With rapid testing & falling positivity rates, some venues may reopen soon

With rapid testing & falling positivity rates, some venues may reopen soon
If trends continue and rapid testing use increases, more parts of the state's economy can start to reopen, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says. (Source: WWNY)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a suggestion for people who are thinking about getting married.

If the state’s COVID-19 positivity rates continue to decline on their current trajectory, all restaurants should be open by Valentine’s Day – including in New York City where they’ve been closed for weeks.

Restaurants in the city will be able to open at 25 percent capacity. Restaurants in the rest of the state are already open at 50 percent capacity.

Wedding receptions with up to 150 people – at 50 percent of a venue’s capacity – will be allowed by March 15 if every attendee undergoes a rapid COVID-19 test.

The governor’s suggestion: pop the question on Valentine’s Day and get married a month later.

This comes about as positivity rates continue to decline following a post-holiday surge.

The governor said the statewide rate is now 5.35 percent, down from a nearly 8 percent rate on January 4.

It also comes following an experiment at a Buffalo Bills football game for which about 7,000 spectators were tested before entering the stadium.

“We’ve had virtually no cases of spread from that game,” Cuomo said.

The governor said rapid testing is a way to reopen the economy before everyone is vaccinated – which could take from six to nine months.

“In New York, we want to use testing as the key to reopening events.”

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