NEW YORK (WABC) -- Beaches and pools in New York state can open starting Memorial Day with six-foot social distancing, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.
Cuomo says the goal is to reach 100% capacity by July 4.
"If the numbers keep going the way they are going, we will be able to do that," he said. "So we would actually be able to have a normal summer, finally, in beaches and pools, and that is what we are striving for."
New York Senator Todd Kaminsky, who stood on the Long Beach Boardwalk with Nassau County Executive Laura Curran on April 28 and publicly urged the State Department of Health to open beaches to the maximum capacity consistent with health and safety, released a statement after the announcement.
"I have called for a full reopening of our beaches, and today's guidance is an important step toward that goal," Kaminsky said. "Envisioning a normal summer on the beach means that we can expect businesses and coastal economies to thrive again, and for families to enjoy the beautiful, natural resources that make Long Island special."
Curran said "it's good news that the State is expanding capacity at pools and beaches."
"I believe we should continue working towards reaching 100% as soon as possible," she said. "The case I've been making to the State along with Senator Kaminsky is that we can get to 100% sooner rather than later given our high vaccination rate, the low risk of outdoor transmission, and importance of the beach and recreation to our local economy."
The governor added the statewide positivity rate is 1.10%, the lowest since Oct. 17.
"The national rate is 4%," Cuomo said. "We are 1%., so we are one-quarter of the national COVID positivity rate. Yes, we are doing great. No, we have not fully conquered the COVID beast."
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