As COVID-19 cases and deaths drop across the state, more activities are opening up.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday, April 26, that a "reimagined" New York State Fair will take place at the fairgrounds in Syracuse from Aug. 20 to Sept. 6. The fair will feature four concurrent festivals that will take place exclusively in the outdoor areas of the fairgrounds, according to a media release. Admission is $3 per person, with children younger than12 admitted free.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of the Great New York State Fair. This year, the fair and fairgrounds are being planned and prepared in accordance with the Department of Health's COVID-19 health and safety guidance, the release said. As public health conditions and the guidance changes, the fair will adapt and adhere to all applicable health protocols, such as capacity restrictions, social distancing, face coverings and health screening where necessary.
Daily admission is planned to be limited to about 50 percent of capacity for the areas available for attendees to allow for social distancing. Capacity limits will be reexamined and adjusted if necessary to comply with health and safety guidelines, the release said. The fairground's buildings will not be open to the public, except for bathrooms. Attendees will be required to observe social distancing and wear masks, except when eating or drinking.
Cuomo also announced spectator capacity at large-scale outdoor event venues, including professional and collegiate sports and live performing arts and entertainment, will increase from 20 to 33 percent beginning May 19. The increase will coincide with the previously announced increase in large-scale indoor event venue capacity, according to a media release. Social distancing, masks, health screenings and all other state health and safety protocols will remain in effect.
Cuomo also announced that capacities would be increased throughout several industries that have proven to safely reopen in accordance with the state's COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, starting May 15:
• Gyms and fitness centers outside of New York City will increase from 33% to 50% capacity.
• Casinos and gaming facilities will increase from 25% to 50% capacity.
• Offices will increase from 50% to 75% capacity.
"We are making tremendous progress in the fight against COVID-19. Our vaccination rates are going up and the positivity and hospitalization rates are going down, so now we are going to open the valves of our economy even further," Cuomo said in the media release. "We are increasing the capacity limits throughout several industries, including gyms outside of New York City, casinos, offices and large-scale outdoor event venues. This is all great news, but we are not out of the woods yet. Washing hands, wearing masks and staying socially distanced are critical tools each of us can use to slow the spread as we continue our efforts to defeat COVID once and for all."
New COVID cases, but no deaths, were reported across the region over the weekend.
Chenango County reported 57 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend,
According to a Monday media release from Chenango County Public Health, there were 116 active cases, with four people hospitalized and 494 under active quarantine.
The county has confirmed 3,213 cases and 73 deaths since the pandemic began.
Otsego County reported 20 new cases over the weekend.
According to the Otsego County Department of Health website, there were 65 active cases Monday, with five people hospitalized.
The daily testing positivity rate was 1.8%, up from the seven-day average of 1.1%.
The county has recorded 4,296 cases and 59 deaths since tracking of the disease began.
Delaware County reported 11 new cases over the weekend.
According to a media release from Delaware County Public Health, there were 115 active cases in the county, with 19 people hospitalized and 180 under mandatory quarantine as of Monday.
The county has recorded 2,269 cases and 47 deaths since tracking of COVID-19 began.
Schoharie County reported six new cases over the weekend. The county has now had 1,585 cases and 16 deaths, according to the state COVID-19 Tracker website.