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COVID-19: Five NY Regions Meet Criteria To Reopen This Week

Five regions in New York have started slowly reopening economies as of Friday, May 15, though downstate areas, including the Hudson Valley, will stay closed for most non-essential business due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Central New York, North Country, the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Mohawk Valley are regions that have met the seven metrics set forth by the state to begin reopening and as such have been given the green light to begin “unpausing” Phase 1 businesses. The first step includes construction; manufacturing and wholesale supply chain; retail for curbside pickup, and drop-off or in-store pickup; and agriculture, forestry, and fishing. The Mid-Hudson Valley met five of the seven necessary criteria but still doesn’t meet the required 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. "As the numbers continue to decline and we are coming down the other side of the mountain, a lot of attention is now on reopening," Governor Cuomo said. "We're doing something in this state that no other state is doing - we are having a transparent discussion about the reopening operations because it only works if people understand it and are part of it. “New Yorkers will know exactly what is happening in their region and in their county on a daily basis, and the state will continue to monitor these metrics to determine when regions are ready to reopen and if we need to adjust the reopening plans,” he continued. "Four regions have now met all seven metrics required to begin reopening, and we will continue to keep New Yorkers informed as this process goes forward." To check to see how each of New York's 10 regions is doing with those metrics,  the state launched a dashboard on Monday, May 11 showing those analytics. You can view the dashboard here - “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, 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. (Daily Voice)

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