CORONAVIRUS IN NY STATE: Deaths reach 22,302 as Upstate regions begin reopening; 'PAUSE' extended to May 28

Adam Warner
May 15, 2020 - 11:47 am
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    NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that half of New York's 10 regions will begin reopening Upstate as he announced more than 100 new deaths statewide and said the "PAUSE" order had been extended to May 28.

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    Cuomo reported another 132 deaths in the state since Thursday, bringing the state's death toll from 22,170 to 22,302.

    There were 343,051 total cases of the virus statewide as of Friday.

    "We're going to reopen half the regions in the state today," Cuomo said, adding that five regions will begin the first of four reopening phases.

    While central New York, the Mohawk Valley, the Finger Lakes, the North Country, and the Southern Tier are reopening Friday, Cuomo said New York City, its surrounding suburbs and western and eastern counties have yet to meet the state’s criteria.

    Cuomo also said he extended his PAUSE order, which keeps nonessential workers at home, from May 15 to May 28. "Enforcement mechanisms" in the emergency order are in place until June 13.

    Cuomo said that if a region hits its benchmark at any time "regardless of the PAUSE order" then that region can begin to reopen.

    Under Phase 1, Cuomo’s plan allows construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, manufacturing and wholesale trade businesses to start reopening. Retail stores can also provide curbside or in-store pickup or drop-off.

    The state is still advising residents to wear masks, practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable individuals. And prohibitions on large gatherings of any size remain in effect.

    Cuomo’s administration has divided the state into 10 regions that must meet seven criteria that include a 14-day decline in or a small number of hospital deaths and hospitalizations before reopening. Each region, led by teams of local representatives, must also make sure they provide enough testing and hire contact tracers among other conditions.

    These are the four reopening phases Cuomo released:

    • Phase One: Construction; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting; Retail - (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off); Manufacturing; Wholesale Trade
    • Phase Two: Professional Services; Retail; Administrative Support; Real Estate/Rental & Leasing
    • Phase Three: Restaurants / Food Services
    • Phase Four: Arts/Entertainment/Recreation; Education

    Cuomo also announced that the state had reached a joint agreement with New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware to reopen beaches on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend with strict precautions. 

    The governor said beaches will be at 50 percent capacity and masks will be required when social distancing is not possible.

    City, town and county beaches can also open that Friday as long as they fully enforce the minimum rules, Cuomo said.

    New York City beaches will not be among those reopening, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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