Museums, exhibitions, historical sites and low-risk entertainment venues are now allowed to reopen in Putnam County as the Mid-Hudson region enters Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan.
Social gatherings of up to 50 people will also be allowed as will low-risk youth sports including baseball, softball, gymnastics, field hockey, cross country and track, with no more than two spectators.
“We are thrilled to have social gatherings, kids’ sports and our Main Street businesses almost fully back again,” Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “Under the guidance of our Department of Health, we have proceeded with caution throughout this pandemic and our vigilance has paid off. We can now shop Putnam and patronize the businesses that belong to our friends and neighbors, while also maintaining the health and safety of our communities.”
Malls in the Mid-Hudson region, and other areas of the state that have reached Phase 4, will reopen Friday July 10. Malls must have air filtration systems that can remove coronavirus particles from the air. Shoppers will also have to follow social distancing rules and stores will be restricted to 50 percent occupancy.
“We are happy to see that the malls will reopen,” County Executive Odell said. “With nearby states allowing mall shopping, this will level the playing field for New York State.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not permit gyms, indoor fitness centers and movie theaters to reopen as part of Phase 4, instead they must remain closed through August 5.
“We feel the pain of those small business owners, and we are disappointed with the delay,” said Kathleen Abels, president of the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation. “Now, at least, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Barring a change, the governor’s Executive Order gives gyms, indoor fitness centers and movie theaters a projected reopening date of August 6.”
The same cannot be said for much of the rest of the country, 38 states are seeing large increases in infection rates. A travel advisory has now been expanded to 19 states, with travelers from Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma added to the list of those who must quarantine for 14 days when they come to New York State.
In New York, the Mid-Hudson region has been getting back to normal, or the new normal, since the first phase of the reopening started at the end of May. Over the past six weeks, jobs came back, restaurants opened — first for outdoor dining and then for indoor dining — and now low-risk entertainment is returning.
In Phase 4, colleges and other institutions of higher education can reopen, as can zoos, botanical gardens, nature parks, historic sites and cultural sites. Media production companies, including film, television, music and website producers, can also get back to business.
In addition to Putnam, the Mid-Hudson region includes Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties.
For help determining whether or not your business is eligible to reopen, use the state’s reopen lookup tool.