Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo outlined a plan Sunday to gradually reopen the state’s economy, starting with parts of the state less affected by the Covid-19 epidemic.
Harder hit areas, such as Long Island and New York City, would come later in the reopening, which Cuomo said could happen some time after May 15. The phase-in would allow for monitoring of the hospitalization rate and reports of new cases, with the state moving to halt the reopening should the medical evidence support such a move.
Cuomo suggested the economy could be brought back online with these steps:
- Phase one will include opening construction and manufacturing functions with low risk.
- Phase two will open certain industries based on priority and risk level. Businesses considered “more essential” with inherent low risks of infection in the workplace and to customers will be prioritized, followed by other businesses considered “less essential” or those that present a higher risk of infection spread. As the infection rate declines, the pace of reopening businesses will be increased.
- The region must not open attractions or businesses that would draw a large number of visitors from outside the local area.
- There will be two weeks in between each phase to monitor the effects of the re-opening and ensure hospitalization and infection rates are not increasing.
- This plan will be implemented with multi-state coordination, especially in downstate New York. The plan will also coordinate the opening of transportation systems, parks, schools, beaches and businesses with special attention on summer activities for downstate, public housing and low-income communities, food banks and child care.
- The phased re-opening will also be based on individual business and industry plans that include new measures to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business. The state is consulting with local leaders in each region and industry to formulate these plans.
Cuomo also said that summer school is a possibility to make up for classroom time lost since schools were ordered closed as of March 16.
The number of new cases in New York declined, as did the number of deaths, 367, in the last day.