What's opening? What's still closed? Answers about COVID-19


New York City: Phase IV reopening

What does that mean? The city can now reopen select businesses and industries, provided they maintain guidelines established to limit the spread of the coronavirus, through means like personal protective equipment and social distancing.

The fourth and final phase runs until lifted by the governor. 

What can open?

  • Higher education institutions
  • Pre-K to Grade 12 schools
  • Low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment
  • Media production
  • Professional sports competitions with no fans

This joins those areas of industry allowed to open in the first phase:

  •  Construction
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
  • Retail stores for delivery or curbside/in-store pick-up 
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale trade

And the second phase:

  • Offices
  • Real Estate
  • Non-essential retail
  • Vehicle sales, leases and rentals
  • Retail rental, repair and cleaning
  • Commercial building management
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Outdoor restaurants

And the third phase:

  • Tattoo and piercing
  • Appearance enhancement
  • Massage therapy
  • Spas
  • Cosmetology
  • Nail salons
  • Tanning and waxing

For details on what specifically is allowed to reopen in Phase IV, click here. For information more specific to New York City, click here.

What's still closed, however?

  • Malls
  • Indoor restaurants
  • Large gatherings and events
  • Gyms, fitness centers and exercise classes
  • Casinos
  • Movie theaters (except drive-ins)
  • Public amusement


What's available

If you have something that you would like to be considered for this list, or if there is something missing, please reach out to us at

This list is updated on a regular basis. Last update was July 20 at 8 a.m.


Alternate-side parking has resumed, but only once weekly. Any streets with multiple days each week for alternate-side parking will only have the latest day of the week enforced. 

These regulations will continue until Labor Day, and will be reassessed at that time.


Free breakfast, lunch and dinner is available for anyone in need, whether they have children in public school students or not, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the following locations:

  • P.S. 24 at 660 W. 236th St. (kosher options)
  • P.S. 86 at 2756 Reservoir Ave.
  • P.S. 95 at 3961 Hillman Ave.
  • P.S. 207 at 3030 Godwin Terrace
  • Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy at 660 W. 237th St.

No one picking up food will be asked for ID, and parents or guardians are permitted to pick up food for their children. 

For more information, or for more of 400-plus locations offering food to kids, visit


• Help support local journalism during these trying times, where you need us the most — and we need you the most. We appreciate any donation — whether it's one-time, or recurring — while we continue to bring you the latest on the coronavirus crisis, as only The Riverdale Press can.

To donate, visit


• Diagnostic testing is now open to anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms, or who meets other criteria established by the state's health department.

Local sites include:

  • CityMD's Riverdale Urgent Care, 193 W. 237th St. — Call for appointment first at (718) 303-0479.
  • Lehman College, 2925 Goulden Ave. — Call for appointment first for drive-thru testing at (888) 364-3065.
  • NewYork Presbyterian-Allen Hospital, 5141 Broadway — call first for appointment (but must be physician approved) at (877) 426-5647.

For a full searchable list of diagnostic testing sites, click here


• Except for those meetings specifically canceled, committee meetings for Community Board 8 are continuing as scheduled, but will be conducted via conference call or through online video conferencing on platforms like Zoom. Visit for updates.

Community board staff members will work remotely, with all in-person meetings and interactions canceled.  


• The Bronx Museum introduces virtual content — including art studios, guided tours and artist interviews.

For more information, visit


• Nina Velazques presents "Come Draw With Me," a drawing series devoted to family activities via Facebook.

Check her page for updates at


• The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., is closed. However, the organization opens its virtual gates to let visitors engage with the garden and its programs from the comfort of their homes.

For more information, visit


Lehman College Art Gallery, 250 Bedford Park Blvd., W., hosts remote Sunday family programs via the online video conferencing app Zoom. 

For more information, visit


• The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is no longer scheduled shared rides for Access-A-Ride. Those needing transportation through the service will still be allowed to travel with a personal care attendant and approved guest, however. 


• The state's Department of Motor Vehicles is open by appointment only. 


• All local public libraries are closed.


RSS-Riverdale Senior Services, like all senior centers in the city, is closed, affecting all programming and congregate meals. However, a limited number of members are able to pick up meals from the center, located at 2600 Netherland Ave. RSS needs volunteers to help distribute or even deliver meals to those in need. 

Social workers and other limited staff are available for members by calling (718) 884-5900, and leaving a detailed message.  Some support groups may take place via conference call, while others could go online, like a video of a tai chi class.


• The Van Cortlandt House Museum on Broadway, near the entrance of Van Cortlandt Park, is closed until further notice. This includes all public programs, tours and field trips.

The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York, which operates the museum, still offers virtual tours through the museum's website at


• The Red Door Concert series, a set of musical events at the Riverdale Presbyterian Church, 4765 Henry Hudson Parkway W., are canceled until further notice. For more information, visit


• The Van Cortlandt Park Alliance has canceled all of its programs until further notice. During this time, the group's staff members will work from home and be available via email to answer any questions. Van Cortlandt Park, along with other city parks, remain open.


• Councilman Andrew Cohen has closed his constituent office, but his staff continues to answer emails and phone calls. His office can be emailed at, or called at (718) 549-7300.


• U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel has closed his Washington and district offices, but will continue to have his staff return calls and emails to constituents as quickly as possible. Emails can be sent to, while calls can be made to (202) 225-2464.


Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz has closed his offices, limiting constituent services to email and telephone only. His office will not be open for any in-person services or notaries. The Assemblyman's office can be reached by email at, or by calling (718) 796-5345.


• Platforms hosted by the Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture move online using the Zoom  videoconferencing application.  For more information on how to connect with the app, call (718) 548-4445.


• All shows at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, 250 Bedford Park Blvd., have been postponed. The box office can be reached at (718) 960-8833.


• The Bronx Documentary Center, 614 Courtlandt Ave., in the South Bronx, has closed its facilities and canceled all scheduled events and on-site educational programs. The center's galleries, photobook library and labs also are closed. 


The Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Blvd,, is closed until further notice.


• All programs have been canceled at Wave Hill, 675 W. 252nd St., and the grounds themselves have been closed.


Urban Studio Unbound, 16 Warburton Ave., Yonkers, will keep its doors open for an exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of Satish Joshi's tenure in the United States. For more information, visit


• The Bronx County Bar Association, its library and referral service are closed.


What you can do about COVID-19

According to the city's health department, COVID-19 is described as a new onset of fever above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat that cannot be attributed to an underlying or previously recognized condition. 

In children, fever with sore throat may be attributable to conditions other than COVID-19 (like strep throat), and parents should consult with a health care provider to rule out any other causes.

Several commercial and hospital-based laboratories are offering COVID-19 testing, although the health department discourages anyone showing mild illness symptoms who can safely manage at home from being tested, unless a diagnosis may impact patient management. This will help minimize possible exposure to health care workers, other patients, and the public, while reducing the demand for personal protective equipment.

Those who are not hospitalized but who have possible or confirmed COVID-19 should isolate themselves in a private residence until seven days following the onset of illness, and 72 hours after their last fever, without the help of any medication to reduce it. 

Those who are self-quarantining should not attend work or school, and should avoid public settings and other situations that may permit close contact with others. 

Social distancing may have the greatest impact on minimizing transmission, health department officials add. People should stay home unless they need to go out, and should act as if they've been exposed to the virus, thus monitoring their vitals and looking for symptoms.


Eligibility for diagnostic COVID-19 testing

Testing is now available to anyone who needs a test, meeting this specific criteria:

  • Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms
  • Anyone who has had contact with someone known to be positive for the COVID-19 virus
  • Anyone subject to a precautionary or mandatory quarantine
  • Any health care or nursing home worker, and any first responder
  • Any essential worker who directly interacts with the public while working
  • Anyone planning to return to work during the first phase of the state's reopening plan, which continues for nearly all of upstate this week.


Phased reopening schedule

New York is reopening based on a four-phase, regional system that allows for gradual reopening of businesses and services, as long as specific metrics are kept below specific levels, like new coronavirus cases, hospital and intensive care unit capacity, and death rates, among others.

Regions are allowed to enter the next phase after 14 days, if state officials believe the region is not exceeding limits to coronavirus rates. The state evaluates each region before it moves into the next phase of reopening.

Although it's subject to change, here is the current schedule for reopening, last updated July 20 (bold indicates this level of reopening has begun or been approved):



  • Capital Region — May 20
  • Central New York — May 15
  • Finger Lakes — May 15
  • Long Island — May 27
  • Mid-Hudson Region — May 26
  • Mohawk Valley — May 15
  • New York City — June 8
  • North Country — May 15
  • Southern Tier — May 15
  • Western New York  — May 19



  • Capital Region — June 3
  • Central New York — May 29
  • Finger Lakes — May 29
  • Long Island — June 10
  • Mid-Hudson Region — June 9
  • Mohawk Valley — May 29
  • New York City — June 22
  • North Country — May 29
  • Southern Tier — May 29
  • Western New York  — June 2



  • Capital Region — June 17
  • Central New York — June 12
  • Finger Lakes — June 12
  • Long Island — June 24
  • Mid-Hudson Region — June 23
  • Mohawk Valley — June 12
  • New York City — July 6
  • North Country — June 12
  • Southern Tier — June 12
  • Western New York  — June 16



  • Capital Region — July 1
  • Central New York — June 26
  • Finger Lakes — June 26
  • Long Island — July 8
  • Mid-Hudson Region — July 7
  • Mohawk Valley — June 26
  • New York City — July 20
  • North Country — June 26
  • Southern Tier — June 26
  • Western New York  — June 30



  • Capital Region — Albany, Columbia, Greene, Saratoga, Schenectady, Renssaelaer, Warren, Washington
  • Central New York — Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego
  • Finger Lakes — Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates
  • Long Island — Nassau, Suffolk
  • Mid-Hudson Region — Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester
  • Mohawk Valley — Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Schoharle
  • New York City — Bronx, Kings, New York, Richmond, Queens
  • North Country — Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence
  • Southern Tier — Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins
  • Western New York  — Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara


What businesses are 'essential' businesses?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order essentially shutting down the state to all activity except for that which is deemed "essential" is in effect. This means that any non-essential business or group must have no one working on site, and that people should stay home unless they absolutely have somewhere to go.

As part of Cuomo's executive order, a number of businesses and organizations have been deemed "essential." They include:

• Health care operations like research and laboratory services, hospitals, walk-in care health facilities, emergency veterinary and livestock services, elder care, medical wholesale and distribution, home health care workers or aides for the elderly, doctor and emergency dental, nursing homes, residential health care facilities, congregate care facilities, and medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers.

• Infrastructure like utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission; public water and wastewater; telecommunications and data centers; airports and airlines; transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail or for-hire vehicles and garages; hotels and other places of accommodation.

• Manufacturing, including food processing, manufacturing agents for all foods and beverages, chemicals, medical equipment and instruments, pharmaceuticals. sanitary products, telecommunications, microelectronics and semi-conductor, agriculture and farms, and household paper products.

• Retail including grocery stores (and all food and beverage stores), pharmacies, convenience stores, farmer's markets, gas stations, restaurants and bars (for takeout and delivery only), and hardware and building material stores.

• Services including trash and recycling collection, mail and shipping services, laundromats, building cleaning and maintenance, child care services, auto repair, warehouse distribution and fulfillment, funeral homes, crematoriums, cemeteries, storage for essential businesses, and animal shelters.

• News media

• Financial institutions, including banks, insurance, payroll, accounting, and services related to financial markets.

• Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations, including homeless shelters and congregate care facilities, food banks, human services providers whose function include the direct care of patients.

• Construction, including skilled trades such as electricians and plumbing, and other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes.

• Defense, including national security-related operations supporting the U.S. government, or a contractor to the U.S. government.

• Services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of homes or other essential businesses, like law enforcement, fire prevention and response, building code enforcement, security, emergency management and response, building cleaners or janitors, general maintenance, automotive repair, disinfection.

• Vendors who provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services. And also including logistics, technology support for online services, child care programs and services, government-owned or leased buildings, and essential government services.

Although houses of worship are not ordered closed, it is strongly recommended that no congregate services be held, and social distance is maintained.

Even for those businesses and entities deemed "essential," Cuomo's order urges the maintenance of "social distance" of at least six feet between people.


Additional COVID-19 resources

U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel has compiled some additional resources for those looking for more information or materials related to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

• New York's coronavirus hotline is available at (888) 364-3065, and provides general information about the coronavirus, as well as test information. Other questions can be directed to 311.

• Free mental health services — including emotional support, consultation, and referral to a provider — is available at (844) 863-9314. Anyone seeking immediate mental health services during the outbreak can text "Well" to 65173*, or call (888) 692-9355.

• Students looking for electronic devices for remote learning can fill out a form available by clicking here

• Want to donate blood? Call (800) 933-2566 to make an appointment.

• Text "COVID" to 692-692 for COVID-19-related updates sent to your phone. To get updates in Spanish, text "COVIDESP."


Ongoing coronavirus coverage

For our full archive of stories centered on the coronavirus, click here.

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