State to allow movie theaters to reopen Friday; rules issued for ski areas

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Oneida County reported 12 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, while Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that movie theaters and ski resorts may soon re-open with restrictions.

The county reported seven new positive tests on Saturday and five on Sunday, for 116 known active cases. No new deaths were reported; since the pandemic arrived, 128 deaths in the county have been reported.

As of mid-day Sunday, three patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county, all in the Mohawk Valley Health System; one was a nursing home resident.

Regionally, indicators in the six-county Mohawk Valley region declined. The percentage of test results indicating COVID-19 averaged over a rolling seven-day period was 0.4%, tied with the North Country for lowest in the state, and the weekly average of new cases each day per 100,000 people stood at 2.68, lowest except for 1.94 in the North Country.

The statewide figures were 1.2% of tests indicating COVID-19, and 7.31 new cases per 100,000 daily.

Movie theaters outside of New York City may open Friday at 25 percent capacity and with no more than 50 people per screen, Cuomo announced. Theaters may open in counties with positive test rates less than 2 percent on a 14-day average and which have no identified cluster zones.

Oneida County’s rate was 0.3%. In Madison County, it was 0.8%.

State guidance on the reopening of theaters includes the following conditions:

Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking.

Assigned seating will be required in all theaters.

Social distancing between parties will be required at all times.

Additional staffing will be required to control occupancy, traffic and seating to ensure compliance.

Enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards must be met by theaters.

The rules meant theaters cannot open this week in 12 of the state’s 62 counties: Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Cortland, Greene, Orange, Rockland, Schuyler, Steuben and Tioga.

Cuomo also announced rules for ski areas in New York, which has more than any other state.

Ski areas must limit their indoor spaces to half their capacity. Masks must be required at all times except when skiing or eating and drinking, and social distancing is required between parties at all times. Lifts are to be limited to members of the same party, ski lessons can have no more than 10 people, rented equipment is to be cleaned and disinfected, and shuttles, food and beverage and other retail services are to confirm to other state guidance.

Outdoor capacity is to be reduced by 25% during peak days or if multiple trails are closed because of conditions.

The Oneida County Health Department announced the following incidents of possible public exposure to someone with COVID-19 and recommends anyone at these locations at these times monitor themselves for symptoms:

JC Penney at Sangertown Square mall in New Hartford, 3-6 p.m. Oct. 8 and noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 14; self-monitor through Oct. 22 or Oct. 28 respectively.

Hannaford at 55 Meadow St. in Clinton, 4-6 p.m. Oct. 13; self-monitor through Oct. 27.

Walgreen’s at 208 Herkimer Road in Utica, 4-5 p.m. Oct. 14; self-monitor through Oct. 28.

Price Chopper at the North Utica Shopping Center, 3-5 p.m. Oct. 9; self-monitor through Oct. 23.

Panera Bread on Commercial Drive in New Hartford, 3-5 p.m. Oct. 9; self-monitor through Oct. 23.

Starbucks on Commercial Drive in New Hartford, 3-5 p.m. Oct. 9; self-monitor through Oct. 23.

Maple Leaf Market at 6765 Route 13 in Verona Beach, 3-5 p.m. Oct. 10; self-monitor through Oct. 24.

Wagner Farms, 5841 Old Oneida Road, Rome, 3-5 p.m. Oct. 11; self-monitor through Oct. 25.

Aldi, 121 Herkimer Road, Utica, 3-5 p.m. Oct. 11; self-monitor through Oct. 25.

Walgreen’s, 208 Herkimer Road, Utica, 3-5 p.m. Oct. 12; self-monitor through Oct. 26.

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