State Watch

Cuomo announces New York arenas, venues can reopen Feb. 23

getty: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Wednesday that arenas and venues in the state will be allowed to reopen on Feb. 23 with strict coronavirus prevention guidelines in place for events, including rapid testing.

All fans must receive a PCR COVID-19 test and test negative within 72 hours of entering the venues, NBC New York reported. Masks, social distancing and temperature checks will be required, and places that can hold more than 10,000 people will not be allowed to go above 10 percent capacity. 

Cuomo said that the Barclays Center will reopen and host a Nets game with fans on Feb. 23.

Any other venues that want to open will have to come up with a coronavirus plan and get approval from the State Department of Health. 

New York has been cautious with its reopening plans, as it was one of the states hit hardest by the pandemic, with almost 1.5 million cases and more than 44,000 deaths. 

“The testing to me is key. I can go see the president of the United States, take a test and if I pass the test, walk into the Oval Office,” Cuomo said. “Why? If you’re negative, you’re negative. Testing is the key.”

He emphasized that the decision was made after the Buffalo Bills hosted fans last month and did not see an outbreak of the coronavirus for the event. 

New York City is set to allow indoor dining to begin again with limited capacity starting Friday.

Tags Andrew Cuomo coronavirus restrictions COVID-19 New York

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