In his press conference today, Governor Cuomo revealed that businesses across New York will reopen in four phases on a regional basis. The first phase includes construction, manufacturing, and select retail that can offer curbside pickup. Phase two includes professional services, finance and insurance, retail, administrative support, and real estate/rental leasing. The third phase brings back restaurants and food services, as well as hotels and accommodations. The fourth and final phase will see the reopening of arts, entertainment, recreation, and education. The governor also outlined the state’s overall reopening strategy, which consists of a 10-point plan.
Slide from Governor Cuomo’s 5/4/20 press conference
As the governor explained, different regions of the state will begin their phased reopening at different points; New York City and the surrounding counties are considered the most high-risk and will likely start towards the end. Some of the lower-risk regions will begin their reopenings as soon as May 15th, when the current New York PAUSE order is in place until.
Slides from Governor Cuomo’s 5/4/20 press conference
Four core factors will determine when a region can reopen: the number of new infections, healthcare capacity, diagnostic testing capacity, and contact tracing capability. On a more granular level, the state has developed a 10-point plan that is as follows:
- A region must have at least 14 days of decline in total hospitalizations and deaths, based on a three-day rolling average.
- In regions that have had few COVID cases, there cannot be more than 15 new total cases or five new deaths, based on a three-day rolling average.
- A region must have fewer than two new COVID patients admitted to the hospital per 100,000 residents per day.
- Regions must have at least 30 percent of their total hospital and ICU beds available.
- Individual hospitals must have at least 90 days of PPE stockpiled.
- A region must perform 30 diagnostic tests for every 1,000 residents per month.
- Regions must have a baseline of 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 residents (regions could need additional tracers based on their projected number of cases)
- The phased reopening of businesses must be based on a risk vs. reward analysis (see above).
- Businesses must implement new safety precautions (see above).
- There must be “regional control rooms” to monitor all of the above.
“Re-opening is not going to happen statewide all at once – New York has diverse regions and those regions have different circumstances, so rather than wait for the whole state to be ready to re-open we are going to analyze the situation on a regional basis. We will measure whether a region can re-open based on four factors – the number of new infections, health care capacity, diagnostic testing and contact tracing – and we will continue to monitor these factors throughout the re-opening process to prevent a second wave of the virus and protect the health and safety New Yorkers,” said Governor Cuomo.