Cuomo And Neighboring Governors Announce Wholesale Lifting Of COVID Restrictions
By Barrett Seaman—
With the steady drop in metrics used to measure the spread of COVID-19, the governors of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey joined together on Monday to announce that they will be rescinding the limits on the use of public spaces—everything from restaurants and live theaters to fitness centers and hair salons—starting later this month. The rationale for the coordination is to avoid residents of a more restricted state from crossing into a neighboring state to the detriment of local businesses.
As previously reported, many of the changes were signaled by Cuomo last week and most will begin to go into effect starting on May 10th, when outdoor social gatherings can go up to 500 (masked) people. By May 19th, capacity restrictions in all three states will be lifted for:
*Amusement and family entertainment parks
*Barbershops and hairdressers
*Gyms and fitness centers
Large capacity sports venues, like Madison Square Garden or metro area baseball stadiums will go from 25% to 33%. Outdoor food and beverage curfews will be lifted on Monday, May 17th. Indoor food and beverage curfews will be lifted on Monday, May 31. Indoor catered gathering limit increases to 250 (or 500 with testing or proof of vaccinations) on May 19;
“There’s a lot of danger (in reopening),” Cuomo conceded, “but there’s a lot of damage when you don’t reopen, so it has been a balance and New York got hit harder than anyone else, so we did take precautions.”
In Westchester, County Executive George Latimer reported a 16-day decline in active cases and that a total of 383,217 county residents have completed their vaccination, which represents more than 40% of the population.
That positive trajectory is not likely to continue, however, as the number of people seeking vaccinations is declining. Again, as previously reported, concerted efforts by government, by culture icons, by faith-based communities and others will be required.
Often, it takes just a bit of enticement to draw someone to a vaccination site. In his briefing Monday, Latimer revealed one such effort. “We’re running a promotion,” he announced. “Take your mom to be vaccinated and get one yourself.” The Mother’s Day deal is open to eligible sons, daughters and their moms this Saturday, May 8th at the Westchester Community College vaccination site off Grasslands Road in Valhalla. Mom will get a gift bag.