No Gyms, Theaters Yet

Earlier this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said five regions — Central New York and the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier — were on track to enter Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan today (June 26). Assuming each phase lasts 14 days, the Mid-Hudson Region target date for Phase 4 is July 7.

During Phase 4, arts and entertainment, film and TV production, higher education and professional sports without fans will be allowed, as well as social gatherings of up to 50 people and indoor religious services at up to 33 percent of capacity. 

But movie theaters, gyms and shopping malls will not be able to reopen, as some had anticipated. In a statement, State Sen. Sue Serino, a Republican whose district includes the Highlands, accused the state of “backtracking” and said the decision “defies logic.”

State officials credit social distancing and face coverings, along with the three-month shutdown of nonessential businesses, with helping to dramatically reduce COVID-19 infections and deaths. The number of deaths peaked at 800 in early April. On Sunday (June 21), there were 10 deaths, the lowest since March 21. Putnam County has not had a death in more than two weeks, while Dutchess is recording about three per week.

While cases are rising in more than 20 states, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts are on pace to contain the coranavirus, according to COVID Act Now, a data analysis group. 

On Wednesday, Cuomo said that anyone traveling to New York from a state that has a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average, or a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average — which would include Florida, Arizona and the Carolinas — must quarantine for 14 days. He made the announcement with the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut, who imposed the same restrictions.


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