May 14, 2020 - Health

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

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.

Go deeper: Cuomo warns of second coronavirus wave if restrictions eased too soon

Go deeper

Updated 11 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The Department of Health and Human Services moved on Thursday to require that an individual's race, ethnicity, age and sex be submitted to the agency with novel coronavirus test results.

Why it matters: Some cities and states have reported the virus is killing black people at disproportionately high rates. There are gaps in the national picture of how many people of color are affected, since the data has not been a requirement for states to collect or disclose.

Coronavirus cases spike in Texas, Oregon and Arizona

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise, Naema Ahmed/Axios

Texas, Arizona and Oregon saw significant spikes last week in new coronavirus infections, while cases also continued to climb in a handful of states where steady increases have become the norm.

Why it matters: Nationwide, new cases have plateaued over the past week. To get through this crisis and safely continue getting back out into the world, we need them to go down — a lot.

17 hours ago - Health

Americans will be forced to weigh personal coronavirus risk as states reopen

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The U.S. is about to embark upon the most momentous social experiment in living memory: What happens when you take laissez-faire economic principles and apply them to public health?

Why it matters: When millions of people make their own individual risk/reward calculations, the result is superior to top-down decision-making by the government. That's the central tenet of capitalism — but you'd be hard-pressed to find any epidemiologists making the same argument.