During a press conference call on Monday, March 22nd, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the State’s daily COVID positivity rate is 4.18%, and that there are 4,470 COVID hospitalizations, 885 COVID ICU patients, 576 COVID intubations, and on Sunday, March 21st, 46 New Yorkers died from the virus.
Due to the continued decline in COVID numbers, indoor dining capacity outside New York City has increased to 75% and in New York City, the dining capacity has increased to 50%. On March 22nd, the five remaining Yellow Zone clusters were lifted, removing the Yellow Zone restrictions placed on them. Also, on March 22nd, indoor fitness classes resumed Statewide. On March 29th, statewide travel for sports and recreational activities can begin. The Governor also announced that, beginning April 1st, large sports and performing arts venues will be allowed to reopen. Specifically, professional sports in large outdoor stadiums will be allowed to reopen at 20% capacity, and all attendees will need to show proof that they recently received a negative COVID-19 test or immunization. Regional sports venues that hold more than 1,500 people indoors or more than 2,500 people outdoors will be open with 10% capacity indoors and 20% outdoors. Outdoor performing arts venues that hold more than 2,500 people will also be allowed to reopen at 20% capacity. Also, beginning April 1st, domestic travelers to New York will no longer need to quarantine.
Lastly, beginning April 5th, the 11 P.M. curfew that the State has imposed on casinos, movie theaters, bowling alleys, billiard halls, gyms and fitness centers will be lifted. However, the curfews for food service establishments and catered events, 11 P.M. and 12 A.M. respectively, will remain in effect and will be reevaluated in late-April.
On the vaccine progress, the Governor announced on Monday, March 22nd, that more than 1.65 million doses of the COVID vaccinations have been administered. On March 17th, eligibility for the vaccine was increased to New Yorkers 60 years of age and older, as well as public facing governmental and non-profit workers and public facing essential building services workers. On March 22nd, New Yorkers 50 years of age and older became eligible to receive the vaccine. The Governor has also announced that, in the coming weeks, 10 new mass vaccination sites will open around the State. The new sites include:
- Long Island
- SUNY Stony Brook SH Campus
- Suffolk Community College Brentwood Campus
- SUNY Old Westbury
- Hudson Valley
- SUNY Orange Diana Physical Education Center
- Ulster County Fairgrounds
- Capital Region
- Queensbury Site located at 50 Gurney Lane, Queensbury, NY
- Mohawk Valley
- SUNY Oneonta
- Southern Tier
- Corning Community College Gymnasium and Wellness Education Center
- Western New York
- Conference Center of Niagara Falls
- New York City
- Bronx Site – Final location pending