Top officials in the Hudson Valley want Gov. Cuomo to allow restaurants to stay open later.

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Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan joined County Executives in the seven counties that make up the Mid-Hudson Region on Wednesday to call upon the New York State Liquor Authority to allow restaurants to stay open until midnight.

Currently, in order to comply with the 10 p.m. curfew restriction, restaurants must stop seating patrons at 8:30 p.m, according to Ryan. The adjusted hours will be a benefit to restaurants struggling during the traditionally slower winter months and restaurant workers.

Only 1.4 percent of COVID-19 cases have been attributed to restaurants and bars, officials say.

“The data shows that if restaurants and patrons take necessary precautions they can operate in a safe way,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan stated. “Under normal circumstances, the winter months are the most challenging for our local restaurants. This common sense adjustment will help our restaurant owners, their many employees, and our local economy.”

Officials are calling for longer dining hours because they say COVID numbers continue to decline. On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced New York's 7-day average COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to its lowest since Dec. 1. Earlier this month Cuomo announced New York's State's 7-day average COVID-19 positivity rate declined for 23 straight days.

“The Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce applauds County Executive Pat Ryan for his efforts on behalf of the many restaurants in Ulster County who are being impacted by the current early closing time,” President of the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce Ward Todd stated. “These restaurants and their staff have suffered immeasurably this past year and now is not the time to cause them additional hardship. We join County Executive Ryan and the other Hudson Valley Executives in asking Governor Cuomo to support this request in a timely manner.”

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