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Photo by Dave Warner – Horses race down the backstretch at the Saratoga Race Course.

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced horse racing tracks across the state and Watkins Glen International Racetrack will be allowed to open without fans as of June 1st. The state will issue guidance on how they can open safely reopening the coming week.

Governor Cuomo also announced Westchester and Suffolk Counties are now eligible to resume elective surgeries and ambulatory care. The Governor previously announced that the state will allow elective outpatient treatments to resume in counties and hospitals without significant risk of COVID-19 surge in the near term, and a total of 49 counties can now resume elective surgeries:

Albany

Herkimer

Rensselaer

Allegany

Jefferson

Saratoga

Broome

Lewis

Schenectady

Cattaraugus

Livingston

Schoharie

Cayuga

Madison

Schuyler

Chautauqua

Monroe

St. Lawrence

Chemung

Montgomery

Steuben

Chenango

Niagara

Suffolk

Clinton

Oneida

Sullivan

Columbia

Onondaga

Tompkins

Cortland

Ontario

Ulster

Delaware

Orange

Warren

Dutchess

Orleans

Wayne

Essex

Oswego

Westchester

Franklin

Otsego

Wyoming

Fulton

Putnam

Yates

Genesee

 

 

The Governor also called on the U.S. Senate to pass the coronavirus relief bill that was passed by the House last night. The bill includes $500 billion for states and $375 billion for locals; Medicaid funding for the most vulnerable; increased SNAP food assistance; 100 percent FEMA federal assistance; funding for testing; and repeals SALT to help states most affected by COVID-19.

“The numbers have been steadily decreasing and we’re now right about where we were when we started, but we want to make sure we don’t go back to the hell that we’ve gone through,” Governor Cuomo said. “We have a smart phased reopening plan that has been reviewed by experts, and half of the state is in the process of reopening. Now we’re getting a little more nuanced in our analysis and starting to look for economic activities that we can start without crowds and gatherings – in this state, we can do that with horse racing tracks and car racing at Watkins Glen and we’re going to do that starting June 1st.”

Finally, the Governor confirmed 2,419 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 348,232 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 348,232 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, there are 108(2 more than the previous day) cases in Herkimer County, with 3 deaths.