Coronavirus Updates: 'Final decision' on NYC reopening Fri, NJ malls to reopen

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo hedged a bit Thursday on his announcement that New York City would enter Phase 2 of reopening Monday, saying he will evaluate with "global experts" before making a final decision on Friday.

Still, he told restaurants, retail establishments and other business to be ready to reopen June 22. Mayor Bill de Blasio said he felt the city was ready to move into Phase 2, as the city awaited any potential new cases stemming from protests to come to light either this weekend or early next week.

In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy announced that indoor malls would be reopening on June 29.

NEW YORK STATE
Cuomo announced that New York state had its lowest percentage of people testing positive for the coronavirus, at 0.9%, with 1.0% testing positive in New York City, 0.7% testing positive on Long Island, and 0.6% testing positive in the Hudson Valley.

"This is why I'm a cool dude in a loose mood," he said of his demeanor.

The governor also signed an executive order to increase the state's capacity to enforce social distancing and compliance orders with restaurants and businesses.

Violations of the reopening rules can result in an immediate shutdown, as well as the loss of liquor licenses for restaurants and bars.

Cuomo also said he's concerned about a new crisis in New York coming from out-of-state visitors.

In the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, as New York was overwhelmed with cases, Florida imposed a 14-day quarantine on visitors from New York.

Now, with New York having "crushed the curve" and coronavirus cases rising in Florida,Cuomo said he's open to a similar quarantine for Floridians visiting New York.

"I have experts who have advised me to do that. I'm considering it now," he said.

NEW YORK CITY
Mayor Bill de Blasio said that based on the indicators, he's comfortable with the city entering Phase 2 of reopening.

"Get on your mark, get set, get ready to go, because we're ready to take a big step for this city," he said.

Additionally, he announced that playgrounds will reopen as Phase 2 begins Monday, though team sports will still not be permitted in parks during this phase.
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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that playgrounds for children will reopen in the city Monday as part of Phase 2.


Outdoor dining will be permitted during Phase 2, though restaurants are expected to maintain social distancing. Under the "Open Restaurants" plan, which is expected to help an estimated 5,000 restaurants and save an estimated 45,000 jobs, restaurants can offer:
--Curb lane seating - pilot through Labor Day
--Sidewalk seating through October
--Backyard and patio seating
--Open streets seating in July
--Plaza seating through Business Improvement Districts

Restaurants will need to self certify to apply to reopen, a link will be posted on NYC.gov on Friday.

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that the indoor portions of malls and stores could reopen on June 29. Movie theaters and arcades will not be allowed to reopen yet, and food courts can only offer takeout.
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Governor Andrew Cuomo hedged a bit Thursday on his announcement that New York City would enter Phase 2 of reopening Monday, saying he will evaluate with "global experts" before making a final decision on Friday.


The spot positivity rate for COVID-19 tests from June 14 was 2.94%. The rate of transmission is 0.75.

On Wednesday, there were 442 new positive COVID-19 test results for a statewide total of 168,107. Murphy said 38 additional deaths raised the toll to 12,800.

The state also released the guidelines for self-care businesses like hair and nail salons to reopen next Monday.

CONNECTICUT
Connecticut entered Phase 2 of reopening on Wednesday, meaning many new types of businesses -- including movie theaters, nail salons and gyms -- are once again opening their doors.
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Connecticut entered Phase 2 of reopening Wednesday, meaning many new types of businesses -- including movie theaters, nail salons and gyms -- are once again opening their doors.


Indoor dining is also allowed, with capacity restrictions at 50% and a ban on self-service buffet stations.

Phase 2 includes the following sectors:
--Amusement parks
--Hotels
--Indoor dining
--Indoor museums, zoos, and aquariums
--Indoor recreation (e.g. bowling, movie theaters, etc.)
--Libraries
--Outdoor events
--Personal services (nail salons, tattoo parlors, etc.)
--Sports and fitness facilities (gyms, fitness centers, pools, etc.)That means the opening of hotels and indoor recreation, including movie theaters, nail salons and gyms.

LONG ISLAND
In Nassau County, pools and spray parks will be allowed to reopen July 3. The pools will be open to residents only -- similar to rules imposed at beaches. Social distancing rules will also still apply.

Officials in Suffolk County say they are finding more and more PPE littered on the street. Legislators unanimously approved a bill that makes littering PPE a $250 fine.

BELMONT STAKES
Belmont Park is prepping for the Belmont Stakes Saturday, which for the first time in history will be the opening leg of horse racing's Triple Crown. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the storied race will occur without fans. The Belmont Stakes was originally scheduled for June 6. It has been second in the Triple Crown some years, but never first.

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While most of people have been riding out the pandemic from the comfort of our own homes, some people in Queens haven't been so lucky. They've been forced out of their homes for months due to a situation that was out of their control. "They forgot about us and we're still here," Teri Cleveland said.
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Dan Krauth reports on the ruptured sewer line causing raw sewage to spill into the homes of many residents, who were forced to live in hotels.


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