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New York City mayor urges people to avoid travel this Thanksgiving

COVID's impact on Thanksgiving celebrations
COVID's impact on Thanksgiving celebrations 04:09

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged people to avoid traveling this Thanksgiving and celebrate with loved ones virtually — as the city and surrounding areas battle a continued rise in COVID-19 cases. 

He told people who are traveling to do so safely and follow the rules, and warned of financial penalties for violations.

De Blasio spoke as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo similarly urged caution. "This holiday season, we have to be smarter and different than we've handled past holiday seasons, because it's not a normal holiday season," Cuomo said Tuesday at a press conference.

The governor announced that COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state are up 128% in three weeks. He said Monday an emergency facility will open on Staten Island for COVID-19 patients at the request of hospitals in the area seeing rising admissions.

"Staten Island has such an issue that it has triggered a hospital capacity issue. And the hospitals have contacted us and they say they need emergency beds on Staten Island," Cuomo said, according to CBS New York. "Remember when we had to set up field hospitals, emergency hospitals for additional capacity? Well, that's what we have to do on Staten Island."

The governor also announced updated COVID-19 micro-cluster zones across the state that establish some areas, including Upper Manhattan, as yellow zones, and move others from yellow to orange. 

Yellow means restaurants must close at 10 p.m. An orange zone means high risk, so non-essential businesses close. Dining moves to outdoor only and mass gatherings are limited to 10 people. 

It's possible some areas on Staten Island could even move into a red zone, which means essential businesses only. 

New York City schools shut down last week after the city reached a 3% positivity rate. 

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