Cuomo to Allow Closure to Expire, Regions to Reopen When Deaths Drop

Cuomo to Allow Closure to Expire, Regions to Reopen When Deaths Drop

New York - The state’s historic closure will expire in less than two weeks, though regions may not begin reopening until key rates related to the coronavirus show a pattern of decline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday.

Cuomo said at his daily coronavirus press conference that the state will monitor four core factors to determine if the state’s ten region can allow businesses to reopen.

Regions such as New York City, Long Island and the Catskills must have at least 14 days of decline in new hospitalizations and deaths on a three-day rolling average. It must have fewer than two new patients admitted per 100,000 residents per day. In regions with few cases, the region cannot exceed 15 new hospitalizations or five new deaths. 

Every region must have the health care capacity to handle a potential surge in cases. Regions must have at least 30 percent total hospital and ICU beds available. This is coupled with the new requirement that hospitals have at least 90 days of personal protective equipment stockpiled. Regions must also have the capacity to conduct 30 diagnostic tests for every 1,000 residents per month.

In addition, regions must have 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 residents, and additional tracers based on the projected number of cases in the region. The state is currently building an army of contact tracers with former Mayor Mike Bloomberg to meet the needs of each region statewide.

Cuomo also outlined which industries can open in each phase of the state's re-opening plan. Businesses considered “more essential” with inherent low risks of infection in the workplace and to customers will be prioritized, followed by other businesses considered “less essential” or those that present a higher risk of infection spread. Regions may not open attractions or businesses that would draw a large number of visitors from outside the local area.

For businesses that will open, they must adjust workplace shifts to reduce density, have social distancing protocols, require all employees and customers to wear masks and restrict non-essential travel.

The notice comes as the state got 2,538 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 318,953.

(Photo By: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

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