New York City is in Phase 4 of reopening now, which includes zoos, botanical gardens, museums, and gyms, as well as 25% indoor dining. Schools are shut down, but will reopen on December 7th to 3K-5th grade students. Certain parts of Staten Island under a zoned shutdown.
Get answers to questions you may have with our "Ask An Epidemiologist" series, or learn more aboutNYC COVID-19 testing options with our explainer. Here are some local and state hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.
Here's the latest:
New Jersey will begin enforcing significantly stricter restrictions as the number of new cases across the state continues to hit record highs. Beginning on Monday, with the exception of religious and political activities, no more than 25 people can congregate outside, a drop from the previous limit of 150 people.
Indoor gatherings remain capped at 10 people.
The new rule takes effect one day after the state recorded more than 6,000 cases in one day, the highest number to date. The state previously broke its caseload record on both Thursday and Friday.
New Jersey's seven-day COVID testing positivity rate is over 10%.
Speaking on CNN, Governor Phil Murphy on Monday morning noted one silver lining: hospitalizations are not climbing at the same rate as cases. There are currently more than 3,200 people hospitalized in the state for coronavirus, a number which has been increasing but is still well below the peak of more than 8,000 patients in April.
But even as New Jersey begins to crack down on outdoor gatherings, Murphy attributed the spike in cases to indoor gatherings.
"The weather is colder," Murphy said "All the things we were doing outdoors, we're doing indoors. There's a lot of pandemic fatigue."
Asked if he envisioned stricter measures similar to the ones taken in California, the governor said, "I don't see it at the moment," arguing that New Jersey had less land mass.
Andy Mai contributed reporting.
NYC Will Start Reporting Antigen Test Results
New York City health officials will begin publishing the results of antigen tests, a new layer of data that has not been available even as such tests have become more popular over time.
Antigen, often known as rapid tests, are faster and cheaper to process than polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, but they are also viewed as less reliable.
The new data, which is set to appear on the city's coronavirus data website on Monday, will report positive antigen tests only as "probable" cases, according to a health official who spoke to Gothamist.
New York City's failure to report antigen tests became a larger issue in the wake of growing confusion over the disparity between the city and state's test positivity rates. Last month, after Mayor Bill de Blasio closed city schools due to a self-imposed trigger of a 3% positivity rate, many noticed that the state's data placed NYC's positivity rate below 3%.
Among the reasons is the fact that the state counts antigen tests in its positivity calculation. Because antigen tests can miss cases, the positivity rate is likely to be lower.
City health officials, who have maintained that PCR tests are the gold standard, will not include antigen tests as part of its positivity rate.