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New York Will Bring Back Live Events As Soon As February with Rapid Testing

The roll out will begin slowly.

Dimebash 2020_25 crowd
Photo: James Alvarez

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is aiming to bring back live events starting this February. According to Gothamist, the state tested out having outdoor events via the Buffalo Bills football game last weekend. The stadium allowed in 6,700 spectators of its 72,000 capacity with the caveat that everyone gets tested prior to entering.

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Cuomo said "all early indications suggest this model was successful", which may lead to more events coming back, starting with another big event this February. According to Gothamist:

“The state’s New York Arts Revival will be a public/private partnership with a mission of bringing the arts back through pop-up performances and events, set to begin in early February and featuring the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Amy Schumer and Chris Rock. Outdoor sites in the city and across the state, including in state parks and properties like the Park Avenue Armory, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and the Queens Theater will be a part of the effort, which will culminate with two landmark events: opening of Little Island at Pier 55, and 20th anniversary of Tribeca Film Festival in June.”

New York will work in tandem with real estate owners to host additional rapid testing sites to begin allowing patrons into businesses safely.

Gothamist points out these events will initially be hosted outside, but "the state will begin piloting events in large indoor spaces, where Cuomo hopes they can 'explore what possible safe and smart options exist' and use it as a model for a nationwide reopening."

This news comes shortly after Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said live events may return in full by this fall. Fauci said in an interview "If everything goes right, this is will occur some time in the fall of 2021, so that by the time we get to the early to mid-fall, you can have people feeling safe performing onstage as well as people in the audience."

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Fauci still suggested that even though live music will resume and participants will be vaccinated, masks still may be mandated "for the foreseeable future" as a safety precaution.

"We’ll be back in the theaters — performers will be performing, audiences will be enjoying it," he said. "It will happen."

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