Most pandemic-related capacity restrictions in New York and New Jersey will be lifted beginning May 19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday. The plan employs the same regionally coordinated spirit the two neighboring governors deployed when they first shut down their states more than 13 months ago. Some industry-specific requirements will remain in effect for a longer period of time around health screening, air filtration, and contact tracing, for example, Cuomo noted, but from the statewide perspective, they will be essentially gone in barely more than two weeks. That means no executive-ordered limits to how many people can be in retail and food services establishments, gyms, amusement and family entertainment businesses, hair salons, barbershops, offices, and more at one time.
Broadway effectively would be able to open that day, though it takes time to develop show schedules and sell tickets, Cuomo acknowledged. To hammer out the next steps, the state is in ongoing talks with the Broadway League, which applauded the easing of capacity limits, but didn’t say exactly when it would be ready to return.” We look forward to reopening at full capacity and are working to safely welcome audiences and employees back to Broadway this fall,” the Broadway League said in a statement. The only capacity limits that will remain in place across New York and New Jersey as of May 19 are for large-scale indoor and outdoor venues and indoor/outdoor social and residential gathering limits. Large indoor and outdoor venues will go to 30 percent and 33 percent max capacity that day. Proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID test will still be required in New York. Cuomo said the three tri-states are working to coordinate joint COVID protocol for those big arena spaces going forward.
Children Now Account For 22% Of New U.S. COVID Cases
The number of children contracting COVID-19 in the U.S. is much lower than the record highs set at the start of the new year, but children now account for more than a fifth of new coronavirus cases in states that release data by age, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. It’s a statistic that may surprise many: Just one year ago, child COVID-19 cases made up only around 3% of the U.S. total.
On Monday, the AAP said children represented 22.4% of new cases reported in the past week, accounting for 71,649 out of 319,601 cases. The latest report, drawn from data collected through April 29, illustrates how children’s share of coronavirus infections has grown in recent weeks.Experts link the trend to several factors – particularly high vaccination rates among older Americans. The U.S. recently announced 100 million people were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But other dynamics are also in play, from new COVID-19 variants to the loosening of restrictions on school activities.