Covid’s Return in Northeast Fails to Keep Locals From Dining Out

The signs of a nascent Covid-19 resurgence in the Northeast areall around, but that’s not stifling anyone’s appetite.

New York and New Jersey on Thursday recorded the most new cases since mid-May, but in those states, as well as Connecticut and Pennsylvania,reservation data from OpenTable showed that numbers of seated diners held steady or continued climbing from pandemic lows.

A similar tendency could be observed in Google’s community mobility data, which tracks visitors to places such as retail stores and transit centers relative to the pre-Covid baseline.

States and cities have used public-health restrictions throughout the pandemic, but fear has often prompted societies to self-regulate — and that behavior ultimately matters most. In the Sun Belt surge that started in June, cities including Miami and Phoenix drastically changed their movement patterns — cutting back on restaurant visits, for instance — and experts say that’s partially why they stemmed their outbreaks.

Across the U.S., there were 50,295 new Covid-19 cases reported Wednesday, bringing the total to 7.5 million, according to Johns Hopkins University data. On a rolling seven-day basis, average new cases reached 45,229, the highest since late August. On a per capita basis, the Midwest and West are the areas of greatest concern.

More than 212,000 Americans have died.

Elsewhere:

  • Current Covid-19 hospitalizations hit records inWisconsin, South Dakota and Montana, and held at record levels in North Dakota, according to Covid Tracking Project data.
  • In Connecticut, Covid hospitalizations reached the highest since June; New York the highest since July; New Jersey and Pennsylvania the highest since early August.
  • New York City is closing an additional 61 public schools, bringing the total to 169 sites.

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