- Click here for an updated story - COVID-19: NY Launches Monitoring Dashboard To Track How Close Regions Are To Reopening
Three regions in New York will start slowly reopening economies this week, though downstate areas, including the Hudson Valley and Long Island, will stay closed for most non-essential business due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley regions will be “unpausing” Phase 1 businesses (listed in the first image above) as of Friday, May 15, but only if they meet seven metrics (see the second photo) that have been laid out by the state. As of Monday, May 11, the three are all getting green lights in each of the seven areas.
Both the mid-Hudson Valley and Long Island met five of the seven necessary criteria, with both still not having a 14-day decline in hospital deaths or fewer than five deaths on a three-day average, as well as less than two new hospitalizations per 100,000 on a three-day average.
Central New York and North Country are close, meeting six of the seven metrics. There are 10 designated regions in the state.
Throughout New York State, as of this Friday, several other business sectors and activities will reopen. (See third image above.)
“We can measure this, and you can look at each individual region and see where they are by this criteria,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during his daily COVID-19 press briefing on Monday, May 11 at Rochester Regional Health in Irondequoit. “Some regions are ready to go today, and just need to get some logistical pieces in order, others are close.
“If you see the dials going into the red zone, you wouldn’t have to turn the valve off, just slow it a little bit,” he added. “The whole ride across this mountain has been about getting the spread of the infection under control, which we’ve been doing.”
In those regions, construction and manufacturing firms will be permitted to reopen, along with nonessential retail businesses offering curbside or in-store pickup. Landscapers and gardeners can also get back to work, and low-risk recreational activities can resume, the governor said.
“We start a new chapter today in many ways,” Cuomo said. "Now the decline has gotten to a point where we are just about where we started the journey.
“In terms of infections and the death toll of the virus and we have abated the worst by what we’ve done by practicing social distancing and observing other precautionary measures,” Cuomo added. "Local regions all across the state should start to prepare for reopening.”
Cuomo stressed that the first phase of the shutdown was directed by the state, though now reopening plans have “shifted to localities and regions” that will have to ensure they are in a position to kickstart their economies.
When some businesses do reopen, Cuomo said they will have to do so intelligently, and continue to practice COVID-19 prevention tactics such as social distancing and providing proper protective equipment for employees.
“We’re going to have regional control rooms of top officials that are watching the situation and seeing how things develop (after reopening),” Cuomo said. “You need to be in a position to respond, and if it doesn’t go well and you see the infection rate moving, you have to be able to pull the plug to slow down the increase in activity.”
The hospitalization, infection, and intubation rate for COVID-19 patients were down across the board, Cuomo said.
According to the Department of Health, there have been 1,204,650 New Yorkers tested for COVID-19, with 337,055 testing positive for the virus. There have been 21,478 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in New York.
County executives from throughout the state joined Cuomo's news briefing by conferencing in.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.