Shopping malls in Phase 4 regions can reopen Friday, with restrictions: Cuomo

Maya Rajamani
July 08, 2020 - 11:53 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Shopping malls in regions of New York that have entered Phase 4 will be able to reopen on Friday — but only if they have “enhanced” HVAC filtration systems, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday. 

Malls planning to reopen on Friday, July 10 will have to install air filters with at least a MERV-11 rating, Cuomo said at a news conference Wednesday. 

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They will also have to have certain “ventilation protocols” in place, including increased outdoor air, reduced air circulation and frequent filter checks, he said.

“The more we learn about COVID, the clearer it is that safe ventilation is crucial,” he said. 

Cuomo on Wednesday said the number of COVID-19 patients in the state being intubated dropped below 100 for the first time since March. As of Wednesday, 841 people in the state were hospitalized with COVID-19, 97 of whom were being intubated, he said. 

“The number of people who, once they’re intubated, actually come off the intubator is very low,” he said. “The fact that this number is down is very positive.”

The governor also reported 11 new COVID-19 deaths and 692 new cases, representing a 1.2 percent positivity rate. 

“All the numbers are where they should be,” he said, calling Wednesday’s statistics “good news.” “Bad news is, everything around us, frankly,” he said of COVID-19 resurgences in other states. 

Thirty-six states are seeing an increase in their COVID-19 infection rates, he noted. 

“The federal government still insists on perpetuating myths, and the federal government says, well, the cases are going up because we are testing more,” he said. “That makes no sense, whatsoever.” 

“And the American people are smart. You’re not going to fool them. You’re not going to con them,” he added. “The hospitalizations are going up because more people are getting sick, and that is undeniable.”

During his briefing, Cuomo also said county fairs across the state would be cancelled “until further notice.”