The ruling thwarted efforts by at least one couple to have a large wedding this weekend and leaves in doubt any other weddings that exceed more than 50 attendees.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on ...ve-regions-track-enter-phase-iv-reopening-friday">June 24 loosened restrictions on gatherings
to allow as many as 50 people to congregate as he slowly reopened the economy due to coronavirus.June 24 loosened restrictions on gatherings
Two western New York couples sued, arguing in part that the executive order is inconsistent with other orders that allows restaurants to have up to 50% of capacity.
On Aug. 7, the Buffalo-area couples successfully won a preliminary injunction blocking Cuomo's order, and on Wednesday, a district court judge denied the state's motion for a stay of the preliminary injunction.
So the state took its case to the federal appeals court in Manhattan and won an emergency stay Friday of the lower court's ruling so the case can be heard.
The move blocked a couple who sued from being married Saturday in Erie County with 175 people expected to attend, the court papers said.
The couple's attorney, Anthony Rupp, told the Times Union
the wedding will be moved to a later date.told the Times Union
"We had won every stage of this thing, but the judge in the 2nd Circuit just cavalierly postponed it until Tuesday," Rupp said. "So we're very unhappy about this decision."
New York has the most deaths in the nation due to COVID-19 with about 25,300 deaths, but it has in recent months had among the lowest infection rates in the U.S.
Cuomo has allowed most businesses to reopen, but has limited large gathering facilities, such as keeping closed casinos
and movie theaters and putting occupancy and safety restrictions on restaurants and bars.keeping closed casinos
"We've been reopening for 14 weeks and our infection rate has actually done down — the positive test rate has been below 1% the past 14 days and the number of hospitalizations dropped below 500 for the first time since March 16," Cuomo said in a statement Friday.
"This is proof positive that when you have the virus under control, more testing does not equal more positives. But my message to New Yorkers remains the same: this is not over, we have to be smart, wear a mask, socially distance and be New York tough."More:New York casinos are still closed. Why workers say they are going bustNew York casinos are still closed. Why workers say they are going bust More:Gyms in New York can reopen Monday. What to expect when you go.Gyms in New York can reopen Monday. What to expect when you go. Joseph Spector is the New York state editor for the USA TODAY Network. He can be reached at JSPECTOR@Gannett.com or followed on Twitter: @GannettAlbany
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