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Cuomo: Bowling alleys can reopen, gyms to receive guidance


Bowling alleys will be allowed to reopen statewide on Monday, with special precautions, while gyms and fitness centers will finally be issued protocols and guidance for how to bring guests back to their facilities, and when that could happen, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.

Low-risk indoor cultural activities, like museums, will also be allowed to reopen in New York City on Aug. 24, Cuomo said. Those facilities have already been allowed to reopen elsewhere.

He said the state’s continued decline in positive coronavirus cases, as a percentage of those tested, justified the decision to green light those facilities, which have been waiting to hear from the state on a timeline for reopening.

"While the other states are seeing trouble, we are doing very well," Cuomo said.

As of Thursday, the latest data available, 554 people were still hospitalized with the disease, and 59 individuals were intubated. There were four new deaths on Thursday.

Bowling alleys will be allowed to open on Monday, but will be held to strict guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Those businesses will have to limit building capacity to 50%, and masks will have to be worn by everyone involved, both patrons and staff.

People who arrive to bowl will be directed to a lane, with only every other lane open. Once there, bowlers will not be allowed to move from their lane to order food or drinks. Staff will be required to make the rounds occasionally for those orders.

Bowling alleys will also be required to have a documented cleaning protocol to make sure spaces are sanitized between groups of bowlers.

Cuomo did not provide details on how, or when, gyms would reopen, but said those protocols would be issued Monday. Gym owners, and other businesses, spoke out this week against the state’s reluctance to open those facilities.

Low-risk indoor cultural activities, like museums, will have to limit capacity to 25%, Cuomo said. Masks and face coverings will be required, and facilities will have to mandate traffic flow throughout the building.

Cuomo did not mention movie theaters, which have remained closed since the beginning of the pandemic.

Dan Clark is the host and producer of New York NOW, a weekly television show focusing on state government produced by WMHT in Albany. Clark has been reporting on New York state government and politics for the last six years, during which time he's worked out of the state Capitol in Albany. Clark reported for the national political fact-checking publication PolitiFact, the Buffalo News, the statewide political television show Capital Tonight, and most recently the New York Law Journal. At the New York Law Journal, Clark has focused on state legal challenges to President Donald Trump, as well as litigation concerning laws enacted by the New York State Legislature. Clark covered the Legislature in each role he's held and is a familiar face to state lawmakers and staff. Clark is a native of Afton, NY in Chenango County. He's lived in Albany with his husband since 2011.