Long Island and the mid-Hudson Valley could reopen their economies next week as they move closer toward meeting the seven benchmarks established by the New York State in the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
During his daily COVID-19 news briefing on Friday, May 22 in midtown Manhattan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that if the number of deaths continues to decline at the current rate, both regions are in line to reopen next week.
In advance of the beginning of Phase 1 of reopening, Cuomo also announced that construction companies on Long Island and in the mid-Hudson Valley regions can begin to start staging sites. The Mid-Hudson region is made up of Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties.
Cuomo noted that before reopening, Long Island and the mid-Hudson will also have to have their tracing systems trained, online, and in place.
“If the number of deaths continues to decline the way it has, and they get their tracing online, those two regions are ready to enter phase 1,” he said. “We’re going to allow construction staging now for Long Island and the mid-Hudson, and hopefully the deaths decline and we can reopen next week.”
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.
New York City is almost certain to be the last of the state's 10 region to enter Phase 1.
There were 109 new COVID-19 deaths in New York, though the number of new hospitalizations continues to drop.
According to the state Department of Health, 1,555,055 New Yorkers have been tested for COVID-19, with 356,458 testing positive for the virus as of Wednesday, May 20. There have been 23,083 reported deaths due to COVID-19.
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