The state hospitalization rate for COVID is still climbing and if it does not stabilize it could mean new limits on indoor dining.

We have all been watching anxiously as COVID rates have been climbing this fall. We have been watching from a standpoint of taking the necessary precautions to stay healthy, and also from a standpoint of hoping it does not create more negative effects on employment and local businesses. Unfortunately, there is a chance we could feel some of those negative effects later this week.

According to a Spectrum News story, "if ...in five days, the hospitalization rate is not stabilized, then indoor dining will be lowered to 25% capacity outside of New York City." I guess the one glimmer of hope here is local restaurants would still be able to serve people in-house; the new guidelines would shut down indoor dining in the city. Regardless, restaurants are already struggling to run at 50% capacity. Cut that in half again, and it will just be that much harder for many places to stay open.

This must be an especially tough time of year for restaurants as well as I am sure many rely on holiday traffic and parties as a big revenue driver to wrap up the year. The year-end boost simply won't be there this year.

So what can we do to help? I know for my holiday shopping this year, I am going to do some gift cards for stocking stuffers to local restaurants. It is a great way to keep some revenue flowing to our great eateries, and the added benefit is they make a great gift.

So before making that Amazon purchase as a gift, maybe think of a good local restaurant or business to support this holiday season.