Groups of ten people can now gather anywhere in New York for any reason.
Groups of up to ten people will be allowed to gather anywhere in New York State “for any legal purpose or reason,” provided they are socially distanced, according to a modified executive order issued by Prime Minister Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday night.
The changes to the order come a day after Cuomo opened the door to allow groups of ten people or less to hold meetings for worship services or the celebration of Memorial Day, provided that they follow health and safety rules.
But these emissions are granted as part of an executive order issued on Thursday was quickly challenged in a lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union, which claimed that the governor’s easing of restrictions was illegal as his rules continued to prohibit protests and other activities protected by the First Amendment.
“After realizing that small events can now take place safely, the government must not choose who is allowed to exercise the right to the First Amendment,” Christopher Dunn, chief adviser on the case, said in a statement when the trial came.
On Friday, Mr Dunn said a separate statement: “We are pleased to see the governor reverse course.”
Seven of the state’s ten regions have begun to reopen some of their non-essential businesses in recent days after meeting the health and safety standards mandated by the state.
But New York City and most of its suburbs are not happy the state’s criteria for reopening, and those areas remain during the “break” which, until Friday, had banned all non-essential gatherings “of any size, for any reason.”
According to the new orders, groups of up to ten people can be gathered in all regions of the state, even those who have not been cleared to enter the first phase of the reopening. But everyone who chooses to do so must adhere to social distance as well as the cleaning and disinfection protocols required by the state health department.
Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, New Jersey Prime Minister Philip D. Murphy said Friday that the state would allow outdoor crowds of up to 25 people and allow campsites to reopen.
“I’m proud that we can take this step today and add a little more hope and optimism to the beginning of the summer,” Murphy said.
Social distancing would still be required at outdoor meetings, which had been limited to ten people, and at campsites. Face coatings are not required outside, but government officials recommend them.
“If you were looking forward to gathering with your neighbors for a Memorial Day cooking, you could do that,” Murphy said, “as long as social distance and personal responsibility remain the order of the day.”
Outdoor dining at restaurants remains banned in New Jersey, even though Connecticut began allows it on Wednesday; indoor events are still limited to ten people, Mr. said. Murphy.
New Jersey also reported 146 new virus-related deaths, which means the state totals 10,985.
A man drowns on Rockaway Beach when N.Y.C. considering when to open their beaches.
A 24-year-old man drowned in the ocean at Rockaway Beach in Queens on Friday while trying to swim without a lifeguard on duty.
Three men were pulled out of the water by emergency doctors, police say, and one was taken to St. John’s. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Queens, where he was pronounced dead.
The drowning came the same day that Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City was considering opening its beaches for swimming in June, should the pandemic continue to subside. (According to a normal summer time, lifeguards would not have worked on the city’s beaches until Saturday.)
Mayor de Blasio offered condolences to the human family in a tweet Friday afternoon, reiterating his calls for people to stay out of the water at the city’s beaches while no lifeguards are on duty.
The drowning stressed concern about leaving the beaches without the supervision of lifeguards. Corey Johnson, the New York City Council speaker, said not having a guard would create dangerous situations.
“I’m not sure it’s realistic to think that people won’t try to swim,” Johnson said, “and we don’t want to arrest people in the middle of this pandemic.”
City rescuers have been called to pools for their annual recertification, says Henry Garrido, executive director of the Life Rescue Association, District Council 37. “They are being trained to be ready to open the beach in early June,” Garrido said.
Mayor de Blasio declined to give a new opening date at his briefing Friday morning, but a spokeswoman for him said the lifeguard training was pending a possible resumption in June.
On Friday night, the mayor’s spokeswoman softened her original remarks, saying it was “too early to adopt, June, but we are preparing to open as soon as the indicators allow.”
The city traditionally opens its beaches for wading and swimming on Memorial Day weekend. But this year, the sea had been declared off-limits, with the crowds on the sand also severely limited.
Mr de Blasio has warned New Yorkers not to take mass transit to the beach, saying that the beaches are currently only for those who live near them.
New York City neighbors are taking a different approach. Most beaches on Long Island and New Jersey are open this weekend, including swimming, although social distance rules will apply everywhere.
On Friday morning at 7:15, the doors opened at the Aliya Institute, a synagogue in the Hasidic Fortress in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
Exactly ten men filed – not more, at the governor’s orders, and not fewer, after a higher power. And morning prayer known as Shachrit began.
The synagogue was voluntarily closed on March 10, days before the state home-home order, as the virus spread through the community, said Rabbi Moishe Faiglin, who heads the congregation.
On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo explained that religious gatherings of up to ten people could resume if the participants wore masks and maintained social distance. (Late Friday, he updated that guidance and announced that it was allowed to gather ten people, provided individuals used masks and social distancing.)
The number is significant for Jewish congregations, where a minyan, defined as 10 people over the age of 13, is required for a worship service.
Normally, Schachrit in Aliya draws a crowd of 20 to 30, Rabbi Faiglin said.
“It was a little difficult to do the service,” the rabbi said. “Relying on 10 is very difficult because a person doesn’t always show up. Now if you have more than 10 you must turn them away. And you do not want to reject anyone from the synagogue. “
For the congregation with about 35 families, lockdown has been a stressful time.
“It’s been a breath of fresh air that we’ve even been able to get out of our houses,” he said. “Some people have prayed in their kitchen with six to ten children around them at the same time. This is a huge relief. “
In Hasidic synagogues, women in a separate room pray from the men. Women will not be able to return to the synagogue until restrictions are lifted.
Long Island and suburban counties north of New York City could start reopening next week if virus-related deaths continue to fall and local officials set up strong programs to track contact, said Prime Minister Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday.
Expecting the trends to hold, Cuomo said construction companies can begin staging construction sites on Friday in both Long Island and the Mid-Hudson region, which includes Westchester and Rockland Counties. The construction cannot be resumed until the regions have been cleared to reopen.
As of Friday, all the ten economic regions of the state had begun the reopening process with the exception of New York City and the two suburban regions, which are yet to meet seven health-related criteria set by the state.
Both Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have said that New York City is likely to open again until June. The city has met four of the seven metrics.
It must still have at least 30 percent of its hospital beds and intensive care beds available. As of Friday morning, it had 27 percent of hospital beds and 26 percent of I.C.U. beds available.
Mr de Blasio has stuck to the city’s path to reopening on three different but related metrics: the number of new hospital admissions for illness similar to Covid-19, the number of patients in critical care, and the proportion of positive coronavirus tests.
Mr de Blasio said on Friday that the city would not open again until it saw a 10-to-14-day period with less than 200 daily hospitalizations, fewer than 375 patients in intensive care in public hospitals and a positive test level below 15 percent.
The number of these intensive care patients was still well above the threshold at 451, de Blasio said, but the city met the other two criteria.
Both city and state officials have said that their statistics would probably go hand in hand and that they would coordinate their reopening decisions. But on Friday, Cuomo suggested that state guidelines should take precedence.
“It’s not up to the local officials,” Cuomo said of opening again. “It’s a state decision across the board.”
Cuomo also announced 109 new virus-related deaths in the state, marking a fifth day in a row that the deaths were just over 100.
N.Y.C. cracking down on crowds outside bars.
New York City will step up efforts to fight de facto outdoor parties outside the city’s restaurants and bars, after photos of crowds scattered across the internet last weekend, Mayor de Blasio said on Friday.
“Take it out, don’t keep up,” de Blasio said in his daily news briefing.
Bars and restaurants have been closed except for pickup and delivery, and according to New York State Home-Home Orders, all non-essential gatherings are prohibited.
But when warm weather arrived and the traffic on the streets decreased, residents took food and drink to walk and then consume them outside businesses.
Mr de Blasio said the police department would increase its presence in the neighborhood where people gathered improperly last weekend.
The city will also provide more open space for pedestrians and cyclists across the five boroughs, and will close another 13 miles of streets for traffic on Saturday.
Are you a healthcare professional in the New York area? Tell me what you see.
Because the New York Times follows the spread of coronavirus across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, we need your help. We want to talk to doctors, nurses, lab technicians, respiratory therapists, emergency services employees, nursing home managers – anyone who can share what’s happening at the region’s hospitals and other health centers.
A reporter or editor can contact you. Your information will not be published without your consent.
The reporting was contributed by Maria Cramer, Michael Gold, Corey Kilgannon, Andy Newman, Joel Petterson, Dana Rubinstein, Luis Ferré Sadurní and Katie Van Syckle.