Reopen News: Long Island enters Phase 4, museums and higher education open

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Museums, higher education reopens as Long Island enters Phase 4
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N.J. Burkett has more on what's back open as Long Island entering Phase 4 of reopening.

LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- Long Island is entering the final phase of reopening, Phase 4.

Many places will be able to reopen, but not everything.

Museums and aquariums are some of the low-risk indoor arts and entertainment that will be allowed.

Phase 4 also means some higher education can resume as well as film and movie production.

"Some higher education as well, film and movie production can resume, which is very exciting for us, its actually a huge revenue generator for Nassau County," Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said. "We've got some fabulous studios, Gold Coast, Grumman, HBO is building a set for a very big ambitious show right here in Nassau, very exciting."

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone calls Phase 4 an important step in their long term recovery.

"We will be able to go from gatherings of 25 to 50 people. Houses of worship will be able to go up to a 33% capacity. So this is all very good news," Bellone said. "There is much work still to be done, but this is a significant milestone, entering that final phase."

One place that will not be reopening Wednesday is malls.

Curran says she thought malls would be included in Phase 4 but they are not.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is now requiring malls to install high efficiency air filtration systems that can strain out COVID particles before they reopen their doors.

It is not clear when malls will be able to have those systems installed and reopen.

Meantime, officials warned that 15% to 25% of Nassau County's positive test results are people from out of state.

"Up to a quarter of our new cases over the past two to three weeks come from out of state," Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said Tuesday. "It's a really big concern as we watch the map. We are asking if you are coming to visit Nassau County, we have done a really good job here of containing the virus, of stopping the spread. And I think we've proven right here that we can reopen."

She went on to say that while visitors are welcomed, those coming from states with rising numbers of cases are asked to quarantine.

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