New York City will enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 8 and five other regions of the state entered Phase 2 Friday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Friday.
Phase 2 allows office-based workers, real estate services, in-store retail shopping and some barbershop services to resume. Each industry is subject to specific state guidelines to maximize safety and social distancing. What Phase 2 means.
Entering Phase 2 are Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and the Southern Tier.
“Remember that reopening does not mean that we’re going back to the way things were,” Cuomo said. “Life is not about going back. Nobody goes back. We go forward. And it’s going to be different. This is about reopening to a new normal — a safer normal. People will be wearing masks and people will be socially distanced — it’s a new way of interacting, which is what we have to do. Wear a mask, get tested and socially distance.”
An estimated 400,000 people could return to work in New York City once it begins its careful reopening.Talking with Brian Williams on MSNBC Friday, Cuomo said, “It is a gradual turning on of the economy. We’ve done it in other parts of the state but the gradual nature of it allows us to calibrate the actions and New York City’s a complex organism so the public transportation has to work, et cetera, and we’ll phase it in starting the 8th so that’s exciting and from where we were, you know, it’s about 90 days which is a lifetime in some ways, but in some ways it’s not considering what we had to do and what we were dealing with so we’re excited.”
What reopening means for workers, commuters headed into the city and what safety precautions will be in place is unknown. As the US epicenter of the coronavirus, with more than 20,000 fatalities attributed to the epidemic, many businesses and activities will remain closed in the first phase.
He also announced anew early warning dashboard that aggregates the state’s data collection efforts for New Yorkers, government officials and experts to monitor and review how the virus is being contained. It tracks new infections and their severity, hospital capacity by region, and other metrics. The early warning system dashboard was developed with experts who have been advising the state.