New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo expanded on his strategy to reopen the state in phases regionally at his daily press conference on Sunday.
“Nobody is giving anybody a date. But short-term, the numbers are on the decline, everything we have done is working. The rates are all dropping,” Cuomo reported
Cuomo said the state is following the CDC’s recommendation to start reopening once the regional hospital rate has a 14-day decline.
“It’s a very diverse state. Upstate regions are like states in the Midwest, even out West. We have very different hospitalization rates,” the governor said. “We look at the rates all across the state as well as all across the regions.”
Phase one of reopening will involve low-risk construction and manufacturing activities. After a two-week period of monitoring rates of hospitalization, positive antibody tests and positive diagnostic tests, phase two will be a business-by-business analysis, based on how essential and risky the business is.
“They have to think about how they are going to reopen with this quote-unquote ‘new normal,'” Cuomo said of businesses that will consider reopening. “What precautions are they going to take in the workplace? What safeguards are they going to put in place? It’s very much going to be up to businesses.”
The approach will take multistate coordination, the governor said, to limit visitors from lockdown regions going to ones that have opened up. The reopening of transportation, parks, school, beaches and businesses will also be coordinated, the governor said.
“It is possible you open something in Syracuse, open something in the north country, where you now see license plates coming in from Connecticut, New Jersey, from downstate, all coming to that area because … they have been locked down and they are looking for an activity,” Cuomo said.
Downstate is the “most complicated situation,” the governor said, due to people living and working in different states.
The COVID-19 rate of transmission (Rt) in NYS is now about 0.8.
That means 10 positive people infect about 8 others.
We must keep the Rt below 1 to keep slowing the spread.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 26, 2020
The governor said the goal is to keep the COVID-19 rate of transmission below one — or one person infecting one other person — to continue to slow the spread. Currently, the state has a rate of transmission of about 0.8. Upstate, that number is 0.9; downstate is it 0.75.
All restrictions and closures in New York are currently in effect until May 15.