Broadway theaters making face masks optional for July, NYC lowers COVID alert level

COVID-19 update for NYC

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Monday, July 11, 2022
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The owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theatres in New York City will adopt a "mask optional" policy for the month of July.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Broadway League announced Tuesday that the owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theaters in New York City will adopt a "mask optional" policy for the month of July, this as New York City has downgraded the threat level.

Audience members are still encouraged to wear masks in theaters.

"Millions of people enjoyed the unique magic of Broadway by watching the 75th Tony Award Ceremony recently," Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said. "Millions more have experienced Broadway live in theatres in New York City and throughout the U.S. since we reopened last fall. We're thrilled to welcome even more of our passionate fans back to Broadway in the exciting 22-23 season that has just begun."

Audience masking protocols for August and beyond will be evaluated on a monthly basis, with St. Martin saying they will continue to monitor the science.

An announcement for August and forward will be made in mid-July.

The Broadway League is the national trade association for the Broadway industry, and its 700-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in nearly 200 markets in North America and internationally.

Also Tuesday, Mayor Eric Adams and Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan announced that New York City had moved down from "high" to "medium" on the COVID-19 alert system.

"Day after day, New Yorkers are stepping up and doing their part, and because of our collective efforts we are winning the fight against COVID-19," they said in a joint statement. "We're grateful to New Yorkers for their continued attention and vigilance as we've made our way through to the other side of this wave, and, as a result, we're pleased to announce that New York has fallen into the 'medium' risk category. This surge has taught us a lot about how the virus is currently behaving, and how to prepare for the coming weeks and months. Testing, vaccinations, treatments, and masking have been vital tools to keep people alive and out of the hospital. But we know there remains no greater defense against this virus than vaccination, which is why we're pleased that young children are now eligible for the protection they deserve."

The health department has provided more than 55,000 courses of the antiviral Paxlovid through home delivery already this year, in addition to the thousands of courses issued through providers, helping reduce the severity of those infected with COVID-19.

Additionally, NYC Test + Trace has distributed more than 16.5 million at-home tests to New Yorkers over the last month and over 33 million tests since January to help keep New Yorkers home when infected.

COVID-19 cases per 100,000 are now at 240.4 and hospitalizations per 100,000 have fallen to 9.8. This puts New York City into medium risk, according to the current risk alert system.

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