Cuomo: Regions in New York Will Shut Down if Virus Spreads Again
Nine of New York's 10 regions are in Phase 1 of the four-phased reopening plan, but a region could be shut down again.
On Tuesday during his COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed the Mid-Hudson Region has entered Phase 1 of the four-phase reopening. Long Island enters Phase 1 on Wednesday.
Phase 1 means more construction, manufacturing, trade, fishing and hunting can reopen, while retail stores can offer curbside or in-store pickup. Phase 2 is retail, real estate and finance. Phase 3 will allow restaurants and hotels to reopen. Phase 4 includes entertainment venues, recreation and schools.
While officials hope each region quickly moves through each stage, Cuomo has noted a region's reopening will be shut down if there's a new spike in COVID-19 cases.
"Calibrate intelligently the reopening. Hopefully, you never have to close again. And you keep those margins where hopefully you can manage them," Cuomo said. "Watch those gauges. Those gauges stay down, open the valve."
Each region has a Regional Control Group that will monitor the seven benchmarks a region needed to hit to start reopening. If the metrics start to rise, a region could be shut down again to stop the spread of the virus.
"In each region, there will be a Regional Control Room that will closely monitor progress and act as a circuit breaker ready to step in," Cuomo said.
He said 14 days between each phase is an "estimate" because it gives officials time to gauge the spread of the virus. He did say if the numbers continue to go down, officials could accelerate the reopening.
"If your testing is not moving, you aren't getting any hospitalization increases, if nothing is moving then you could say 'we are in good shape, let's accelerate," Cuomo said.
County Executives in the Hudson Valley remain optimistic the region can quickly move through the phases.