Baseball in NY: New guidelines for vaccinated fans; shots to be offered at games

Coronavirus

NEW YORK — As New York continues to progress in its COVID-19 battle, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday new guidelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated fans attending baseball games.

Beginning May 19, those who are vaccinated can have normal capacity and normal seating with masks, according to Cuomo.

Vaccinated families who have a child who is under 16 can also accompany the group during the game, the governor said. 

For spectators who are unvaccinated, the six-foot distancing rule applies, bringing the capacity of those sections to about 33%. 

No testing will be required, Cuomo said. However, if you have been vaccinated and show your vaccination card or have the “Excelsior Pass,” it will determine where you are seated.

The changes are meant to encourage increased vaccination, but not every New Yorker is giving a thumbs up.

Cuomo said the new guidelines in place is “not segregation,” adding that the distancing rules are based on public health parameters, federal and state.

However, some fans were not convinced.  Immediately after the governor made the announcement, social media posts started criticizing the separation. People around town were critical as well.  

Antonio Ligurgo described himself as a fan of both New York ball clubs. He said that the state’s new rule is divisive.

“They’re trying to make you now feel like an outcast, no?” Ligurgo said.  “By you saying you don’t have your vaccine, you have to be separate from other people, and I don’t believe that’s right.”

Buddy Babb was another person critical of the governor’s new directive.  

“When you start dividing, and picking and pointing,” Babb said, “it makes one person look at another person with animosity, for no reason.”

Cuomo insisted that his order is not intended to separate people.

The New York Mets and the New York Yankees are also teaming up with the state’s health department to offer COVID-19 vaccinations at the baseball stadiums, Cuomo said.

A facility will be set up at the game for people to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“You’re going to the game anyway. It’s on your way. Stop and get the vaccine,” Cuomo said.

Those who get vaccinated at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field while attending the game will receive a free ticket to a future game, the governor said.

“Next time you got to the game and you’re vaccinated, you can enjoy the game sitting next to your friends, sitting next to your family, which to me is a big part of the enjoyment of the game,” Cuomo said. 

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