(Updated on 4/26 at 11:55 p.m.)
ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday outlined a phased plan to reopen New York's economy following the COVID-19 shutdown, starting with construction and manufacturing.
The plan will be implemented in phases, beginning as early as May 15, and will be based on regional analysis and determinations, the governor said.
Based on CDC recommendations, once a region experiences a 14-day decline in the hospitalization rate they may begin a phased reopening.
CDC is short for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
New York is “closely” monitoring the hospitalization rate, the infection rate, and the number of positive antibody tests, along with the overall public-health impact, and will make adjustments to the plan and other decisions based on several indicators that include:
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.
The state wants two weeks in between each phase to monitor the effects of the reopening and ensure hospitalization and infection rates are not increasing.
The plan will be implemented in coordination with regional partners like New Jersey and Connecticut, especially in the downstate area. The plan will also coordinate the reopening 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 restart 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.
“We've been talking about reopening the state and re-imagining a new New York, and to do that we're going to have to make governmental decisions in partnership with business decisions,” Cuomo said. “Every business leader understands that we can't just re-open and go back to where we were and what we were doing before -- we have to move forward in light of the circumstances that have developed. So we are going to re-open the economy in phases, based on regional and specific industry determinations and CDC guidelines, and in the midst of all this continuing to monitor the public health impact because all that progress we made by flattening that curve we could lose in a matter of days if we're not careful.”