Half of New York State will be allowed to start the phased reopening process on Friday.

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On Thursday during his COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the Central New York region joins the North Country, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions that will all start Phase 1 of the reopening process on Friday.

The Mid-Hudson, Captial Region, Long Island and Western New York regions meet five of the seven metrics. New York City meets four metrics.

Cuomo noted just because a phased reopening starts on Friday, it doesn't mean the virus has gone away.

"It means we controlled the problem because of our actions, which have to be maintained," he said. "Follow the data. Follow the science. Follow the metrics.
That’s how New York reopens."

Cuomo's New York State on PAUSE order expires on Friday. Cuomo has laid out seven metrics, based on CDC recommendations, regions must meet to reopen, including hospital capacity, daily deaths and new infections.

Under his plan, a region can start Phase 1 of the reopening process on May 15 if all seven metrics are hit. Phase 1 includes the reopening of construction, manufacturing, retail with curbside pickup, wholesale trade, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting.

Cuomo noted on Thursday a Phase 1 business doesn't have to reopen if that business doesn't feel safe.

"Big question to me is how many businesses choose to open tomorrow," he said.

Cuomo announced hospitalizations intubations and the number of new COVID-19 hospitalizations all continue to drop.

"All the arrows are pointing in the right direction," he said.

He confirmed 157 lives lost in the past 24 hours, bringing the statewide total to 22,158.

Cuomo again said New York is a $61 billion "hole." He previously said without federal help he will be forced to make massive cuts in health care, education and local governments.

"We need our health care institutions, we need our schools, we need our police and firefighters funded," he said.

Cuomo said New York State, 16 other states and six European countries have reported cases of children suffering from potentially COVID-related illnesses.

Over 100 New York children have the rare illness, which has killed three. He said New York is leading the way on research.

"We need to understand all we can as fast as we can when it comes to our children," he said.

Cuomo also called on New York State manufacturers and businesses to help produce medical supplies.

"New York State is working to build a strong medical manufacturing supply chain in our own state," he tweeted during his COVID-19 briefing. "We never again want to be in a position where we need to rely on foreign imports to get critical supplies like N95 masks. It’s a national security issue."