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LEVITTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — At long last, family entertainment centers will soon reopen in New York after being completely shuttered for nearly a year.

But how will they maintain COVID safety?

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The owners of Laser Bounce on Long Island are more than ready to let the fun resume.

They haven’t made a dime or seen a kid’s smile in nearly a year, yet have poured more than $100,000 into into COVID safety.

“We have gone above and beyond to make sure our customers are safe, and when they come here it’s now cleaner and safer than ever,” Laser Bounce’s Ryan Damico told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.

Indoor family entertainment centers may reopen on March 26 with strict protocols that include:

  • check-in to assure contact tracing,
  • face coverings,
  • social distancing,
  • touch points consistently disinfected,
  • air filtration,
  • hands-free payment,
  • and infrared temperature monitoring.

“It’s completely non-invasive. You walk right past it. You won’t even know you had your temperature checked,” Damico said.

Capacity is capped at 25%, which some owners call an injustice.

“Bowling alleys were allowed to open at 50%, we are at 25%. We can’t keep the doors open at 25%,” said Laser Bounce owner Joe Damico. “It’s a smack in the face to open at those numbers.”

Surrounding states allowed these businesses to reopen over the summer, which the owner of Urban Air in Lake Grove said proves it’s safe.

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“Served 4 million guests over the last eight months, and employees, without a reported case traced back to our park. We are safe,” said David Wolmetz, who co-owns Urban Air.

Wolmetz is grateful for the green light, amid worry it’s too little too late. Forty-five indoor venues are still suing New York over the shutdown orders.

Outdoor venues will be allowed to reopen at 33%.

Jack Sterne, a spokesperson for the Cuomo Administration, said in a statement to CBS2:

We understand that everyone wants to reopen as much as possible as quickly as possible — and we share that goal, as long as it can be done safely. We are still fighting a deadly pandemic and every industry that’s reopened has to follow detailed public health guidance, including capacity restrictions. This public health crisis isn’t over, and these rules help stop the spread of COVID, saving lives and helping keep businesses open.

The owner of Advenureland says extra staff will be needed to ensure COVID safety.

“For our park that’s been there since 1962, it will be a whole new environment,” said Steven Gentile, Adventureland’s owner. “It will be a whole new business model, so to speak, and we are prepared for it… and we are happy to implement it.”

Many of these businesses received money from the federal paycheck protection program. But much of the money must be paid back.

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They’re asking for a federal grant program, like one that’s helping shuttered performance venues, so they can bounce back, too.

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Tags: lake grove levittown local tv long island new york new york covid long island cuomo administration these businesses nearly a year public health the owner the owner covid safety as possible

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53 Philadelphia Schools To Reopen As Some Students Return To Hybrid Learning Next Week

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Teachers and students will return to the classrooms in some Philadelphia schools next week. Fifty-three of the Philadelphia School Districts’ schools will return to hybrid learning on Monday, March 8.

Teachers at those 53 schools will report to the classroom on Wednesday, March 3.

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The schools will be open for students in grades pre-k through second grade whose parents chose to opt into the hybrid learning method at the beginning of the school year. Students who initially choose 100% digital learning will have the opportunity to opt into hybrid learning after all pre-k through second grade hybrid learning students have successfully phased back into the classroom.

#Breaking 53 Philadelphia public school’s will reopen for hybrid learning beginning Monday March 8 for pre-k to 2nd grade students. Other schools will reopen on a weekly basis. Latest #cbs3 @cbs3talkphilly

— Natasha CBS3 (@NatashaCBS3) March 1, 2021

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney says the plan is to have other schools reopen on a weekly basis with the goal of having a return date announced for all PreK-2 students by March 22.

The decision to slowly reopen schools was made by the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, with the assistance from a city-lead third-party mediation.

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The 53 schools opening for in-person learning next week include:

Chester Arthur School; John Barry Elementary; Mary McLeod Bethune School; F. Amedee Bregy School; Henry A. Brown School; Joseph W. Catharine; Cayuga Elementary; Cook-Wissahickon School; Anna B. Day School; Julia De Burgos; Stephen Decatur School; Thomas A. Edison High; Franklin S. Edmonds School; Ethan Allen School; Dr. Ethel Allen School; Thomas K. Finletter School; Fitler Academics Plus; Edward Gideon School; Joseph Greenberg School; Albert M. Greenfield School; Andrew Hamilton School; John F. Hartranft School; Edward Heston School; Henry H. Houston; Julia Ward Howe School; John Marshall School; Juniata Park Academy; Kenderton Elementary; Henry W. Lawton School; Abraham Lincoln High; Alain Locke School; William H. Loesche School; William C. Longstreth School; Mayfair School; John F. McCloskey School; William McKinley Elementary; John Moffet School; J. Hampton Moore School; Hon. Luis Munoz-Marin Elementary; Olney Elementary; Overbrook Educational Center; Overbrook Elementary; Penn Alexander School; Penrose School; Rhodes Elementary; Shawmont School; Isaac A. Sheppard School; Southwark School; Edward Steel School; Thurgood Marshall School; John H. Webster School; Frances E. Willard School; and Richard R. Wright School.

Superintendent Dr. William Hite previously said the fans would help ventilation in some of the older buildings, but no window fans will be used in the reopening of the schools. Air purifiers will now be used to safely reopen certain Philadelphia schools beginning next week.

Teachers Union: No window fans will be used in reopening of schools. Air purifiers will now be used to safely reopen certain Philly schools on March 8th.

— Natasha CBS3 (@NatashaCBS3) March 1, 2021

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Parents and students are encouraged to watch the school district’s Safe Return to School and Clean and Healthy Schools videos.

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