On Monday, April 26th, the Governor announced that the State’s 7-day average COVID positivity rate is 2.13%, which is the lowest since November 8th. Because the COVID numbers have continued to decline, and the State’s vaccination rate has continued to increase, over the past month, the Governor has announced several reopening updates, including:
- Performing arts & entertainment venues: Have reopened at 33% capacity. Specifically, venues will be able to host up to 100 people indoors or 200 people outdoors without testing or immunization. With testing and immunization, venues can host up to 150 people indoors and 500 people outdoors. Social distancing, face coverings, and strict health protocols are required.
- Horse racing: Spectators will be allowed at 20% capacity. Attendees will also need to follow the guidelines put in place for professional sporting events, which includes showing proof of a recent negative test or a completed vaccination series prior to entry. Face coverings and social-distancing required.
- Zoos & Museums: Capacity has been raised to 50%
- Movie Theaters: Capacity has been raised to 33%
- Offices: Beginning May 15th, capacity will increase from 50% to 75%
- Gyms: Beginning May 15th, capacity outside of NYC will increase from 33% to 50%
- Casinos: Beginning May 15th, capacity will increase from 25% to 50%
- Outdoor arenas: Beginning May 19th, capacity will increase from 20% to 33%
- Indoor arenas: Beginning May 19th, capacity will increase to 25%
- Restaurants & Bars: Curfew extended from 11 P.M. to midnight
- Catered Events: Curfew extended from midnight to 1 A.M.
The Governor also announced that the State Fair will open this year on August 20th. Capacity will be limited to 50% and the layout of the fair will be different than in previous years. They will split the fair into four distinct areas of the fairgrounds to make it easier to control capacity in each area. However, the Governor did say that these were preliminary guidelines, and because the fair is still months away, he does expect that these guidelines will change.
In terms of the State’s vaccine progress, on April 6th, New Yorkers 16 years old and older became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and on April 23rd, the Governor announced that New Yorkers 60 years old and older will no longer need to make an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine. They can show up to any vaccination site and immediately get vaccinated.