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N.Y. gyms, bowling alleys, museums to open

David Robinson, John Christensen, Joseph Spector
The Chronicle-Express

Bowling alleys, gyms, museums and other low-risk indoor cultural venues will soon be allowed to open in New York with strict COVID-19 rules, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.

Kiley & Kurt Brockman have installed all new synthetic lanes at Brock’s Bowl & Pizzeria during the COVID-19 shutdown, and are working to finish their other renovations this month.

Bowling alleys were allowed to open Monday, being limited to 50% of occupancy capacity and other rules, such as bowlers must have a face covering and every other lane will remain closed. Food and alcohol service will also be limited to wait service.

In Penn Yan, while their restaurant remains open, Brock’s Bowl & Pizzeria will remain closed for bowling until the end of the month to complete renovations begun during the shutdown. Kurt & Kiley Brockman say they have have installed new synthetic lanes and are still hard at work remodeling the entrance, reception, and bar areas. They hope to complete the renovations in the coming weeks to welcome back leagues, families, and teams to the lanes.

The Yates Community Fitness Center is ready to open Aug. 24, says Manager Dawn Shipman.

Gyms in New York can reopen starting Aug. 24. 

Cuomo announced Monday that gyms across New York can start to reopen Aug. 24 under strict COVID-19 safety guidelines. Municipalities will have to inspect the facilities by Sept. 2 as part of the reopening.

The Yates Community Fitness Center is ready to welcome their patrons back. Manager Dawn Shipman says they have made adjustments to the arrangement of machines, and will have time limits to accommodate more patrons under social distancing and reduced capacity requirements.

Patrons will have to wear masks at all times, and the center can only open to 33% of capacity. Local officials will have to decide whether indoor classes will be allowed. 

Contact Shipman at dawn@yatescc.org or 315-536-3354 for more information.

Cuomo said the reopening is being allowed because the state has kept its coronavirus infection rates to below 1% in recent weeks. Gyms were shuttered in mid-March as the pandemic struck the state.

Museums, aquariums and other low-risk indoor cultural venues will also be allowed to open in New York City Aug. 24 with various COVID-19 restrictions, including operating at 25% occupancy capacity. In upstate communities, museums and other indoor venues opened previously.

Gyms had been slated to reopen in Phase 4 of the state’s COVID-19 reopening process, which was largely met in June. But Cuomo kept gyms closed, citing ongoing concerns about indoor spaces.

Gyms have been clamoring to reopen. More than 2,000 fitness-related businesses in New York have joined in a class-action lawsuit against the state tied to the delayed reopening.

The announcement came after gym and bowling alley owners have pleaded with Cuomo to allow them to reopen. They have been closed since March, when New York shuttered many businesses to slow the spread of coronavirus, which has killed more than 25,200 New Yorkers, the most in the nation.