May 14, 2020 - Health

Gov. Cuomo: New York regions meet criteria to reopen Friday

In this image, Andrew Cuomo sits and talks

Gov. Andrew Cuomo at New York Medical College of Touro College & University System on May 7. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Large sections of central and northern New York state are "poised to reopen tomorrow" in the first phase of the state's easing of coronavirus restrictions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a Thursday press briefing.

Why it matters: As other states prepare to reopen, New York — the original epicenter of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. — can set a positive example if infection rates remain low.

What's happening: Retail stores will be allowed to do curbside pickup and low-risk businesses like gardening and landscape can reopen, Cuomo detailed earlier this week. Drive-in movie theaters and other low-risk outdoor activities like tennis will be allowed.

Where it stands: Deaths in the state have largely plateaued since last week — with significantly fewer fatalities than at the height of the state's outbreak, according to leading models from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

  • Hospitalizations and intubations have continued to trend downward in New York overall since last month.

How it works: To reopen, regions need appropriate testing and contract tracing in place, with a decline in hospitalization that lasts at least two weeks. New York City does not qualify to reopen.

  • The regions that currently qualify to reopen Friday are North County, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Souther Tier and Mohawk Valley.
  • Cuomo said that local governments in those areas need to monitor businesses and the number of people who are visiting them and whether social distancing guidelines are being followed.

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