Small Religious Gatherings Allowed in New York With Face Masks
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced houses of worships across the state can host small religious gatherings with social distancing guidelines.
On Wednesday during his COVID-19 briefing, Cuomo said religious gatherings are now allowed statewide with 10 people or less as long as people wear a mask and follow distancing guidelines.
"I understand their desire to get back to religious ceremonies as soon as possible," Cuomo said.
Small religious gatherings with social distancing measures can begin statewide on Thursday.
Cuomo also suggested houses of worship conduct services in parking lots or drive-in movie theaters.
He announced "low-Income communities and communities of color" have been hit the hardest by COVID-19.
Cuomo announced an antibody study showed 27 percent of people of color living in low-income communities in New York City tested positive for antibodies compared to 19 percent of the full population in New York City.
He announced the state is expanding its faith-based testing program with Northwell Health at 72 locations in hardest-hit communities. He also directed local governments to test in low-income communities and develop outreach programs.
Cuomo said hospitalizations and new COVID hospitalizations continue to decline. However, 112 New Yorkers died from the virus in the last 24 hours in New York, up seven from Tuesday's count. 22,942 Empire State residents have now died from the virus.
"If people get arrogant and casual about this pandemic, you will see the infection rate go up," he said. "It’s that simple."