State Fair can't be held this year, Cuomo says

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The New York State Fair has been cancelled for 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

“This is a really tough one,” Cuomo said during a media briefing in Albany.

Cuomo said it became clear the fair could not be held during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fair was to run Aug. 21 to Sept. 7. It normally draws more than a million people to the fairgrounds in Syracuse.

Cuomo said no decision has been made on whether k-12 public schools may reopen in September. The state has asked all approximately 700 public school districts to submit a plan to the state for reopening, but the opening decision is separate, Cuomo added.

Movie theaters and casinos will remain closed for now, while state health officials examine data. One consideration, Cuomo said, is whether air conditioning systems with filters capable of removing the COVID-19 coronavirus from the air may have a role. Not all heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can function properly with the denser filters, he explained.

“If there’s a way to filter the air and get COVID out of the air then we want to do that, and if we want to do that without exorbitant expense for existing HVAC systems we want to do that … As soon as we we know something we will make it public.”

Cuomo said metrics remain good for New York, with 817 hospitalizations for COVID-19 Sunday, the lowest number since March 18, and nine deaths from the disease statewide. Eight people died in hospitals and one in a nursing home.

But the danger is people will travel from elsewhere, including states where COVID-19 cases continue to increase, Cuomo said.

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