Smoothly into Phase Three

UPDATED PAUSE: Roosevelt Island in Detail, July 13th, 2020

Updated 19 weeks ago David Stone
"Remember to social distance. People are coming back."
"Remember to social distance. People are coming back."
© David Stone/Roosevelt Island Daily

Effective today, July 13th, 2020, under New York State Guidelines, Roosevelt Island opened further. Playing field and more are now open for anyone who wishes to use them, but activities remain limited.

Here's what RIOC said:

Please be advised that RIOC will reopen all outdoor basketball courts, dog runs, and sports fields on Monday, July 13th. 

Residents and visitors are asked to avoid participating in high-contact games, such as football and basketball, to continue wearing face coverings, and to maintain proper social distancing practices at all times. 

As of Monday, July 13th

Open areas will include:

  • Comfort Stations at Lighthouse Park and Southpoint Park
  • Outdoor Tennis Courts (7:30 AM- 8:30 PM)– reservation system here
  • All public playgrounds
  • Pony Field and Capobianco Field (7 AM- 9 PM) – for exercise only
  • McManus and Firefighters Fields (7 AM- 9 PM) – socially distanced games only
  • All basketball courts- (7 AM- 9 PM) No games. Socially distanced shoot-around only
  • All dog runs

Closed areas will include:

  • Sportspark
  • All public cooking areas

Please note that summer day camp programs have priority on all fields and courts Mon. - Fri., 9 AM - 4 PM, through Aug. 28, 2020.

So, Roosevelt Islanders and visitors, you've done a great job as good neighbors. Now let's keep up the good work and keep things open.

Following is the list of previous updates under New York PAUSE


As of 8:00 p.m. March 22nd, New York State is under strict restrictions to prevent spread of the coronavirus. PAUSE shuts down all nonessential businesses and limits public activities. It's extended until May 15th. Here are some details, including Roosevelt Island specifics.

  • UPDATE, April 2nd: By executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo, all playgrounds and basketball courts are now also shut down.
  • Update: April 5th, Governor Cuomo also ordered all dog parks closed after numerous complaints about owners ignoring social distancing.
  • Update April 15th: "New Yorkers must wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible, including on public transport, in stores and on crowded sidewalks."
  • May 4th: Governor Cuomo announced detailed plans for reopening state businesses.
  • May 10th: In a landmark of sorts, Governor Cuomo said that efforts to control the coronavirus spread has effectively returned New York to the level of infections and deaths when PAUSE started on March 22nd.

New York City Basics

According to Mayor Bill de Blasio:

The City will also enforce the following rules for non-vulnerable individuals with fines and mandatory closures:

  • No non-essential gatherings; any concentration of people outside their home must be limited to workers providing essential services
  • Practice social distancing in public (6 feet or more)
  • Limit use of public transportation to only when absolutely necessary.
  • Sick individuals should not leave home except to receive medical care.

April 11th: Mayor de Blasio says New York City public schools are closed for the remainder of the school year.

April 20th: All New York City events for June are cancelled, including the Pride and Hispanic Day Parades.

May 7th: New York City will restrict entry to some parks after social distancing violations were seen, especially along piers in Hudson River Park.

May 10th: Because infections, testing and deaths show a slowing of coronavirus effects, but not nearly enough to reopen the city, Mayor de Blasio says the city is "months" away from reopening. A significant minority of New Yorkers can be observed not honoring social distancing requirements, probably extending the shutdown indefinitely.

But what about Roosevelt Island?

On Sunday, March 22nd, RIOC closed "all permitted spaces, including McManus Field and Firefighters Field... until further notice." The Roosevelt Island Garden Club also closed its public space. All dog parks and playgrounds are also now closed. Parks and promenades are open and welcome appropriate activities, including social distancing.

Consistent with Governor Andrew Cuomo's guidance, RIOC closed the fields after groups were repeatedly observed violating social distancing regulations. RIOC's reasoning is that these fields are designed only for contact sports, which by definition are outside the guidelines.

RIOC stressed that all promenades and parks, from Four Freedoms to Lighthouse, remain open, subject to social distancing. Please note however that Governor Cuomo has promised a crackdown on all locations if social distancing violations continue.

FIGMENT NYC announced cancelation of this year's events, previously scheduled for June 6th & 7th in Lighthouse Park.

Roosevelt Island Day has also been cancelled.

Seniors hit hard...

Stay at home restrictions limit contact with the outside world for seniors, including visitors. If you're over 70 or immune system compromised, you're required to wear a face mask when in the company of others. Solitary outdoor activities, i.e., walking or running, are permitted for now.

Here's the latest from the Senior Center: 

  • The Senior Center has limited quantities of a 3-day shelf-stable box (emergency boxes), if you would like to receive one,  please email your name, address, phone number, and apartment #. You can also call the senior center at 212-980-1888 press 1 and leave a message with the requested information. The City Meal box will be delivered Thursday, April 2nd to your home after 1:00 p.m.
FoodHelp NYC Locator You can get food today from New York City’s food pantries, which provide groceries you can cook at home, and community kitchens, which provide hot meals. Food pantries and community kitchens are located throughout the five boroughs. If you need food immediately, find locations near you by using our Food Map.
  • COVID-19- New York State Office of Mental Health FREE Emotional Support Hotline: 1-844-863-9314.

Foodtown announces senior citizen and immune compromised shopping hours. These give our most vulnerable neighbors extra protection against infection:

"Please prioritize the hours of 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. daily for our senior citizens and immune compromised neighbors to shop. It will be greatly appreciated."

What's open? What's closed?

Closed: all non essential services, such nail and beauty salons. Also, Liukoushui Hot Pot, China One, Jupioca (no announcement), Piccolo Trattoria (limited reopening, but hours not formally announced), Fuji East and Subway (no announcement) closed their businesses temporarily. New: The Roosevelt Island Farmers Market is closed until further notice. Also, as noted above, Jack McManus and Firefighters Fields along with all permitted space and indoor recreational facilities.


Groceries, etc: Foodtown, Bread & Butter Deli, Wholesome Factory and Duane Reade. Restrictions in most locations protect residents from hoarders.

Takeout and/or delivery food: Nisi (cashless), the café @ Cornell Tech (cashless), Wholesome Factory, Starbucks.

Others: Roosevelt Island Dry Cleaners(Monday, Wednesday & Friday only), Island Wine and Liquor (store limit of four customers at a time and no browsing).

We will update as new information becomes available.

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