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COVID-19: Day Now Set For Long Island Reopening

Long Island Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
A map of New York's 10 regions. Photo Credit: New York State
A look at how New York has leveled the COVID curve. Photo Credit: ny.gov

A day and date are now set for Phase 1 of the reopening of Long Island's economy amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Contact tracers have been identified and will be trained through the Memorial Day weekend with the first of the four phases of reopening now scheduled to begin on Wednesday, May 27 in Nassau and Suffolk counties, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday, May 23 at his daily COVID news briefing in Albany.

Phase 1 permits the reopening of manufacturing, construction, wholesale supply chain businesses and many retailers for curbside pickup, in-store pickup, or drop off. 

The retail categories include electronics and appliances, clothing and shoes, web and mail-order, florists, jewelry, luggage, and sporting goods, and others. 

After two weeks, an evaluation will be made if a transition is made to Phase 2, which would allow a wider ranger of business openings.

The seven benchmarks Long Island has now met are:

Health-care capacity, after elective surgeries resume

  • A total of 30 percent of both total hospital beds and ICU beds must be available.
  • Hospitals must have a 90-day stockpile of personal protective equipment.

Hospitalization and death rates

  • There must be a 14-day decline in coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths from the virus on a three-day rolling average.
  • There must be 15 or fewer total new confirmed cases of COVID-19 or five or fewer new deaths from the coronavirus on a three-day rolling average
  • There must be fewer than two new coronavirus patients admitting to hospitals per 100,000 residents

Testing and contact tracing

  • Must have 30 or more contact tracers for every 100,000 residents,.
  • Must have the capacity to conduct 30 diagnostic tests per month for every 1,000 residents through testing sites depending on the region’s population,. Testing needs to prioritize people who show symptoms or have been in contact with people with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The Hudson Valley is now scheduled to start Phase 1 reopening on Tuesday, May 27. That leaves New York City as the only one of the state's 10 regions that has not been cleared to start Phase 1 reopening.

The Hudson Valley region is made up of Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties. For a map of New York's regions, see the second image above.

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