New York deaths and infections drop again as state prepares to gradually reopen

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New York’s daily coronavirus deaths and new infections continues to lower, including in New York City which is inching closer to being able to start its gradual reopening plan.  

There were 166 new deaths across the entire state on Tuesday, bringing the total number of dead since the pandemic began to more than 22,011. There have been more than 338,000 cases across the state. 

In New York City, there were 173 deaths and 657 new infections across the city on Monday. The number of new infections is its lowest since before the city was shut down. 

NYC now hits four of the seven reopening requirements set by Gov. Andrew Cuomo

It still falls short on having a low enough daily new hospitalization rate, by the state department of health’s numbers, and does not yet have enough hospital beds free in the system. 

There are to be 2,250 contact tracers tasked with tracking down anyone who has come into contact with a positive case. Cuomo says the city is on track to meet its target, but as of Tuesday, only 525 had been hired. 

On Wednesday, speaking at his daily briefing, Cuomo said: ‘We have come through the worst. We paid a heck of a price for it but we have come through the worst.’  

The reopening will be done on a regional basis starting on Friday. 

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REOPENING PLAN

After May 15, once a region hits the 7 requirements, the phased reopening can start. 

Cuomo advised allowing 2 weeks in between the phases but it is not a hard rule 

PHASE 1: MANUFACTURING, CONSTRUCTION AND CURBSIDE RETAIL 

PHASE 2: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AND REAL ESTATE 

PHASE 3: RESTAURANTS 

PHASE 4: ENTERTAINMENT AND EDUCATION

There is no clear cut plan yet for the subway. 

At present, the subway is being closed every night between 1am and 5am for disinfecting. 

The Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier are all ready to reopen then by first allowing construction and manufacturing employees back to work along with resuming retail on a curbside basis. 

The second phase – which is expected to happen two weeks from Friday – is to allow office workers back to work once businesses submit plans for social distancing. 

The third phase, due to start two weeks after that, incorporates restaurants and the fourth phase is to allow entertainment services to resume. It’s unclear which category gyms and hair and beauty salons fall into. 

All of the data is uploaded to a regional dashboard found that is updated daily. 

‘We are doing the most transparent discussion and reopening discussion of any state. It only works if people understand it and are part of it. 

‘This is a social exercise. The 19million people of NY state are doing this. The best I can do is give them the information. 

‘I believe in them and when they have the right information and trust the information, they will do the right thing. And they have. That’s how we bent that curve. 

‘You will know exactly what is happening in your region, in your county. You’ll know what we are doing,’ he said. 

Cuomo said he was anxious not to reopen parts of the state ‘too soon’ in case a second wave of infection happened that would overwhelm the hospital system.  

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the new data on Wednesday

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the new data on Wednesday

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the new data on Wednesday

‘Too soon means you’re opening at a rate that the hospital system can’t handle and people aren’t taking the right precautions. You can measure exactly what you are doing,’ he said. 

He said he could not predict what the situation would be in June, let alone August or September. 

Health officials in Los Angeles on Tuesday night said the city could stay in lock-down until August. The announcement from the city health director sparked confusion among residents. 

The mayor only added to the confusion by saying on Wednesday morning that while ‘all the director was saying’ was social distancing would still have to apply after businesses start to reopen, but that Californians should get used to the current set of circumstances. 

He went as far as to say the city would not return to normal until there is a ‘cure’. 

Gov. Cuomo has made similar comments in the past. 

He said he would not be comfortable knowing the threat of the virus is over until there is a vaccine, which will not be available until January at the earliest by current estimates. 

He also gave new data for the infection rate among doctors, nurses and other frontline workers compared with the general public. 

Essential workers tested positive at a lower rate than others, he said the data ‘should give us all some peace of mind’ that not only are frontline workers not becoming infected at a higher rate, but that it shows protective measures like masks and frequent hand-washing work in reducing the spread.  

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