Cuomo: NY accelerating reopening of houses of worship, will allow 25% occupancy during Phase 2 of reopening
New York's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is moving faster than expected, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday, allowing the state to loosen some restrictions on gatherings in houses of worship.
Churches, temples, mosques and other religious buildings will be allowed to operate with 25% of their usual capacity once the region they are in reaches phase two of the state's reopening plan.
“We’re going to open the valve more than we originally anticipated because the metrics are so good," Cuomo said.
All of the state, except for New York City, is now in the second phase of loosening restrictions put in place in March, meaning larger religious gatherings can begin in most places immediately. New York City starts the first phase Monday.
COVID-19 killed 35 people in the state Friday, Cuomo said, down from a peak of more than 700 per day in April.
“This is really really good news. Compared to where we were, this is a big sigh of relief," Cuomo said, though he noted that caution is still needed.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and lead to death.
Cuomo urged people to continue wearing masks and practice social distancing, something that has been collapsing in many parts of the state as people have watched tightly-packed crowds of thousands of people protesting racial injustice.
“People still have to stay smart. With this virus you learn something new every week, and sometimes what you learn is different from what they told you in the first place,” Cuomo said.
-The Associated Press
-There were 35 lives lost in the past 24 hours, another new daily low since the crisis started.
-"We'd like to see nobody die in the state of New York ever, but this is really, really good news. And compared to where we were, this is a big sigh of relief," Gov. Cuomo says.
-Gov. Cuomo says NY is accelerating the reopening of houses of worship given progress in the metrics; the state will allow 25% occupancy in churches, mosques and temples with social distancing during Phase II of reopening, effective immediately.
-Cuomo cites the importance of masks in fighting the virus, noting new research that says while surfaces are less important, the virus can live in the air for up to 3 hours. He says he will sign an executive order banning price gouging on PPE during the crisis.
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