June 29, 2020 - Message from Governor Andrew Cuomo

The total number of COVID hospitalizations hit another low yesterday, falling to 853. But while the numbers in our state continue trending in the right direction, it is crucial that New Yorkers stay disciplined, especially as we see a surge of COVID cases around the country. If we get lax, that number will shoot right back up.

With the national COVID situation in mind, we are taking a second look at the issue of indoor dining at restaurants statewide and in New York City in particular. Indoor dining presents a risk and we are carefully studying the safest course forward. We will announce a final decision on Wednesday. As we see the surge in infections in other states we know that to be cautious is to be NY Smart.

Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. Western New York will enter Phase 4 of reopening tomorrow, June 30. Global public health experts advising the state on reopening have cleared the region to move to the next phase. Read more about Phase 4 here.

2. Fireworks are dangerous and illegal. I am directing the New York State Police to establish a temporary Fireworks Enforcement Detail to stop illegal fireworks being brought to New York from Pennsylvania. This is in response to a spike of illegal firework use throughout the state, which has generated widespread complaints and media reports. The Detail will be in place until July 3.

3. As part of Phase 4, zoos and museums are beginning to reopen in Central and Upstate New York. Popular venues like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown are beginning to open their doors again and with social distancing and public health protocols in place, visitors are welcome again. See what else is opening here.

4. The 2020 MTV Video Music Awards will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Sunday, August 30. The event will take place without an in-person audience.

5. In order for malls to reopen, specific air conditioning requirements must be put in place. Air conditioning filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating capable of filtering COVID-19 particles or similar air exchange measures will be mandatory for large mall reopenings. A COVID-19 particle is approximately 0.125 microns in diameter. Filters with a high MERV, such as HEPA filters, have been shown to help reduce the presence of COVID-19 in air filtration systems.

6. Yesterday, the State tested 46,428 people. Only 391, or 0.84%, were positive. Sadly, 7 people in New York passed away yesterday due to COVID-19.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": To mark graduation this year, the Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management's faculty decorated and paraded a graduation float across NYC to celebrate their students. The mobile graduation float made a stop at each of the 57 graduating students' homes for a socially distanced ceremony.

Ever Upward,

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo