The seventh of 10 regions in New York is set to enter the final phase of the state’s four-phase reopening plan as it kickstarts the economy.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that global health officials have reviewed the data and the Capital Region has been cleared and given the green light to enter Phase 4 of reopening as of Wednesday, July 1.
The Capital Region will join Western New York, the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, and North Country in Phase 4.
New York City remains in Phase 2, though is on track to hit Phase 3 as of Monday, July 7. The mid-Hudson Valley and Long Island are on track to enter Phase 4 in less than two weeks.
In Phase 4:
- Low-risk, outdoor arts and entertainment, including zoos and botanical gardens can open up to 33 percent capacity;
- Indoor arts and entertainment, including museums and aquariums can open up to 25 capacity;
- Film and movie production can resume;
- Colleges, universities, and other higher education institutions can open;
- Professional sports without fans will resume.
Additionally, Cuomo said that in Phase 4, indoor religious gatherings will be allowed up to 33 percent capacity, up from 25 percent. Social gatherings will also be allowed up to 50 people in one setting, up from 25 in Phase 3.
Cuomo announced last week that shopping malls, gyms, and movie theaters are among the businesses that will not be reopening with regions approaching Phase 4.
When malls, theaters, and fitness centers reopen, there will be strict restrictions in place set forth by the state, including social distancing, limited occupancy inside buildings, and mandated face coverings.
- Earlier story - COVID-19: These Businesses Will Not Be Allowed To Open In Phase Four Of NY Reopening
"There are some things that don’t fit neatly into a phase that are going to require further study and we’re going through that right now," Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi stated. "We’re not going to be like other states that are inviting a second wave.”
Cuomo said that "the team of global public health experts advising New York State on its reopening strategy has thoroughly reviewed the data for the Capital Region and has cleared it to enter Phase 4 of reopening starting tomorrow, July 1.
"New Yorkers have shown tremendous bravery and discipline throughout this incredibly difficult time, and thanks to their efforts, we've bent the curve,” he said. “However, it's essential that we remain diligent as we reopen safely and incrementally.
“I urge New Yorkers in every region to closely follow the state's guidance on reopening and take all the proper precautions to protect their communities and prevent a resurgence of COVID-19."
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