Cuomo lets racetracks reopen without fans and won’t rule out baseball soon
Gov. Andrew Cuomo(Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)
Giddy-up, New York.
Gov. Cuomo announced horse racetracks and an upstate car-racing track can reopen immediately, but fans will have to stay away for now.
And he suggested it might not be long before the Yankees or Mets could be playing, too.
The order means Belmont Park will open soon as Cuomo seeks to reopen the state without causing a spike in coronavirus cases or deaths.
“Remember, the problem here are crowds and gatherings. So what can you do or what economic activity is willing to reopen without a crowd?” Cuomo said. “It can still be televised. Great. If you can have economic activity without a crowd, that’s great.”
Along with Belmont, which is operated by a state agency, the Watkins Glen track will open to prepare for a NASCAR race planned for August. Saratoga Race Track will also be set to reopen in August.
As for baseball, Cuomo said he has no control over whether or how Major League Baseball decides to restart.
He suggested he has no problem with games as long as proper safety precautions are taken, which he said would rule out fans attending for now.
Cuomo made the annoncements as he said another 157 people died from coronavirus Friday. Cases and hospitalizations are still stable, although they are not dropping quickly as they had before.
He extended permission for hospitals to perform elective surgery in Westchester and Suffolk counties.
The governor conceded that the state may see increases in cases as businesses reopen and more people have physical contact with one another.
“You increase economic activity, we expect to see an increase in numbers,” he said. "We don’t want to see a spike. "
He exhorted New Yorkers to keep respecting social-distancing rules like wearing masks and staying a safe distance apart. He said he would not hesitate to roll back reopening regulations if the state sees a setback.
“Will there be a spike?" Cuomo asked. "It depends on how people react and it depends on their personal behavior.”