The Hudson Valley will remain “on pause” for at least two more weeks, as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended the order in certain regions of the state while others start reopening economies.
Cuomo said that some downstate regions, including the mid-Hudson Valley, will be extended through Thursday, May 28, as they work to meet the state’s seven metrics that will permit reopening.
- Earlier story - COVID-19: Here Are New Activities, Low-Risk Businesses Restarting This Week Downstate
According to the Department of Health, the mid-Hudson Valley has not seen:
- a 14-day decline in hospital deaths, or fewer than five deaths over a three-day average;
- more than two hospitalizations for COVID-19 per 100,000 residents;
Cuomo noted that while the “NY on PAUSE” order has been extended, if regions hit the benchmarks, they can reopen at any time. Cuomo said that once regions reopen, it will be up to local officials to ensure that social distancing and other protocols mandated by the state are maintained.
“We’re extending the NY on Pause order, though if a region hits its benchmark at any time, regardless of that pause order, that region can reopen,” he said. “The responsibility is then on local officials and the regional control center to enforce business compliance and social distancing.
“The (reopening) is subject to that compliance, and it’s up to local officials to make sure they are followed,” Cuomo added.
Cuomo said that it will be key that the officials and experts who are part of each region’s control center will be tasked with hosting a daily morning meeting to review and monitor infection, testing, and hospitalization rates to determine whether they need to slow down reopening.
“We’re starting to turn the activity valve, and we have to watch what happens to the rates,” he said. “If those numbers start to move, we have to slow down the activity level. That requires monitoring the impact of this increase in public activity.”
The governor cautioned that “you will see an increase (in the rates),” and that it is anticipated in New York.
“We expect to see an increase, but that increase has to be monitored and controlled,” Cuomo said. “We’ve talked about the rate of transmission, and if you see it rising, you’re heading toward a bad place, so you have to monitor the rates daily, and correct it immediately when you see an increase.
“Reopening has to be data-driven, period. That’s just the acts,” he continued. “We’re starting to reopen now, but we have to do it intelligently and with discipline and without emotion, but it’s up to all of us.”
There were 132 new COVID-19-related deaths in New York overnight, as the total rose to 22,304 since the outbreak began. There have been 1,338,048 New Yorkers tested for the virus, with 345,813 testing positive, though the infection, hospitalization and fatality rate continues to trend down.
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