In less than two weeks, the Hudson Valley and Long Island will enter the fourth of four planned phases of reopening the economy as New York recovers from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Seven of 10 regions in New York have already entered Phase 4, which includes reopening of some businesses and loosening the restrictions on others that were shut down during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier, and Western New York are all open in Phase 4.
In Phase 4, the following businesses can open:
- 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, New York Gov. Andrew 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.
While many businesses are opening back up, there are still no set plans for reopening some such as shopping malls, fitness centers, and movies, amusement parks, casinos, bowling alleys and indoor performance productions where viewers can’t properly socially distance.
It is unclear what schools will look like in the fall, though districts have been instructed to submit their plans for reopening to the state this month.
Cuomo said that in the past 24 hours, 56,710 New Yorkers were tested for COVID-19, with 625 (1.1 percent) coming back positive. The total number of hospitalizations is down to 879, and 11 more COVID-19 deaths were reported.
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