Governor Cuomo announces three New York regions to begin reopening May 15

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Governor Andrew Cuomo
File photo/Todd Maisel

Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Rochester Monday morning to announce that some regions in New York were ready to end the stay-at-home orders.

In what he said was a “new chapter” where New Yorkers could possibly get back to work in their offices, Cuomo said localities could adhere to the May 15 reopening, but that this would happen when Centers for Disease Control standards are met for specific regions to begin the first phase.

“This is the next big step in this historic journey,” Cuomo said. “We’re now on the other side of the mountain… Let’s just remember where we were before we take the step forward.”

First to begin the process on Friday? The Finger Lakes, Southern Tier which includes Binghamton, Ithaca, Elmira as well as the Mohawk Valley.

Cuomo highlighted that although the virus came from Europe under the radar of an “alphabet soup” of health agencies and was the epicenter of the infection in the United States, the progress made in fighting the disease has been ahead of the curve. While nationwide cases continue to rise, New York is looking at reopening under the qualifications provided by the federal government, Cuomo said.

According to the CDC, regions have to meet seven metrics: a 14-day decline in hospitalizations or under 15 new hospitalizations on a three-day average; 14-day decline in-hospital deaths; new. hospitalizations under two per 100,000 residents; 30% of hospital beds reserved for a spike in COVID-19 cases as well as 30% ICU beds; 30 per 1,000 to be tested monthly per week; and 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 people.

Each region that contemplates reopening must have a “control room,” Cuomo said, that can monitor the speed at which they return to business as usual. Cuomo has surmised in earlier press conferences that under this reopening plan downstate would be opening much later than regions upstate.

The first phase allows for law firms, as well as construction and manufacturing with two weeks between reopening phases.

Cuomo said there are now 488 new cases per day as of May 10 which is as low as it has been since the beginning of the crisis in March.