Reopening plan for New York area taking shape with COVID-19 cases, deaths decreasing

Photo via Flickr/Governor Andrew Cuomo

Reopening the New York regional economy is coming closer to reality as the state reports continued decline in hospitalization rates as well as deaths.

According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Centers for Disease Control says regions can begin a return to normalcy after a 14-day decrease in hospitalizations, which leads the state into a three-phase plan to do so safely.

On Saturday, hospitalizations for new COVID-19 cases were at 1,087 while there were 367 deaths across the state. The infection rate is currently at 0.8%, which means one COVID-19 positive person is only infecting one other person on average, according to Cuomo.

But despite this, Cuomo still indicated on Sunday that May 15 remains the goal for phase one of reopening different regions of New York state.

“Phase one of the reopening will involve construction and manufacturing activities, and within construction and manufacturing, those businesses that have a low risk,” Cuomo said. “Phase two would be more of a business-by-business analysis using the matrix that we’ve discussed: How essential a service does that business provide and how risky is that business.”

According to Cuomo, it will be “very much” up to businesses whether or not they reopen, but there will be a two-week period between phases to monitor whether or not the virus is making a comeback through testing and hospitalizations.

The two weeks imposed by the state between phases is informed by the incubation rate of the disease. 

“They have to think about how they’re going to open up with this quote-unquote new normal, what precautions are they going to take in the workplace, what safeguards are they going to put in place,” Cuomo said. “Everyone understands the overall risk that you start to increase activity and the infection rate goes up, two weeks to actually do that monitoring.”

One caveat of reopening will be limiting attractions in one region that would provoke travel to other regions as people from various places travel through a desire for activity.

But Cuomo said this primarily goes for downstate where different facets of life that operate in lockstep to other states are most common.