ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — At his daily COVID-19 briefing on Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo offered more details towards the state’s plan to reopening during the COVID-19 crisis.
Governor Cuomo said the state will reopen on a region-by-region basis because the COVID-19 numbers in Upstate New York are starkly different from the numbers Downstate. However, Cuomo said no region will reopen in New York before the New York PAUSE order has expired, which is scheduled to expire on May 15.
The CDC recommended states wait to reopen until they see a decline in the hospitalization rate for 14 consecutive days, both statewide and regionally. Currently in New York State hospitalizations have declined for 13 days, but the number of total hospitalizations is still much higher than many other states. In Onondaga County, the number of hospitalizations has remained constant this week, hovering around 40.
Governor Cuomo said the state is monitoring the number of hospitalizations both statewide, and in each individual region of New York State.
Governor Cuomo hinted that Central New York could be one of the first regions to reopen, but it won’t be as simple as flipping on a light switch.
The state says it will be a phased in reopening process with construction and manufacturing businesses opening first. The governor said even when a business is granted permission to reopen, there will need to be new guidelines within the business to further prevent the spread of COVID-19.
After 14 days with construction and manufacturing open, the state says it will monitor the effects of phase I before moving into phase II.
Phase II involves opening other businesses, but the governor said businesses will have to present a plan to the governor on how they will reopen differently to continue to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Governor Cuomo said any events that could attract people from different regions of the state or country will not be allowed for the foreseeable future, as the state tries to control the spread of the virus as much as possible.
“I don’t just want to reopen, we learned a lot of lessons here, painfully, but we learned a lot of lessons,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “That’s what reimagine means to me. How do we take these lessons that we learned, this pause in life, and say when we reopen we’re going to be better for it?”
Governor Cuomo was not able to provide a concrete date as to when these phases might begin, but he said nothing will happen until the New York PAUSE order has expired.
For school, Governor Cuomo did not have a decision on when or if they will reopen for the remainder of the school year. He also said many school districts are thinking of doing summer school to make up for lost time.
COVID-19 numbers in New York State continue to trend in the right direction, with the number of hospitalizations and deaths declining every day. However, the stark reality is we lost another 367 New Yorkers to this deadly virus on Saturday, and thousands more are admitted to hospitals across the state each day.
Click on the video below to watch Sunday’s press conference in its entirety:
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