By Emily Davenport
Cultural institutions and bowling alleys will be able to reopen in the coming days, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
In New York State, 85,455 tests were performed with 727 coming back positive on Aug. 13, giving the state a 0.85% infection rate. A total of 554 people were hospitalized and four people died of COVID-19.
Cuomo told reports on Aug. 14 that this has been the seventh consecutive day of New York had an infection rate that was under 1%.
“That is fantastic. We are doing a tremendous number of tests — New York State has averaged 87,000 tests a day for the past three weeks,” said Cuomo. “So 0.8 is a great number and is based on a very large sample size. On the numbers, it’s been extraordinary.”
As a result of the low infection rates, Cuomo said that bowling alleys can reopen at 50% capacity on Monday, Aug. 17. All patrons and staff must wear a face covering, and every other lane must be closed to ensure social distancing. Parties who come to the bowling alley must stay at their lane, and all food and alcohol must be served through wait service. The establishment must also have cleaning and disinfecting protocols in place, particularly with the shared equipment.
Low-risk museums and cultural institutions will also be allowed to reopen in New York City at 25% capacity. Face coverings will be required for everyone on-site and tickets must be sold ahead of time with pre-determined times of entry that must be staggered.
The governor said that protocols for gyms to reopen will be released on Aug. 17. Cuomo noted that the state will be conducting a pilot program in four cities to analyze COVID-19 waste water.
Cuomo told reporters that Washington, D.C. continues to mishandle COVID-19, stating that they are continuing to play politics and that the pandemic did not bring any responsibility to the federal government.
“This has been a total disgrace,” said Cuomo. “CVOD-19, and the handling of COVID-19, is going to be the main factor in the November elections, and Washington is going to fail the leadership test on COVID-19. You will see it in all elections — Congressional, Senate and Presidential.”