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New York will ease some coronavirus-related restrictions and open "certain low risk businesses and recreational activities" statewide starting May 15, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

Why it matters: It's a sign that New York has seen the worst of its coronavirus outbreak and is slowly looking to return to normalcy, though Cuomo has cautioned at every chance he gets that a rush to reopen without proper precautions in place could be devastating.

Details: As part of New York's modified restrictions:

  • Retail stores will be allowed to do curbside pickup, while essential retail will continue working under previous restrictions.
  • Low-risk businesses can open statewide, such as landscape and gardening.
  • Residents will be allowed to participate in low-risk outdoor activities like tennis and go to drive-in movie theaters.
  • Local officials will be responsible for having testing and contact tracing systems in place.
  • Local officials will also have to monitor infection rates on a "day-to-day basis, if not an hour-to-hour basis," Cuomo said.

Cuomo also mandated that regions must meet seven metrics in order to reopen:

  1. 14-day decline in hospitalizations or under 15 new hospitalizations (three-day average).
  2. 14-day decline in hospitalized deaths or under five new (three-day average).
  3. New hospitalizations — under two per 100,000 residents (three-day rolling average).
  4. Share of total beds available (threshold of 30%).
  5. Share of ICU beds available (threshold of 30%).
  6. 30 per 1,000 residents tested monthly (seven-day average of new tests per day).
  7. 30 contact tracers per 100,000 residents or to meet the current infection rate.

What he's saying:

"Depending on how intelligently you increase activity will be the possible effect on the spread of the virus. You need to know what the impact is. You need to know it in real time. And you need to be in a position to respond. If it does not go well and you see that infection rate moving, because the hospitals tell you they see an increase or because your testing data shows an increase, you have to be able to pull the plug."

Go deeper

Aug 18, 2020 - World

CDC lifts travel warning as Bermuda ramps up testing to suppress coronavirus

A view of Coral Beach, Bermuda. Photo: Slim Aarons/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The CDC has lifted its coronavirus warning against nonessential travel to Bermuda, as the island ramps up a scheme to attract foreign workers on year-long residencies and marks 57 days with no detected community spread.

Driving the news: Over half of the British Overseas Territory's population has been tested for COVID-19 since on-island capabilities were set up on March 17. Premier David Burt told Axios the strict testing has left him "confident that we are going to be able to catch any clusters before they spread."

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot — FDA panel endorses Pfizer vaccines for 5-11 year olds — Moderna says vaccine shows strong immune response in kids
  2. Health: COVID cases, deaths at meat plants were far higher than previously thought — 96% of Tyson Foods employees vaccinated ahead of mandate deadline — U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers
  3. Politics: Louisiana lifts mask mandate except for some schools — Alabama governor orders state agencies to fight federal vaccine mandate — Axios-Ipsos poll: Confidence in Biden COVID recovery tumbles
  4. Education: Benefits of vaccine for children outweigh risks, FDA says — Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.