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Plenty of hurdles stand in NYC’s way as Phase 3 reopening approaches

Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a styrofoam mountain Monday representing the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York state. (Photo by Mark Hallum)
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that July 6 could be Phase 3 of reopening for New York City, but it does not come without hurdles.
 
Congregations in front of bars where patrons flaunt mask requirements are a concern of Cuomo’s that he believes local governments need to resolve.
 
The other is the higher risk that indoor dining poses to public health, to which the state is recommending MERV rating air filters in air conditioning units. MERV filters are able to capture the coronavirus particles.
 
“We’re going to enter phase 3, the indoor dining piece is one component we want to study, but we are on track for phase III,” Cuomo said. “The filters I think can make a considerable difference.”
 
But with one element being out of the state’s control being travelers from other states creating another wave here, Cuomo implored President Donald Trump to issue an executive order to mandate masks across the country.
 
“To the president, if they want to stop the spread of COVID-19, it starts with telling the truth,” he said. “The president doesn’t have to pass legislation, he just has to sign an executive order directing everyone to wear masks… Let the president lead by example and put a mask on it.”
Governor Cuomo holds up a mask urging President Trump to lead by example by wearing one in public. (Photo by Mark Hallum)
 
Cuomo said the federal government is not doing enough, claiming that only 41 testing sites nationwide had been established, while New York state has over 750.
 
With the mask mandates and the testing in New York, Cuomo highlighted that New York City, once the epicenter of the national pandemic, now has an infection rate of about 1.0% as of Sunday.
 
Cuomo unveiled a styrofoam sculpture that depicted COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York over the course of the pandemic. The numbers climbed from day zero to its zenith at day 42, with 18,825 hospitalizations that day. The graph ended on day 111.
 
As of June 28 there were 853 hospitalization.
 
“This is the mountain New Yorkers climbed,” the governor said. “We started at Day 1, and the numbers kept going straight up for 42 days.”
 
With four new hotspots in New York being under review by the testing and tracing program, Cuomo says it only takes one person to infect dozens.
 
For example, a hotspot in Chappaqua, in Westchester County, came from an individual who traveled from Florida to attend a graduation ceremony.

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