NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that New York has now gone 20 straight days with the COVID-19 infection rate below 1%. It’s good news, but it has some asking why their businesses are still shut down.

Movie theaters and casinos are anxious to reopen, as they have in most neighboring states, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.

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Casino workers are concerned in the Catskills.

“People need to work. People need to get out of the house. It hurts the economy for the state, the city, the county, everybody,” worker David Feigin said.

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Cinema owners are sick and tired in Malverne, Long Island.

“Time is of the essence for us. It’s ticking away. It’s vital that we reopen safely and quickly to begin to contribute to our local economies and to meet our financial obligations,” one person said.


As the Cuomo administration understandably boasts about New York’s low infection rates, the casino industry has readied extensive safety measures to facilitate reopening.

And movie houses also plan to require masks and perform extra cleaning.

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Both industries are frustrated. Movie theaters are open in neighboring Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

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Those states have also opened casinos, along with New Jersey.

“We could take a hit here, lose a lot of our regulars,” casino worker Glen Conklin said.

“Let’s get going. As long as the customers follow our rules, and we follow our own rules, there is no reason we won’t be successful,” worker Bob Wasserman said.

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Resorts World furloughed hundreds of workers in mid-March — no pay, but health insurance was covered. Under state law, furloughs become layoffs after six months. Layoffs could be triggered in mid-September.

The governor hinted Thursday at some progress.

“There are a number of areas where we’re still calibrating the reopening. Casinos. We’re working on malls. We’re working on movie theaters,” Cuomo said. “These are fluid situations, depending on the facts.”

Workers say if New York truly is handling COVID-19 so well, anything open in neighboring states should be open here, too.

Movie theaters pay enormous property tax bills. The cinema in Malverne said it has only been open 75 days this year. It has been closed for 165 straight days.

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