Professional sports leagues will be able to begin training camps in New York State while following appropriate health protocols amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Governor Andrew Cuomo made that announcement at noontime Sunday, May 24 on Long Island at the Jones Beach Theatre in Wantagh in his daily COVID-19 news briefing.
Campgrounds and RV Parks will be allowed to open statewide on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. Veterinarian practices will also be allowed to open in all regions beginning Tuesday, May 26.
"I believe that sports that can come back without having people in the stadium, without having people in the arena, do it," Cuomo said. "Do it. Work out the economics if you can. We want you up. We want people to be able to watch sports to the extent people are still staying home.
"It gives people something to do. It's a return to normalcy so we are working and encouraging all sports teams to start their training camps as soon as possible and we will work with them to make sure that can happen."
The Hudson Valley region is still on track to enter phase one of reopening on Tuesday, May 26, and Long Island is still on track to reopen on Wednesday May 27 if deaths continue to decline, Cuomo said. Both regions' contact tracing operations are expected to be online by those dates.
"We have to get the number of deaths down on Long Island and we have to get the number of tracers up, but we're doing that," Cuomo said. "We're preparing for Long Island to open. We're getting the transportation system ready."
The MTA is cleaning and disinfecting trains and buses daily, and the LIRR is ready to add more cars to trains to help with social distancing.
Cuomo also announced that more than 10,000 households on Long Island have received Nourish New York products.
The Nourish New York program provides relief by purchasing food and products from Upstate farms and directs them to the populations who need them most through New York's network of food banks.
The state is also asking any philanthropies or foundations that would like to help the state's food banks to contact COVIDPhilanthropies@exec.ny.gov.
Cuomo also announced the members of the state's Blue-Ribbon Commission focused on improving telehealth and broadband access using new technologies.
The Blue-Ribbon Commission is being chaired by former CEO and Executive Chairman of Google and founder of Schmidt Futures, Eric Schmidt. Members of the Commission include:
- Richard Parsons - Chair, Rockefeller Foundation
- Darren Walker - President, Ford Foundation
- Dennis Rivera - Former Chair, SEIU healthcare
- Plinio Ayala - President/CEO, Per Scholas
- Charles Phillips - Chair/Former CEO, Infor
- Sid Mukherjee - Physician/Author, Assistant Professor at Columbia
- Jane Rosenthal - Co-founder/CEO/Executive Chair, Tribeca Film Festival
- Dr. Toyin Ajayi - Chief Health Officer & Co-founder, Cityblock Health
- Elizabeth Alexander - President, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
- Martha Pollack - President, Cornell University
- Steven Koonin - Director, NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress
- Satish K. Tripathi - President, SUNY Buffalo
- Hamdi Ulukaya - Founder/Chairman/CEO, Chobani
- Maurie McInnis - Incoming President, SUNY Stony Brook
- Ginni Rometty - Executive Chair, IBM
"As we move forward with reopening, we have to keep one eye on the future and start talking about building back better, not just building to what we had before," Cuomo said. "There are new rules now, and we must learn from what we've been through so that we can be prepared when another inevitable public health emergency happens.
"New York State has led the way in so many difficult times in history - people look to New York for guidance and example and now we are writing history for a whole modern-day governmental and societal response."
There were 1,589 new COVID cases, bringing the statewide total to 361,515.
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