NY to allow outdoor graduations as virus restrictions ease

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Photo credit Gov. Cuomo daily brieing

ALBANY, N.Y. (WBEN/AP) — “Socially distanced” outdoor graduation ceremonies with up to 150 people will be allowed in New York beginning June 26 as coronavirus pandemic restrictions continue to be loosened, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday.

There were 45 coronavirus-related deaths in the state on Saturday, up slightly from 35 on Friday but down from a peak of more than 700 per day in April. Cuomo said 781 people tested positive for the virus on Saturday, about 1% of the 60,000 tested. That’s the lowest number since March 16.

“That is very, very good news,” Cuomo said. “It means the plan is working. It means we bent the curve.”

New York City will enter phase one of reopening on Monday and the rest of the state is either already in or about to enter phase two.

“We will perform 35,000 tests per day in New York City to closely monitor reopening,” Cuomo said, noting concern that weeklong protests against police brutality following George Floyd's death may have increased spread of the virus.

He urged protesters to get tested, saying 15 sites would be dedicated to that so people could get results quickly.