Another region in New York has been given the green light by the state to begin reopening its economy.
After working through the weekend to identify a new tracing army, Western New York has become the sixth of New York''s 10 regions to begin reopening amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Central New York, the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier were the first five regions to reach the necessary benchmarks established by the state.
The Capital Region has now hit six of the seven metrics laid forth. Long Island, New York City and the mid-Hudson Valley the other regions.
During his daily news briefing on Monday, May 18 at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that Western New York has identified enough COVID-19 tracers - the only metric it was lacking - and will reopen beginning on Tuesday, May 19.
“Western New York needed 521 tracers, and over the weekend, 525 were identified and they’re being trained, meaning the metrics will be hit and Western New York will open up tomorrow, which is exciting,” he said. “It’s been a long, painful process, but we’re getting ready to open up.”
Phase 1 of the reopening plan proposed by state officials allows nonessential manufacturing, construction and retail businesses to reopen, but with social-distancing and density-reduction precautions in place. Retail is only allowed curbside or in-store pickups.
Cuomo said that as of Friday, May 15, any region that hits the state’s seven metrics can reopen immediately.
“This isn’t a subject that is a political subject, or where political opinions really matter,” he said. “This is not a political exercise we’re going through, and it’s not about your personal or ideological opinion.
“This is about facts and science and data,” Cuomo added. “Decisions are being made as a matter of math.”
There were 106 new COVID-19 deaths in New York in the past 24 hours, Cuomo said, though the hospitalization, infection and fatality rates continue to drop.
According to the state Department of Health, 1,439,557 New Yorkers have been tested for COVID-19, with 351,371 testing positive. Since the outbreak began in early March, 22,729 COVID-19 deaths have been reported statewide.
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