ALBANY, N.Y. — As the COVID-19 continues in New York, many couples are worried about whether they'll be able to hold their wedding receptions and ceremonies with a big guest list this year.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced some new guidelines on that Friday morning.
Beginning March 15, weddings can be held at 50% capacity, up to 150 people. All people attending the wedding must be tested for COVID-19 prior to the event. Events must be approved by local health departments.
The Governor says that the recent rollback of strict guidelines is because the post-holiday surge of cases continues to decline.
"As data on infection rates and hospitalizations continue to improve, we must begin taking steps to jumpstart our economic recovery as long as public health can be protected," Governor Cuomo said. "The restaurant industry is the lifeblood of New York City and the economic hardship they have endured at the hands of COVID is nothing short of tragic. Thankfully, if our current trajectory holds, we will be able to reopen New York City dining at 25 percent capacity on Valentine's Day. This doesn't only give us more time to stamp out the virus even further, but also gives restaurants ample notice to begin preparing for a reopening. This is a great development, but we cannot become complacent now - we must all continue to do our part to keep beating back COVID so we can continue re-opening our economy and get back to normal."
As of Friday, the statewide positivity rate was at 4.65%. That's the lowest number since December 11 of last year.
Gov. Cuomo says 1.7 million New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Another 250,000 doses are arriving in the state this week, but shipments are expected to increase by 16% in the week that follows.