ALBANY, N.Y. — Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday morning in a press conference that New York State is going to reopen in two phases.
The New York State on PAUSE order is currently in effect until May 15.
Cuomo says the state will follow CDC guidelines and look at which regions in the state have seen a decline in the hospitalization rate for 14 days before reopening.
The first phase will involve reopening construction and manufacturing companies with a low public health risk.
The governor says the first phase will most likely happen first in upstate New York in areas that weren't as severely affected by the pandemic. Cuomo added that places and businesses cannot reopen attractions that would encourage visitors from other parts of the state that may not be reopened.
The second phase will reopen more essential businesses that also have a low public health risk. However, in order to reopen, businesses must provide the state with a plan to reopen. This includes the analysis and evaluation of its potential public health risk, as well as what precautions and safeguards will be taken to safeguard workers and customers.
A business must have their plan before they can reopen. The governor stressed that this plan may need to be creative and more thoughtful, adding that businesses need to think about a new normal. This may involve changing a physical space, cleaning, screening, hygiene, travel and transformation, and making changes to lower the public health risk.
Cuomo says there will be a two week gap between the phases so the state can monitor the impact of these changes on public health. New York is going to monitor this in three ways.
The first will be hospitalizations, which can be monitored in each region of the state. The second will be the number of positive antibody tests, which will determine how many people have been previously infected in that area. And the third will be diagnostic tests, which determines if someone currently has COVID-19.
The governor once again said that reopening transportation, parks, schools, beaches, and businesses will all be coordinated.
Governor Cuomo has not made an official decision about whether schools will resume for the remainder of the school year. In-person classes are currently on hold until May 15 under the New York State on PAUSE order.
Cuomo said some districts across the state have discussed the idea of summer school to make up for lost time in the classroom, but there hasn't been an official ruling just yet.