Malls in some parts of the state will be allowed to open on Friday as long as they have an enhanced air ventilation system that could remove coronavirus particles from the air, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday said. 

Meanwhile, the state will make a decision on reopening school buidlings in the first week of August, as Cuomo asserted it is a decision that's up to New York officials and will not bend to pressure from President Donald Trump. 

What You Need To Know

  • Malls need to have an enhanced air ventilation system to reopen

  • A decision on reopening schools will come in August

  • All county fairs are canceled

  • New York has its lowest intubation COVID-19 cases since March 16

New York's infection rate of new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours stands at 1.2 percent after more than 50,000 tests were conducted. There are now fewer than 100 intubation cases, Cuomo said, the lowest since March 16. 

The state delayed the reopening of malls, gyms and movie theaters as most regions of the state hit the final stage of the economic reopening. Malls must install filtration units that can remove COVID particles from the air. Only malls in the fourth phase of reopening can open by Friday if they have the proper ventilation system in place. 

Schools, meanwhile, will have to submit their finalized plans for reopening by July 31. Finalized guidance from the state on school reopenings will come Monday, Cuomo said. A final decision on schools will come between Aug. 1-7, he added. 

Reopening schools perhaps represents the highest stakes yet for the governor in the pandemic, which has killed more than 24,000 New Yorkers. 

Students and teachers have been out of the classroom since March, and families have faced the challenge of distance learning as well as the need to oversee children out of schools. Parents and guardians are gradually returning to work, fueling concerns over what will happen with kids by September. 

But reopening schools won't be governed by the president, who vowed this week to pressure governors on the issue.

"School reopenings are a state decision, period," Cuomo said. "That's a state decision and that's how we're going to proceed. It's not up to the president of the United States."

Cuomo said he would only open school buildings if it was safe to do so.