For Governor Andrew Cuomo, the debate regarding if phased reopening is a better option than quickly opening the economy is over.
On June 25, New York had 950 hospitalizations, the lowest daily total since the start of the pandemic, and 14 deaths. The three-day average number of deaths dropped to 16, also the lowest three-day average for the state since the start of the pandemic.
New York performed 61,000 tests on June 25, with 805 testing positive. This gives New York a 7-day average transmission rate of 1.3%, the lowest in the United States, according to John Hopkins University.
Five regions of New York State are entering Phase 4 of reopening on June 26: Finger Lakes, Central New York, North Country, Mohawk Valley and the Southern Tier. Cuomo noted that in regards to gyms, malls and theaters, the state is looking into potential avenues of filtration systems that could attach to air conditioning systems and remove COVID-19 from the air.
“Those situations have created issues in other states,” said Cuomo. “We don’t want to go ahead unless we know what we’re doing.”
Cuomo reiterated that to him, the conversation about reopening the economy quickly vs. a phased reopening plan is no longer up for debate, citing that in states where there was no reopening plan are now having a huge resurgence in cases, while New York, which at its peak had a 50% transmission rate, had gotten the numbers down through a phased reopening.
“The two theories were tested in the laboratory of reality,” said Cuomo. “Rushed reopenings were a mistake. The numbers say that. They have said that for the past couple of weeks. The argument is over – the debate is over. There’s one right path and one wrong path.”
Cuomo stated that New York will be reaching out to states with higher transmission rates, such as Arizona, Texas, and Florida, to see how the state could be of assistance.