Updated Industry Re-Opening Guidance

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced guidance to begin re-opening additional sectors of the economy, as New York State’s hospitalization and COVID-19 infection rates continue to decline.  Beginning March 5th, movie theaters in New York City (as well as theaters that have been closed in any remaining parts of the State) and billiard halls statewide will be permitted to re-open.  Furthermore, beginning March 15th, weddings and catered events can resume statewide.


Specific guidance is as follows:


  • Opening March 5th:


Movie Theaters in New York City

  • Venues are restricted to 25 percent capacity, with no more than 50 people per screen at a time.
  • Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking.
  • Assigned seating will be required in all theaters.
  • Social distancing between parties will be required at all times.
  • Additional staffing will be required to control occupancy, traffic and seating to ensure compliance.
  • Enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards must be met by theaters.
  • This action brings New York City movie theaters in line with movie theaters throughout the rest of the State.


Billiard/Pool Halls

  • Halls are restricted to 50 percent capacity outside of New York City; 35 percent capacity in New York City
  • Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking.
  • Mandatory social distancing must be enforced, or physical barriers between parties of patrons/players must be installed.
  • Each party must be assigned to a table to avoid comingling.
  • Staff must rigorously clean and disinfect any rented or shared equipment between use.


  • Beginning March 15th:

Weddings and Catered Events

  • Venues are restricted to 50 capacity, with no more than 150 people per event.
  • All patrons must be tested prior to the event.
  • Sign-in with contact information required to assist with potential contact tracing.
  • Venues must notify local health departments of large events, above the social gathering limit, in advance.
  • Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking.
  • Ceremonial and socially-distanced dancing are allowed under strict guidelines.


Updated Nursing Home Visitation Guidance

Governor Cuomo today released updated guidance for visitation at nursing homes.  The following guidelines are effective beginning February 26th:

  • For counties with a positivity rate of less than 5 percent – testing for visitors will be encouraged, but not required.
  • For counties with a positivity rate of 5-10 percent – testing for visitors is required within 72 hours.
  • For counties with positivity rates greater than 10 percent – no visitation is allowed.
  • No visitation will be allowed if there have been COVID cases in the nursing home within the last 14 days.


Expanded Access to Community-Based Vaccination Sites

Governor Cuomo today announced additional efforts to expand access to community-based vaccination sites at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens.  As part of these efforts, the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) will launch a pilot program to enhance bus service in Brooklyn and Queens to connect New Yorkers in these boroughs to the two vaccination sites.  The State also will partner with faith leaders in Brooklyn and Queens to launch a vaccination drive to encourage more community members to sign up for vaccination appointments.  The community-based vaccination sites located in Brooklyn and Queens will begin vaccinations on Wednesday, February 24th and will operate daily between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.  Additional information about today’s announcement can be found online HERE.


New York State COVID-19 Numbers

The statewide positivity rate yesterday was 4.33%.  There were 5,804 hospitalized individuals yesterday, and over the past week there has been a net decrease of 819 patients hospitalized. There were 89 COVID-19 deaths in New York State yesterday.