NY State Fair is on! NY expands capacity restrictions for offices, casinos amid COVID pandemic

Coronavirus Update for New York
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State Fair would be back this summer, operating at 50% capacity.

The state fair will operate for a full 18 days, August 20 - September 6.

"We are going to organize it a little differently. We are going to have the fair set up in four areas, so we have a better idea of the capacity and crowd size. We want to keep crowd size at 50%. We will have four separate areas. That will give us the ability to control the number of people who are coming and going," Cuomo said.

The four areas at the fair would be for amusements, food and vendors, concerts, and agriculture.

Governor Cuomo also announced more reopening plans for the state.

Offices can increase their capacity from 50% to 75%.

Casinos can increase capacity from 25%-50%.

Outdoor stadiums can go from 25%-33%.

Gyms and fitness clubs increase to 50% capacity, from 33%, outside of New York City.

Also on Monday, the state continued its slow and methodical approach to reopening with increased capacity restrictions at several types of businesses, including movie theaters, zoos, and museums.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that museum and zoo capacities would increase to 50%, while movie theaters' capacity expands to 33%.

Still, masks are required when a patron is not eating or drinking.

Despite the easing of restrictions, the New York State Restaurant Association is protesting curfew restrictions on restaurants/

"Curfew restrictions on restaurants are not based on facts. We have yet to see data confirming that a restaurant staying open later at night is riskier than an afternoon," Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association said. "It's time to remove these arbitrary restrictions. Let's create a plan that details full reopening for our industry. Most other states have that already. Our operators and their communities need to know. On top of that, any suggestion that the hospitality sector had anything to do with the 41 COVID-19 deaths that the state reported from yesterday is misleading and irresponsible."

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It comes as the state continues its efforts to make getting a COVID vaccine as easy as possible.

New York City is now welcoming walk-ins at all city-run sites, while the state is allowing residents 60 and up to get a shot without an appointment.

The American Museum of Natural History also opened as a vaccination site, operating Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offering 1,000 shots daily.

The location includes set-aside appointments for local NYCHA residents and staff, as well as union staff, such as DC37 workers who work in cultural fields, and museum staff.

Additional days and appointments will be available as supply increases citywide, and eligible New Yorkers can make an appointment at this location by using nyc.gov/vaccinefinder or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC.

Cuomo said it is everyone's civic duty to get vaccinated and help lower the state's infection rate, and that the new policy takes away any hurdles created by having to make appointments on the Internet.

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