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Cuomo: Camps; entertainment venues may reopen this spring




CAPITAL REGION – As COVID-19 rates continue to decline statewide, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Wednesday that outdoor theme parks may open this spring, with capacity limits , and that summer night camps would also be authorized in 2021.

Outdoor amusement parks, such as Six Flags Great Escape in Queensbury, were not allowed to open at all last year to prevent the spread of COVID, but will be allowed to reopen on April 9, but with a limit of 33% on their maximum. capacity, Cuomo said.

Indoor family entertainment centers and entertainment venues may open with 25% capacity as of Friday, March 26. Both types of sites must have reopening plans approved by their local health departments, and visitors must undergo health examinations and be masked during their stay. their properties. Surfaces with these properties will also need to be disinfected frequently.

“In New York City, we base our decisions on science and data and we adapt as the virus adjusts,” Cuomo said. “With the continued decline in infection and hospitalization rates, we have been able to take steps to begin our post-COVID recovery and are delighted to be now in a place where we can bring back our recreational industries with protocols for security in place.

In addition, day and night summer camps can begin planning to reopen this summer. Cuomo said the State Department of Health will issue specific reopening guidelines, including details on the schedule, in the coming weeks.

“We are delighted with today’s announcement that we can reopen our doors and invite guests back to our property for what is sure to be an amazing summer,” said Jason Lee, spokesperson for Six Flags Great Escape. “We are grateful for the support and confidence Warren County and State Government officials have in our plans to reopen, which prioritize the health and well-being of our guests and members of the our team.”

Lee, who noted that an open park provides up to 1,000 jobs, said more details would be released on Friday.

The news comes as trends in hospitalizations, positivity testing and deaths from COVID move in the right direction.

As of Wednesday, the total number of COVID-related hospitalizations in the state was 6,574, down almost 30% from the peak in early January. The statewide test positivity rate was 3.58% on Tuesday. The capital region’s seven-day average test positivity rate fell to 2.1%, according to the state’s health ministry.

Cuomo also announced that a second mass vaccination site will open in Albany at the Washington Avenue Armory. He said the location, which will be managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state, is specifically intended to help the state reach black and other minority communities, which have fallen behind compared to the white population to be vaccinated. It will open in early March.

The state vaccination site established at the University of Albany has been among the most difficult to make an appointment, according to members of the public who have tried – a situation which may be due to high demand.

“With our heritage as a former New York National Guard armory, the Armory stands ready to serve the Empire State in times of need,” Albany Armory officials said in a statement. “The Armory’s location in downtown Albany is accessible by public transport and walking distance from many areas of Albany, making it an ideal central location for socially vulnerable communities, such as the noted Governor Cuomo.

Late Wednesday, Cuomo announced that a two-day “pop-up” vaccination clinic would be held at the Schenectady Town Mission Friday and Saturday, as part of outreach to marginalized people. At the time of the announcement, all appointments had already been taken.

In other developments:

– Saratoga County has announced that it will begin compiling a list of people interested in getting the vaccine on its website, Putting someone’s name on the list will not guarantee a vaccine will be obtained, but county public health departments will use the list to try and match eligible people with known appointments. vaccines. Information such as age and state of health will be kept confidential.

As public health continues to aggressively distribute COVID vaccines and vaccine availability is expected to increase in the coming months, it is essential that we have a centralized and confidential system to reach eligible residents, Supervisor Tara said. Gaston, D-Saratoga, Chairman of County Health Committee.

– With the prospect of warmer weather to come, Saratoga Springs City Council has agreed to allow restaurants in town to resume outdoor dining, allowing restaurants to use space on sidewalks and in public alleys, from March 15. since June, when dining in the dining room resumed, but with capacity restrictions.

– U.S. Representative Paul D. Tonko, D-Amsterdam, sent a letter to CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna on Wednesday to formally request information and advice on why the emergency production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines are not moving any faster, and what Congress and the federal government could do to remove the barriers.

New York’s large population of vaccine-eligible individuals and our established network of vaccination sites that are fully prepared to deliver vaccines at a rapid rate continue to outstrip the vaccine supply of states, ”Tonko wrote. “We are well positioned to make the most of any increase in supply and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to speed up vaccine production and significantly expand distribution in my home district and across the country. country.

A congressional subcommittee that Tonko is a part of will hold a hearing next week on how to expand vaccine production and distribution.

– The city of Albany, which canceled the 2020 St. Patrick’s Day parade last year as the county saw its first cases of COVID, has announced that the 2021 parade will also be canceled, with a virtual event taking its place .

I was hoping this year would present better times, but unfortunately we need to continue to follow COVID protocols and do our part to deter large gatherings and continue to flatten the curve, ”said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “Despite the different look of this year’s Parade Day, I encourage you to take advantage of the virtual celebration that the Parade Committee has organized for this year.

There were 109 deaths reported statewide on Tuesday – matching the other days of the week – but nearly half the daily number as of mid-January. Albany, Fulton and Montgomery counties each recorded three more deaths and Rensselaer County one more death, according to Cuomo’s office.

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Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News, Saratoga County, Schenectady County

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