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Gov. Cuomo announces Vernon Downs can reopen on June 1, without fans

Governor Cuomo updated the media on Saturday on COVID-19, including reporting the latest number of deaths in the state, and announcing that horse racing tracks and the Watkins Glen International auto racing track can reopen on June 1st, but only without fans.

Posted: May 16, 2020 12:27 PM
Updated: May 16, 2020 3:47 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. - During his Saturday morning press briefing on COVID-19, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced 157 more people died in New York State due to coronavirus on Friday.

The total number of deaths in the state now stands at 22,461.

Cuomo says the 157 deaths are up from 132 on Thursday. There were 157 on Wednesday, 166 on Tuesday, and 195 on Monday.

Governor Cuomo also announced that horse racing tracks across the state, including Vernon Downs in Vernon can reopen on June 1, but only without fans. The governor also announced the Watkins Glen International auto racing track can reopen on June 1 as well, also without fans.

Cuomo says opening the tracks without fans is a way for businesses to make money, without putting the general public at risk, "What you want to do is increase economic activity as you can without spiking the infection rate, so if you have an economic activity that can take place that generates economic interest, also entertainment interest, folks sitting at home, something's interesting on television, they'll follow it, that’s great. It makes staying at home easier."

The horse racing tracks can make money through their simulcast contracts.

Cuomo says he has talked with the heads of baseball organizations as well, and says teams may end up doing the same thing, play without fans, but that he says, is not the state's call, "One state can’t make that decision, but if it works economically, that would be great. We do control the race tracks, we do control Watkins Glen."

Governor Cuomo also commented on the House passing the latest round of coronavirus aid on Friday called the Heroes Act, "The House passed a bill yesterday which finally provides funding for state and local governments."

The Governor says the bill includes great things for Americans, including $500 billion for states and $375 billion for local government, "The House Bill has Medicaid funding, increases food assistance, 100% FEMA cost reimbursement, funding for testing and it repeals the SALT tax penalty to the state of New York, $14 billion, $14 billion, which was a theft in the first place."

Governor Cuomo had words for the Senate, "They should respond quickly. I understand from their point of you, we funded businesses, we funded millionaires, that’s nice, how about working Americans, and that’s what the Senate should think about, how do you actually help the American people.
They shouldn’t delay."

Governor Cuomo also announced Westchester and Suffolk counties will now be able to open up for elective surgeries and ambulatory care.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1212922

Reported Deaths: 40637
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens1515817782
Kings1485017994
Suffolk1225972545
Nassau1099842518
Bronx1015535243
Westchester819821774
New York727353419
Erie502271339
Richmond433221363
Monroe42774737
Rockland31061806
Orange27862642
Onondaga26544517
Oneida16110331
Dutchess15873290
Albany15520248
Niagara11534233
Broome10620248
Saratoga865376
Schenectady8183116
Ulster7337183
Rensselaer6454101
Putnam620370
Chemung5422107
Chautauqua522151
Oswego466462
Ontario452877
Steuben4444130
Cayuga419768
Sullivan371348
Wayne352750
Genesee350691
Herkimer342346
St. Lawrence332055
Cattaraugus325360
Madison298575
Jefferson294220
Cortland256352
Livingston256136
Tompkins252822
Columbia229966
Allegany228675
Tioga212454
Montgomery206971
Wyoming198741
Clinton197713
Fulton193247
Greene192951
Warren192836
Orleans185167
Chenango165438
Otsego155921
Lewis138822
Washington138121
Seneca114445
Franklin10409
Delaware96516
Essex92916
Schoharie8515
Yates75816
Schuyler68410
Hamilton1431
Unassigned37108
Out of NY0163
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