ALBANY, NY (WSKG) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that gyms in New York can reopen as early as August 24, but with several restrictions. Capacity must be limited to 33%, masks must be worn at all times, and there will be mandatory sign-in and temperature checks at the door. Heating and cooling systems must be improved to avoid potentially recirculating the coronavirus, and what’s known as MERV-13 filters are required.
“It is an area of concern that’s why we went slow on it,” said Cuomo.
He said New York’s low infection rate, just .71% of all test results received Sunday were positive, was also a factor in his decision, as was the need to reopen the economy.
Local governments will be tasked with inspecting all of the gyms before they are allowed to reopen. The governor said the openings can be delayed until September 2nd, if localities need more time to do so.
Many gyms hold fitness classes. Cuomo said the classes can restart, but only if the local health officials say they believe it is safe.
Movie theaters will remain closed for the time being. The governor said cinemas are “not high on the list of essential services,” and present risks.
“It is congregate, it’s one ventilation system, you’re seated there for a long period of time,” Cuomo said. “Even if you are at 50% capacity, with one seat between the two of you, two seats between the two of you, this is a risky situation.”
Many movie theaters across the state have lost millions of dollars in ticket sales and have laid off hundreds of workers. They argue that they can reopen safely.