On Wednesday, November 18, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that parts of Western New York have transitioned from "yellow" to "orange" on the Cluster Action Initiative color scale. As a result:
1. Gatherings are limited to 10 people, whether indoor or outdoor;
2. Houses of worship are restricted to the lesser of 33% maximum capacity or 25 people;
3. Non-essential businesses that are seen as high-risk (barbershops, gyms, hair salons, etc.) are closed;
4. Restaurants are limited to outdoor dining (4-person max per table) and takeout/delivery; and
5. All schools are remote.
The current cities and towns comprising of Erie County's "orange zone" are Buffalo, the City and Town of Tonawanda, Amherst, Grand Island, Clarence, Lackawanna, Cheektowaga, Lancaster, Hamburg, West Seneca, Elma, Orchard Park, Aurora, Eden, and Evans.
The above-mentioned municipalities would transition to "red" with a 10-day average positive test rate of 4%.
Business restrictions take effect Friday while restrictions on schools are set to take effect Monday.
The initiative will divide clusters and the areas around them into three categories with successively higher restrictions within each one: Red Zone - cluster Itself; Orange Zone - warning zone; and Yellow Zone - precautionary zone.