WNY reopens, Capital Region still short on contact tracer metric

Local News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Western New York is the latest region to get the go-ahead to begin a phased reopening Tuesday, but the Capital Region is still waiting to get an official “all clear.”

Over the weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that Western New York and the Capital Region were on-track to hit their metrics to begin their reopenings this week.  While we’re still waiting to hear about a date for a Capital Region reopening, the state’s regional COVID-19 monitoring dashboard shows that both the Capital Region and Western New York are expected to have 30 contact tracers per 100,000 residents — the last metric needed to begin reopening. 

So far, the Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, North Country and Central New York have begun the reopening process. The Governor said 14 days from entering the current phase is the guideline for moving to the next phase of the reopening because that is the incubation period of the virus. 

“Fourteen days is the guideline,” he said. “If there is virtually no increase in the indicators, could you argue you’re doing better than anticipated and open faster? Sure you could, and that’d be a reasonable theory based on the numbers, but let’s keep it on the numbers.”

Last week, it appeared that the Capital Region and Western New York didn’t meet the marks on some of their hospitalization metrics. The Governor was asked about what changed.

“Once we hit May 15, as soon as a region met the benchmarks, they could enter Phase 1. So the time reset on May 15, which was the end of the PAUSE. The last three days, Western New York met the benchmarks,” said Secretary to the Governor Melissa De Rosa.

Enough tracers have been identified in Western New York, but they still need to finish up their training on Monday.

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