New York Gov. Cuomo says museums, bowling alleys to reopen in NYC, and gyms may be next

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference at LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, June 10, 2020.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Friday that the state will allow museums, aquariums and other cultural centers in New York City to reopen in the coming weeks and will release reopening guidelines for gymnasiums on Monday. 

“Low-risk cultural activities, museums, aquariums, other low risk cultural arts can reopen in New York City Aug. 24 so they can get their protocols in place,” he said on a conference call with reporters. Museums and other cultural events can operate at 25% capacity, but they have to issue timed ticketing with staggered entry. Face coverings also must be worn at all times, he said. 

Bowling alleys also will be allowed to reopen starting Monday at 50% occupancy with face coverings and every other lane closed, he said. Bowling alleys also must have cleaning and disinfectant protocols in place, especially for shared equipment, he said.  

Low-risk indoor arts and entertainment activities are allowed to return under the state’s phase four reopening plan. Every region in the state, including New York City, were previously allowed to enter the final stage of New York’s reopening, but the city was barred from reopening indoor restaurants, bars, museums and malls. 

In July, Cuomo said there was a risk of a second wave of coronavirus infections as other states were, mostly in the American West and South, were experiencing increases in cases.

On Friday, Cuomo said that New York reported a positivity rate, or the total number of positive tests compared with total tests conducted, of less than 1% for a seven consecutive days. 

“That is fantastic,” Cuomo said on the call. “On the numbers, it’s been extraordinary, congratulations to all New Yorkers.” 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City announced on July 15 that it intended to reopen its doors on Aug. 29 before Cuomo said indoor institutions would remain close during phase four reopening. At the time, he said they could plan to reopen but added that “we’ll see what the facts say.” 

The American Museum of Natural History announced on July 31 that, if allowed to reopen, they would welcome back visitors in early September. 

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