Social gatherings of up to 50 people allowed under Phase 4 of NY Forward

Social gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed for regions in Phase 4 of the NY Forward reopening plan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced.

The previous guideline for gatherings in Phase 3 was 25 people, up from 10 in the prior phases.

There are five regions that have started Phase 4: North Country, Finger Lakes, Central New York, Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier. Long Island is in the first week of Phase 3 and would appear on track to start the next phase July 8.

The governor also announced religious gatherings will be allowed at up to 33% of the indoor site’s capacity.

“We’re going to our first full week in Phase 3 now, everything is moving well through Phase 3,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said Sunday. “We’re continuing to have conversations with the state about different elements of Phase 4.”

The county reported an additional 53 positive cases in the prior 24 hours, maintaining a positive test rate of around 1%. The number of patients in Suffolk hospitals declined to 72, the lowest figure since the first influx of patients in March.

There was one additional fatality reported, bringing the total in Suffolk to 1,979. The governor reported five fatalities across the state.

While the NY Forward plan includes just four phases, there are several different types of businesses that cannot reopen once Phase 4 starts. Those include gyms and malls, for example. Any store with an outside entrance is allowed to open.

Additional details on how businesses can reopen are located here.

The steady and declining overall numbers in New York come at a time when portions of the country are seeing surges. Confirmed cases across the country have been trending up since mid-June to now the highest levels seen since the outbreak began in the U.S.

Florida, California and Texas have all recorded more than 40,000 new cases in the past seven days.

More than 125,000 people have died in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.