Effective May 19, New York Adopts CDC's "Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People" for Most Businesses and Public Settings
Pre-K to 12 Schools, Public Transit, Homeless Shelters, Correctional Facilities, Nursing Homes, and Healthcare Settings will be Exempt Until More New Yorkers are Fully Vaccinated
New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets Will Have Fully Vaccinated Fan Sections for 2021 NBA Home Playoff Games
2021 TCS New York City Marathon to Return for 50th Running on November 7
Reimagined Tribeca Festival to Feature Radio City Music Hall Reopening At 100% Capacity for Festival's Closing Night on Saturday, June 19
Three New Pop-Up Vaccination Sites to Open in Collaboration with MTA Following Success of Pilot Program
Additional Guidance Announced for County Fairs and Local Festivals
Governor Cuomo: "Effective this Wednesday, we're going to adopt the CDCs new guidance and regulations on masks and social distancing for vaccinated people. By the CDC guidance, immunocompromised people and vaccinated people should continue to wear a mask and social distance, but if you are vaccinated, you are safe. No masks, no social distancing. We're also going to follow the CDC's guidelines that you will still need to wear a mask on public transportation, the Subways, the buses, nursing homes, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, schools, and healthcare facilities. The CDC guidance is all up on the website. Individual private venues still have the ability to add additional guidelines to the state guidelines and the CDC guidelines. But, for our part, we're adopting the CDC and we're saying let's open."
Cuomo: "Getting back to life means not just getting back to work, but getting back to life the way we enjoy it in New York. Why people enjoy being here, what makes New York, New York, and part of that is sports and congratulations to the Knicks and the Nets on making the playoffs. That is really good news. I am going to root for New York, just so you know. The rules on the playoffs. There will be a vaccinated section and an unvaccinated section. We've just done this for the Islanders. Currently, from the Islanders model that we use, which we're now applying to the Knicks and the Nets, it's 50 percent of the arena is for vaccinated people, 50 percent for unvaccinated people. Unvaccinated people have to do six feet, social distancing and require a mask. But this is up to the individual venue, just to be clear. If I own the Knicks, can I tell you what I would do if I owned the Knicks? Everybody else tells you what they would do if they own the Knicks, right? Everybody is entitled to an opinion. If I own the Knicks the guidelines are 50 percent for vaccinated, I would go higher. I encourage operators and venues to go higher than 50 percent vaccinated. You can go to 100 percent vaccinated."
Cuomo: "COVID was tough, but we're tougher. We're better. That's the New York spirit. That's the New York mojo. Tribeca will open on June 9th at a new park that we're opening on Manhattan West Side, Pier 76, which is magnificent. It's a new public space. It goes right out into the Hudson magnificent views. Tribeca, on their opening on June 9th will host a screening on Pier 76 for Lin-Manuel Miranda's "In the Heights" and the closing night of Tribeca is June 19th. It's going to be right here with a red carpet closing night performance at the magnificent Radio City Music Hall. 100% vaccinated mask-free audience. This beautiful hall will be filled once again with what I am sure is going to be a phenomenal, phenomenal evening and attraction. Having Radio City back at a hundred percent without masks, with people enjoying New York and the New York arts, is going to be not only symbolic and metaphoric, but I think it's going to go a long way towards bringing back this state overall."
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that beginning May 19, New York State will adopt the CDC's "Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People" for most business and public settings. Consistent with the CDC guidance, Pre-K to 12 schools, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and healthcare settings will continue to follow State's existing COVID-19 health guidelines until more New Yorkers are fully vaccinated.
AUDIO of today's remarks is available here.
PHOTOS will be available on the Governor's Flickr page.
A rush transcript of today's remarks is available below:
Governor Cuomo: Good morning. What a pleasure to be here today at Radio City Music Hall. How magnificent is this venue? Let's give the Radio City Music Hall a round of applause. It's good to be back. I was going to start today offering my rendition and singing my own composition of "New York State of Mind." I was rehearsing for days. I was all prepared. Mr. Dolan just informed me that I don't have the appropriate union membership to perform, so I'm not going to sing, but I am gravely disappointed, I want you to know. Let me introduce the people who are with me. To my right, Mr. James Dolan, executive chairman and CEO of Madison Square Garden Entertainment. To his right, we have Kerin Hempel, who is the interim CEO for New York Road Runners. We then have Mr. Robert Mujica, who's director of the state budget, he's in charge of finances. To my left, Jane Rosenthal, who is the co-founder of Tribeca Productions, and to her left, Dr. Howard Zucker, who has been extraordinary in his guidance to the State of New York all through this COVID pandemic.
As I said, it's my pleasure to be here today, and we have a lot of good news. We're going to talk about today and tomorrow, because what we do today really is going to define what tomorrow is all about. There's probably no other point in my memory where the future of the state was so dependent on the decisions and the actions that we take today. This post-COVID reality is going to be shaped and formed by what we do. This is happening all across this country. It's happening all across the globe. We're reopening the world, reopening economies. Yeah, but what does that look like? What does that mean? What did we learn from COVID? What are we going to be like going forward? And after all this devastation, we have now tremendous investment that we're going to be making in the place that we build tomorrow. What are we going to do? What are we going to make it?
As far as today is concerned, the numbers on COVID are all good. Overall statewide positivity is 1.26. That's well below the national average. Congratulations to New Yorkers. Hospitalizations are down, ICU is down, intubations is down. Statewide deaths, which is the most important number on the chart and the one that breaks my heart every day, 11 New Yorkers passed away. So anyone who says, "well, COVID is over. It's a thing of the past." 11 people passed away. 11 families are grieving today because they lost loved ones. So keep that in mind. But the number of deaths is the lowest since October 30th.
You look across the state, and this has always been interesting to me, and it's been true from day one, the COVID positivity rate varies across the state. Why? It's one state, same Governor, I've been giving the same message, same numbers, same health commissioner, same policies. Because COVID positivity is a function of individual behavior, period. And it is a function of community behavior. You tell me what a person does, how they act. You tell me how a community acts, I'll tell you the COVID positivity rate. Are they wearing masks? Are they getting vaccines? So you see across the state, you go from a low of 0.5 to a high of 2.7 up in the Finger Lakes. It's all a function of behavior. You take New York City, even within New York City, Staten Island, 1.2. How can that be when you have Manhattan at .5? Density, how do you explain it? It's a function of individual behavior and community behavior.
But the positivity in January after the holiday surge, remember we were close to 8 percent. We're now down to 1.1 percent. Hospitalizations, we were up near 9,000 hospitalizations in January, and now we're down to 1,700, which is the lowest since November 15th. So, all the arrows are headed in the right direction. We are managing COVID. We haven't defeated COVID, but we are managing COVID and we're managing COVID well.
The vaccinations were always the key to defeating COVID and we're doing very well with that. 17 million doses. Just think about that. 60 percent of new Yorkers over 18 have received one dose already, and the percentage of people who come back for the second dose is very, very high. Over half the population, 52 percent, fully vaccinated now. But, we still have more work to do on vaccinations. The numbers on the vaccinations are the only number that is not doing as well as the others. Part of that is common sense, the people who are most eager to get a vaccine came in and got it, and now we're getting towards a percentage of the population that's not that eager to get the vaccine, and then you have a subgroup that is just reluctant and hesitant to get it.
We started a new program, because these are times to be creative and do things you've never done before, the MTA's get a shot, take a ride program. Theory is, you're going into the Subway, you're going onto a train, we will have the vaccines in the station. So you literally walk right past the vaccination to get on the train. And if you get a vaccination, then you will get a free pass on the Subway or the Long Island Rail Road or on Metro-North. So a financial incentive to get it. We tried it last week, 5,700 vaccinations in five days. So it worked very well. And it was a pilot, we had never done it before. We're going to extend it because it's worked well. Some stations worked better than other stations. We're going to extend the stations you see there. East 180th Street in the Bronx, Grand Central, Penn Station, Broadway, and we're going to add 125th Street in Harlem, Sutphin Boulevard, Queens, my old neighborhood, Hicksville on Long Island, and Broadway Junction we're keeping.
So, this works, and we're going to find more creative ways to get people to take vaccines, because the more people take vaccines, the better, period. That's what it's all about. But, New Yorkers have made tremendous progress. New Yorkers have made more progress than any state in the United States of America. How can I say that? Because we had a worse problem than any state in the United States of America. Remember, we had the highest infection rate on the globe at one time. When COVID hit us, it hit us as an ambush. It had been coming here for months and nobody knew, and by the time we figured it out, it was too late. Why? Because people fly into New York. COVID came to New York, not from China. COVID came from Europe to New York. And those flights from Europe were landing in New York, and COVID had gone from China to Europe. Everybody missed it. And then people had it in Europe and were coming to New York, and everybody missed it until it was too late. We had people dying from COVID before we knew we had COVID.
So, New Yorkers have made great progress. All the arrows are now pointed in the right direction. So let's get back to life. This shutdown has caused all sorts of damage, damage that we're not even aware of. Everybody points to the economic damage, and that's that certain. Businesses closed, people lost their jobs, but there's all sorts of other damage that people are not yet understanding, I believe. What did it mean to keep children out of school for a year? The lack of socialization, the lack of developing friendships and bonds. What did it mean to say to people, you can't hug, you can't kiss. What did it say to senior citizens who were basically trapped in their homes? You can't visit your family, you have to be worried about everyone you see. The psychological trauma, the mental health trauma. Divorces are up about 300 percent across the globe from this situation. So, we have to reopen, we have to reopen smart, we have to reopen with a cautious eye, but we have to get back to life and we have to get back to life, and living, and we have to do it the way New Yorkers do it, we have to do it quickly and robustly.
Effective this Wednesday, we're going to adopt the CDCs new guidance and regulations on masks and social distancing for vaccinated people. By the CDC guidance, immunocompromised people and vaccinated people should continue to wear a mask and social distance, but if you are vaccinated, you are safe. No masks, no social distancing. We're also going to follow the CDC's guidelines that you will still need to wear a mask on public transportation, the Subways, the buses, nursing homes, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, schools, and healthcare facilities. The CDC guidance is all up on the website. Individual private venues still have the ability to add additional guidelines to the state guidelines and the CDC guidelines. But, for our part, we're adopting the CDC and we're saying let's open.
This comes at a good time for New York because we had already said we were going to do our major reopening this Wednesday. So this Wednesday, most capacity restrictions are lifted in the tri-state area, New Jersey, Connecticut. Whenever possible, we work with New Jersey and Connecticut to make sure we're doing the same thing. We don't want people going from New York to New Jersey, New Jersey to New York. Well, we do, but not to get around COVID guidelines, not to shop COVID guidelines. Outdoor food and beverage curfew is lifted today. Indoor food and beverage lifted May 31st. Outdoor gathering increased to 500, indoor to 50 indoor residential gathering to 50, 24-hour Subway service has returned.
Getting back to life means not just getting back to work, but getting back to life the way we enjoy it in New York. Why people enjoy being here, what makes New York, New York, and part of that is sports and congratulations to the Knicks and the Nets on making the playoffs. That is really good news. I am going to root for New York, just so you know. The rules on the playoffs. There will be a vaccinated section and an unvaccinated section. We've just done this for the Islanders. Currently, from the Islanders model that we use, which we're now applying to the Knicks and the Nets, it's 50 percent of the arena is for vaccinated people, 50 percent for unvaccinated people. Unvaccinated people have to do six feet, social distancing and require a mask. But this is up to the individual venue, just to be clear. If I own the Knicks, can I tell you what I would do if I owned the Knicks? Everybody else tells you what they would do if they own the Knicks, right?
Everybody is entitled to an opinion. If I own the Knicks the guidelines are 50 percent for vaccinated, I would go higher. I encourage operators and venues to go higher than 50 percent vaccinated. You can go to 100 percent vaccinated. That's in a private operator's control. And frankly, from the state's point of view, we want to encourage people to get vaccinated. Yes, there are health reasons, but we're opening up and we're opening up with more opportunities to vaccinated people. So it's another reason to get vaccinated. And if the Knicks or the Nets say 60 percent, 75 percent, 80 percent for vaccinated people, why would they say that? Because they get more attendance. You get more people in the arena, in a vaccinated section than the unvaccinated because with the unvaccinated you have to have the six foot social distancing. From the team's point of view, the teams want fans in the arena, right? Ty Cobb, the fans make the game. They want the cheers. They want the energy. The players themselves want it. So the more people in the arena, the better. That is within their control.
New York City Marathon. It's another great New York City institution. We have Kerin Hempel with us. The marathon is back. And that is a great, great New York event that excites people from all across the globe. There's a lot of great work for the city and the state of New York. Many people come, it will be at 60 percent capacity, 33,000 runners. They'll have health and safety guidelines. Registration opens on June 8th. And again, the race isn't until November 7th, but it's the 50th running. And that can be adjusted between now and November, because November is a long way away. But for now, for the opening registration, it's 33,000 runners.
County fairs, big part of the state, big part of upstate New York. They are all allowed to open up to the capacity of six feet social distancing. The local department of health will issue a permit, New York State Department of Health approves events over 5,000. Private operator can, again, set their own rules or a government owned venue can set additional rules.
Tribeca Film Festival is going to reopen. Talk about everything comes around. Tribeca was formed post 9/11. Post 9/11. I don't know how many of you are old enough to remember. There were so many naysayers about New York, post 9/11. It's over for New York, we're a terrorist target. Everybody's going to flee New York. Nobody wants to stay here because now we're an ongoing target. Going downtown, forget it. You couldn't get people to go downtown. What was the logic? I have no idea. What did you think there was going to be another terrorist attack and it was going to happen to be downtown again? But the core of New York, the confidence in New York was gone.
Tribeca was formed to bring back the New York spirit, to bring back what New Yorkers loved about New York and it did it brilliantly. That was the founding of Tribeca, to help New York rejuvenate post 9/11 and Tribeca is now helping New York rejuvenate post-COVID. This is about re rekindling the spirit of New York.
Yeah, you can open buses. You can open subways, you can open businesses, but we need to get the exuberance back, the excitement back, the love of New York. I love New York. I love New York. Why are you in New York? Because I love New York. It's that emotion. It's that spirit. And that's what we're getting back that yeah, we're in New York tough.
Yeah, we went through a tough time. Yes. COVID was tough, but we're tougher. We're better. That's the New York spirit. That's the New York mojo. Tribeca will open on June 9th at a new park that we're opening on Manhattan West Side, Pier 76, which is magnificent. It's a new public space. It goes right out into the Hudson magnificent views.
Tribeca, on their opening on June 9th will host a screening on Pier 76 for Lin-Manuel Miranda's "In the Heights" and the closing night of Tribeca is June 19th. It's going to be right here with a red carpet closing night performance at the magnificent Radio City Music Hall. 100% vaccinated mask-free audience.
This beautiful hall will be filled once again with what I am sure is going to be a phenomenal, phenomenal evening and attraction. Having Radio City back at a hundred percent without masks, with people enjoying New York and the New York arts, is going to be not only symbolic and metaphoric, but I think it's going to go a long way towards bringing back this state overall.
And we do want to say directly 100 percent at Radio City Music Hall. So, if I'm not vaccinated, I can't go? That's right. That's right. The whole point of the CDC's change, the whole point of our change, is to say to people there are benefits to being vaccinated. Number one, if you get COVID, which there's a fractional chance that you'll get it, if you're vaccinated you won't get as sick. Number two, you can't transmit it to anyone. And number three, yes, New York is opening, but you're going to have more opportunities if you are vaccinated. And yes, if you're vaccinated and you go to a ball game, you sit in a vaccinated section and you're sitting next to your buddies and your friends. If you're unvaccinated, you have to sit six feet apart. If you're vaccinated, yes, you come to Radio City Music Hall. And if you're unvaccinated, that's your choice, but you can't go into the Radio City Music Hall with vaccinated people.
For Radio City Music Hall to do this is so powerful because you have to remember history repeats itself. Radio City Music Hall is not just an iconic venue. It was built by John Rockefeller. When? In the middle of the depression. Why? Because we were in the middle of the depression. Why would you build this amazing futuristic music hall in the middle of the depression? Because we were in the middle of the depression and Rockefeller's vision was let's build something that inspires and shows hope. Why did Governor Smith build the Empire State Building in the middle of the Great Depression? That's when you're going to build the tallest building? Of course that's when I'm going to build the tallest building because we are in the middle of the depression and we want that building to rise because we want those spirits to rise.
Yes, says Rockefeller. I'm going to build an awesome music hall better than anything you've ever seen before, because that's the statement that I want to make. The largest auditorium in the world. The biggest stage built for the ages with technology never deployed before. They did that in that moment to make that statement. Because they were faced with a challenge, but they wanted to stand up to that challenge. And that's the message we have to remember today.
People ask me all day long. What is New York going to be like post-COVID? What do you think? We determine what New York is going to be like? There is no pre-written destiny here. You tell me what we do. I will tell you what we are post-COVID. It will be what we make it to be. And what Radio City Music Hall says is imagine what you wanted to be. And then build that. Two steps. Imagine a better New York and then make it happen.
We will imagine a better New York because New York was not perfect pre-COVID. We want to go back to the day before COVID. No, we don't. I don't. I want to go back to a New York that never was. Let's build the New York that is bigger and bolder and safer and sweeter and cleaner and safer and more just than ever before. This is the moment to do it because the table has been reset.
Every governor, every mayor, every country on the globe needs to recover from COVID and needs to transform themselves for a post-COVID world. Who wins that competition? Whoever's smarter, faster and more entrepreneurial. Whoever has a better imagination and more vision, that's who wins. And you know what that is? That is the definition of what makes New York New York.And what makes New Yorkers New Yorkers. And why we built the Empire State Building. And why we built Radio City Music Hall. And why we started the Tribeca Film Festival. Because you can knock us down, but we're going to get up and we're going to go in and get up smarter and stronger and more united than ever before. That is us. That's who we are. It's in our DNA. It's what we mean by New York tough. Otherwise you don't make it in this place. We have, and we will, and we'll do it together. Thank you for being here. And with that, let me turn it over to Jane Rosenthal to speak about the Tribeca Film Festival.
Jane Rosenthal: Thank you, Governor. What an exciting and hopeful day. It's really an honor to be with you and Jim, congratulations on the Knicks. We've been through a grueling year and it's been devastating, frustrating, at times, frightening. We've missed each other and the opportunity to be together, to watch a movie, to dance, laugh and sing, like right here on the stage. Bob DeNiro and I started the festival 19 years ago as the Governor's said, in the aftermath of 9-11, with the purpose of bringing people back downtown, not unlike today. There was a need to rebuild and re-imagine New York. We wanted to unite and bring people together from all over the city, the country, and the world.
Now in the wake of another crisis, our founding mission is even more relevant today. This year. We want to ensure that we can reach all corners of New York. Today, we're thrilled to be able to bring the Tribeca Film Festival to all five boroughs as a tribute, to storytelling and cultural, rich richness of every part of New York and to share our festival experience safely while supporting local businesses. Today's announcement is a huge milestone. It marks the first time in over a year that people will be able to gather together in this extraordinary venue. This would not be possible without your incredible leadership Governor, so thank you as we continue to fight this war against COVID. The Tribeca Film Festival will be the first in-person festival to take place in north America since the pandemic.
Our opening night will be 'In the Heights' and we'll be screening 'In the Heights' at the Palace Theater in Washington Heights. And simultaneously, we're going to be screening in eight other screens from the Bronx Pier 76 to the Battery, to Brooklyn, to Staten Island. And everyone, the tickets will be free and, but you do have to make a reservation to book your pod.
So I hope everyone will join us as the Governor has pushed us to do so many times. It's about re-imagining. We never believed we'd be doing all of these extraordinary outdoor venues, basically creating an outdoor multiplex here in New York. So thank you so much, Governor for pushing us. 'In the Heights' is the quintessential New York tough story of hard work, resilience and triumph, the very foundation of New York City. Thank you. You've been a tremendous supporter of the arts and we're so grateful for your friendship and partnership.
Governor Cuomo: Thank you. Thank you very much, Jane. Thank you for everything that you've done all through this and you will do with Tribeca. Now it's my pleasure to turn it over to Mr. James Dolan. Congratulations on the Knicks.
James Dolan: Go Knicks.
Governor Cuomo: And congratulations on this opening today. Thank you for having us here, Jimmy.
James Dolan: Thank you, Governor. Well, this is what we've been waiting for. We've been waiting for 14 months for this. I remember sitting in my in my apartment back in the end of March last year, when we didn't know anything about this virus. And I had gotten it and I felt terrible. They told me, well, you can't come out until you test negative, right? Which is very different than the guidance they give you today. Thirty-five days it took me to test the negative. That apartment smelled terrible on day-35 I tell ya'. Simply put, today is a game changer. It's a game changer for our venues. It's a game changer for entertainment, for sports and for New York.
This is what we've been waiting for, New York. To bring the culture back, to bring the spirit back to New York. And the Governor's announcement today is the moment that we can really start to do it. It's a way to get back to doing the things that we love. The things that we're here to do and what the city needs us to do. That's the role that Madison Square Garden and Radio City and the Beacon Theater, et cetera.
That's part of our role here. They were part of the culture and the heart of New York City and we're ready to go. And we want to thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership in making that happen. Great job. Festival's closing event here at Radio City is going to be very special. As Jane told you, we look forward to working with her and her team to make it unforgettable for all who attend, all who attend being vaccinated.
So at this very moment, we're turning on the lights. We're going to immediately, and I've actually started this morning, started making phone calls, start to book concerts at our venues that we anticipate will make for a blockbuster summer, which is really different because we didn't think this was going to happen. We were really planning on a blockbuster fall.
So thank you. And we're going to get right to it. And later on, not today, but soon, we will be announcing a slate of concerts. But I'm telling you now, as the Governor said, get vaccinated. Because if you don't get vaccinated, your chances of going to participate in this great summer are going to be either non-existent or greatly diminished.
It's important because you got to have two weeks, right. Governor?
Governor Cuomo: Right.
James Dolan: So, you know, we're starting the book now. Go today and get your vaccination so that when these shows come, fort when the Knicks make it to the second round -oh I hope -you can come. And we'll have a seat for you.
But first, we're going to look forward to an exciting next playoff run with a lot more people. And for Knick's home playoff games, we're shooting to have more than 13,000 fans at the Garden, the majority of which will be sitting vaccinated sections, shoulder to shoulder.
Our fans have been extremely loyal and have helped drive the team's success. I'm just noting that many of you who know about basketball know the concept of the sixth man in the home court. We've been missing our sixth man and we've done as well as we've done without our sixth man, but we're getting our sixth man back for the playoffs. So we're going to be even better. And it's gonna be so much fun and so loud at the Garden. So come. Tickets are gonnaare going to be on sale first to season ticket holders, Tuesday, and then we think to the general public on Wednesday. They're going to go fast, get them, but get your vaccine if you don't have already.
Finally, let's see. Just the last word about the Knicks. I know it's been a long time. Believe me. I know it's been a long time. People tell me every day, but we're back. We're in the playoffs and it couldn't come at a better time for New York. Right. I hope our team does well. And I hope we lift the spirits of New York.
And especially this announcement catapults us into a fantastic summer. They thank you, Governor. That's really what our venues are about by the way. We're bringing people together and we can't wait to get back to doing what we do best. Governor. We really, really appreciate this today. Like I said, I've been waiting 14 months for this. This is the best. This marks a moment when we start getting back to business and hopefully all of New York gets back to business. Thank you.
Governor Cuomo: Amen. Amen. Well said. Let's give James Dolan and Jane Rosenthal a round of applause. and Kerin Hempel and the Road Runners with the marathon coming back. Let's give her a round of applause.
And this is an exciting, exciting moment. It has been a dark, dark, hellish year -something that we've never gone through before and hope to God that we never go through again. But that was yesterday and we're looking at a different tomorrow, reopening New York. How do you reopen New York? It's not that simple. It's now one switch. You have to open the businesses. You have to open the offices. You have to open the subways. You have to open the buses. You have to open the restaurants and you have to open the arts and the big cultural icons and sports.
That's what makes New York New York. It's not the buildings. It's not the roads. It's the spirit. It's the energy, it's the activity. That's what New York is all about. And that's what you see coming back to life today. So thank you all very, very much. It's very exciting. I'm pleased and honored to be part of it. I want to applaud you, Jim and Jane and Karen for coming up to speed so quickly.
I mean, these are massive operations that are now coming online. Normally to say, we're going to open Radio City Music Hall. They would say, well, I need, you know, six months I have to plan. But that New York mojo, that New York spirit, says you tell me when and we'll turn on the lights. And that's exactly what Mr. Dolan is doing.
And I want to thank him very much.