New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order on May 14 to extend the state of emergency until June 13, but has permitted five regions to take the first steps to reopen some businesses beginning Friday.
Cuomo extended the state’s “New York State on PAUSE” policy to May 28, which had been put in place since March to curb the transmission of COVID-19—the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus—and was set to expire on Friday.
The governor said in his executive order that the statewide emergency order has been extended because “both travel-related cases and community contact transmission of COVID-19 have been documented in New York state and are expected to continue.”
“All enforcement mechanisms by state or local governments shall continue to be in full force and effect until June 13, 2020, unless later extended or amended by a future executive order,” Cuomo added.
The governor, meanwhile, announced Thursday that a central area of New York state was now ready to open, bringing to five the number of regions that will begin phase one of reopening on Friday.
NEW: Central New York has now met all seven metrics to begin Phase 1 of reopening on May 15th.
It joins Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and the North Country.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 14, 2020
Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, and Southern Tier—largely rural regions of the state—have met specific criteria set by Cuomo and will be able to begin the first phase of reopening on Friday.
Cuomo said earlier this month that reopening will take place in four phases, with the first businesses to restart being construction, manufacturing, parts of the supply chain that deal in wholesale, and select retail with curbside pickup.
“They are the most essential, with the lowest risk,” he said.
Last week, he outlined seven metrics regions must meet in order to reopen, including beefing up testing and ensuring minimum levels of hospital capacity:
- A 14-day drop in hospitalizations, or fewer than 15 hospitalizations, as measured by a three-day average;
- A 14-day reduction in hospitalized deaths, or fewer than five new daily deaths, as measured by a three-day average;
- Fewer than two new hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, as measured by a three-day moving average;
- A threshold of 30 percent of total hospital beds available;
- A threshold of 30 percent of intensive care unit beds available;
- Testing frequency of at least 30 per 1,000 residents, as measured by a seven-day average of new tests per day;
- Thirty contact tracers per 100,000 residents.
The remaining five regions of the state, including New York City, have not yet met the seven health-related criteria required by the governor to begin reopening.
“The others can be UN-PAUSED the moment they hit their benchmarks,” Cuomo wrote on Twitter.
New York state—the hardest hit nationwide by the pandemic—recorded more than 343,000 confirmed cases of the CCP virus, with at least 27,641 deaths as of Thursday evening.
Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated which order was being extended. The Epoch Times regrets the error.