 12. The bi-level restaurant will be screening Thai films and has a menu of som tum specials planned for the occasion, according to a spokesperson.

— While not strictly restaurant news, the fact that New York lawmakers passed a bill legalizing recreational marijuana may affect your eating choices down the line.

— Midtown’s celebrated Aldo Sohm Wine Bar reopens for indoor and outdoor service this week. Reservations available by phone or Resy.

— Dunne’s Polemost Liquors, the first liquor store to open in Greenpoint following Prohibition, relocates one block over after close to a century at 698 Manhattan Avenue.

Times critic Pete Wells finds lots to love at Under the Volcano in Midtown.

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