Broadway shows had to postpone performances due to positive COVID-19 tests at the company. Now New York City restaurants say they’re feeling the impact of peak cases as well.
The positivity rate in the five boroughs has doubled in just three days – and community members are canceling their holiday gatherings, forcing some restaurants to close in what is another ‘punch’ for the epicenter of the pandemic , according to Andrew Rigie of the Hotel Alliance of New York City.
The New York Times reported Thursday that at least a dozen restaurants temporarily closed this week as the city’s daily positivity rate rose 7.8% on December 12, from 3.9% on December 9.
Contento Restaurant in Harlem is one of the restaurants that decided to close for a week and cancel a private event after a groundbreaking COVID case among fully vaccinated staff.
An advisory committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has suggested sourcing the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 mRNA vaccines instead of Johnson & Johnson whenever the first two are available.
“We have decided to close the door … a restaurant today is more of a community gathering than just a place to have a cocktail – it is a place to eat and if we continue to keep the doors open, we won’t. we are more of a restaurant, âsaid Yannick Benjamin, the restaurant’s sommelier.
“The safety of our staff and family members who work there is our top priority. The same goes for people entering the restaurant,” he added.
The restaurant had done great numbers the week before, Benjamin said, a sign that vaccinated diners are back. But this week, “everything is destroyed”.
Groundbreaking cases like Contento’s also continue to close the curtains on Broadway. The audience at the “Moulin Rouge” on Thursday was already seated when they learned that the show would not be taking place.
A theatergoer who did not want to be identified said: âThe sigh in the audienceâ¦ like everyone is ready to cry. It was horrible.