TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced more relaxations to COVID-19-inspired crowd restrictions Monday, allowing higher capacities at a variety of venues and events starting May 15. Additionally, Cuomo, making the announcement from the State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, stated that the State Fair would return and be held in August.

Cuomo announced the slew of relaxed restrictions on density rules which will begin next month, including the following:

  • Large scale outdoor event venues can expand from 20 percent capacity to 33 percent (starting May 19)
  • Casinos and “gaming facilities” can expand from 25 percent to 50 percent (May 15)
  • Offices/workplaces can increase their capacities from 50 percent to 75 percent (May 15)
  • Gyms/fitness centers outside NYC can expand to 50 percent, from 33 percent (May 15)

Surely, more information will be available at some point regarding some of the criteria that must be met to legally expand capacity—if there are any. Likely, that will include further details about whether or not the rules only apply to certain sized workplaces, but those details weren’t made clear in Cuomo’s announcement.

Beyond that, the New York State Fair is back from August 20 to September 6. Tickets will be $3, and the state is expecting to cap capacity at 50 percent.

“This one-of-a-kind fair will feature New York’s best food and drink, live music and entertainment, Midway rides, and agriculture education and awareness in four different, concurrent festivals that will take place exclusively in the outdoor areas of the fairgrounds,” read the fair and governor’s announcement.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at