Many New York Businesses Unexpectedly Remain Closed in Phase 4
Many businesses that expected to be allowed to reopen in Phase 4 of New York's four-step COVID-19 reopening remain closed.
On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed the Mid-Hudson Region can start Phase 4 of the four-phased reopening plan on Tuesday.
Later during his COVID-19 briefing on Monday, Cuomo also announced that gyms, casinos and movie theaters will currently remain closed as the state government continues to review the science and facts on their safe reopening.
"We are closely monitoring the gauges on the reopening valve to see if the infection or hospitalization rate is going up, and we will tighten or loosen the valve as necessary depending on the data. If we see spikes in data or lack of compliance, we will slow down the reopening valve and adjust as necessary," Cuomo said. "The numbers show we are right where we want to be, but what's happening around the country is a cold reminder that we need to continue being cautious and smart and disciplined - no one wants to go back to the hell that we went through."
Malls also remain closed. Officials have yet to give any clues as to when any of the businesses can reopen.
“New Yorkers have gone above and beyond to do their part to protect public health. Now, once again, in the dark of night, the state is re-writing the rules and making arbitrary decisions about who can open next and who cannot. It’s absolutely not right and I stand in support of the countless Hudson Valley employers and employees who are on the brink of financial ruin in calling on the state to allow these businesses to reopen as planned," Sue Serino, New York Senate District 41, said in a press release.
In late June, many state officials were shocked when Cuomo announced gym, malls and movie theaters won't reopen in Phase 4 of the state's four-step COVID-19 reopening as many expected.
"They claimed these businesses were never tied to the opening of Phase 4. What they told us was absolutely different than what they said over the last three weeks - and never once did they say otherwise," Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said after Cuomo made the announcement. "They’re obligated to explain what the metric, the measurement, the science is. A last-minute, 30-minute phone call is not sufficient."
Cuomo said officials are continuing to study the impact air conditions have on spreading coronavirus at gyms, malls and businesses.
"There are reports malls, bars, certain social clubs with air conditioning, that it may not be cleansing the air of the virus and just recycling the virus, so we're studying that and as soon as we get more information we’ll make a decision," Cuomo said.
On Monday, the governor also announced that New York State will make industry recommendations on the use of air filtration technology to potentially eliminate the spread of COVID-19 through air conditioning systems. As evidence emerges that COVID-19 spread is linked more to airborne transmission than to surface area transmission, New York State is studying filters, their compatibility with existing air systems, the expense of modifications to air conditioning systems and other factors, officials say.