Low-risk youth sports can resume in early July, governor announces

Low-risk youth sports have been given the green light to resume next month in New York for regions in Phase 3 of the NY Forward reopening plan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

Some of those sports include baseball, softball, gymnastics, field hockey, cross country and crew.

The sports can resume July 6 and two spectators per child will be allowed, the governor said.

“That’s another step toward return toward normalcy,” Mr. Cuomo said.

Five regions in New York are already in Phase 3. Western New York and the Capital Region are both expected to begin Phase 3 this week. Long Island will likely start Phase 3 next week.

Little League International, which operates more than 6,500 programs in over 84 countries, had initially implemented, with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a temporary suspension/delay of all league activities when the pandemic first began.

The organization has since compiled a “2020 Season Resumption Guide” that will “help leagues return to the field with information on team adjustments, interleague play, combined teams, tournament opportunities, updated rules and regulations.”

Little League International recommends at least two weeks of practice and warm-ups before games play begins. Little League will also waive the residency/school attendance eligibility requirement for the 2020 regular season. Each local league will have the option to accept any player whose home league has canceled the 2020 season.

Additional details are outlined here.

Riverhead Little League president Jeremy Savio expressed optimism earlier this year to hold a season even if it extended into summer months. The seasons would have normally started in April.

“I think if worst comes to worst, we’re going to hold a season over the summer,” he said in early April. “We even have the ability to go into the fall. I hope we don’t. Even if we have a modified season and play for a few weeks, our goal is to get out there and have some fun.”

• Mr. Cuomo issued a warning to restaurants and bars that do not follow social distancing and mask guidelines. Establishments are at risk of losing their liquor license, he said.

“We are not kidding around with this,” he said. “You’re talking about jeopardizing people’s lives. It’s a legal violations and the SLA inspectors are out there.”

There have been 25,000 complaints reported to the state of businesses in violation of the reopening plan — from reports of large gatherings, to lack of social distancing and mask wearing, Mr. Cuomo said.

“We have never received more complaints in a shorter period of time,” he said.

Mr. Cuomo singled out the Hamptons and Manhattan as places where violations were highest.

“I am warning today in a nice way, consequences for your action,” he said. “Manhattan and the Hamptons are the leading areas in the state with violations. These are not hard to spot violations. People send video of these violations. You can look it up on social media. You don’t need a detective squad to go out and find it. They are rampant and there is not enough enforcement.”

He said it’s up to local governments to enforce the guidelines.

The governor also reiterated that open container laws still apply and people cannot be drinking on sidewalks when not at an establishment.

• The number of statewide fatalities reported for June 13 was 23, the lowest number since the outbreak began in March. On Friday, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone reported there had been zero fatalities in the prior 24 hours in Suffolk. On Saturday, there were another two fatalities.

• The timeline to enroll in the New York health exchange has been extended an additional 30 days. The deadline is now July 15.