New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday outlined the phases of reopening the economy once the state’s coronavirus hospitalization rates are in a steady decline, saying that some regions may be able to start the first phase as early as mid-May.
During his press conference, Cuomo said the “descent continues” in the number of virus-related hospitalizations, intubations and the state’s new number of cases.
The daily death toll in New York continued to drop on Saturday to 367. New York has been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak, while the total number of confirmed cases across the U.S. is approaching 1 million.
But Cuomo said he believes that the state has overcome the worst part of the pandemic.
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“The numbers are on the decline everything we’ve done is working,” Cuomo said at Sunday’s briefing. “There’s no doubt that we’ve gone through the worst. And as long as we act prudently going forward, the worst should be over.”
Cuomo said that New York’s stay-at-home order expires on May 15, which is the earliest that a region can start the process as long as rates have dropped for two weeks.
In Phase 1, Cuomo said “low risk” businesses in construction and manufacturing would be the first to reopen. He said he expects upstate regions to be among the first to reopen.
The next phase would involve opening businesses based on how essential and risky they are. Cuomo said businesses will need to get creative about how to resume activity in a “new normal” and still protect people from further infections.
As New York outlines the process for lifting restrictions, several states around the country are starting to reopen parts of their economy despite not meeting the federal guidelines.
On Friday, Georgia eased restrictions on certain nonessential businesses and will allow restaurants to resume dine-in options for customers starting on Monday.
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