Designated businesses waited for answers from Albany about when they could resume operations, and they didn’t like what they heard.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently said that gyms, malls and movie theaters would remain closed until they work out how to prevent air filtration systems from recirculating the novel coronavirus. Certain filters exists that can remove these particles, and state authorities began exploring the feasibility of using them.

“There are air filtration devices — air filters that can actually help with the COVID virus and NASA has studied these. There are HEPA filters, which are high-efficiency particulate air filters that can actually filter out the COVID virus. The COVID virus is 0.1 microns. There are HEPA filters that can filter out 0.01, so any malls that will open in New York — large malls — we will make it mandatory that they have air filtration systems that can filter out the COVID virus,” Mr. Cuomo said, according to a news release issued Monday by his office. “For many of these systems, it depends on what filter you install, called the MERV [minimum efficiency reporting value] rating of the filter. But they have different filters that filter out different sized particles, and they have filters that can actually filter out and catch the COVID virus. For large mall reopenings — which we haven’t done yet — but we’re going to make this mandatory. I would recommend — the state recommends — for all businesses and offices, they explore the potential for their air conditioning/air filtration system, adding a filter that can filter out the COVID virus. We have been looking at this issue because we look around the country and you’re seeing malls, you’re seeing air conditioning systems, indoor spaces that have been problematic.”

The governor’s reference to HEPA filters caused some confusion. These devices are not compatible with many air filtration systems in use today at large facilities. According to a story published Tuesday by Business Insider, many news organizations erroneously claimed that malls must set up HEPA filters before they can reopen.

“News outlets ran with the angle that Cuomo was mandating that malls install HEPA filters in order to reopen,” the article reported. “But a statement put out later on June 29 clarified that the governor was announcing that ‘air conditioning filters with a minimum efficiency reporting value rating capable of filtering COVID-19 particles or similar air exchange measures will be mandatory for large mall reopenings.’ All filters can be graded with a … MERV, from 1 to 16. According to the EPA, MERVs ‘report a filter’s ability to capture larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns.’ More effective filters receive higher MERV ratings.”

So these businesses aren’t required to install HEPA systems, which may be cost prohibitive. They can use equipment that works better with the units they have.

However, this doesn’t address why gyms, malls and theaters must remain closed while other large facilities have been open all along. Jefferson County fields complaints every day about many shoppers at the two Walmart stores in the area not wearing masks.

Walmart has massive spaces that holds hundreds of people at any given time. What’s the difference in recirculating air potentially infected with the coronavirus in a shopping mall and at a Walmart store?

In fact, why aren’t all businesses required to remove these particles? Small shops have more confined spaces, so breathing in virus-infected air is more likely in these facilities.

The state has imposed yet another arbitrary rule that unfairly targets some companies. Officials need to address this concern in a more equitable manner.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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(13) comments


Great editorial. It’s not about any virus, it’s about the lefts attempt to defeat Trump in Nov. even if it means destroying the economy until then. What more proof is needed of the all-consuming counter-American hatred of the left

Holmes -- the real one



Are you on crack?

The word "Trump" did not appear even once in the editorial. Paranoid much?

As for "hatred of the left", you sure have it, Comrade. It's certifiably sick to prefer that Americans die so greedy capitalists can enrich themselves.

Unless you got your Economics degree at Trump U, even you should know that dead people don't contribute to the economy. Neither do people in hospitals on respirators. Or people too sick to speak, walk, eat, ... Capische?

BTW: Learn English, Comrade. It's "left's", not "lefts".


The American economy has been in the toilet at the end of every Republican presidency for 40 years.

Holmes -- the real one


In the spirit of responsible journalism, please provide the medical and epidemiological reasoning that supports your position.


Common sense, Holmes (maybe not the real one). Why is Walmart's large a/c space OK, but a mall has to jump through flaming hoops to open. Perhaps its because of the long standing relationship between Slick Willy, Hillary, the DNC, and the Waltons in AR.

Holmes -- the real one

Ah, earth to you, Pitbull. Earth calling. Come in, Pitbull.

The Waltons are Trump supporters.


Wrong again, the real fake Holmes.

Holmes -- the real one

I’m just wondering if fake "Holmes" has any idea what year it is. Apparently there's been a glitch in the fake "Holmes" matrix and the comments are stuck in 2016.

To be fair, it's true that not all of the biggest Walmart shareholders are Trump supporters. Some are absolutely not. The record shows that hey vote differently on different candidates and have donated to both Democrats and Republicans.

But to step back in time, supporting Clinton vs Bush or Ross Perot would seem to most to be a no brainer.

Oh yeah, fake "Holmes," well..... hmmm


Let me guess. Trump U School of Architecture? You don't know the difference between a big box store that limits the number of customers and a mall that has NO SUCH CONTROLS? The Clintons are NOT involved in any way. GROW UP. GET A LIFE, CRACKPOT. Kids, THIS is what doing drugs you find in the parking lot can do to you.


Perhaps you are dumb.

Holmes -- the real one

An epidemiologist, an ICU doctor and a scientist all walk into a bar.

I’m just kidding, they know better.

And the medically trained experts on the editorial board of NNY360 say "arbitrary."


A liar, a cheat, a coward, a con, a deadbeat, a draft dodger, and a fool walk into a bar.

The bartender says: "What'll it be Mr. Trump?"

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