Cuomo: New York Is Ready for ‘New Chapter’ in COVID-19 Shutdown
On Monday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a number of regions are ready to reopen, while also saying a number of businesses can open statewide on Friday.
Cuomo said on Monday during his COVID-19 briefing he's working with local governments on starting the phased-in reopening, calling it a "new chapter" which he said starts right now.
Last week, he announced regions can start to reopen on May 15 if a number of guidelines are met.
There are seven metrics that state officials are assessing before allowing a region to reopen. Cuomo said based on CDC recommendations, regions must experience a 14-day decline in hospitalizations and deaths on a 3-day rolling average. Regions with few COVID cases cannot exceed 15 new total cases or 5 new deaths on a 3-day rolling average. A region must have fewer than two new COVID patients admitted per 100,000 residents per day.
Cuomo's New York Forward plan splits the state up into 10 regions.
On Monday, he announced the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley regions have met all seven metrics. Central New York and the North County are off by just one metric.
"This is the next big step in this historic journey," he said. "There is no county by county plan here. It has to be coordinated."
The Hudson Valley isn't ready to reopen, as of Monday, according to Cuomo. According to graphic Cuomo displayed very briefly during his press briefing, the Hudson Valley Captial Region and Long Island meets five of the seven metrics, while New York City meets four of the seven metrics.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said the "Mid-Hudson" region is getting closer to reaching all seven metrics and is optimistic the Hudson Valley can start the reopening process during the week of May 18.
Once a region meets the criteria to reopen businesses will reopen in four phases.
Phase 1 includes construction, manufacturing, and select retail with curbside pick-up. Phase 2 retail, real estate, and finance. Phase 3 will allow restaurants and hotels to reopen. Phase 4 includes entertainment venues and schools.
The reopening process will stop if a region starts to see a spike in COVID-19 cases. If the rate of transmission of the virus goes above 1.1 you must stop the reopening process, according to Cuomo.
"In each region, there will be a Regional Control Room that will closely monitor progress and act as a circuit breaker ready to step in," Cuomo said.
Cuomo previously said each phase would last two weeks. On Monday he said the following when questioned how long will it take to get to Phase 2:
"It will be determined by the facts and the numbers as we go along," he said. "You must keep the transmission rate at a manageable level. How fast can you open? Nobody knows."
Cuomo announced New York will also reopen low-risk business and recreational activities on May 15, including:
- Landscaping and gardening
- Outdoor, low-risk recreational activities (i.e. tennis)
- Drive-in movie theaters
He confirmed 161 New Yorkers died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the lowest numbers since the virus started spreading in late March.