NEW YORK — Movie theaters in New York state can reopen beginning Oct. 23 with restrictions on audience size and other precautions in place, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.
Theaters in New York City aren't included, and counties must have a positivity rate below 2% on a 14-day average and have no "cluster zones."
Audiences will be restricted to 25% of capacity with a maximum of 50 people per screen, Cuomo said at his briefing. Masks will be required and there will be assigned seating to ensure social distancing.
This week, the Global Cinema Federation sent an open letter to Cuomo urging him to let theaters reopen, saying Hollywood studios may continue delaying their remaining 2020 releases if theaters remain closed. The group asked Cuomo to adopt a county-by-county plan for theater openings based on virus data, similar what it said California Gov. Gavin Newsom has done.
State and county health officials filed a lawsuit Friday against an Orange County school that they said has remained open despite an order to close because of a spike in coronavirus cases.
The Times Herald-Record reports the suit filed in state Supreme Court in Goshen names the Bnei Yoel school in Kiryas Joel, an Orthodox Jewish community. Earlier this month, Orange County health officials ordered schools in the area to close for two weeks.
In the lawsuit, a deputy county health commissioner said he visited the school on two days recently and saw children not wearing masks and not observing social distancing.
A phone message was left Saturday with the village's administrator.
Cuomo reinstated restrictions this month on businesses, houses of worship and schools in and near areas where coronavirus cases are spiking.
The new rules, which include school and business shutdowns and limitations on gatherings, affect parts of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City, sections of Orange and Rockland counties outside the city, and an area within Binghamton in the Southern Tier.
Some Jewish leaders have called the measures "blatantly anti-Semitic" for targeting Orthodox communities. On Friday, in a case brought by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, a federal judge upheld Cuomo's order limiting worship to as few as 10 congregants in communities seeing spikes in coronavirus infections.