Cuomo: gyms, salons can reopen in Orange Zones with increased testing, reduced capacity

Posted at 12:09 PM, Dec 11, 2020

NEW YORK (WKBW) — During a COVID-19 update Friday New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced gyms and salons can reopen in Orange Zones with increased testing and reduced capacity.

The governor said the state has 46,000 data points which show nearly 74% of the spread of COVID-19 comes from household/social gatherings.

According to the data, hair salons, barbershops and personal care are responsible for just 0.14% of spread and gyms are responsible for just 0.06% of the spread.

Cuomo says gyms and salons can reopen in Orange Zones with 25% capacity and weekly testing because they are no longer the problem they were before.

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul said later Friday gyms can reopen Monday following all previous guidance as well as a 25% capacity. Also Monday, personal care services such as barber shops, hair salons, nails, tattoo parlors etc. can reopen Monday following all previous guidance as well as a 50% capacity and testing staff once a week.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said he spoke to the governor Friday morning about the decision.

Bill Lia, Chair of New York State Fitness Alliance, released the following statement on Cuomo's decision Friday:

“The fitness industry is vital to maintaining the physical and mental health of New Yorkers. Fitness centers have proven that by following strict protocols, including mask wearing at all times, New Yorkers can work out without contributing significantly to the spread of the virus. Todays’ announcement by the Governor and the contact tracing data demonstrates the fitness industry in NY is among the safest industries. Allowing gyms and fitness centers to remain open in “orange zones” will allow these facilities to advance their members health while following strict protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this issue.”

Represented by the Amherst law firm HoganWillig more than 30 Western New York businesses representing hair salons, barber shops, aestheticians and beauty parlors filed a lawsuit against New York State Thursday seeking an immediate reopening of personal care businesses.

Speaking Friday the governor said the Western New York region has seen a flattening of hospitalizations recently.

Cuomo also announced new cluster zone criteria Friday and said the state will analyze data over the weekend and new zones could be announced Monday.

The criteria is as follows:

Yellow Zone – 3% positivity over last 10 days & cluster is top 10% for hospital admissions per capita over past week and week over week growth in daily admissions.

Orange Zone – 4% positivity over last 10 days & 85% hospital capacity OR DOH determines unacceptable high rate of hospital admissions.

Red Zone – When the region is 21 days away from 90% hospital capacity.