Five regions – including Central New York – are officially approved to enter the fourth and final phase of a gradual reopening tomorrow, along with the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley and North Country.
Phase four allows the limited return of low-risk indoor and outdoor arts and entertainment, along with film and TV production, higher education and professional sporting events without fans.
Maximum occupancy at social gatherings is now permitted for up to 50 people, up from 25 in phase three, with indoor religious gatherings also raised from 25 to 33% of their capacity.
Still yet to reopen are malls, movie theaters and gyms, due to their potential of drawing large crowds.
The state will continue to make determinations on how and when other businesses and activities can return.
Some local banks, like NBT Bank and CFCU Community Credit Union, have now opened their lobbies by appointment and say they’ll consider implementing full lobby access in the coming days.
More information on state guidelines regarding phase four can be found here.
Just today, Governor Cuomo announced that COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped below 1k for the first time since March 18 in New York State.
“After three months of New Yorkers working hard, doing the right thing and taking this seriously, the state has its lowest COVID-19 hospitalization rate since this started,” Governor Cuomo said. “Facts are facts, even in this crazy political environment, and what we’re saying in New York is we did the right thing. New Yorkers have been locked up and closed their businesses. We have the virus under control finally. We had to flatten the curve. We don’t want to go back.”
Yesterday, he joined with the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut issuing a multi-state travel advisory requiring anyone traveling from a state with a significant COVID-19 spread to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
That took effect at midnight and applies to those traveling from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100k (10%) over a 7-day rolling average.
Click here for up-to-date COVID numbers in Cortland County and others in the area.