New York Gov. Cuomo issues new reopening guidelines as the state struggles to bounce back economically


One Times Square, center, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, in New York’s Times Square. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK (NewsNation) — In the face of tough economic times, New York state has reported a positive COVID-19 test rate of less than 1% for seven days straight.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced low-risk cultural sites such as museums and aquariums will be able to reopen in New York City on Aug. 24. with masks and a maximum 25% occupancy.

Cuomo also said he would issue guidelines for the reopening of gyms Monday.

A positive development after a devastating 5 months of layoffs and lost businesses, many never coming back.

The New York City tourism industry has been devastated by COVID-19. On any given night, it’s an empty Times Square. Even religious institutions are struggling. The iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral located on 5th Avenue says the lack of tourist traffic has blown a $4 million hole in its budget and city-wide, charities are left struggling to keep up with the need.

“People really step up when the need gets greater,” said Derek Ferguson, Chief Operating Officer at the Robin Hood Foundation.

This week a report from the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative think-tank, ranks New York the 50th for “economic outlook.”

Among the most significant impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the New York economy is Broadway. The shutdowns that began in March extended through the summer and now through the end of the year.

Broadway grossed $1.8 billion last season and attracted a record 15 million people. Producers and labor unions are trying to find a safe way forward but that path is not clear.

Then there is New York’s homeless crisis. Those with nowhere to go are being housed in hotels city-wide to help social distance. Their neighbors documenting some troubling scenes on social media, some suggesting they will be the next New Yorkers to leave.

“They’ve taken a lifetime of problems and dumped them on us, the taxpayers of this neighborhood,” said Monica Rosenberg, a New York City resident. “And it’s just not right and it’s just not fair.”

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